Dr. Anzalone at Camelot Senior Living

Kori LeCompte

For years, Dr. John T. Anzalone cared for community members through his dentistry practice. Now days, doctors are taking care of him. At Camelot Community Care, doctors facilitate individualized assisted care on short-term and long-term basis for community members like Dr. Anzalone.

Dr. Anzalone, a native of Independence, began practicing dentistry in Amite after becoming interested in the field through a friend. He graduated from Loyola University New Orleans’ Dental School in 1961 and worked for 39 years before finally retiring in 1999.

During his time as a dentist, Dr. Anzalone was personable and generous with his patients. Roy Henderson, a fellow Camelot resident and former patient of his, recalled calling him at home one evening to complain about a really bad toothache. Dr. Anzalone ended up treating him that night at his office.

While maintaining a dentistry career, Dr. Anzalone raised five children with his wife, Tillie. His oldest son became a Broadway performer and performed in “Cats.” Three of his children became doctors, one of whom took over his dental practice. He and his wife have also cared for their youngest daughter her whole life due to special needs.

Dr. Anzalone moved to Camelot Community Care after incurring injuries from a bad fall that left him hospitalized. It was determined that he was not ready to go home after being discharged even with home health and a supportive family. He was admitted into Camelot, a skilled nursing facility, for continuation of medical treatments and to move forward with physical therapy.

“The goal being to get him as good as he can be in order to go back home,” Nurse Practitioner Stephen Mixon said. Mixon works for Provider Health Services and coordinates with physicians at Camelot Community Care to prevent hospital emergency department returns. “The goal is always back home whenever realistic.”

Dr. Anzalone improved in therapy, but unfortunately, he plateaued at a less functional ability than before his accident. His family decided that they could not give him the level of care he needed, so he was moved from short-term rehabilitation to long-term care.

“I’m here because I have no other choice, what would I do?” Dr. Anzalone said. “I’d be a real problem for my wife who’s trying to take care of my daughter [who has Down syndrome] and then trying to take care of me, and she’s gonna be 86 years old.”

At Camelot, staff take the burden off him and his family by managing his meals and medications, monitoring his vitals, transporting him to doctors’ appointments and coordinating his care with his doctors.

Like Dr. Anzalone, each resident at Camelot Community Care is evaluated upon arrival with a customized patient-specific treatment plan and set of goals. This premier skilled nursing and rehabilitation community features transitional care and rehabilitation services that include neurological care, bariatric care, cardiac recovery, IV hydration and antibiotics, negative pressure wound therapy, orthopedic recovery, tracheostomy care, respiratory services, occupational therapy and physical therapy.