By: Chris Valuck, Wellness Director

Are you finding that tasks such as opening jars, turning doorknobs, using a key or even opening a package are becoming increasingly difficult to perform? Then you may benefit from including the following hand-strengthening exercises into your weekly routine to help improve your grip strength and range of motion.

First, let’s talk about the main types of grips you’ll be enhancing. The crush grip is used when holding or closing your hand around an object. The pinch grip is used to hold an object with just your fingertips or pinching something together (i.e. holding a pen). The support grip uses your finger and thumb muscles, allowing you to hold on to things for a long time, such as a dumbbell in an exercise class. Finally, although not a “grip,” a hand extension works the opposing muscles to the flexors to help maintain muscle balance and stability between the two groups. Using simple pieces of equipment, or none at all, you can improve the strength of these important muscles. There are numerous hand exercises, a few are listed below. Let’s begin with exercises that require no equipment.

Fist to Open Fingers
Make a tight fist, then open your hand fully and spread your fingers. Repeat 3-5 times on each hand.

Open Hand Finger Lift
Place your open hand palm down on a flat surface. Begin lifting each finger up off the surface, one at a time. Then, keeping your palm on the surface, lift all fingers at once. Repeat 3-5 times on each hand.

Thumb and Finger Touch
Hold your open hand in front of you and begin touching your thumb with one finger at a time. When you have touched each finger, go in the reverse order on the same hand. Repeat this 3 times, then perform the exercise on the other hand. For an added challenge, try performing the exercise on both hands at the same time. For variety and challenge, you may choose to use equipment for your exercises, such as a small hand exercise ball, a tennis ball (if possible, cut in half so it will be easier to use), and a simple rubber band.

Rubber Band Hand Extensions
Place the rubber band around your fingers and thumb. Keeping your fingers straight, open your hand by spreading your fingers apart; then allow them to close again. Repeat this exercise for 3-5 times on each hand.

Tennis Ball (or Exer-ball) Crush
Place the ball in the palm of your hand, close your hand, and squeeze (crush) the ball for several seconds, release, and repeat a 3-5 times in each hand.

Ball Pinch
Hold the ball with only your fingertips and thumb. Now pinch the ball, hold a few seconds, and release. Repeat this 3-5 times on each hand. You might also try pinching the ball with one finger and thumb at a time. Complete this exercise on both hands.

Master these exercises, and you will see improved hand strength and flexibility. If you are interested in additional hand strengthening exercises, please contact Chris Valuck at Ext 377.

 

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 Two: A Positive Approach™ to Care with Brandi Burgess, Social Worker
Held on Friday, February 17th at 3:00 p.m. in Pilgrim Hall

Alzheimer’s Disease is a growing concern for all Americans. At Plymouth Harbor, we have adopted the Positive Approach™ to Care (PAC) by Teepa Snow. Join us for this encore of the PAC presentation held on January 20th, which will go into much more depth regarding the program, depicting examples of everyday life for residents who will reside in our new Memory Care Residence.

By: Sallie VanArsdale

New residents Darlene and Dick Carroll grew up in Chicago and Pittsburgh, respectively. Upon meeting her big brother’s 1st grade teacher, Dar (short for Darlene) wanted to be a nun. This changed while attending an all-girls high school and being fixed up for every boys school dance. At age eight, Dick wanted to be a doctor and never changed his mind. He graduated from Cleveland’s John Carroll University and won his M.D. at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago.

At Loyola, he also won Dar, who was working and taking classes. Married, they moved to Cleveland for Dick’s internship. Dar worked and studied at Case Western Reserve University. The Vietnam War took Dr. Carroll, now a U.S. Army Major, and Mrs. Carroll to Germany for three years. Dick was a Battalion Surgeon working on base in Friedberg, but also went “to the field” as the enlisted men were preparing for war. Dar continued classes in Frankfurt, was assigned President of the Officers’ Wives, and birthed their son, Slate, and daughter, Amber. They also were fortunate to travel extensively, oftentimes camping in or out of their elderly VW Beetle.

After this incredible experience, they moved to Durham, North Carolina, where Dick attended Duke University for his ophthalmology residency. Dar again took classes at UNC. Three years later, Dick continued his training with a fellowship in oculoplastic surgery in Houston. This time, no classes for Dar. She, Slate, and Amber enjoyed the apartment pool and Houston’s museums.

Dick began his private practice in Minneapolis/St. Paul, where he was the first fully-trained oculoplastic surgeon. From 1974 to 2010, he not only had his private practice, but was also a clinical professor at the University of Minnesota. Dar decided finally to focus and got a BS in interior design from the U of M. She opened her own Summit Designs, but eventually gave it up to volunteer. “I did my best work as a volunteer,” she remarked. She then became a docent at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and after 30 years, is now an Honorary Docent, focusing on the Prairie School Architecture.

The Carrolls chose Siesta Key for frequent visits because their son Slate moved here during college. He lives here with his wife Kellie and daughter Chelsie — the Carrolls’ much-loved, one-and-only grandchild.

How did the Carrolls find Plymouth Harbor? Daughter Amber, who works with seniors in California, located it. Both Dar and Dick liked it immediately. “More amazing, our families agreed with us — not always the case,” said Dick with a smile.

Arts and music are travel motivators for the Carrolls. Dar has also found delving into other cultures, volunteering, and adventure appealing. She has trekked in the Himalayas and climbed Kilimanjaro, while Dick has focused on opera and taken extensive bicycle trips.

The Carrolls have a home and business connections in Minneapolis, so they expect to travel north from time to time.

In the January 2017 issue of Harbor Light, we introduced the Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) clinicals program from Suncoast Technical College (STC) that is partnering with our Smith Care Center. Now, we’d like to introduce STC’s Certified Nursing Assistant program, which began working with the SCC at the end of February.

This program, known as the Health Careers Program, is the first step toward a future in nursing for many students. The program works with high school juniors and seniors from schools across the county who are interested in both nursing and overall healthcare.

In their first semester, students learn about the broader spectrum of healthcare; in their second semester, they focus on nursing curriculum. During this time, students perform clinicals for the period of one month at various facilities in the area, including Plymouth Harbor — spending half the day on their school campus and the other half performing clinicals. At the completion of the program, students have the option to take the state CNA Exam. While many choose this option, others decide to further their nursing education and enroll in STC’s LPN program.

According to Clinical Instructor Linda Hart, RN, MSN, STC is the only high school program that offers training in hands-on patient care. Linda joined STC 16 years ago, and throughout the years, she has seen the program grow from three students to over 160. Today, the program has anywhere from nine to 13 students onsite with instructors. In the SCC, students are paired with a CNA, and are able to assist with items such as denture care, hair and nail care, range-of-motion exercises, meal assistance, and more. “It’s a natural fit because many of Plymouth Harbor’s nurses graduated from this program,” Linda says.

Karen Novak, SCC Director of Health Services, adds, “Care is the essence of nursing and the dominant, distinctive, and unifying feature.” She goes on to say that care is taught day-by-day by working with the novice learner. Stepping into a new environment can overwhelm anyone, but the nurses in the SCC help to guide STC’s students through their first experiences in healthcare, giving them permission to ask questions, seek out answers, and learn as much as possible in the process.

“It’s the joy of my life. This program changes our students’ lives,” Linda says. “It gives them confidence and a purpose for learning — what a gift.”

High school sweethearts Tom and Sue Elliott are originally from Toledo, Ohio. Tom graduated from Alma College with a degree in biology, and Sue graduated from the University of Toledo with a degree as a registered medical technologist. After Tom served in the Army in West Germany, the two traveled Europe before returning to the U.S. Upon their return, Sue focused on volunteer work and Tom earned his master’s degree before starting work at Applied Science Associates – where he helped build the company from three employees to over 150 when he retired.

How did he accomplish this growth? And what is the meaning behind the name of their talk?

View their February 2017 Insights presentation to find out:
 

 

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.