Plymouth Harbor President/CEO Harry Hobson is featured in an article in The Herald-Tribune discussing the “art of aging.”
See more here: “What Makes Older People Happy?”
Plymouth Harbor President/CEO Harry Hobson is featured in an article in The Herald-Tribune discussing the “art of aging.”
See more here: “What Makes Older People Happy?”
Supporting Employee Education by Becky Pazkowski
Building a strong sense of community and creating an outstanding older adult living community depends, in no small part, upon the quality of the work force. In the spirit of a deep culture of fellowship, and an equal emphasis on recruiting, hiring, retaining, and developing the best work force possible, Plymouth Harbor offers education assistance to its cherished employees. Educational assistance is funded through the Mildred and Bernard Doyle Trust, administered by Northern Trust, and through charitable gifts to the Employee Assistance Fund, administered by The Plymouth Harbor Foundation. It is our goal to continue to award these scholarships annually.
Through the generosity of the Doyle’s, former Plymouth Harbor residents, the Doyle Scholarships provide educational assistance to a worthy and needy employee or high school senior child of an employee seeking to increase their skills or to obtain a higher education. Up to two scholarships are awarded annually.
We are very happy to announce that this year, through past generous donations, several new scholarships will be available for employees, and in some cases their immediate family members, through The Plymouth Harbor Foundation. Applicants must be employed for at least 12 months by Plymouth Harbor. The following describes the new scholarship offerings.
Bea Davis Memorial Scholarship
Supports educational opportunities for housekeeping employees and their immediate family members. One $1,500 scholarship will be awarded annually.
General Education Scholarship
Supports educational endeavors of current Plymouth Harbor employees who are seeking post-secondary degrees, certifications, or specialty training in any field. One $1,500 scholarship will be awarded annually.
Nursing Education Scholarship
Supports educational endeavors in pursuit of post-secondary degrees in nursing from an accredited college or university. Up to five $2,000 scholarships will be awarded annually.
We are grateful to the donors whose gifts to the Employee Assistance Fund have made possible these scholarships currently and in the past. Continued offering of these opportunities annually depends upon charitable support.
On Thursday evening, March 28th, four illustrious “Aging Industry” leaders presented a panel discussion on “The Art of Aging” to the toughest audience imaginable—residents of Plymouth Harbor. One might assume that if anyone knows something about the “art” of aging with dignity, courage and panache, you would find them here.
Undaunted, Dr. Nancy Schlossberg, a nationally renowned scholar and author of numerous books on aging and retirement, and three panelists shared their well-considered thoughts with each other and the audience gathered before them.
The opening question, “It has been said that demographics are destiny. How does that apply to Sarasota?” was fielded first by Tom Esselman, the Executive Director of Sarasota’s Institute for the Ages.
Pointing to the demographic reality that gives Sarasota County the distinction of having the oldest average population of any large county in the U.S., Tom declared, “Our destiny is leadership. As the world wonders what it will face in the future with the dramatic growth of an aging population, we are experiencing that future now. Our destiny is to embrace new ideas and provide lessons of learning and leadership.”
John Overton, CEO of The Pines of Sarasota, chose to reflect on the demographics of dementia that he sees as a leader of a skilled nursing residence. “Our challenge is to demonstrate the leadership learning about the disease, examining the lessons of the last 20 years and seeking innovative ways of providing care in the home for this growing population.”
“Appreciating the Mecca of older adults that we are,” reflected our own Harry Hobson, “we are truly a microcosm of the future of our country. We will be challenged for some time with dementia, and we are called to emphasize preventative health care and wellness.”
When asked, “What do you see as the hot button issues around aging?” John Overton pointed quickly to a difficult dilemma. There is the need to care for more people who are acutely ill and have outlived their income, while at the same time funding, such as Medicare and Medicaid, is increasingly restricted. His was a call for more access to care.
Harry noted the shift of language from “care for the rest of life” to “aging in place” saying that the challenge is having access to the new technologies that enhance our lives as we age. “The question is ‘How will we bring affordable technology to a caring bedside manner?’. It’s a matter of aging in the ‘right’ place,” he added.
“Business and industry are too often seen as the bad guys,” said Tom Esselman, who wants to change that dialog around aging to encourage businesses to tap into the value of older adults to drive innovation. This is an area of great promise and opportunity.
The panel went on to discuss their observations of age bias, the marginalization of older adults and whether or not we all get happier with age. It was clear that bias and marginalization exist, but are muted in the vibrant senior-centric community of Sarasota. Local philanthropies benefit from senior volunteers and there is great intergenerational value in the active involvement of retirees on many levels. The Institute of the Ages is mobilizing older adults for meaningful involvement with research and product testing to support businesses developing new technologies.
Nancy Schlossberg pointed out that the Stanford Longevity Institute, AARP and Pew Research all have data showing that happiness increases as you age in the seventies and eighties. Is it true? For the most part, yes, they all agreed. John Overton mused that many centenarians he knows are very happy.
“The human spirit is amazing in its capacity to find silver linings,” Tom quoted Hugh Downs.
Harry added, “There are many moving parts to aging and being happy. The two most important factors are physical health and financial health. I’ve seen that staying connected is a huge factor.”
Many in the audience agreed that optimism and actively reaching out to others were of great importance to them. Some questioned age bias in employment and expressed some frustration with keeping up with the constant changing technologies around us. There was obviously energy to continue these conversations for some time into the future, be we can focus on the panelists’ concluding statements about aging.
Harry Hobson — “Embrace it. Let go of frustration. Welcome new ways.”
Tom Esselman — Quoting the title of a favorite song by artist Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now, There’s No Place I’d Rather Be.” Or simply, “There’s no better place than Sarasota.”
John Overton — “Life is not a dress rehearsal. Experience it now. Live it now.”
And one last word from Art Linkletter, “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the ways things turn out.”
The “Art of Aging” panel discussion was also the featured program at the Tiger Bay Luncheon on Monday, April 11 at Michael’s on East.
As a certified Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Plymouth Harbor not only offers a spectacular lifestyle for independent residents, but also provides excellent assisted-living and nursing care. We don’t just say this, because that is too easy. We have the Five Stars to prove it, says U.S. News Health.
The data behind the U.S. News report on the Best Nursing Homes comes from Nursing Home Compare, a website run by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS.) CMS sets and enforces standards for nursing homes enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid, as most are. The agency also collects information from states and individual homes and assigns each home a rating of one to five stars in each of three categories: state-conducted health inspections, nursing and physical therapy staffing, and quality of medical care. The ratings are combined to produce an overall rating of one to five stars.
This means at Plymouth Harbor data collected measured the quality of service in our Smith Care Center for comprehensive skilled nursing and rehabilitative care. The five stars measure nurse staffing, quality measures from clinical data, and results of periodic health inspections.
Check it out yourself
U.S. News collected meaningful data and ratings from about nearly every nursing facility in the United States, and built from them a searchable database designed to highlight the highest-rated homes likely to meet each user’s needs. Here’s the link to that database if you would like to check it out yourself.
Please join us in congratulating Jim Oates, Plymouth Harbor April 2013 Employee of the Month!
Jim came to Plymouth Harbor in April of 2007 with over 20 years of experience as a painter, including Journeyman status. He has been described by his Plymouth Harbor supervisors as efficient, positive, prompt, and an asset to the Maintenance department. Previous Shining Stars awards demonstrate he is a team player and is dedicated to our residents.
Nominators of Jim stated that he deserves to be recognized for his loyal, dedicated, and constant efforts. There is no job too big or too small for Jim, and he always goes the extra mile.
Prior to his Plymouth Harbor employment, Jim was with West Rentals Corporation in Wheeling, West Virginia, self-employed for several years in Santa Monica, California, and with Pelican Cove Condominiums in Sarasota. Jim’s previous employers describe him as dependable, dedicated, a great quality worker with good follow-through, and very good with people.
Jim is married to Theresa Oates who was a Plymouth Harbor employee several years ago. Originally from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Jim is a graduate of Triadelphia High School in Wheeling, West Virginia. He moved to the Sarasota area in 2005.
A Zest for Life Profile
Lest you ever suspect that selling your home and moving to a retirement community like Plymouth Harbor means that life is slowing down, have a chat with Peggy and Don Wallace. A report on their daily activities and active work in the community would leave a 50-year old youngster breathless. And that’s exactly what happened when I joined them for lunch recently in the Mayflower Dining Room.
From the moment we sat down, they were bubbling with all the reasons they cherish living in the Plymouth Harbor community. But first things first, Peggy and I ordered the seafood wrap while Don ordered a cheeseburger with gusto before we all bolted for the salad bar, one of the best in Sarasota.
We sat down with salad plates heaping and I quickly learned that Peggy and Don had not intended to move into Plymouth Harbor when they did.
“We put our name on a waiting list saying we wouldn’t be ready for another 2-3 years,” said Don. But when they got a call three months later with the news that a southwest facing apartment on the 12th floor of the tower was available immediately, they put their home on the market and packed their things. Although it took a year to sell their house just when the marketing dipped, he beamed, “We never regretted it and never looked back.”
In fact, they never missed a beat keeping up with their outside circle of friends and find themselves even more involved in activities than when they had their home on Siesta Key. They keep physically fit by working with Michael in the gym at least twice a week. Peggy serves on the Library Committee and is getting ready to participate in the project of redecorating their colony common area. Don is active with the Programming Committee.
“There is so much to do at Plymouth Harbor,” Peggy points out. “If you aren’t active, then you must not want to be!”
Together they are a power couple providing a real professional touch to the annual Plymouth Harbor Players theatrical production. Don is still an active member of the Directors and Writers guilds of America, but doesn’t get paid scale for writing the play for this group of amateur resident thespians. For the past three years he has written and directed the production. Peggy had been his stage manager until this most recent production when she was cast in a leading role.
Nearly two months of rehearsals for this annual production are an all-consuming business, especially with pros like Don and Peggy at the helm. That professional polish is the result of a life spent in the entertainment business in LA and New York. Don wrote, directed and produced soap operas such as “The Edge of Night,” “One Life to Live” and “All My Children.” He was nominated for three Emmy awards for three different episodes of “One Life to Live” and won a Writer’s Guild of America award for an episode of “One Life to Live.”
Both Don and Peggy are musicians; she’s a singer and he’s a horn player. They sing in the choir at the First Congregational Church and attend the Sarasota Orchestra concerts regularly. It was great fun to talk about his experiences conducting choirs and our respective views on whether to sing Brahms’ German Requiem in English or the original German. We could have talked the rest of the afternoon, but not with their busy schedules!
One of their sons lives here in Sarasota, another visited just last month and their granddaughter had just left the day before our meeting after a week’s visit. Their family enjoys staying at the Lido Beach Resort where Plymouth Harbor residents benefit from a discount rate even during the height of season.
Peggy says that one of the most important factors that make her busy life manageable is the care and attention of all the staff at Plymouth Harbor. “They take away the little hassles of living,” she shared. Well, when you are as busy as Don and Peggy involved in activities that feed mind, body and soul, you need every minute you can get for yourself!
By Chris Valuck
With the Board of Trustees’ approval to move forward on the Wellness Center Project, the architectural firm THW Design has been retained and designs are now being prepared to transform the southwest corridor of the ground level of the tower which is the current location of all group classes and now referred to as the “club level.” Offering something for everyone, the Wellness Center will nurture mind and body by providing opportunity for creative pursuits such as woodworking and art, as well as the physical and social experience of group fitness and after-class socializing. The Spa will be relocated to the club level to provide massage therapy and facials.
The design of the space will be ‘open concept,’ with windows replacing most of the southwest walls to take advantage of the beautiful waterfront views. Although the design is open concept, the art studio, woodworking, and the group fitness rooms will be private spaces off the main hub of the center, but still with the ability to appreciate nature through windowed walls. The art studio will be self-contained with individual studio tables and lockers, as well as an area for art classes. The woodworking studio will also be part of the design with a designated space. The Spa will be more easily accessible once relocated to the Wellness Center. A recreation space is also planned for socializing and interactive sports, i.e., Wii. The group fitness room will have sound suppression walls, mirrored walls, and hard-surface floors to accommodate many different types of group classes as well as dancing, from line dancing to ballroom. The cardiovascular and resistance training space will include state-of-the-art equipment such as Nu-steps, elliptical, recumbent bikes, and pneumatic resistance training machines.
Good news! An additional staff person will be present on the floor to assist residents with orientations to the new equipment, as well as teaching additional group fitness classes.
The young man in t-shirt and shorts spoke clearly and intelligently about “The Game of Life,” a cellular automation or mathematical simulation created by British mathematician John Conway in 1970. On the screen behind him was a running example of the cells of the simulation replicating, dying and regenerating its own patterns in an endless loop.
Eric (Aaron) Meister is a student at New College of Florida, where highly gifted students with a streak of independence and free spirits are encouraged to achieve excellence by following their own passions to graduation. Eric is also a member of the first group of New College Student Fellows participating in a group independent study project that has challenged students to develop speaking and presentation skills commensurate with the critical thinking, critical reading and analytical skills they were developing in their coursework.
Standing before his first live audience of strangers, Eric connected with a number of Plymouth Harbor residents gathered that afternoon in Pilgrim Hall and he was not alone. With him this afternoon were several of his classmates who were also there to make their first presentations.
Dr. John Gillette, Director of the New College Writing Center, has worked closely with the students during 4 weeks of intensive speech presentation training in both theory and practice as they practiced delivering speeches upon topics of their chosen discipline of study. Each one had the desire to learn how to communicate their work and interests in an effective way to future employers, future colleagues and to the public. Demi Brown presented the case for developing a better system of training doctors to offer pain management prescription that reduces the risk of pain killer addiction so rampant in Florida. Her presentation had the polish that she will need as a future policy maker and legislator. Anna Kresek told the story of the nearly lost Gnostic gospel of Thomas, while Nisha Hodge answered what killed the electric car. Keilar Durant, an aspiring addictions counselor, explored alcohol in the college culture and Brigit Csiki presented Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Katie Cottrell talked about nanotechnology and we learned that New College is one of the few undergraduate institutions equipped with an Optical Spectroscopy and Nano-Materials Lab.
When all the students had spoken, the Plymouth Harbor residents were quick to speak up themselves. Obviously impressed by the presentations, several residents applauded their efforts and bravery. Bobbie Sanderson was the first to express her gratitude, but she pointed out specifically that their eye contact was excellent and their passion for their subjects came through perfectly. Others offered constructive feedback on stage movement and use of the microphone, which is another very important aspect of the New College Student Fellows mission.
It seems very fitting that Plymouth Harbor was the first community presentation partner for the Fellows. Our residents have deep experience and clear understanding of what it takes to be successful in one’s life and career. As resident Carl Denney pointed out, learning how to speak and present is a critical skill, no matter what your professional field or career.
The students will be back on campus giving their presentations in Pilgrim Hall on April 9.
It is certainly a partnership that would make the founder of Plymouth Harbor very happy. Before he made his dream of Plymouth Harbor a reality, Congregational minister Rev. Dr. John Whitney MacNeil, was instrumental in gaining the support of the national Congregational Church in 1960 to create New College. The connection? Whatever their stage in life, New College students and Plymouth Harbor residents are intelligent, curious and actively engaged.
You can read his bio, short, sweet and high-impact, on Oprah.com. It says, “David Houle is an award-winning futurist and strategist who has launched successful brands and is an in-demand speaker about the future. He writes the popular futurist blog Evolution Shift and lives his life slightly ahead of the curve.
On his own website, you can browse through a timeline of forecasts that illustrate his on-target futurist thinking as well as his speaking schedule across the globe. And then you can wander onto one of his YouTube channels and get lost in the forest of videos, each one more intriguing than the next.
You might wonder why all of us at Plymouth Harbor feel so proud of David Houle and his success as one of the world’s top ranked futurists and futurist keynote speakers on the world stage. Well, he’s part of our family.
David’s parents, Bettie and Cyril Houle lived here at Plymouth Harbor from 1987 through 2000 and he visited many times during those years. And this affiliation ran in the family even earlier as David’s aunt, Hazel Stevens moved into Plymouth Harbor in 1966 and was here for nearly 30 years.
Recently, David has been serving as a Futurist-in-Residence and guest lecturer at the Ringling College of Art + Design and took the opportunity to come visit with us. We talked about his family’s history in Sarasota – his grandfather had helped John Ringling with his development efforts and his father Cyril used to hide away in the old clock tower downtown on the bay front to read books in peace. You have to smile when thinking of that image. When Cyril and Bettie moved into Plymouth Harbor, they became instrumental in establishing the Library on the Mezzanine with their gifts of time and funding. He thought everyone should have the luxury of reading books in peace on the bay front.
David himself grew up in Chicago and experienced over 20 successful years in media and entertainment earning many awards and accolades. Then he turned to the future and has been speaking about the future for 7 years now. His influential first book The Shift Age was published in 2008 and his second book, Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K-12 Education, written with Jeff Cobb was published in March 2011. The New Health Age: the Future of Health Care in America, co-authored with Jonathan Fleece, was published by Sourcebooks in January 2012.
His attention at the moment is on his latest book, “Entering the Shift Age” just published by Sourcebooks in January of 2013. Residents and our Harbor Club members will have the opportunity to learn about the dynamics of this new Shift Age with David Houle in person at the Foundation Forum on Monday, March 25 at 3:00 p.m. in Pilgrim Hall. He will lead us in a dynamic discussion on our entering the Shift Age, a time of transformation and change. The Foundation Forum is hosted by The Plymouth Harbor Foundation.
To quote from the introduction to his newest book:
This will be one of the most transformative times in history. In the past, man-made developments like tools, machines, and technology defined an age. Today, Houle argues that our own power of conscious connection will fuel the speed of change so much that change itself will become the norm. In this eye-opening and thought-provoking book, Houle identifies and explains the key forces that have shaped our lives thus far—from business to technology to the environment—and how they will continue to affect your world for the next twenty years. Entering the Shift Age is your crucial roadmap to the future.
Are you ready to stretch your perspective far into the future?
The Plymouth Harbor Foundation was established in 2012 to further ensure the appropriate stewardship of contributed funds, develop and implement fundraising strategies that support the most positive aging experience possible for residents of Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay. It also provides funding for innovative programs and services for seniors in the region.
We are so pleased to be able to announce the inaugural members of our Plymouth Harbor Foundation Board of Trustees, who met for the first time on January 16th where they elected officers. As you may be aware, our bylaws call for a Foundation Board that consists of 3 Plymouth Harbor Trustees, 3 resident members, 3 community-at-large members, and the President and Sr. Vice President of Finance for Plymouth Harbor. We are proud to present our Foundation Board, as follows. Please join us in thanking our generous Trustees for their dedicated time and attention to this worthy and very important cause.
William Johnston is Past President and COO of the New York Stock Exchange. William received his BS degree in Commerce from Washington & Lee University. He became a member of the NYSE in 1964 and a Director in 1992 and has served on numerous committees. He was Senior VP and Director of Mitchum Jones & Templeton. William also founded Agora Securities, and then merged it into LaBranche & Co. where he was Senior Managing Partner. He is currently a Director at Hollins University and Chairman of the Audit Committee and Co-chair of Development. William has served on numerous committees and advisory boards of universities; and taught at numerous colleges and universities across the country. He and his wife Elizabeth have two children and two grandchildren.
Thomas Hopkins is a shareholder and former President of the Icard-Merrill law firm and has practiced with the firm since 1977. Tom practices all areas of real estate law and has been designated by the Florida Bar as a Board Certified Real Estate Attorney. He also has extensive experience counseling clients in all aspects of estate planning. His professional affiliations and positions have included serving as President of the Sarasota County Bar Association and the Bar Association Legal Aid Society, Inc. Tom also has served as President and board member of the Sarasota County Civic League and President of the Ivy League Club. A graduate with an A.B. from Dartmouth College, Tom also earned an M.S. from the University of Southern California and his law degree from the University of Florida. Tom and his wife Wendy have three children and one grandchild.
Lee Byron is a long-time resident of Sarasota, a successful real estate agent with Michael Saunders, a former elected school board member, and very involved in the community. She presently serves as chair of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Suncoast Foundation board, the Teen Court Board, the Human Services Advisory Committee (to the County Commission), and on the Government Affairs Committee for the Sarasota Association of Realtors. Lee is a graduate of Smith College with a Masters in Government from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and is presently working on a second Masters in Pastoral Ministry from the Rice School of the Diocese of Venice. She and her late husband, Tom, have three children and two grandchildren.
Tom graduated from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and joined Mobil Oil Company for several years. He subsequently chaired the grocery non-food company for the Kroger Company, Top Value Trading Stamp Company, TV Travel and served as an officer of the Baldwin United Financial Services Company in Cincinnati. He arranged the purchase of the S&H Green Steamp Company, taking them private from the NYSE public listing. Tom retired, moved to Siesta Key in 1984 with is late wife Sue, and then spent 10 years working as a property assessor with Goodnow Associates. He has a passion for volunteering, which included Board positions with Sarasota Memorial Hospital Healthcare Foundation Board, New College Foundation Board, Field Club, and Bay Plaza boards. He spent 16 years in Surgery Transport and SMH and was the chair of Siesta Key Utility Authority. He moved to Plymouth Harbor in October 2009. He has four children and has encouraged each of them to be active volunteers.
Carla Smith is a Florida CPA. She has an extensive background in estate and personal financial planning in her 25+/year career as a CPA. A Sarasota native (which is unique), Carla is a graduate of Leadership Sarasota and has served as an officer and director on numerous community boards. She is a graduate of University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting, and a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from the University of South Florida. She and her husband Peter are members of the Sarasota Field Club, and enjoy boating, water skiing, and traveling.
Cade Sibley is a recent resident of Longboat Key, moving here in 2010 with her husband, Whit from Denver, Colorado, where she for nearly 30 years designed and implemented advanced estate, business-transfer and investment-planning strategies for affluent business owners, highly compensated executives and those with inherited wealth. Her clients realized significant reductions in estate, capital gains and gift taxes, preservation of family businesses for subsequent generations, and maximization of existing wealth through comprehensive investment planning. Cade was a longtime member of several of Lincoln Financial Group’s most prestigious honors societies. Cade served her Denver community as Vice Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center board, as a member of the Professional Advisor’s Board for The Denver Foundation and a board member of the Denver Arthritis Foundation Board. She is familiar with Plymouth Harbor, where her mother and father have both been residents for more than 15 years. Cade and her husband are both new members of Bird Key Yacht Club where they are serving on several committees and are active with the club’s cruising fleet.
Mr. Garry Jackson is the Senior Vice President and CFO of Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay Continuing Care Retirement Community. He has worked at Plymouth Harbor since March of 1997. Prior to his career in healthcare, Garry worked in New York City where he was the Controller & Director of Financial Planning at New York Law School for nine years, and at the investment-banking firm of Rothschild, Inc. as the Assistant Vice President of Finance & Administration for six years. He holds a Masters Degree in Business Management from Southern California University, Santa Ana, CA.
Harry Hobson, President and CEO of Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay, has a career that has included work in both Hospital and Retirement Community Administration. Prior to his arrival at Plymouth Harbor in 2004, he was the President and CEO of Westminster-Canterbury Retirement Community of Irvington, Virginia; and, First Community Village of Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Hobson received Masters Degrees in both Business Management and Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University; and, completed gerontological studies at George Washington University. He holds nursing home administrator
licenses in Florida and Ohio.