3212L3-PILGRIM_HALL-SD (3)We are very happy to say that progress is being made in the rejuvenation of Pilgrim Hall. Following is an update on the project, as it stands at the end of May.

The construction drawings have been completed and are with Willis Smith (the contractor) and the City of Sarasota (for permitting). Willis Smith has invited subcontractors to bid on the project, which will result in a final construction cost. We will have the cost by the end of June, at which time we should also possess the permits from the city.

The Project Design Team (Phil Starr, John DeJongh, Fran Rehl, Ted Rehl, Charles Gehrie, Maryanne Shorin, Harry Hobson, and Becky Pazkowski) has been attending a series of meetings with the architect (Laura Adcock, WBRC Architects) and the interior designer (Marne Kaplan, Marne Kaplan Interior Design, Inc.). A color scheme encompassing fabrics, carpet, wood, curtains, wall coverings, and fixtures has been selected for both inside the hall and the corridor directly outside of the hall that complements the café, dining room, and lobby décor. (Note that the previously viewed wall images for the corridor that were discussed at last June’s resident meeting are not in the final design template). The new design of the entrance includes widening of both doors from the corridor by 18’’ each. New seating is progressing, with two companies still in the bidding process. The seating goal is to improve comfort, maintain capacity, and accommodate wheelchairs and scooters.

The acoustician and audio/video experts have submitted their recommendations, which have been accepted by the Project Design Team. The improvements include upgrades of acoustical materials throughout the hall, surround sound, high capacity voice amplification, high definition video projection, and sound monitoring from the rear of the hall. Also included are capabilities to view Pilgrim Hall performances from the Club Room and Wellness Center.

The Club Room voice microphones, surround sound, and TV monitor have all been upgraded. Previously, only two microphones were available…now, we have 10. Previously, the sound for the video projection and the microphones all came from the same ceiling speakers…now, we have a brand new surround sound system that has dedicated speakers in the ceiling and on the floor in the front and back of the room. This system handles any sound coming from the TV. The new 85’’ 4k television takes the place of the previous video projector and screen. Now all video projection, including cable TV, can be viewed on this screen. This includes anything done from a computer, from cable, or from a DVD. We also upgraded the internet access to hardwire, as opposed to Wi-Fi, which will improve the performance of streamed videos.

We anticipate that the rejuvenation in Pilgrim Hall will commence at the end of June, with a projected six-month schedule. Let’s hope for an end of the year grand opening celebration!

 

ActivityTeamSCCTraditionally, when someone is asked to describe activities in a skilled nursing environment, they might envision a “riveting” game of bingo, or a balloon volleyball match. Today, Judy Sarnowski, Smith Care Center’s Activity Director, and her team are doing away with that notion. In addition to Judy, the Smith Care Center (SCC) team consists of Erica Andrejkovics, Virginia Bailey, and Jason Redmon.

Before coming to Plymouth Harbor, Judy taught for 12 years in the Indiana school system. This experience has absolutely shaped Judy’s approach to her position as Activity Director, providing meaningful leisure activities that help to strengthen the mind, body, and spirit of SCC residents. Judy and her team tend to focus on range of motion activities in the morning, and on cognitive stimulation activities in the afternoon that offer a broader appeal — for example, the game “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?” The team also differentiates itself by incorporating technology — including everything from computer games to iPods and iPads to YouTube and Wii games. And, if requested, they will even facilitate FaceTime with residents and their family members.

While sharing the same vision, each member of the SCC activity team brings his or her own unique approach to the job. According to Judy, that is what makes their team work so well together. Jason graduated from University of South Florida with a degree in Psychology. He worked in the healthcare activity field for a few years before leaving to pursue interests in both teaching and IT.  After only four years away, he felt a calling to go back into activities. Erica is similar to Judy in that she has spent many years working in the field of education, and currently serves as a middle school math teacher in addition to her part-time position in SCC. Virginia seemed to always have had her sights set on the healthcare industry, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Human Services, and earning her certification as an Activity Assistant and a Certified Nursing Assistant.

“I feel extremely fortunate to have a team that shares my passion to make a difference in the lives of others. It is delightful to work with those who have both the education and background to assist me in providing our residents activity choices that are fun, relevant, and meaningful,” Judy says. “We are a cohesive team that complements one another, and I think that is a rare find.”

There is no doubt that when you visit SCC, you’ll see the activity team in action.

 

Construction for the Northwest Garden project is moving forward on schedule. Test piles measuring the integrity of the foundation were successful, and as evidenced by the photos shown below, construction has begun.

Staff is working diligently alongside our construction team to ensure that every detail is met for the new Memory Care Center, Assisted Living, and Independent Living residences. In the meantime, we thought it would be interesting to share some progress photos directly from the construction site.

These photos depict the construction site before and after the demolition of the Cooling Tower, the removal of the North Garden second-floor balconies (which will be incorporated into the new building), and resident construction viewings in N-313. Please stay tuned for continued progress updates.

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Picture6Restorative care is a term that is often misunderstood or incorrectly defined as rehabilitation therapy. And while therapy and restorative nursing complement each other, they are not one and the same.

The purpose of restorative care is to maintain a person’s highest level of physical, mental, and psychosocial function in order to prevent declines that impact quality of life. In the Smith Care Center (SCC), restorative care is a part of every aspect of a resident’s daily life. Care includes, but is not limited to: range of motion (active or passive), ambulation, dining assistance, locomotion or wheelchair use, fall prevention, our Sit-to- Stand program, and more.

In addition to therapies, the restorative team also addresses residents’ many adaptive devices, such as skin protectors, night lights, chair pad alarms, and pendants. While not every SCC resident receives this service, since January 2016, an average of 58 percent of our residents benefitted from restorative care.

How exactly does the process work?

There is no set path that leads to restorative care. However, most residents receive it after therapy determines that they have reached their maximum potential. Following this determination, the therapist develops a resident’s restorative care plan and shares it with the Restorative Nurse, Lauren Krause, who ultimately implements the program. From there, it is the restorative care team’s job to retain the resident’s ability level. Restorative aides help to provide the care, follow through on programs, and track and report any changes.

How is SCC’s Restorative Care Team different?

Most skilled nursing facilities teach their staff some form of restorative care, and all employees on the floor are tasked with providing this care. However, SCC is unique in that we have a dedicated team that specializes in restorative care and works closely with the therapy department. “The communication between our department and therapy is really amazing,” Lauren says.

Additionally, while Medicare specifies that restorative care programs run at least six days per week, the Smith Care Center offers its residents seven days per week. Lauren leads the program alongside her team of restorative aides — Dennis Ortiz, Sheila Strahorn, and Nancy Chan (not pictured). When you visit SCC, you’ll be sure to see Lauren and her team in action. If you have questions regarding restorative care, contact Lauren at 941-361-7361.

 

By: Becky Pazkowski

For the first time, Plymouth Harbor is able to offer Workplace English to our primarily Spanish-speaking employees, as part of our OnBoard Employee Wellness Program. The course is administered by State College of Florida’s Workplace Education program.

The classes are 2 hours per week for 10 weeks, and will be offered here on the campus of Plymouth Harbor for the convenience of our employees who wish to participate. At the end of the 10 week course, which runs March 1st through May 3rd, participants will receive a certificate of completion. This course is made possible through gifts to the Plymouth Harbor Foundation.

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Grindal 4x5 300 dpi (4) CropOn February 16th, Alan B. Grindal, M.D. gave a Health Matters presentation, entitled “The Aging Brain: Realities and Opportunities.” Dr. Grindal is a Board Certified Neurologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. In January 2016, he joined the Plymouth Harbor, Inc. Board of Trustees. Below is a summary of Dr. Grindal’s presentation.

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By the age of 65, two percent of the population will have dementia, and after that, the number doubles every five years. Today, there are 7 million people with dementia. By 2050, that number is estimated to be at 14 million. The reasoning is two-fold: 1.) People are living longer; 2.) Baby boomers will move into the 85 and over age group.

As we age, our brain gets smaller, we lose connectivity, and experience neuron loss in certain areas of the brain. In normal aging, we see a decline in autobiographical memory — for instance, memories about yourself, such as what you did on a certain day or where you were. However, semantic memories, including facts and ingrained skills, such as the first president, tend to be well-retained. Also in normal aging, there is a decline in fluid intelligence, which results in slower responses, a decrease in multi-tasking, and diminished creativity.

In general, there are three stages of decline in the aging brain:

  1. Dissertation Research Method Case Study I is an 8-week online business writing course. If you want to improve your business writing skills, then this course is ideal for you! Age Associated Memory Impairment – compared to younger people. As we age, we are not as sharp as we were when we were at our peak (at 30-35 years old). Our ability to remember and absorb knowledge tends to slow down. However, this particular stage suggests that we’re aging at the same level as our peers.
  2. Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) – compared to peers. This stage identifies individuals whose level of function is slightly impaired. When compared to their peers, these individuals are not functioning at the same level, but they are still able to live independently.
  3. If you want to http://www.cleode.fr/en/?global-regents-essay for your college task then Australian Essay is the best source for getting high quality and affordable assistance. Dementia – loss of Activities of Daily Living (ADL) skills. This stage identifies those with Dementia — an impairment of higher cognitive mental skills that prevents people from being able to live independently. How does Alzheimer’s disease fit in? While the above are levels of function, Alzheimer’s disease is a pathology that can cause any or all of these stages.

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While the reality of the aging brain is not always encouraging, there are several opportunities under our control that may help delay certain effects of aging, including:

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  • Physical Activity. Aerobic exercise is proven to lead to an increase in brain volume.
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View Dr. Grindal’s full presentation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykdfRPl0f0c

 

In the latter part of 2013, Plymouth Harbor elected to provide a wider array of services to our residents. We wanted to emphasize the availability of private duty home care, with the thought that many residents have both short- and long-term needs for these services. We surmised that residents would appreciate the opportunity to receive these services from Plymouth Harbor staff who have been screened, hired, trained, and supervised by onsite staff. Gradually, with time and dedication, we hoped to win over residents who had relied on outside agencies for these services.

Today, Plymouth Harbor is pleased to report that we have made some headway. Shown below is the Home Health revenue for the past three years:

2013                             2014                         2015

$131,000               $411,000               $827,000

Additionally, for January 2016, we billed for approximately $103,000. We are thrilled to see residents taking advantage of the services we offer, and we truly appreciate the opportunity to serve you. Home Health is available whether you are in an apartment, the Callahan Center, or the Smith Care Center. We customize our services to meet your needs, from 24 hours per day to just one or two hours per day. And we are always staffed by your Plymouth Harbor team!

“The care that I get from the Home Care staff is always first rate! I have assistance both in the morning and evening, and everything goes well. Thank you so much.” Betsy Bagby

“The HOME is the key! I have had several unexpected ‘events’ in the last 10 months, and Home Care was right there when I needed them. The last event was critical enough to warrant an EMS call. The action by the team was professional, fast, and caring.”  — Weta Cannon

 

Picture7“My position as Admissions Coordinator often times allows me first contact with potential residents desiring short-term rehab, long-term care, or a respite stay. I strive to ensure and coordinate a smooth transition into SCC. By working closely with all parties, including the resident, their family, physicians, and hospital representatives, a solid foundation for the excellent care our residents receive upon admission and throughout their entire stay is established. Attention to detail and a thorough education about our community and care standards help residents adjust appropriately to their new environment.”

 

Plymouth Harbor is excited to announce Mary VanSant as our new Admissions Coordinator. Mary came to Plymouth Harbor in October 2015.

In her role as Admissions Coordinator, Mary is the first point of contact for those interested in coming to the Smith Care Center (SCC), whether it be for short-term rehabilitation, long-term care, or respite stay. Specifically, she is responsible for the admission process and the coordination of a smooth transition for residents (and their support network) into SCC. This includes maintaining a positive professional relationship with members of Sarasota’s medical community, and serving as an effective facilitator in guiding family members and decision-makers to reach a mutually beneficial agreement on behalf of incoming residents.

Mary has extensive experience in the marketing and admissions field. Prior to joining Plymouth Harbor, she served as the Admissions Director at Sarasota Point Rehabilitation Center, as the Marketing and Admissions Director at The Inn at Sarasota Bay Club, and as Manager for Dr. Joseph R. Lowe, D.M.D., P. A.

Most recently, Mary served as Sales and Business Development Director at AutoXotic. In each of these roles, she was responsible for the planning, development, and implementation of marketing strategies to increase community awareness. Mary attended Florida State University and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in child development.

Plymouth Harbor is thrilled to have Mary join our team, and we look forward to the continued growth of Smith Care Center admissions.

 

 

By: Becky Pazkowski

Picture5As of this writing, we have experienced quite a year in our history of The Foundation. So far, we have over $1,200,000 in current gifts, from more than 500 gifts and pledges. In addition, we welcomed nine new members to the MacNeil Society (those who named The Foundation in their estate plans), totaling over $231,000 in new deferred gifts this year.

We are so very grateful for all who have made these contributions! We will detail these gifts and stories in the 2015 Impact Report, coming out in March of 2016.

 

fkjahskdhf'adIn October 2015, we reported that the Smith Care Center (SCC) began a new pilot program called the Personalized Music Therapy Program. This program includes the use of iPods and personalized music playlists as an enjoyable therapeutic activity. The purpose is to calm unwanted behaviors frequently associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia-related conditions, thus creating an alternative to the use of pharmaceuticals. For this reason, the initial target population included SCC residents who have experienced behavior and personality changes, such as agitation and restlessness.

SCC Activities Director Judy Sarnowski headed the program, modeling it after Music & Memory, a non-profit organization that created its own personalized music program. Judy says that Music & Memory got her thinking more about how she could modify certain aspects of their program to fit needs that were specific to Smith Care Center residents. So, before launching the three-month program in October 2015, Judy did her homework.

In addition to identifying three program participants and speaking with their family members for permission, Judy made the following modifications to the program:

  • She set a 30-minute time limit. Music & Memory has no limit, but due to short attention spans, Judy decided to limit the exposure for our residents.
  • She used the iPod Mini. Music & Memory uses an iPod Shuffle. However, SCC used the iPod Mini for greater programming capabilities, which ultimately helped to increase  personalization.
  • She used over-the-ear headphones. Music & Memory uses “ear buds,” but Judy went with over-the-ear headphones for greater comfort and compatibility with hearing aids.
  • She used a personalized questionnaire to help create each playlist. Judy compiled a questionnaire for each resident’s family member to complete. This questionnaire helped to elicit different memories by asking questions, such as “What is your favorite movie?” and “What is a song that was played at your wedding?”

Judy and her team have been compiling data throughout the program, and have already seen a noticeable difference. The pilot program ends on December 31, 2015, and at that time, Judy will compare data from the three month-period to data that was produced before the program started. Stay tuned for an update in early 2016 regarding the final results.