HOME Sweet HOME
First resident receives warm welcome
to new nursing center for veterans
Movie star Mae West once remarked
that, “Getting old isn’t
for the faint of heart.” And while
the intention was humor, her
wry observation rings true with most of us.
Though the average life span of individuals
living in the United States has dipped
slightly since the pandemic, medical and
technological advances give many the gift
of more quality years of life.
What happens, though, when the natural
effects of aging or life circumstances mean
we can no longer safely live alone? According
to the Centers for Disease Control, just
shy of 42 percent of baby boomers were
also caring for an aging parent in 2020.
Since none of us wants to be a burden to
our families, more people are considering
alternatives for those “golden years” than
After a series of delays, including the
COVID-19 lockdown and multiple obstacles
and supply shortages, the Ardie R. Copas
State Veterans' Nursing Home finally
opened its doors in July. The home is named
for Army Spc. 4 Ardie R. Copas, whose selfless
service during the Vietnam war helped
save the lives of four of his fellow soldiers
even though his courageous actions cost him
his own life. When the doors of the long- >>
28 Port St. Lucie Magazine
Calvin Heathman, the first resident of the Ardie R. Copas State Veterans' Nursing Home in Port St. Lucie, enters the facility with his daughter, Rhonda Blakey
and her husband, Mark. They all believe it was the right time for him to move to the nursing facility. Heathman says the staff provides him with excellent care.
BY WENDY DWYER
The new home is named after Army
Spc. 4 Ardie R. Copas, who was
awarded with the Medal of Honor
posthumously for his heroic actions
during the Vietnam War.