In recent months, the Community Involvement section of the Harbor Light has focused on residents’ efforts within the Sarasota community. This month, we hope to highlight the many ways residents give generously of their time within Plymouth Harbor.

Residents devote countless hours to enhancing the lives of their neighbors. While some work in different capacities in the Smith Care Center, others work closely with staff to enhance programming and educational opportunities. Additionally, a major way that residents donate their time is through various positions on our resident committees.

Whether putting talents from a career into practice, or learning new skills, residents have the ability to work on 20 different committees — where leadership is continually looking for new and fresh ideas as well as new members. In fact, according to Addie Hurst, the Residents Association’s Executive Council Liaison to Committees, the annual resident Committee Fair was started for this very reason.

Judy Liersch, who began the fair last year, says her inspiration came from activity fairs she attended back in college. “You were able to get to know people. It was quaint, custom, and introduced you to things you may not have considered.” A committee chair herself, Judy says it’s hard to guess who might be interested in which committee and she wanted a way for people to express their interest.

This year’s Committee Fair was held on February 19th in the Café. A chairperson and representative from each committee was present to share information and help answer questions. Residents were able to give their contact information if they were interested in joining a committee, and in the case that a committee was filled, a resident’s name was placed on a sort of “waiting list.”

What can you do if you’re interested in getting involved, but weren’t able to attend the fair? Two things. First, you can contact Addie Hurst at Ext. 572. The second thing you can do is visit the library, where there is a book entitled “What Goes on at Committee Meetings” that contains minutes from each committee’s meetings. The book is a new addition to the library and will be available in mid-March. “It’s a great way for residents to get a taste or flavor for each committee and decide for themselves if they’d like to get involved,” Addie says.

Residents are encouraged to reach out at any time throughout the year to express interest in a committee, as you never know when an opening will occur. Additionally, beginning this year, committee member and leadership term renewals will occur in December rather than April.

We have seen the structure of the Northwest Garden Building taking shape over the last few months. Now that we are familiar with the outside of the building, it is time to take a look on the inside. Join us to learn about the expanded assisted living and new memory care program, and how it will all come together. This three-part series will answer questions about the floor plan, amenities, dining options, training, programming, and much, much more!

Part One: A Virtual Tour with Harry Hobson, President & CEO, and Joe Devore, VP of Health Services
Held on Friday, February 17th at 3:00 p.m. in Pilgrim Hall

Take a virtual tour and walk through the floor plans with Harry Hobson and Joe Devore as they lead us through areas of the new Northwest Garden Building. They’ll discuss various amenities each floor has to offer, and you will learn about items such as the new Media Center, Bistro 700, Salon and Spa, the restaurant, and more. You will also have the opportunity to view concepts and ask questions about this new and exciting structure taking shape on our property.

Most organizations that offer care for persons with dementia adopt a care model that is pervasive throughout the organization. That approach becomes the standard for training employees and techniques offered for family members. At Plymouth Harbor, we have adopted the Positive Approach™ to Care (PAC) as our care delivery model. PAC was developed by Teepa Snow, whose techniques and training models are used throughout the world.

As part of the campus-wide readiness for our new memory care program, we have initiated several levels of PAC training for all of our employees on caring for and interacting with persons with dementia. We will continue in this vein and expand the training to include our internal resident community, family members, and the community-at-large.

Our overall goal for the program associated with the new Memory Care Residence is to become a premier leader in education and training, locally and nationally, in providing innovative care for
individuals and families experiencing cognitive decline associated with dementia. Our education
and training will include:

Educational programs for our own employees who deliver loving, patient, hands-on care in the Positive Approach to Care techniques.

Ongoing family support and one-on-one counseling, through collaborations with nationally recognized leaders, when loved ones need to know they are not alone in this process and that intimacy and meaningful relationships remain important and achievable.

Education and training offerings for community members outside of the Plymouth Harbor campus in order to demystify and normalize the behaviors associated with dementia-related diseases. Cognitive decline does not mean that we must lose our close friendships and social connections.

Lecture series with internationally-known speakers who will bring us hope that the latest research, treatments, and caregiving techniques are continuously tested and improved throughout the world.

In expanding this program, we hope to bring comfort and expertise to the community so that a
diagnosis of dementia does not result in social isolation or unnecessary burdens on those affected and their loved ones. We believe that we can help provide the tools and support needed for families to continue in meaningful relationships and close friendships throughout their journey.

For many years, a significant number of Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) have been concerned that the very category used to describe them actually limited consumer interest. In particular, the terms “continuing care” and “retirement” were perceived to have negative connotations among potential residents, leaving them with the impression that these communities were only for older, less healthy people who need care.

Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay is proud to be part of a nationwide initiative to rename “Continuing Care Retirement Communities” (CCRC) as “Life Plan Communities.” This initiative was designed to help communicate to the public that communities like Plymouth Harbor are about so much more than care: we are about life, and living life to its fullest.

The selection of the name Life Plan Community is the result of a multi-year effort led by LeadingAge, the national association of not-for-profit senior living organizations, in conjunction with a task force consisting of five leading marketing and research firms that specialize in senior living. Hundreds of ideas for a new name were submitted by CCRCs around the country through a national “NameStorming” process, and the top names were then tested for consumer understanding and acceptance through a series of surveys and focus groups.

Why has Plymouth Harbor adopted the “Life Plan Community” branding category? As you may be observing, the senior living landscape is preparing for the tremendous wave of adults who will start turning 75 in about five years. Research has consistently shown that this next generation of potential residents does not respond positively to the term “Continuing Care Retirement Community.” They are self-directed planners who aren’t looking only for “care;” rather, they want a life filled with possibilities, options, and choices.

People who move to Plymouth Harbor, and other Life Plan Communities, tend to be planners; they’ve made decisions to ensure they have a solid plan in place for their future. A Life Plan Community provides just what they need. It allows “planning” and “living” to merge. Having a plan in place — the security of the safety net provided by the availability of healthcare, coupled with the freedom from not having to manage all the day-to-day tasks that come with homeownership — allows for living life to the fullest.

“We’re excited about the new branding category,” said Gordon Okawa, Vice President of Marketing and Community Affairs. “It draws attention to our community being about life, and not only about care. Prior generations looked at retirement community options more reactively, that is, after a possible health event affected them directly. Now, the ‘baby boomer’ generation tends to be more proactive in their decision-making process and wanting a plan and back-up plan in place prior to ‘needing’ or ‘being forced’ to make a decision.

Plymouth Harbor has had the privilege of serving multiple generations of residents over its 50 plus years, and with each successive generation, there is a lesson learned from the previous one. I think all the current residents can guess what that one is — ‘we should have done this five years ago.’

We have definitely noticed a trend over the past two to three years of an increasing number of prospects who are between the ages of 68 and 76 exploring their options and subsequently getting on our Harbor Club wait list.”

The future is bright for Plymouth Harbor, with increasing emphasis on the many aspects of successful aging. In the coming years, we will continue to be the preferred Life Plan Community for multi-generations of older adults who desire an active lifestyle that challenges their physical, mental, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being.


Note: The Florida Office of Insurance Regulations (OIR) still requires Plymouth Harbor to disclose itself legally as a CCRC under Chapter 651, Florida Statutes, in any promotional or marketing/advertising materials, since the State of Florida has yet to change or update its language to reflect this new term of “Life Plan Community” in the statutes.

Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia-related conditions are a growing concern for all Americans. As a result, memory care is now one of the fastest growing segments of the healthcare industry. Overall, the number of memory care units on the market has increased by 52 percent since 2010, from 43,191 units to 65,594 units as of the second quarter of 2016, according to findings from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC).

While it is important for Life Plan Communities to meet the demand for memory care facilities, it is crucial not to lose sight of the care aspect in the process. The good news is that with an increased number of facilities comes not only increased competition, but increased innovation. Two major innovations seen in the memory care industry today are sensory stimulation and “wandering encouragement.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, stimulation of the senses has been proven to reduce behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia among individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related conditions. Sensory stimulation uses everyday objects to arouse one or more of the five senses with the goal of evoking positive feelings. By drawing attention to a particular item, this type of interaction encourages memories and responses. Each facility has their own unique take on how to accomplish this. In Plymouth Harbor’s new Memory Care Residence, a specialized “sensory circle” will be placed in each of the two neighborhoods. These “circles” are designated areas that are set to encompass many different items for each individual resident, including objects they can directly interact with — for instance sand or seashells that bring back a fond memory of a trip to the beach.

“Wandering encouragement,” on the other hand, embraces the fact that six in 10 people with dementia will wander. Beyond built-in sensors throughout a building or apartment unit to track a resident’s movement, this technique focuses on allowing residents to move about freely in a safe environment. In addition to sensory circles, Plymouth Harbor’s new Memory Care Residence
addresses this in two ways: with an inviting, beautifully landscaped courtyard available for exploring in each of the two neighborhoods; and a designated group area located at one end of each neighborhood, fully equipped with a family room and dining room.

What really sets a memory care facility apart, however, is the critical component of staff training and development — establishing a standard of care and weaving it into every element of the design. With a continued reliance on our Positive Approach™ to Care (PAC) developed by Teepa Snow, and a plan for continuing education and community outreach, our new Memory Care Residence is on track to exceed the expected standard of care.

Brain training is thought to go a long way in slowing the aging process. What exactly is brain training? Essentially, it means incorporating mental exercises that focus on the brain’s neuroplasticity (or ability to change and adapt) in your daily lifestyle. A new concept in neuroplasticity is being seen in combining physical and mental exercises to ultimately strengthen brain power over time.

We are able to increase our brain’s neuroplasticity at any time, simply by engaging in new activities and learning new skills. This new concept takes it one step further, combining our physical and mental exercises all at once.

For instance, working on a mind game such as Sudoku helps exercise the brain’s mathematical functions. However, research suggests that long-term benefits in the brain occur when there are multiple movements (Biscontini 2016). So, while you finish your game of Sudoku, consider performing a seated march in place. Another good example is trying to solve a moderately-complex math problem (without any paper) while exercising or walking. If you stop to let yourself think, you’ll notice that it becomes much easier and more comfortable to concentrate. However, this interferes with neuroplasticity training. The key is that any additional movement while performing a mental task is beneficial, no matter how big or small.

The separate benefits of physical and mental exercise on long-term brain health have been well-established. Over the years, we’ve learned more and more that mental stimulation (like crossword puzzles), aerobic exercise, and an active social life altogether contribute to an active brain. By combining neuroplasticity training with physical movement, studies show we can strengthen,
improve, and even change certain regions in the brain (Reynolds 2009). This is because you are training your brain to function in new and different ways while operating simultaneously with your body’s needs.

There are many ways to combine mental and physical exercise in brain training. Understand tasks your mind can accomplish while your body is in motion, and take control of your brain training.

Sources:
Biscontini, L. (2016, March). Fight Aging With Brain Training. Retrieved January 26, 2017, http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/fight-aging-with-brain-training

Reynolds, G. (2009, September 15). Phys Ed: What Sort of Exercise Can Make You Smarter? Retrieved January 26, 2017. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/what-sort-of-exercise-can-make-you-smarter/

Founded in 2002, the Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting architectural excellence within the Sarasota Community, and advocating to preserve and increase awareness of the Sarasota School of Architecture movement.

The internationally-known movement began in the 1940s, bringing fresh, innovative designs to Sarasota homes and marking the high point in the development of regional modernism in American architecture. Founded by Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph, it counts Victor Lundy, Gene Leedy, Tim Seibert, Jack West, and Carl Abbott among its practitioners. “The Sarasota School architects were using simple materials at the time, but were really pushing the boundaries of modern design,” says Janet Minker, SAF Board Chair. “We’re so lucky to have some of these amazing structures still standing today.”

SAF is the outgrowth of An American Legacy: The Sarasota School of Architecture Tour and Symposium, a five-day showcase in 2001. Developed by members of the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota, the tour was attended by design professionals, scholars, and individuals from around the world, and was comprised of lectures, guided bus and boat tours, a documentary, exhibitions, and social events. 

Since then, SAF has presented numerous architectural tours of homes and public buildings, film screenings, and educational events for design professionals and the general public. In addition to funding two annual SAF-Paul Rudolph scholarships for architecture students, the organization also informs city and county leaders about the importance of the Sarasota School of Architecture movement and the benefits of preserving its structures. In fact, SAF was instrumental in advocating for the rehabilitation of the Paul Rudolph-designed Sarasota High School Addition and continues to advocate to retain the school’s Rudolph Walkway Canopy.

For the last three years, SAF has hosted SarasotaMOD Weekend, a mid-century modern architecture festival. As part of the 2015 SarasotaMOD Weekend, SAF constructed a full-scale replica of the 1952 Paul Rudolph-designed Walker Guest House. The replica opened for tours on November 6, 2015, on the grounds of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Since its opening, SAF’s trained docents have greeted over 44,000 visitors, and counting, as the exhibit remains open daily with free admission until April 2017.

Resident Nathalie McCulloch has been an active member of the Sarasota community for over 40 years, with a dedicated focus on the local architectural movement. She has been an SAF member since its inception, serving as a docent for many years. In addition, two of the Walker Guest House docents can be found here at Plymouth Harbor — Carolyn Montgomery and Suzanne Freund. To serve in this position, the two participated in a training program focused on the project’s history, the architect himself, and the home’s design principles. Suzanne Freund comments, “My husband and I always had an interest in architecture, and it’s quite interesting to serve as a docent. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with architects from all over the world — China, Italy, and Brazil to name a few.”

If you’re interested in learning more about SAF, please visit www.SarasotaArchitecturalFoundation.org.

You asked. We answered. At a recent Café Chat with Harry, several questions were raised regarding the Northwest Garden Building. Below is a summary of this information. Please note that a new video discussing building details and construction progress is in production and will be shown at an upcoming February Resident Meeting (date forthcoming).

What will replace the Callahan Center Assisted Living space when the current residents are moved to the new Assisted Living Residence?
As many of you know, the space where the Callahan Center resides will become vacant when our assisted living residents are moved to the new building. At present, it is not known what will occupy this space. We presume this will be determined in late Spring 2017.

How will occupancy be determined for the new Assisted Living Residence?
Current residents of the Callahan Center have first choice of apartments in the new Assisted Living Residence. Following that, residents from the Smith Care Center who qualify for living in the new Assisted Living would be given the opportunity to transfer. Then priority will be given to Plymouth Harbor residents who are currently on the internal wait list and those who may need to consider Assisted Living. If apartments remain available, our final step will be to open it up to our Harbor Club wait list and then to non-Plymouth Harbor Sarasota community residents. If you are interested in being placed on the wait list, please contact Liz Clark, Administrator of Assisted Living/Director of Home Care, Ext. 245.

How will therapy change when the new building is opened?
The current therapy gym, which is located in the Smith Care Center, will remain as is. We see this space primarily being utilized by Smith Care Center residents. When the Northwest Garden Building is complete, we plan to open a new outpatient therapy gym for use by both our independent living residents and non-Plymouth Harbor Sarasota community residents. The new therapy gym will be placed in N-213. At 1,650 square feet, this space is the perfect size and location for this amenity.

Will the new building have its own kitchen and dining staff?
Yes. However, much of the preparation will be done in the Mayflower Restaurant kitchen, as is currently done for the Smith Care Center. Chef René has been involved in the planning process for the new building, and is confident in the ability of the kitchen staff to meet the increased demand for dining.

When the new building is complete in November 2017, what will be the process for residents who will be moving in?
We are currently in the process of developing a “traffic schedule.” To do this, we are meeting with residents who will occupy the new building and are creating a list and timeline that will allow for a smooth, gradual move-in process.

What is the current status of the Multi-Use Recreational Trail (MURT)?
As it stands, the City is responsible for finishing the MURT trail, including the portion from Plymouth Harbor’s entrance east to the Sarasota Yacht Club. This is slated to begin Fall 2017.

After receiving his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Cornell University, Dr. Lou Newman moved to Montana and developed a veterinary practice, a wholesale drug supply business, and a cattle ranch. He later made the decision to join the faculty of Michigan State University’s Department of Large Animal Surgery and Medicine, where he completed his Ph.D. in Veterinary Pathology. Dr. Newman went on to work with two more universities before retiring and focusing on his passion for photography.

Has he always had a desire to work with animals? And what are his surprising stories from time spent with cowboys and cattle?

View his January 2017 Insights presentation to find out:
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“I’ve been very fortunate in my life,” Norma Schatz says with a smile. “I had a wonderful marriage, have wonderful children, and am very blessed in whom I know…As I said, it’s been a most fortunate life.” Indeed it has.

Norma was born in New York and grew up in both Manhattan and Long Island. However, in between stints in New York, Norma and her mother moved abroad to live in Paris — twice. The first time was for a year and a half when she was very young, and the second was at the age of 14 for six months while her older sister studied abroad in Europe.

After returning to the U.S. and finishing high school in Manhattan, Norma attended Cornell University, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She then went on to work for MGM Studios doing movie research. She and her late husband, Michael, were married in 1945 and settled down in his hometown of Hartford, Connecticut. They had three sons and two daughters.

Norma spent a few years working in personnel for a department store. Then, as Norma says, she “kept working, but not for money.” She became involved in the local community and in politics.
“I can remember carrying my first child in a bassinet to a League of Women Voters meeting,” she laughs.

Norma went on to run for (and win) a seat on the West Hartford Board of Education and for the state legislature (and lost). She was also involved with the Community Council in charge of their Legislative Information Service, worked with the Connecticut Child Welfare Association, was on the board of Planned Parenthood, and chaired a study of the juvenile justice system. This resulted in an appointment by the Governor to the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee as a citizen representative, where she served for nearly 30 years.

In her time on the committee, Norma says she was very much aware of the different, and disproportionate, way children were treated if they were “from the wrong side of the tracks.” Her mission was to help bridge this gap, sharing research and information from her experiences in the community to help improve the system.

Similar to her own upbringing, Norma incorporated travel into her children’s lives as well. “I wanted them to know that they were a part of a big world,” she says. “To get to know and appreciate other cultures.” While they never lived abroad, Norma and her husband took many trips traveling through Europe. She fondly remembers one trip in particular where the family spent an entire month at a home in Spain — for what cost only $450 at the time.

In the early 2000s, when she and Michael decided to move full-time to Longboat Key, Norma stepped down from her post on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee. Again, Norma immediately became an active member of her community. This time, however, she focused on working with Planned Parenthood and the Sarasota Democratic Party, rather than focusing specifically on children’s issues. “I write a lot of letters,” she laughs. Along with nearly 10,000 others, Norma even participated in the Sarasota Women’s Solidarity March across the John Ringling Causeway on January 21st.

When asked why she chose Sarasota, Norma shares stories of visiting her parents here in the 1960s, discussing the growth of the local community and citing the influence of the arts, even then. After moving to Sarasota, Norma reconnected with childhood friends Richard and Marian Kessler, for whom she was the Maid of Honor at their wedding. In 2007, Norma, then widowed, joined her longtime friends and moved into Plymouth Harbor.

When she’s not volunteering, Norma enjoys the local arts, including ballet and theatre. At Plymouth Harbor, she serves on the Library Committee and Residents Association Executive Council as Executive Associate Liaison to Residents. Norma jokes that she was never able to learn bridge, but she does manage to play Scrabble once a week with friends.

Most importantly, Norma enjoys spending time with her four children and nine grandchildren, located all over the map — from Kentucky to Pennsylvania and New York to England. With an upcoming trip planned for Paris in March, it’s not likely that Norma will be slowing down anytime soon.