Wellness at Plymouth Harbor retirement community SarasotaMost of us will find ourselves using a cane at some point in our life.  Canes provide critical support for those in rehabilitation from knee or hit surgery.  When the need does arise and you find yourself with a can in hand, do you know how to use it properly?

These pointers will help you avoid further injury from misuse of this support and gain the most from the use of your cane so that you heal properly and regain your free movement as soon as possible.

Step 1:  Check the length of the cane by standing straight with your arms at your sides.  Adjust the cane until the top of it reaches the crease on the inside of your wrist.  When you hold the cane, your elbow should be flexed about 15 degrees.

Step 2:  Hold the cane in the hand that is on the same side as your good leg.  For example, if your right leg is injured, hold the cane in your left hand.  If your left leg is injured, hold the cane in your right hand.

Step 3:  Begin walking by taking a step forward on your injured leg and move the cane forward at the same time.  By doing this, you will put your weight on your cane and injured leg at the same time, allowing the cane to absorb more of the strain than the injured leg.  Do not use the cane to step with your good leg.

Walking up stairs with a cane:  Hold onto the railing with one hand and place your cane in the other hand.  Put the cane one step up.  Then, take the first step with your strong leg.  Bring the injured leg up to the same step.

Walking down stairs with a cane:  Hold onto the railing with one hand and place your cane in the other hand.  Put your cane on the step first, then your injured leg, and then your good leg, which will carry your body weight.

 

Whether you are currently using a cane or anticipate the need for using one, you might also plan on attending the regular Balance Class presented by the Wellness staff at Plymouth Harbor.

balance and wellness

Reference: American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.  (2007).  How to use crutches, canes, and walkers.  OrthoInfo.  Reference (Photos): WikiHow. (2013). How to Hold and Use a Cane Correctly.

By Don Wallace

The scene:  a parlor in a Portland, Maine, church.  It is a Sunday evening in the early 1950’s; the pastor is opening a social meeting of a group of young people in their late teens and early twenties.  As they sit in a quiet circle, the pastor starts the proceedings by stating that formal introductions are probably unnecessary since they doubtless know one another by now.  However, one young man raises his hand, points across the room and says, “I don’t know that girl in the red dress,” which was the way the lives of Walter Mattson and Geraldine Horsman became entwined.

It turned out that they had gone to the same high school in Portland, Walt having arrived in town for his senior year after a much-traveled youth.  Along the way he had shown an obsessive interest in newspapers and the printing business, delivering papers, working as a printer’s devil (one step below an apprentice) at his uncle’s weekly newspapers in Pittsburgh during the summer vacations and, after arriving in Portland, had landed a job at a commercial printing plant, with time out for active duty in the Marines during the Korean war.  Once out of the service, and after he and Gerry had married, he attended college while working full-time nights as a linotype operator at the Portland Press Herald and she worked as a legal secretary with the lead lawyer in the largest firm in Portland.

After he graduated, they moved to Pittsburgh, where Walt worked as advertising manager of two weekly newspapers while attending Carnegie Mellon University at night and Gerry worked for a lawyer in the city.  After that, they packed their bags and moved to Boston where Walt became assistant production manager at the Herald Traveler and attended Northeastern University at night where he earned an electrical engineering degree to go with his business/accounting degree.  For extra money, Gerry typed theses and papers for Harvard Law School students.  Then in 1960 came the big break: a job as assistant production manager of the New York Times.  From then, the promotions came in quick succession until, in 1979, Walt was named president of the New York Times Company.

All this time, when she wasn’t busy packing and unpacking, Gerry was involved with their growing family, working as a school teacher and as a legal secretary—until they settled in Stamford, Connecticut, and eventually built a home complete with a tennis court and swimming pool.  When the children were a little older, Gerry finished her work on a BA at the Stamford branch of the University of Connecticut.

Their introduction to Sarasota came in 1982, when Walt was involved in negotiating the purchase of the Sarasota Herald Tribune on behalf of the Times.  In 1983 they bought a condo on Longboat Key, where they spent half of the year until Walt retired in 1993.  The Mattson’s are the parents of three children, Stephen, William and Carol and have 11 grandchildren.

(A personal note: as a Times reader for some 65 years, I approached this biography with considerable trepidation, but found Walt and Gerry to be gracious, informal, plain-spoken and totally approachable.  And so will you. – author, Don Wallace)

While the body requires a small amount of sodium in the diet to control blood pressure and blood volume, most people consume many times the sodium needed.  People with certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure, kidney disease and heart problems, can benefit from a diet that is low in sodium.  In addition to directly reducing blood pressure, a lower sodium intake may also enhance the effectiveness of blood pressure medications and other non-drug treatments, such as weight loss.  Reducing sodium can also help to prevent the collection of fluid in the lower legs or abdomen.  A lower sodium intake has also been associated with other health benefits, including a reduced risk of dying from a stroke, reversal of heart enlargement, and a reduced risk of kidney stones and osteoporosis.

The terminology associated with salt reduction can be confusing. “Sodium free” means that there is a tiny amount of sodium in each serving. “Very low sodium” has 35 mg. or less in each serving. “Reduced sodium” means that the usual level of sodium is reduced by 25 percent.  And “Light or lite in sodium” means that the usual level of sodium is reduced by 50 percent.

Although it is difficult to abruptly cut back on the amount of sodium in the diet, most people find that they do not miss sodium if they cut back gradually. Salt is an acquired taste and taste buds can be retrained in less than two to three weeks!

Many residents, at the recommendation of their physician, or simply as a personal commitment to healthier eating, have made a conscious choice to lower their sodium consumption.  To support their efforts and provide health, delicious meals without sacrificing flavor, Plymouth Harbor’s culinary team uses fresh herbs, spice blends, citrus and flavored vinegars as tasty alternatives to the salt shaker.

In addition, we are happy to accommodate residents’ special requests. When you see a salt shaker icon next to an item on the Mayflower menu, it means that this item is available “salt-free.”  You’ll find this icon next to many entrees and side dishes.  To order salt-free, just check the “salt-free entrée” or “salt-free side dish” line on your menu.  When you specify “salt free”, you can be assured that absolutely no salt was added during the preparation of your selection.

Bon Appetit!

With Plymouth Harbor located just on the other side of the lovely arching bridge from downtown Sarasota, nothing could be more convenient than a short drive to any number of distinctive downtown dining locales and then a evening at the theatre or opera within a couple blocks walking distance.

Florida Studio Theatre, known simply as FST, is hardly a block from the bay and is a favorite of many Plymouth Harbor residents.  On Thursday, October 17, 2013, the Acting Apprentices of FST are coming right here to perform in Pilgrim Hall at 7:45 pm.  It’s an even more convenient evening’s pastime after a fine dinner prepared by Chef Rene in the Mayflower Dining Room.

2012-13 Acting Apprentices

FST’s “Moments of Discovery” offers an array of theatrical forms including  monologues, poems, scenes, and even award-winning plays from FST’s renowned Write-a-Play program which every year recognizes and celebrates young playwrights.  The performers this evening are all actors participating in the Florida Studio Theatre Acting Apprentice Program.

The purpose of the Acting Apprentice program is to help bridge the gap between academic theatre and the professional world and to provide additional training and experience to those individuals who are serious about careers as professional actors.  The program offers practical and educational training in a professional theatre environment and includes classes, workshops, rehearsals and performances such as the one we will enjoy here at Plymouth Harbor.

About Florida Studio Theatre

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is Sarasota’s contemporary theatre, located in the heart of downtown. It has been in operation in Sarasota since 1973. The Florida Studio Theatre campus is a village of theatres – the historic Keating and Gompertz Theatres, and the Parisian-style Goldstein and John C. Court Cabarets. Near the Sarasota bayfront, FST brings an energy and vitality to the downtown area. Each theatre is small in size and large in impact – providing an intimate and engaging setting for high-quality, professional performances. Hip and historical, entertaining and challenging, we are the theatre where the street meets the elite, where everyone is welcome to come and engage in the art of theatre.

During its history, FST has grown into a theatre with a budget of over $4 million and 25,000 subscribers a year, more than any theatre its size in the country.

FST has modeled itself on the strength of creating the best in contemporary theatre at an affordable price. Overall, FST serves over 160,000 attendees per year through its major programs: the Mainstage Series, the Cabaret Series, Stage III, WRITE A PLAY, Education, and New Play Development.

Plymouth Harbor has been delighting in the semi-annual performances of its resident professional classical pianist, Ted Rehl.  Another concert is open to the public this Thursday, October 18 at 4 pm. Ted has prepared a delicious sounding program titled, “Picturesque Russia,” featuring the music of the great Russian composers Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Modest Mussorgsky.

Having said that he now practices and performs the music that he wants to perform and particularly enjoys,  Ted has selected a Prelude by Prokofiev, which sounds enticing.  There will also be a total of four more Preludes by Rachmaninoff, including his most famous two, the C sharp minor and the G minor Preludes.

The highlight of the program will be the multi-media experience of Modest Mussorgsky’s  Pictures at an Exhibition. Ted will perform the original version for solo piano, while images of watercolors which inspired Mussorgsky to compose this colorful music in the first place.  Many of us are familiar with the orchestral arrangement of this music by Maurice Ravel that is played by orchestras all over the world.

“This type of thing has been done various other places around the world, but to my knowledge it has never been done in Sarasota,” says Ted.

The musical material of Pictures at an Exhibition are based on drawings and watercolors by artist and architect Viktor Hartmann produced mostly during the artist’s travels abroad. Locales include Poland, France and Italy; the final movement depicts an architectural design for the capital city of Ukraine. Today most of the pictures from the Hartmann exhibit are lost, making it impossible to be sure in many cases which Hartmann works Mussorgsky had in mind. Yet musicologists over the years have pieced together the puzzle and the images you will see are based on their best research.

Mussorgsky links the suite’s movements in a way that depicts the viewer’s own progress through the exhibition. Two “Promenade” movements stand as portals to the suite’s main sections. Their regular pace and irregular meter depicts the act of walking. Three untitled interludes present shorter statements of this theme, varying the mood, color and key in each to suggest reflection on a work just seen or anticipation of a new work glimpsed. A turn is taken in the work at the “Catacombae” when the Promenade theme stops functioning as merely a linking device and becomes, in “Cum mortuis”, an integral element of the movement itself. The theme reaches its height of grandeur in the suite’s finale, The Bogatyr Gates.

“The Pictures was one of the pieces I enjoyed playing during my teaching career,” shares Ted. “I am amazed that it seems easier to play now than it was in my first life!”

Pianist at Plymouth Harbor senior communityAlluding to his first life, Ted means his career as a professional musician and educator and the long hiatus between his official retirement and the re-emergence of his performing life after he moved to Plymouth Harbor.  An earlier post, Life, Love and the Right Piano, tells the story of Fran and Ted Rehl’s life of music together.

Everyone is welcome to attend this concert in Pilgrim Hall, as seating allows.  If you’d like, you can even purchase a CD Ted recorded earlier in the year.  Proceeds of CD sales benefit the Plymouth Harbor Foundation.

Begun in 1966 as a dream of Rev. Dr. John Whitney MacNeil, former senior minister of the First Congregational United Church of Christ of Sarasota, who envisioned a progressive, interfaith, residential community for retired clergy and teachers, Plymouth Harbor today attracts vibrant residents, both nationally and internationally.  Most of these residents, over the years, have made significant contributions to the arts, culture, and education, helping to establish Sarasota as a vibrant and coveted community in which to live and retire.

Today, Plymouth Harbor, a non-profit organization, has become one of the premier continuing care retirement communities in the United States, offering services from independent to assisted living, skilled nursing, long-term care, and short-term rehabilitation, all on one campus.  Essential to its success and outstanding reputation are the nearly 200 employees who deliver care and compassionate services to more than 265 residents daily.

That spirit of caring is also the driving force behind philanthropy at Plymouth Harbor. Over the decades, members of the resident population, their families, employees, and philanthropists in the broader community have voluntarily donated more than $12,000,000 to perpetuate its mission.  Contributions of time, talent, and financial resources are made, believing that service to and support of other people is a worthy lifelong value.

Formalizing the Foundation

In an effort to further ensure appropriate stewardship, develop and implement fundraising strategies that support the most positive aging experience possible, and to provide funding for innovative programs and services for seniors in the region, the Plymouth Harbor Foundation was formalized in 2012.  Their culture of philanthropy is built on three pillars of value – benevolence, fellowship, and a zest for life – and three funds were established for these purposes.

Resident Assistance

True to their founding value of benevolence, resident assistance supports those who have outlived their financial resources, due to unforeseen circumstances, and require support for basic living expenses and medical care.

Employee Assistance

Creating an outstanding living environment depends, in no small part, upon successfully recruiting, retaining, and developing the highest quality work force possible.  This fund supports employees who are experiencing financial hardships or who wish to advance their education.

Zest For Life

This programmatic and capital fund supports innovations and enhancements that improve and preserve the vibrant quality of life for current and future residents.

Making a Difference

We hope you will consider making a gift to advance a positive aging experience at Plymouth Harbor.  Your future is worth supporting.

Members of Girl Scout Troop #121 & Boy Scout Troop #895 copy

Boy Scout Troop #895 and Girl Scouts from Troop #121 in Sarasota recently provided community service at Plymouth Harbor as part of a project that was partially funded by the Bay Partners Grant Program to restore a natural ecosystem on a portion of the campus.  The scouts spent a full day spreading mulch and watering plants that had recently been replaced.

“Community projects like this are an excellent example of what Dr. MacNeil had in mind when he envisioned Plymouth Harbor,” said Harry Hobson, President and CEO of Plymouth Harbor.  “Individuals of all ages coming together to support a positive living environment.  Isn’t that what “community” is all about?”

 

Please join us in congratulating Armando Cortez, our Employee of the Month for October 2013.

Armando came to Plymouth Harbor as a part-time Steward in February of 2010 and was promoted to full-time status two months later.  Prior to working at Plymouth Harbor, Armando was employed by the Manatee Fruit Company for almost 20 years as a laborer.

Throughout his time here at Plymouth Harbor Armando has received several Exceeds Standard remarks on his appraisals from Chef René, in the categories of job knowledge, quality of work, responsiveness to supervision, attendance, attitude, relationship with people, and personal conduct.

Comments from his supervisor are very complimentary:  Armando is a very good worker who follows all the rules, keeps a positive attitude, and is liked by the staff. His demeanor and work ethic are to be admired.  He is a team player.

Armando, originally from Jalisco, Mexico, has resided in the local area for over 20 years.  He and his wife Dionisia will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary next April.  They have a son Juan Armando and three grandchildren who live in Bradenton.

We are very pleased to bestow this well-deserved recognition upon Armando.  Thank you for choosing Plymouth Harbor as your employer!