We are very happy to announce the scholarship awards this year to employees and children of employees. It gives us great pleasure to assist individuals as they pursue their passions through advancing their training and education.

Picture1Dianna Stilley, Charleen Sessions Scholarship ($2,000)
Dianna is a Certified Nursing Assistant in our Home Care department currently. She is enrolled at Angel Technical Institute to earn her LPN so that she can pursue her passion as a nurse. Dianna relayed a story where her neighbor had collapsed one day in the yard and she administered CPR until the paramedics arrived. She knew at that moment that nursing was her calling.
 
 

Picture2Carol Bello, Foundation Scholarship ($2,000)
Carol is currently a server in Dining Services. She graduated this spring from Florida State University and aspires to practice law. She has applied for a scholarship to help fund a preparatory course for the LSAT (the exam required for all law school applicants), which will help her to be accepted into the two law schools of her choice. This is the fourth year that Carol has received a Foundation scholarship. An advocate for human rights, Carol’s overall goal is to become a Human Rights Officer for the United Nations.

 
Kimberly Gutierrez, Jane T. Smiley Scholarship ($2,000)
Kimberly is the daughter of José Gutierrez, a Plymouth Harbor Employee in Dining Services. Kimberly is attending Suncoast Technical College to earn her Early Childhood Education certification. She is a kind, gentle soul, with deep compassion for young children and helping them to achieve their goals. She has been inspired by her parents, who are hard workers and deeply committed to the success of their children. Kimberly hopes to one day open her own daycare center.

 

Picture4Nathan Stotler, Foundation Scholarship ($2,000)
Nathan is the son of Kay Stotler, a nurse in our Home Care department. Nathan is studying communications at State College of Florida and aspires to a career in cinematography someday. His recommenders describe him as a very determined young man who sets and achieves ambitious goals for himself. He is a polished communicator and has set his sights on a career he is passionate about.

 
 

Picture5Devin Vancil, Jeannette Gehrie Music Scholarship ($1,500)
Devin is the 13-year-old son of Fran Vancil in our Maintenance department. Devin has an interest in violin and wishes to take lessons to improve his skills. He is enrolled at Allegro Music Academy and began his lessons in July. Devin is intelligent and respectful, and has recently been accepted into the National Junior Honor Society. We know we will see impressive things come from this young man.

 
 

Picture6Dayle Cortes, Foundation Scholarship ($2,000)
Dayle is the son of Hernando Cortes, a nurse in our Smith Care Center. This is the second year of Dayle’s scholarship support as he enters his second year at University of Florida Innovations Academy. He recently changed his major from accounting to marketing and aspires to be a successful entrepreneur one day. He is a confident, respectful, and driven young man who we have no doubt will achieve his goals.

 
 

Picture7 Jessica Taylor, Foundation Scholarship ($2,000)
Jessica, daughter of Cindy Taylor in our Home Care department, is pursuing an education in pharmacy. Currently at State College of Florida completing her associate’s degree with prerequisites for pharmacy, she plans to transfer to LECOM via their bridge program to complete the pharmacy program. This is a career track that has been a long time passion for Jessica.

 
 

Picture8Helen Duerr, Residents Association Scholarship ($2,000)
Helen is the daughter of Eva Duerr, registered nurse in our Smith Care Center and Staff Development Coordinator. Helen is a nursing student at State College of Florida pursuing her RN and, eventually, a bachelor’s in nursing. She hopes to work in pediatrics, neonatal, or obstetrics, something involving children. She is passionate about nursing, having shared a story about tagging along with her mother while Eva tended to her home care patients. She was inspired by the love her mother has always had for patient care and making her patients feel comforted and well cared for.

 

Picture8Cathy Laponius, Harry and Nancy Hobson Leadership Development Grant ($800)*
Cathy works in our Dining Services department and plans to complete the Certified Dietary Manager (CDM) training to receive her certification. With support from the Dining Services department, and a commitment on her part, we will be fortunate to have another CDM among our talented staff.

*The Harry and Nancy Hobson Leadership Development Grant provides support for employees who show interest in leadership and advancement in their field. This is the first award for this grant program, which was established in 2015.

 

Throughout history, building design and construction has adapted to reflect design trends, technological advances, and most importantly, to address social needs. For example, take the evolution of the skyscraper in the early 1900s. As more and more Americans flocked to major cities, available real estate became harder to come by. With the addition of new steel framing technology, the concept of the skyscraper became possible — capturing exponential growth within a contained footprint.

Today, builders are focused on reducing a different kind of footprint: our environmental footprint. It may come as no surprise that the “green” movement is becoming more mainstream — however, in most cases, energy-reducing technologies have become a standard requirement in today’s building codes. This is due in part to continually emerging technologies that are not only lowering our impact on the environment, but are also minimizing overall operating costs.

At Plymouth Harbor, residents and employees alike have made conservation efforts a priority in recent years. The same rings true in the construction of our Northwest Garden building, which has incorporated many green elements. Some of these conservation items include:

Our overall building site uses recycled crushed concrete as the base material for pavement; a portion of the new asphalt also uses recycled materials; the landscaping that has been selected is indigenous to Florida (reducing water usage); and demolished concrete and asphalt are diverted to local landfills for recycling. Additionally, building materials, including all concrete, CMU block, and asphalt are produced locally, and any raw materials, are sourced from Florida. The new structural steel is made up of recycled material, and all paints, sealants, and adhesives are low odor and low VOC (volatile organic compounds) — limiting the release of toxic emissions into the air.

Energy conservation in the exterior of the Northwest Garden is mainly exemplified in the form of insulation. The exterior windows are insulated to minimize heat gain from the sun, keeping a cool temperature throughout the building. The same can be said for the roof and exterior wall insulation. You also may have noticed a white material incorporated into the building’s roofing system — this material helps to reflect rather than absorb heat from the sun.

Inside the building, you will find elements such as LED lightbulbs, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and occupancy sensors to control the lighting of appropriate common areas when not in use. In the building’s garage, electric car-charging stations are available. The exact number and locations are being determined.

Furthermore, non-residential HVAC units are controlled by a building automation system. This is connected to the campus energy system rather than adding remote equipment, which would require additional power. An Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) system is also being used, which exchanges the energy contained in normally exhausted building air and uses it to treat (or precondition) the incoming outdoor ventilation air in an HVAC system.

While this is certainly not a complete list of each and every green element used in the construction of our new Northwest Garden, we hope it provides a look into its sustainable design. We look forward to sharing many of these elements with you in person as we continue to approach our Grand Opening in November.

 

Since 2010, Plymouth Harbor has enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with Functional Pathways, a contract rehabilitation and therapy management service. Functional Pathways provides the staffing needed in our Rehab Department to offer superior inpatient and outpatient therapy to not only residents of the Smith Care Center, but to all residents of Plymouth Harbor. We are proud to share that satisfaction ratings from those receiving therapy services consistently exceed our benchmark.

Recently, the Residents Association Health and Wellness Committee requested more information regarding services that are available to residents as they try to improve the safety of their apartments relative to fall prevention. As a result, we have provided a summary of services below.

For the increased safety and independence of our residents, the Rehab Department offers individual assessments. Performed by a skilled Occupational Therapist, this one-on-one assessment is performed in the privacy of your home and usually lasts about 45 minutes. The therapist will evaluate your specific concerns and make any necessary recommendations to reduce your chance of an accident. Additionally, the therapist may offer an assessment plan to enhance the function of your home. For example, this most often includes rearranging items or furniture for ease-of-use, or adding select safety devices, such as grab bars, to aid in independent movement. As physical, sensory, or cognitive changes occur, the environment should change as well. Any recommendations made by the therapist will be provided to you in writing. From there, the Plymouth Harbor team, including Home Care, Housekeeping, and Maintenance, is available to assist you in implementing any changes you wish to make.

Therapy assessments are covered by traditional Medicare and most other health insurance plans under the following conditions: 1) You have experienced a new illness or injury; 2) You have a chronic condition that has worsened; 3) You are dealing with new equipment (i.e., a walker) or are adjusting to a new environment. Please note that the cost of equipment is often out-of-pocket.

If you would like more information on how a home assessment may benefit you, please call the Rehab Department at Ext. 166, and ask for Gina.

The Bernard and Mildred Doyle Charitable Trust has made a $30,000 grant to A Commitment to Memory Campaign to support a premier lecture series that will be named The Doyle Trust Lectures. These lectures will be delivered by local, national, and international experts on the latest research, treatments, and caregiving techniques in the industry. We believe it is critical to bring hope to our residents, families, and the community that there are experts working to better understand, treat, and perhaps cure the diseases that result in dementia.

The grant will make it possible for us to host one expert lecturer annually, who would speak to several audiences over a two-day period. The Doyle Trust Lectures will be open to professional caregivers and staff at Plymouth Harbor, board members, residents and families at Plymouth Harbor, Harbor Club members, and the community of Sarasota.

We are very grateful to the Bernard and Mildred Doyle Charitable Trust Selection Committee for this generous support.

 

We are very happy to announce that residents Margo and Chris Light have made a gift to support the music concert series in the new Memory Care Residence. The musical concerts will be given by professional musicians four times per year, twice in the fall and twice in the winter, during high season in Sarasota.

The concerts will take place in the dining rooms of the two Memory Care residences and will include both neighborhoods. These concerts will be an opportunity to invite family members and friends to attend. Hors d’oeuvres will be offered for the guests, making it possible for families to have a pleasant social interaction with their loved ones in a safe and festive environment. The concert series will be named the Light Concert Series.

Please join us in thanking the Lights for their support!

 

Over the last year, you may have heard Plymouth Harbor reference the Community Education Program we plan to offer as a part of our new Memory Care Residence. It is our goal to offer education and training on dementia and brain decline to the greater Sarasota community, demystifying and normalizing the behaviors associated with dementia-related diseases. As we approach our Grand Opening date, we wanted to share with you some details on how we plan to implement this much-needed program.

Introductory Presentations
One-time presentations will be made to community groups, such as service organizations, Chambers of Commerce, civic groups, and faith-based organizations with basic information on the different types of dementia, community resources available, in-home care vs. residential care, and what to expect throughout the journey. These presentations will open the door to the possibility of a workshop series, residential care, or one-on one training for those who have an immediate or emerging need for further assistance.

Workshops
A series of small group workshops will be held in easy-to-access community locations, such as churches or community centers, with experts in the field of caregiving and providing support for the caregivers themselves. The topics will rotate, building on the skills needed to care for a person with brain decline: such as handling difficult behaviors, nutrition and cooking, emergency planning, and more.

One-on-One Training
Plymouth Harbor offers short-term rehabilitation in the Smith Care Center. Frequently, those short-term residents are experiencing brain decline and are discharged to their private homes at the end of the rehab under the care of a loved one. Many times this loved one is not equipped with the training or resources needed to confidently provide care. For this reason, we will offer education to the caregiver during the stay, or after the return home, so that a safe and successful return home is achieved.

Tailored to Audiences
Over time, the content of these presentations and workshops will be specifically tailored to address broad audience groups: families and caregivers, first responders, business and commerce, healthcare professionals, and service organizations. As an example, first responders will receive information on the behaviors of persons with brain decline and how to address their emergency needs. Retailers, such as restaurant owners, will receive training on how to identify and interact with persons with dementia so they can maintain quality customer service. Service organizations, like Rotary clubs, will receive training on how to continue meaningful volunteer opportunities for persons with dementia.

Expert Staff
A team of trained, community educators will be assembled to lead this effort. With partnerships from the local Alzheimer’s Association, Positive Approach® to Care, and our own certified trainers in Positive Approach® to Care, we will design a curriculum and market and deliver this program.

We look forward to making this program a reality in the coming months and to becoming a leading resource in the community.

 

By: Becky Pazkowski

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Doyle Scholarships: Teah Stebbins and Caleb Genot. Each student has received a scholarship totaling $10,000, which is an increase in the Doyle award this year.

Teah Stebbins
Teah is a high school senior attending Sarasota High School, while also enrolled in the nursing program at Suncoast Technical College. Her goal is to continue her education at Suncoast to become a Licensed Practical Nurse and continue to earn Registered Nurse status, and later a bachelor’s in nursing. She began at Plymouth Harbor as a Dietary Aide early in her high school experience, and has since become a Certified Nurse Assistant in the Smith Care Center. Needless to say, Teah is highly motivated, focused, and ambitious in her career path.
 
 
Caleb Genot
Caleb is a senior at Riverview High School in the International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, and Honors programs. His goal is to study biology at Nova Southeastern University, followed by osteopathic medicine, specializing in neuro-immune medicine. He is very interested in working on more effective treatments or cures for diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue Disease, and disorders that result in dementia. Caleb has been with Plymouth Harbor as a Valet for over a year. In his school and volunteer life, Caleb is involved in fundraising, teen court, competitive soccer, and is a camp counselor.

 

Since 1990, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has celebrated National Nurses Week from May 6th through May 12th, the birthday of Florence Nightingale – the founder of modern nursing. This annual event recognizes and celebrates the hard work and dedication exhibited each and every day by nurses across the country.

Additionally, National Nursing Home Week is celebrated annually, beginning May 14th and ending May 20th. Established by the American Health Care Association in 1967, and always beginning on Mother’s Day, National Nursing Home Week provides an opportunity for residents and their loved ones, staff, volunteers, and surrounding communities to recognize the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for seniors. This year, Plymouth Harbor celebrated both annual events during the week of May 15th through May 19th.

Our campus-wide celebration honored our Home Care, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing staff, offering a small event each day, including: “Sundae” Monday, OJ and bagels on Tuesday, Staff Bingo on Wednesday, Taco and Potato Bar on Thursday, and the Blessing of the Hands on Friday.

Held in the Smith Care Center, the Blessing of the Hands offers a simple blessing to our caretakers through a cleansing with myrrh water. Aides, nurses, housekeepers, dining staff, residents, and administration alike are invited to attend, where we acknowledge the role each plays in caring for our residents. The following is said to each participant during the ceremony, “May the work of your hands bring comfort, dignity, and mercy to all the people your hands touch.”

We are truly thankful for the work of our healthcare team and for all those who care for our residents here at Plymouth Harbor.

During the month of June, many will wear purple to shine a light on Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Despite being the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is still largely misunderstood. For that reason, in 2014, the Alzheimer’s Association® declared June Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. Worldwide, the organization reports there are at least 44 million people who live with Alzheimer’s or other dementias. As we are all too aware, those numbers are only expected to grow.

Often thought of as simple memory loss, Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease that kills nerve cells and tissue in the brain, affecting a person’s ability to remember, think, and plan. As it progresses, the brain shrinks due to loss of cells. As a result, individuals lose the ability to communicate, recognize family and friends, and care for themselves.

Scientists continue in their search to find treatments for the disease and others like it — dementia, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and more. In the meantime, learning more about these diseases and how to improve overall brain health is essential.

Did you know?
-In 2016, more than 15 million Americans gave 18 billion hours of their time, unpaid, to care for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
-Many people take on an extra job or postpone retirement in order to become a caregiver.
-Alzheimer’s disease is not normal aging. It is a progressive brain disease with no known cure.
-Alzheimer’s disease is more than memory loss. It appears through a variety of signs and symptoms.

What can you do for better brain health?
According to Cleveland Clinic, the following “brain-healthy behaviors” can help:

-Exercise at least three to five times per week.
-Engage in hobbies like puzzles, games, or other mental stimulation.
-Sleep for six hours or more per night.
-Connect with family and friends, and be sure to socialize regularly.

For more information on the above behaviors, visit ClevelandClinic.org. To learn more specifics on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, visit Alz.org.

Sources:
“6 Ways to Maintain Your Brain Health.” Health Essentials. Cleveland Clinic, 25 Aug. 2015. Web. 23 May 2017.
“Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.” Healthy Brains. Cleveland Clinic, 16 June 2016. Web. 23 May 2017.