An avid and adventurous reader, Susan Eckert will be bringing her great love for books with her as this year’s new coordinator of the Plymouth Harbor Book Club. When Charleen Sessions, the previous coordinator, retired from the position, Susan volunteered herself for the job in hopes of inspiring others to find the same joys in reading, learning, and conversing as she has.

Plymouth Harbor’s Book Club is “resident inspired and resident led,” Susan said. For about one hour on the first Friday of each month from October to May, a resident gives a presentation on a book of their choosing and leads a discussion. Occasionally, the presenters also bring guests or props; past presentations have featured exercise equipment, rowing coaches, and even livestock. “The books we use span a wide variety of topics, and our presenters bring great knowledge and wisdom to the discussions,” Susan said. “I am indebted to them for all of the time and energy it takes to prepare.”

Susan made a conscious decision to recruit new presenters who will bring fresh perspectives and voices to the discussions. Some presenters are new residents, others are familiar faces, but all have an inspiring or intriguing book they want to share.

Getting your hands on the books is easy. You can go to the Plymouth Harbor Library, a Sarasota County Library, or even ask Maryanne Shorin in Resident Programming to order you an individual copy and put it on your tab. The Library of Congress also offers the National Library Service (NLS) for the visually impaired through which they will send you a “talking book” at no cost along with a user-friendly listening device. Maryanne Shorin (Ext. 252) can help you access this service if you are interested.

This year, Susan has compiled the list of books to be discussed in advance. She hopes this will encourage more people to read the books ahead of time, although you do not have to read the book in order to attend. “You can come having read the book, or you can come without having read it and walk away inspired to, or you can just look at the list,” Susan said. “There is value in all levels of involvement.”

Plymouth Harbor Book Club Programming:

October 5 – The Undertaking: Life Studies From the Dismal Trade by Thomas Lynch, presented by Sue Elliott

November 2 – She’s Not There – A Life In Two Genders by Jennifer Boylan, presented by Marcella Schuyler

December 7 – A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, presented by Margo Light

January 4 – The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed, presented by Sallie VanArsdale

February 1 – Margery Stoneman Douglas: Voice of the River by Margery Stoneman Douglas, presented by Tom Bulthuis

March 1 – The Wind In My Hair: My Fight For Freedom In Modern Iran by Masih Alinejad, presented by Catha Abrahams

April 5 – Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf, presented by Marita Marsh

May 3 – Circe by Madeline Miller, presented by Sue Johnson

2018 brought a new Director of Wellness to Plymouth Harbor and continued growth and outreach of the Wellness department. One outreach in particular that has been gaining a lot of momentum is the implementation of weekly exercise classes in the Seaside Assisted Living and Starr Memory Care residences. Plymouth Harbor’s health & fitness specialist Elizabeth Goldsmith has developed two key classes aimed at encouraging residents to move more – both their bodies and their brains!

“Morning Warmup” is held in the Starr Memory Care Lido Neighborhood on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for 15 minutes. Memory Care residents can join Elizabeth for a class that incorporates gentle range of motion exercises and light aerobic activity followed by relaxing stretches. This class is held in the Life Enrichment Center which allows for an atmosphere that reduces overstimulation and outside distractions. The class helps provide movement to all joints and muscles in a soothing manner.

“Body Moves” is a 30 minute class held in the Assisted Living Activity Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This class incorporates gentle range of motion movements, light aerobic activity, muscular strength and endurance, coordination, and flexibility. A variety of easy-to-use equipment is provided. “Body Moves” is appropriate for any resident who would like a supportive, soothing, and safe environment for exercise.

In addition to these classes, two new SciFit StepOneTM exercise machines were installed in the Activity Center. These machines specifically target the aging adult by providing a smooth, total-body functional movement featuring low starting resistance, direct wheelchair access, adjustable arm length and handle angle, and customizable programs to help users reach their activity goals. Having these strategically placed in the Activity Center gives residents the ability to exercise right in their own neighborhood.

Regular exercise has been proven to help slow the progression of some dementia related disease and help individuals improve mobility, relieve stiff muscles and joints, and maintain much of their independence. Creating accessible programming allows more of our residents to benefit from all that the wellness program has to offer, and ensures they are able to age in a healthy, active, and safe manner.

Residents John and Alida DeJongh share insights from their childhood, journey to the United States, career, and family life. World travelers, ask them each their favorite place to visit. You might be surprised… Or, watch the video!

View their April 2018 Insights presentation here:
 

 

Plymouth Harbor’s Earth Day Celebration
On Monday, April 23rd, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in the Wellness Center, the Conservation Committee invites all residents to its annual event—Celebrate Earth Day!

Light refreshments will be provided in addition to interactive, informative, and fun activities—there will be trivia, videos, prizes, giveaways, featured items from the Fund Shop, local produce vendors, complimentary chair massages, an introduction to Plymouth Harbor’s new Resident Portal, and more! Bring your reusable shopping bags, and be sure to stock up on all things Earth Day.

Earth Day History
Celebrated each year on April 22nd, Earth Day is a global holiday focused on educating the public about environmental issues. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI), and inspired by the student anti-Vietnam War protests of the late 1960s, Earth Day was aimed at creating a mass environmental movement. On April 22, 1970, an estimated 20 million Americans took to the streets to protest for a healthy, sustainable environment.

The first Earth Day accomplished a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city dwellers and farmers, tycoons and laborers. At the end of the year, the United States Environmental Protection Agency was formed, and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were passed. By 1990, Earth Day was recognized worldwide.

How Plymouth Harbor Contributes
Plymouth Harbor residents and the Conservation Committee do their part to participate in meaningful and effective conservation efforts. The committee promotes conservation of resources at Plymouth Harbor—including recycling, water, and electricity usage, which is regularly tracked and reported (2017 information will be available at this year’s Earth Day celebration.)

Additionally, when getting rid of household items, the committee strives to remind residents to consider the Resident Fund Shop or the donation collection bins located on the Ground Floor of the Tower—these four organizations (All Faiths Food Bank, Resurrection House, Sarasota County Animal Services, and Meals on Wheels) put our reusable items to good use.