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.

By Isabel Pedersen

Dolores and Laszlo Biro“We were thrilled that the American bombers overhead meant the end of the war was near. On the other hand, those bombs they were dropping were landing on us.” Laszlo Biro’s comment from the labor camp in Austria reflected the reality. In 1944 when he was 15, Laszlo and his parents were moved by the Germans from their native Hungary to Vienna.

At the end of the war, they returned home where Laszlo continued his education, graduating from Kossuth University with an M.D. He finished a specialization in dermatology before the 1956 Hungarian uprising. Then he got himself across the border and came to America. A nine-month comprehensive course and an internship at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn enabled him to be relicensed in this country. Winning a New York University three-year fellowship for a residency which paid a then munificent $3,000 a year was followed by a preceptorship at Bellevue Hospital.

There was an added advantage to the $3,000 and to having been at NYU. There was a cute medical secretary there to whom he wangled an introduction. Their first date was to a movie, “War and Peace,” which turned out fortunately to be three hours long. It must not have been long enough since they married in 1961.

Dolores’ first love was the piano so she became a music major at Newton High School in Queens. Upon deciding that her piano skills were inadequate, she settled for playing the clarinet in the school orchestra. Her courses also included typing which enabled her to get a job as a medical secretary at NYU’s downtown branch. Taking NYU courses at night after work resulted, after a lot of effort, in a degree. The rest of her working life was in the OB/GYN Department at Bellevue Hospital.

Moving to Brooklyn after their 1961 marriage, Dolores became a busy mother of four. Busy also was Laszlo who, in addition to a thriving practice in dermatology, served as a Clinical Professor at the State University of New York in Brooklyn. And there they stayed until they joined us at Plymouth Harbor.

The Biros’ other home, on Fire Island, is still in the family because their children and their eight grandchildren love it. Two of their daughters live in Westport, CT, one in Brooklyn, and their son David has taken over his father’s practice and office in Brooklyn. If you want a frightening tale, ask the Biros about their son’s year at Oxford. Or you can read about it in David’s book, “One Hundred Days,” which is in our library. At Plymouth Harbor, Laszlo’s fondness for chess and Dolores’ for the piano plus volunteer opportunities should keep them busy.

By Chris Valuck, Wellness Director

strength training for seniorsExercise Resistance training, also known as weight training or strength training, incorporates exercises that build muscular strength and endurance of skeletal muscles (as opposed to cardiovascular exercise that develops heart muscle endurance). These terms include all types of resistance, whether you are using exercise bands/tubes, dumbbells, weight machines, milk jugs, soup cans, or even your own body weight (i.e. push-ups).

A couple of weight training questions that I am frequently asked are, “How much should I lift?” and “How many times should I lift it?” It seems like the answer should be simple, but it really isn’t because so many factors must be taken into account. A good strength training exercise prescription must include functional exercises that will help improve performing activities of daily life; exercises that take into consideration the individual’s goals, ability levels, orthopedic limitations, time constraints; and the list goes on.

The detail involved in this type of programming is too involved to fully discuss in this article. But I will clarify a few in an attempt to answer these two questions, assuming that the goal of the exerciser is muscular strength and endurance—which is the most common reason a person incorporates strength training into their exercise regime. Also, in the box below are evidence-based guidelines by The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), which is the most respected organization in the industry and considered to be the gold standard.

The biggest misconception regarding resistance training is that you must perform “3 sets of 12 reps” for each exercise or you will turn into a pumpkin. Not so! The “3 sets of 12” idea is just a guide. In fact, for an older population, just 1-2 sets of 10-15 reps may be more suitable. Research shows that the average adult will develop strength and endurance when they use a resistance that is challenging between 8-12 reps. The power lifter or bodybuilder who is only interested in strength might use a resistance so heavy that he cannot perform the exercise more than 2-6 reps and the exerciser interested only in endurance may use a load that is not challenging until 15+ reps are achieved. But because the average person would like muscular strength and endurance, we recommend a middle range of 8-12 repetitions (or 10-15 for an older or deconditioned population).

Once you determine the goal (i.e. muscular strength and endurance), then you determine the resistance required to safely challenge the muscle in that range, which in this case is 8-15 reps. The key word is “challenged.” This means not just doing the exercise 12 times, hopping to the next exercise, 12 times, and so on. It means that with each subsequent set, you should feel that the muscle is beginning to tire and you cannot safely do another. This is what we call momentary muscle fatigue, the point at which the muscle is being challenged to do more than it already can do on a daily basis. The result is increased strength over time. If you simply “count reps” and never challenge the muscle with a tiny bit more weight over time, you will not realize any strength gains, but simply remain where you are. I suppose that at least you can say you’re maintaining your current strength, but most people want to improve strength.

We’ve addressed repetitions and resistance, but now let’s look at sets, which are groups of repetitions. Most group fitness instructors and personal trainers work with the basic guide of “3-sets” of each exercise, providing that only one exercise is being performed for each major muscle group during the exercise session. Again, these exercises vary tremendously and can get very elaborate, but let’s just stick with the basic program which is three sets or less for each major muscle group.

If you choose to do three sets for a particular muscle group and you subscribe to the theory that each repetition should take some effort, then it stands to reason that you would not be able to do 12 repetitions in the second set and definitely not in the third if you are becoming increasingly, but safely, fatigued. More realistically, an effective workout session for any particular muscle group that consists of three sets would look more like this: 12 reps attained in the 1st set;  now a rest period because you should be a little bit tired. In the 2nd set you might only able to perform 10 or 11 reps, and in the 3rd set maybe only 8-9 reps. Is this making more sense?

The above theory is the hardest to convey to the exerciser, but it’s the most important if your goal is to increase strength and endurance. So, the next time you’re in one of the group fitness classes or using the Keiser equipment, ask yourself, “Am I just going through the motions, or am I safely challenging myself enough to make a difference?”

Begin with a 5-7 minute warm-up, consisting of continuous movement (i.e. walking or cycling).

Frequency: 2-3 days per week, working each major muscle group

Sets: Older Population: 1-2 sets of 10-15 rep of each exercise. Most Other Adults: 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps of each exercise.

 Weight lifted should be “challenging” but attainable within the repetition range.
 Rest 1-2 minutes between sets.  Allow a day of rest between strength-training sessions (48 hours).
 Work large muscles first (chest, back, legs); then smaller muscles (shoulders, arms).
 Use proper body alignment and maintain slow, controlled movement.
 Use proper breathing technique: exhale on exertion and never hold your breath.
 Gradual progression of greater resistance, and/or more repetitions per set, and/or increasing frequency is recommended as strength increases.

Pescatello, L., Arena, R., Riebe, D., & Thompson, P. (Eds.). (2014). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (9th ed., p. 185). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Have you seen this colorful new piece of art on the south wall of the Wellness Center corridor?


This beautiful piece of art was made possible through the Ruth Carmichael endowed gift, the income from which we receive annually through the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

Ruth Carmichael, a Plymouth Harbor resident from 1990 through 1998, was known for a business she created called Art for Industry, where she brought modern art to the lobbies and halls of big business in Boston and New York.  Through her gift, we created The Carmichael Collection that will be expanded annually through this fund, in honor of its benefactor.

We are happy to continue Mrs. Carmichael’s vision here at Plymouth Harbor.

HallBrian D. Hall, Treasurer

“Plymouth Harbor is an exceptional continuing care retirement community with an exciting future. It is a pleasure to serve on the Board of Trustees.”

Brian D. Hall is the Executive Vice President and Director of Wealth Management at the Gateway Bank of Southwest Florida, joining Gateway after serving previously as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Sarasota-based Sabal Palm Bank. Prior to Sabal Palm, Brian was President and Chief Executive Officer for SouthTrust in Sarasota, following a 22-year banking career in Indiana and Ohio. Brian received a BS degree in Finance from Indiana University and an MBA in Management from the University of Cincinnati. Brian’s community involvement includes director and board chair of Samaritan Counseling Services of the Gulf Coast, regional board director and past Sarasota community campaign chair of United Way Suncoast, past director and treasurer of the Education Foundation of Sarasota, and volunteer youth basketball coach. Brian and wife Betsy live in Lakewood Ranch and enjoy spending time with family. They are active members of the Woodland Community Church.

Plymouth Harbor Players

Front row L-R: Don Wallace and Bobby Broderick, with the rest of the Plymouth Harbor Players.

Bobby Broderick’s seven decade love affair with Glo began and ended with a winning smile and a shared passion for performing. As a youth, Bobby sang quite a bit with male quartets and choirs at church and on a local Saturday morning radio show. Glo was a chorus girl and dancer who also won the drama award at Reading High School in Pennsylvania where both she and Bobby graduated. “She could knock you dead with that smile,” says Bobby wistfully as he shared the story of how Glo first pulled a chair up alongside him. Reportedly, Glo went home and announced to her father that she had met the cutest little boy in Sunday School. “When I grow up, I am going to marry him!” she declared. And so she did. That smile, as well as sharing those youthful good times, was the first glue that bound these two together until she passed at age 90, just 72 years and 2 days after they were married.

Not long after the happy couple moved into their home in Plymouth Harbor in 2002, Glo’s health began to decline. Bobby was always a doting caregiver, but Glo encouraged him to get involved with life in the community even though her energy was limited. When the indefatigable Naomi Wittenburg grabbed him by the shoulder one day and urged Bobby to join their theatre troupe for that season’s play, his first response was, “Theater? Not my schtick!” Naomi would not take no for an answer, saying he had a good voice and they needed him.

Bobby had only three lines in that very first play, but learned quickly that it was quite fulfilling. Play rehearsals filled his time with satisfying activity—three rehearsals a week for a solid two months. “I enjoy working with the people in all facets of the production; lighting, props, sound, stage direction,” Bobby shared.

Year after year, Bobby auditioned for new roles, getting cast each time. And Glo was always a constant, helping him read and memorize his lines. In the earlier years the cast simply read from their scripts, but Bobby pushed the envelope and insisted on memorizing his part. Now everyone does it, only occasionally needing a prompt.

“Until you’ve gotten involved, even if only pushing furniture on stage, you won’t know what it’s like to get into that ‘showbiz’ frame of mind,” he said, noting that some of his colleagues got involved as a means of relieving the stress of caregiving, others to explore new facets of their hidden talents.

Over the years the plays got better and better, and now under the direction of Don and Peg Wallace, Bobby has found the “17th Floor” series very satisfying. Glo was always there for him at each performance even when that was the only activity for which she could muster the energy.

One memorable performance was in the show, “The Ghost on the 17th Floor,” in which Bobby played a ladies man wooing an old flame. This juicy part had him being thrown out of his girlfriend’s apartment, then drunkenly crying into his beer afterwards. So far so good, but when he and the gal got back together with a kiss, he had to do it with Glo sitting only a few feet away in the front row. With a twinkling laugh, he adds that Glo then turned to her friend seated next to her and said, “When we get back to the apartment, I’m gonna kill him!”

Last year, she was yet again sitting in the front row enjoying Bobby on stage as the clear-thinking attorney, Frank Dillon, in “The Stash on the 17th Floor.” She cheered one last time before she passed in March of 2014.

This year, Bobby was back on stage in “The Saint on the 17th Floor” and very happy to see an influx of new thespians to tread the boards with him. Don Wallace says he always wants Bobby in a leading role. “He’s just a natural who understands the material and his character. I don’t need to direct him,” says Don. “He’s become a real trouper!” Glo saw that in Bobby, too, and although she wasn’t sitting in the front row this year, Bobby knows that she was right there with him

By Addie Hurst

eckertIt might be difficult to meet the Chuck and Susan Eckert right now because Charles is currently not dancing due to some very serious back problems. Not only is this uncomfortable but it is a tremendous handicap in their ability to meet people and to socialize. But Plymouth Harbor residents are known for their warmth and welcoming spirit, so if you give them a call, I’m sure they would appreciate the opportunity to meet people and have stimulating conversations.

Chuck got his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and then did a post-doctoral year in Paris (to improve his French, for the experience!). He then taught at the University of Illinois from 1965 to 1986, eventually becoming head of the Department of Chemical Engineering. He then became Director of Specialty Separations Center at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and just retired from there in June. Although the list of awards that he has received, the number of firms for which he has acted as a consultant, the citing of courses that he has taught, and the professional organizations that he has belonged to would more than fill this page, he is most proud of the 108 students he guided to their Ph.D.s.

Susan is a native Floridian and grew up in Lakeland. She received a B.A. in English from the University of Florida and an M.S. in Education from Georgia State University. She was a high school guidance counselor and after she retired, she spent ten years reading and evaluating undergraduate admission applications for Georgia Tech. Susan is a volunteer at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, is an avid reader, does beautiful needlework, participates in several exercise groups here at Plymouth Harbor, plays mahjong and bridge weekly, and takes extensive walks three or four times a week.

The Eckerts have sold their home in Atlanta, but still own a condo on Longboat Key where visiting family and friends stay. Their apartment is lovely, filled with beautiful art, interesting glass, and Susan’s needlework. They enjoy cooking and eating. Chuck is fortunate to receive “Talking Books” (books on digital cassettes) from the Library of Congress. He is currently thinking of interactive projects for junior high school students. So why not call  and go up to their apartment for a visit? Believe me, you won’t be bored and will get a warm welcome!

Plymouth Harbor Best Non PriofitIt’s an annual ritual. Every year the Sarasota Herald-Tribune polls their readers to produce the Reader’s Choice list of the best of the best in Sarasota.

This year Plymouth Harbor was voted Best Local Non-Profit Organization and as a finalist in the Best Retirement Community and the Assisted Living categories.

Readers were asked and responded to the answer “Who is the best of  Sarasota and Manatee counties’ businesses and organizations among give general categories: Local Restaurant, School, Health and Well-Being, Entertainment, Service, and Shopping Destination. Each category was then broken down into specific designations.

The resulting winners and finalists will be featured in the Herald Tribune’s 2015 Readers’ Choice, publishing on Sunday, March 15, 2015.

Thank you to everyone who participated and voted for Plymouth Harbor.

history medicineThe Epic of Medicine is the latest of Plymouth Harbor’s own life-long learning programs and it starts today!

Thursdays 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. (6 sessions) March 12, 19, 26, April 2, 9, 16 in the Club Room.

This course traces the history of medicine as it relates to the history of mankind from prehistoric time to the 20th century. The emphasis will be on Western medicine, but influences from Eastern traditions will be included. A fervent attempt will be made to learn from history so we will not be destined to repeat it. Parallels will be drawn throughout the course to “modern medicine” as well as “alternative medicine.”

Come to learn about the origins of “scientific” medicine, folk remedies, the role of religion in medicine, and so much more.

This will be a PowerPoint presentation augmented by videotapes from the Teaching Company.

Course Fee: $30 per registrant Course leader: Al Tripodi, M.D.

Dr. Tripodi has a B.A. from Cornell and an M.D. from SUNY Upstate Medical University, where he was an associate clinical professor of medicine. He is certified in internal medicine and geriatrics and practiced in Syracuse, N.Y. and Sarasota for forty years. He has been responsible for teaching medical students and residents and was medical director of two extended-care facilities in Syracuse. He presently volunteers and is medical director of the Senior Friendship Center’s medical clinic in Sarasota. He has an abiding interest in history and a fervent belief that “to know history may prevent us from repeating it.”