From the moment Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay opened its doors, our residents have made it clear that life-long education and enrichment is a high priority.  With input from an ad hoc committee , residents continue to identify and schedule mini-courses of interest to their neighbors.  The second of two courses identified this year, The Epic of Medicine, continues through the end of April.

Next up, beginning in June, will be Paris: The Luminous Years: 1870 to 1914, presented by Baila Miller of Miller Fine Arts, Monday afternoons at 4:00 pm.

Paris: The Luminous Years: 1870 to 1914

parisWho would have dreamed that the once traditional, conservative city of Paris would become the center of freedom in Europe?  This course examines the exhilarating, scandalous, and intimate relationships of young artists and authors who shaped this magical era that came to be known as La Belle Epoque.  Artists such as the French impressionists, Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris, writers such as Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway, booksellers Sylvia Beach, Adrienne Monnier and many others made up this legendary milieu.

June 8:          The French Impressionists: A Vision to the Future

June 15:         Art Nouveau and the Post Impressionists

June 22:        The American Personality and Modernism: Picasso, Stein, and Stieglitz

June 29:        The Lost Generation: Art, Literature, and Music

Instructor: Baila Miller has completed Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.  For over a decade she has continued her independent study of World History and the Arts.  Currently, she teaches at the Art Center, Sarasota; the Brandeis National Committee; Sarasota Library Systems; Pierian Spring Academy; Longboat Education Center; Sarasota Bay Club; Road Scholar; The Ringling Library; and FSU.

Cost: $20 for the series of four classes. Space is limited to 40; please get your reservation in early.  These educational offerings are supported in part through gifts to the Plymouth Harbor Foundation.


ValetIn the past month Plymouth Harbor has implemented a valet service to ease parking for residents and guests.

A few ‘bumps in the road’ can be expected when rolling out any new program or service, but by all accounts our new valet program has been well-received.  Forty-five residents have enrolled in the service so far.  Several have taken the time to express their approval by submitting Shining Stars for the Transportation and Security employees.

Additional signage has been installed to provide clearer instructions for resident guests, Harbor Club members, Marketing guests, and VIPs.  If you have not yet enrolled in this convenient new service, and wish to do so, a Concierge Desk receptionist will be happy to assist you.

By Celia Catlett

MooneyCheryl and Tim Mooney are both natives of New Jersey and attended the same high school, although at different times. Fate, however, brought about their meeting a few years later due to a dead snake!  Cheryl and some college girlfriends stopped in a bar that featured a snake charmer, but because the snake had died, the show was canceled and jukebox dancing substituted.  Tim asked one of Cheryl’s friends to dance.  Cheryl, tired of tapping her feet, instead tapped the friend on the shoulder and when Tim whirled around, he was surprised by a new partner.  “Where did the blonde go?” he asked.  Well, it was a brunette for him for ever after.  A year and a half later, they were married and just celebrated their forty-eighth wedding anniversary.

Cheryl finished her degree at Paterson State Teachers College (now William Paterson University) and taught art for many years as she followed Tim on the frequent moves his career in insurance involved.

Tim held positions as agent and from district to regional sales manager for Allstate for twenty-one years.  At one point, their two high school-age daughters (Kimberly and Allison) balked at transferring to Chicago.  After a family council, Tim went with the health care division of Travelers, assured that he could stay put; two years later, headquarters moved to guess where?  Chicago.  Tim eventually went to First Health until his retirement in 2001.

Cheryl branched out and during one of their postings in St. Petersburg, worked for the Pinellas Park Newspaper, taught public speaking for Dale Carnegie, and then began her own insurance career with Prudential in financial services.  In fact, she was featured on the cover of the first issue of the Prudential Leader.  When Tim transferred again to Chicago, she continued with Prudential’s Chicago office until the Mooneys moved to Lakewood Ranch in 2002.

They are fortunate to have daughter Kimberly nearby on Siesta Key.  Allison, mother of their two granddaughters, lives in Chicago.  Both are interested in the fitness program here and in helping our Marketing Department to recruit new residents.  Cheryl enjoys bridge, gardening, and, of course, art. They are a lively addition to our community.  Please welcome them warmly.

insightsInsights is a new monthly connection where residents share their stories and insights about their lives, careers, and hobbies with employees.  A feature of Plymouth Harbor’s developing Employee Wellness Program, Insights will be offered the fourth Friday of each month at noon.  Open to all employees, lunch will be provided, supported by gifts to the Plymouth Harbor Foundation employee assistance fund.

Thanks to Phil Starr, each Insights presentation will be videotaped for viewing by employees unable to attend the live event.  It will also enable us to develop an archive for future employees to view.

Charles Gehrie kicked off the first Insights program on March 27th.  Mr. Gehrie’s topic was titled “Stepping Stones.”  He shared with an interested and appreciative audience (see photo at right) how his education as a mechanical engineer was one of the stepping stones to his career.

Click here to watch the presentation.

Upcoming Insights Presentations

April 24                   Don and Peggy Wallace:  Life Is a Soap Opera      

May 22                    Beverly Vernon:  Let’s Cook

June 26                   Jane Smiley:  Style—It is My Life

July 24                     Senator Marlow Cook:  Politics are Politics

August 28                Ted and Fran Rehl:  Inspired by Music

September 25         Walt Mattson:  Community College & the Newspaper Business

October 23                  Susan Mauntel:  Taking Risks and Winning


terry aldrichTerry Aldrich,  Resident Member

“Serving on the Board of Trustees provides me with the dual opportunity to inform fellow board members from all walks of life how invigorating it is to be a resident of Plymouth Harbor, while learning from them about Plymouth Harbor’s relationship to the community as a whole.”

Terry Aldrich has a M.S.W. from Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois. He served in the U.S. Air Force at various Air Force hospitals during the Vietnam era, including positions as Chief Psychiatric Social Worker at Elmendorf AFB Hospital in Alaska, and Eglin AFB Hospital in Florida. His experience in the mental health field includes Director of Welfare for Nueces County, Texas; Director of the Corpus Christi Guidance Center, and Director of Drug and Alcoholism Programs for Lakeland Counseling Center in Wisconsin. He also was a proprietor of an antique business with outlets in Atlanta, Sarasota, and Pinerolo, Italy, and an interior decorating business focused on residential and commercial projects.

Terry’s volunteer work includes the Alzheimer Foundation; the Board of the Office of Economic Opportunity in Texas; and Eucharistic Minister to residents of various nursing homes. At Plymouth Harbor, he has served on the Wellness and the Dining Committees, and as Chair of the Gratuity Committee. Terry is the Vice Chair of the Residents Association.

By Lee Yousri

eisner“Still waters run deep” — wow! How to begin? Harriet was born in Atlanta–now, move forward: after one year in college-marriage-followed by three children nineteen months apart-and a wonderful husband who sent her back to college and her much-loved study of the arts.  A “we’ll take care of the kids, dear,” scenario. Cool! But not exactly commonplace.

The pieces fell into place while attending school only one day a week and having a fantastic helper.  The caregiver who had helped Harriet’s mother with Harriet as a youngster volunteered to do the same for Harriet’s children. Add in Harriet’s mother who also lived in Atlanta and you have a truly charmed life.

It was the time of the Beatles – the 60’s. Harriet was 29, her college companions were 19. It was not a problem; they mixed well.  It was a happy time.

After she received her Master’s degree in Visual Arts from Georgia State, they moved to New Canaan, CT.  Her son was a student at New Canaan High School where parents volunteered their services.  Harriet taught “silk screen” and subsequently became a substitute teacher for an art professor and a part-time teacher of drawing.  She was also working at the art group, “Silvermine.”  One could say Harriet was immersed in all areas of artistic pursuit.

And there was Lincoln Center in New York City, the “educational” arm, offering an in-depth look at the performing arts and helping to develop future participants as audiences in music, dance, and theater.

After several years in New Canaan, the Eisners moved to Pittsfield, MA, where Harriet’s husband became CEO and president of Shaeffer pens.  These were more popular in Asia and Europe than in the U.S. – their days of world travel began!

Then Harriet’s Dad gave the couple a house on Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands where they spent time off and on for seventeen years while commuting back and forth between Asia, Japan, and Australia.

How on earth did Sarasota enter into the picture?  One of their sons had always had a respiratory problem.  His doctor’s simple prescription:  the “beach life” and so, for years after discovering Lido Beach, they had made it a part of their very busy life. Added to the beach benefit, Sarasota offered a continuation of life in the arts which had always been so important to Harriet.  Son Dean now lives on Longboat Key.

Here is a brief summation of all the parts:  two sons, one daughter, five grandchildren; five abstract paintings by Harriet in a Sarasota gallery; a past study of the arts, a continuing love of the arts.

We welcome Harriet!

While Wellness is a  priority at Plymouth Harbor 365 days and 52 weeks of every year, we will be celebrating our second annual WELLNESS WEEK April 20 through 24.

Each day during Wellness Week will see at least one special, out-of-the-ordinary activity for all to enjoy.  Take a look at the schedule and plan your own week!


djembeMonday, April 20
Drum Circle

Gather with friends and experience a fun and healing drum session led by Jana Broder.  Beautiful djembe drums will be provided.

Time:   2:00-3:00 p.m.
Location:   Outdoor area near the bocce court/pool.  In the event of inclement weather, Wellness Center Group Fitness Studio.



IMG_1154Tuesday, April 21

Enjoy an adventurous morning kayaking through the beautiful mangrove tunnels just south of Plymouth Harbor’s backyard.  Single and tandem kayaks are available.

Time:  Meet in lobby 8:30 a.m.
Return around 11:30 a.m.
Cost:   $65/person: includes a kayak and 2-hour guided tour.
Sign-up by calling Amanda x350 by April 13th. Space is limited!



mote boatWednesday, April 22
Mote Boat Tour

Join a marine biologist on a cruise through Sarasota and Roberts Bay to observe manatees and bottlenose dolphins while learning about the ecology, history, and area folklore. On-board restrooms and comfortable seating are available.

Time:   Meet in lobby 9:15 a.m.
Return around 2:00 p.m.
Cost: $37/person
Sign up by calling Amanda x350 by April 13


jaszz bandThursday, April 23
Dine, Dance & All that Jazz

It’s time to break out your dancing shoes!  Enjoy an evening of dinner and dancing with your friends and neighbors, enjoying music by the Al Hixon Jazz Quartet with a special guest performance by resident Carl Denney. You won’t want to miss this!

Time:  6:00-9:00 p.m.
Location: Mayflower Dining Room
Cost: $30/person
Make your reservation by calling Dining Services x258

brain-fitness-introFriday, April 24
Quick Witz Brain Game

Guest presenter Becky McLaughlin will explain the concept behind this mental fitness program designed to maximize mental ability.  You’ll enjoy the challenging, hands-on, interactive activities designed to help the aging brain get sharp and stay sharp!

Time:  10:00-11:15 a.m.
Location:  Club Room
No sign-up required.


Bocce1-267x300Friday, April 24
Outdoor Game Party

Come and play a variety of outdoor games like bean bag toss, ladder golf, skittles, and bocce.  Healthy snacks & refreshments will be provided.  Come out and play, or just cheer on your neighbors!

Time:   3:00-5:00 p.m.
Location:   Bocce Court

No sign-up required.

Mauntel storyMeeting Susan Mauntel is not a simple “how do you do.” I needed only to lock eyes with Susan to unleash an unstoppable swirl of joie de vivre which bubbled continuously throughout our visit.

Prior to walking into what she calls her “nest” on the 14th floor, I had an inkling she was going to be something. When I had called earlier I couldn’t help but respond to and engage with her voice mail message, as her high-fidelity recorded voice welcomed my call and explained, “Have I got a story for you!” And, indeed, she did!

Susan was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, part of metro Philadelphia, and counts Elvis as her first interview subject while she was still in high school. After graduation she flew west to study art and journalism at the University of Colorado, never again to live on the east coast.

Those early adult years after college, Susan admits, were without direction. “I had no plan, so I spent some time as a ski-bum in Aspen and then served as a hostess at the Seattle World’s Fair.” Soon after, she found her way down to San Francisco where she made her living as a model and actress, mostly in TV commercials. Her story about playing an extra in a party scene with Janis Joplin in the movie Petulia (1968) starring Julie Christie, George C. Scott and Richard Chamberlain was a good reminder of how grueling that work can be!
You can imagine that living in San Francisco during the years of the hippies and the ‘Summer of Love’ would be quite exciting for a beautiful young woman. Yet Susan says with a big grin, “I was not a hippie and I only attended the first ‘Love In’.”

Susan’s successful modeling career allowed her to travel and she eventually moved down the coast of California and Los Angeles became her home base. In the 1970s, she was ready to try new things and, like Helen Reddy, let the world “hear me roar!”

“No matter how successful you are, in modeling you are always ‘the girl’,” Susan shared. “I knew I had to get out of modeling before my brain atrophied!” That’s when she simply started calling on TV news producers, asking for an audition. She had no training in broadcast journalism, but simply watching what happened on air, she figured she would fake it until she made it.

Susan got her first chance as a news reporter interviewing celebrities and then a daily live talk show in San Diego. Then she was back to San Francisco with a magazine format TV show, and once again to LA co-anchoring the news on KTLA.

My mind blurs trying to remember the long list of high profile celebrities, artists, and leaders that Susan has had the pleasure of talking with in-depth. The walls of fame in her home are the clues to many, many stories, I am sure!

In telling her tales, Susan’s voice and facial expressions help paint the picture of both her hard work to excel in these fields and a seemingly carefree life. “I was a Road Scholar!” she laughed, with gleam in her eye. “Like a rolling stone, but I always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.”

Yet when asked, she admits she’s had her fair share of heartbreaks. “I know now that God has had his hand on me all along the way,” she confides. In fact, she went on to explain, at each major transition there was usually some unexpected sign that cleared the way for her. Susan calls these serendipitous moments “God winks.”

machu picchu100One of those God winks led her to let go of the stress-filled life of TV broadcasting and take up something completely different. Real estate! But, with a high-end twist. Her first listing was the Pacific Palisades home of President-elect Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy.

Real estate was a passing fancy, though, and she was soon back in Aspen with a TV job. By then, her early and deep love for art was calling to her in a loud voice. Susan soon transitioned into the life of a successful, working, self-sufficient artist with a studio and gallery in Aspen called Furniture as Art, as well as in Solana Beach, California.

Those were 18 glorious years during which she created and sold hundreds of memorable paintings on chairs, tables, screens, etc. Susan specialized in recreating in the style of masters such as Matisse and Monet. One day, a passing tourist in Aspen admired her copy of Matisse’s portrait of his daughter on a chair. A brief conversation revealed that tourist to be Matisse’s grandson, Claude Duthuit, who Susan quickly befriended.
Leaving that home behind to shift to urban Denver and five winters in Naples, Florida, Susan was feeling the pull of sun and sand in her next chapter. She found Naples beautiful, but yearned for a livelier cultural scene, which, of course, led her to Sarasota, Florida’s cultural capital.

She arrived in Sarasota in December 2013 armed with a list of communities she had identified from her online research. One look at Plymouth Harbor, it was another “God wink.” Susan fell in love with the people and that perfect little corner apartment and view on the 14th floor. “I’ve always been a little impulsive,” she confides. “I made my decision in January and by July 2014, I had sold my Denver property and was moving into Plymouth Harbor.”

Susan’s home now is an installation of her life as art. In addition to walls of photos capturing her modeling and TV career, I saw the full expression of her life and talents on each piece of customized furniture, choice of accent, and countless quirky personal touches. Her sweet long-haired miniature dachshund, Moki, a faithful furry companion, completes the home.

As comfortable as this nest is, Susan is truly a rolling stone who has already accumulated a host of friends and activities, including performances as an evocative story reader for a range of audiences. Her role in the Plymouth Harbor Players production of “The Saint on the 17th Floor” is only a taste of what she might bring in the future.

In fact, that wide-eyed wonder of what the future might bring is one of the most memorable qualities that Susan shared with me during our visit. Her joy and faith are contagious. In fact, I can’t wait until the next time we meet when, I am certain, she will greet me in her ebullient way, “Boy! Have I got a story for you!”

Teepa Snow TrainingPlymouth Harbor prides itself in being a leader in so many ways, so it should not be surprising that as steps are being taken to develop expanded assisted living and memory care, we are stepping out further than most.

We’ve already begun to increase the level of intensive instruction for all clinical staff so that they are adept at interacting with and providing the best of care for residents with dementia.  At Plymouth Harbor our goal is even larger.  We are committed to providing some level of training to all staff  in all departments, to develop a deeper understanding of the needs of residents with any stage of dementia and to build confidence in how to help each individual feel secure.

Plymouth Harbor has adopted the Positive Approach to Care (PAC) to accomplish this goal.  This model was created by the renowned Teepa Snow and widely recognized as the highest standard of care for those with all forms of dementia.  A wide range of residents, staff, and board members had an opportunity to learn from Teepa first hand during her visit to Plymouth Harbor in January.

After intensive training, Plymouth Harbor staff member, Brandi Burgess, BA, SW, was awarded national certification as a PAC trainer. She will be passing on her in-depth knowledge and experience as the facilitator of all training sessions here at Plymouth Harbor.

There will be twelve training sessions encompassing three levels of instruction.  The level of instruction will vary based on job assignment and the level of interaction with residents.  The first sessions took place on March 4th and March 18th, and included 24 clinical staff members.  The first round of training will continue through June 17, 2015 until all staff have participated.  Training will be offered on an annual basis to refresh skills at various levels of instruction.  In addition, an introduction to PAC will be provided during new staff orientation.

The experiential learning process consists of an adept blending of lecture, discussion, hands on practice, and hand-picked videos to provide information about the physical impact of progressive dementia.  More than once during training, various staff voiced, “so that’s why…”, as they picked up aha! moments and reflected how it applied to the residents with whom they work.

The first session was very well received and those present were anxious to begin using what they had learned!


Ted RehlNow hear this . . . Hearing loss is not just an age issue. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders  “approximately 17 percent (36 million) of American adults report some degree of hearing loss.”    Furthermore, a 2011 report based on audiometric testing of Americans 12 and older in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys (NHANES) states that 30 million Americans have at least a 25 db hearing loss in both ears and 48 million in one or both ears.

Pilgrim Hall Now Looped In

Of course, Plymouth Harbor is committed to provide resources and technology that can enhance quality of life for all residents. In fact, in many cases, the generous gifts of donors to the unrestricted fund of the Plymouth Harbor Foundation make improvements in quality of life possible.

Thanks to those donors of unrestricted gifts, the next time you attend a performance or event in Pilgrim Hall, you will be able to flip the T-Coil switch on your hearing aid and the sound will be much improved!

What is a hearing loop and how does it work?

A hearing loop is a wire connected to an electronic sound source that transmits that sound to the telecoil in a hearing aid or cochlear implant. A loop can discreetly surround a room, a chair in your home, or even be worn around the neck. Hearing loops can be connected to a public address system, a living room TV, a telephone (land line and cellular), or any source that produces sound electronically.

A hearing aid and most cochlear implants equipped with a manually controlled T-Switch is all that is required to hear in a hearing loop. The telecoil or T-coil receives the signal from the loop and turns it back into sound in the hearing aid, eliminating the background noise.

For the listener, they simply switch their T-coil on and the sound is heard directly into their hearing device, clear as a bell. No background noise or interference. If the listener prefers to hear surrounding sounds, they only need to switch their hearing device to M/T. It’s that simple!

loopWhy are hearing loops needed? Don’t hearing aids enable hearing?

Today’s digital hearing aids enhance hearing in conversational settings.  Yet for many people with hearing loss the sound becomes unclear when auditorium or TV loudspeakers are at a distance, when the context is noisy, or when room acoustics reverberate sound.  A hearing loop magnetically transfers the microphone or TV sound signal to hearing aids and cochlear implants that have a tiny, inexpensive “telecoil” receiver.  This transforms the instruments into in-the-ear loudspeakers that deliver sound customized for one’s own hearing loss.

How many hearing aids have the telecoil (t-coil) receptor for receiving hearing loop input?

In surveys of hearing professionals, the Hearing Journal (April, 2009) reported that 58% of hearing aid fittings included a telecoil, an increase from 37% in 2001.  In its 2009/2010 reviews of hearing aid models, the Hearing Review Products reported that 126 (69%) of 183 hearing aid models—including all 38 in-the-ear models and 29 of 30 conventional behind-the-ear models—come with telecoils.  In 2014, the Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Aids reported that 323 of 415 hearing aid models (71.5%) were now coming with telecoils, as were 81% of models larger than the miniaturized completely-in-the-canal aid.  Moreover, the greater people’s need for hearing assistance, the more likely they are to have hearing aids with telecoils—as did 84 percent of Hearing Loss Association of America members in one survey.  New model cochlear implants also offer telecoils.