Among the top reasons for moving into a Life Plan Community is a sense of security. Security, however, can take on several forms. By moving into Plymouth Harbor, residents can let go of their worries and take comfort in the fact that they will always be cared for. With helpful, friendly staff and a full continuum of care, residents know that any future needs can be provided within the community.

Furthermore, there is an increased sense of safety, freedom, and community — as residents are no longer responsible for the day-to-day demands of homeownership and are able to get to know their neighbors and engage in an abundance of new activities. Of course, there is also the added benefit of 24/7 security monitoring and security staff.

In total, Plymouth Harbor has 13 security officers, who each have first responder experience in a variety of different backgrounds —including law enforcement, military, and general security. In fact, combined experience in the security department here at Plymouth Harbor is more than 275 years. On any given day, there are three security personnel on campus during the day shift, and two during the second and third shifts. Throughout the entire campus, there are over 40 security cameras, with plans to install several additional cameras after the completion of the Northwest Garden Building.

While you may see and know many members of the security team, there is much that goes on behind the scenes. During each shift, security staff provide mobile and foot patrol of the campus; respond to alarms; aid with resident/guest assistance; assist in parking; provide shuttle service; guard against theft; maintain overall security; and write reports of daily activities and irregularities, such as equipment or property damage, theft, trespassers, or unusual occurrences. The Front Desk also aids in the security process by facilitating calls and serving as campus watch, keeping a close eye on all closed-circuit security cameras.

What sets Plymouth Harbor’s security team apart? According to Lyall Smith, Director of Concierge and Security Services, their willingness to go the extra mile, cooperating with all other departments. “Oftentimes, security staff are the only ones on campus after hours to assist with numerous requests, from simple to complex challenges,” he adds. “Plymouth Harbor is a ‘mini city,’ which creates similar demands of our security officers as they are the first responders on duty.”

By: Celia Catlett

Ann Anderson radiates energy and friendliness. As with so many interviews I have conducted with new residents, the session turned into a lively conversation. As we talked, I learned that Ann, after getting her BA in English literature and philosophy from the University of Minnesota (Cum Laude), did not follow the usual job route for these majors. After her marriage to Steven, she worked briefly as a social worker in St. Paul. She told me that her work on aid to women with dependent children was an eye-opener that set her on a path from liberal Unitarian to full-fledged humanitarian. Because she herself is adopted, she welcomed an offer to work with placing children whose mothers were unable to keep them.

But this was just one step in Ann’s multifaceted life. When her children, son Bruce and daughter Liz, were born, she became a full-time mother. Once they were grown, Ann went back to school, gaining her RN (with honors) from the community college in Brazos Port, Texas, near where her husband’s career had taken them. She worked as a nurse for several years, writing a patient manual during her tenure.

The Andersons have bred, trained, and shown Rummer Run Boxers for a number of years. They no longer are able to keep any of them at home. The dogs are now cared for, shown, and bred by the Andersons’ close friends and handlers in Birmingham, Alabama. Ann’s love of the breed is evidenced by membership on the board of the American Boxer Charitable Trust. Her interest in the animal kingdom also extends to the species we see flying past our windows here at Plymouth Harbor. She is a co-founder and current board member of Sarasota’s Save Our Seabirds.

Steven Anderson also took a sharp turn from a BA in history at the University of Minnesota to the medical sales business. He worked with several pacemaker companies over the years. Fascinated by new research at the University of Alabama on freezing harvested heart valves for use in surgery, he wished to promote this breakthrough process that allowed more patients to receive implants and started his own company, CryoLife. Doctors loved the idea, but, as Ann informed me, getting financing was the hardest part. He succeeded, however, and the company flourished and now trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

The Andersons have lived in various places: Minnesota, Wisconsin, St. Petersburg, Florida, Texas, and for about 30 years in Atlanta and part-time in Sarasota—first on Bird Key and then on Longboat, where they became full-time Sarasotans and still own a house. Although only halfway moved in, Ann is eager to participate in and contribute to our community.

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.”

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.

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.

Founded in 2002, the Sarasota Architectural Foundation (SAF) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting architectural excellence within the Sarasota Community, and advocating to preserve and increase awareness of the Sarasota School of Architecture movement.

The internationally-known movement began in the 1940s, bringing fresh, innovative designs to Sarasota homes and marking the high point in the development of regional modernism in American architecture. Founded by Ralph Twitchell and Paul Rudolph, it counts Victor Lundy, Gene Leedy, Tim Seibert, Jack West, and Carl Abbott among its practitioners. “The Sarasota School architects were using simple materials at the time, but were really pushing the boundaries of modern design,” says Janet Minker, SAF Board Chair. “We’re so lucky to have some of these amazing structures still standing today.”

SAF is the outgrowth of An American Legacy: The Sarasota School of Architecture Tour and Symposium, a five-day showcase in 2001. Developed by members of the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota, the tour was attended by design professionals, scholars, and individuals from around the world, and was comprised of lectures, guided bus and boat tours, a documentary, exhibitions, and social events. 

Since then, SAF has presented numerous architectural tours of homes and public buildings, film screenings, and educational events for design professionals and the general public. In addition to funding two annual SAF-Paul Rudolph scholarships for architecture students, the organization also informs city and county leaders about the importance of the Sarasota School of Architecture movement and the benefits of preserving its structures. In fact, SAF was instrumental in advocating for the rehabilitation of the Paul Rudolph-designed Sarasota High School Addition and continues to advocate to retain the school’s Rudolph Walkway Canopy.

For the last three years, SAF has hosted SarasotaMOD Weekend, a mid-century modern architecture festival. As part of the 2015 SarasotaMOD Weekend, SAF constructed a full-scale replica of the 1952 Paul Rudolph-designed Walker Guest House. The replica opened for tours on November 6, 2015, on the grounds of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Since its opening, SAF’s trained docents have greeted over 44,000 visitors, and counting, as the exhibit remains open daily with free admission until April 2017.

Resident Nathalie McCulloch has been an active member of the Sarasota community for over 40 years, with a dedicated focus on the local architectural movement. She has been an SAF member since its inception, serving as a docent for many years. In addition, two of the Walker Guest House docents can be found here at Plymouth Harbor — Carolyn Montgomery and Suzanne Freund. To serve in this position, the two participated in a training program focused on the project’s history, the architect himself, and the home’s design principles. Suzanne Freund comments, “My husband and I always had an interest in architecture, and it’s quite interesting to serve as a docent. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with architects from all over the world — China, Italy, and Brazil to name a few.”

If you’re interested in learning more about SAF, please visit www.SarasotaArchitecturalFoundation.org.

You asked. We answered. At a recent Café Chat with Harry, several questions were raised regarding the Northwest Garden Building. Below is a summary of this information. Please note that a new video discussing building details and construction progress is in production and will be shown at an upcoming February Resident Meeting (date forthcoming).

What will replace the Callahan Center Assisted Living space when the current residents are moved to the new Assisted Living Residence?
As many of you know, the space where the Callahan Center resides will become vacant when our assisted living residents are moved to the new building. At present, it is not known what will occupy this space. We presume this will be determined in late Spring 2017.

How will occupancy be determined for the new Assisted Living Residence?
Current residents of the Callahan Center have first choice of apartments in the new Assisted Living Residence. Following that, residents from the Smith Care Center who qualify for living in the new Assisted Living would be given the opportunity to transfer. Then priority will be given to Plymouth Harbor residents who are currently on the internal wait list and those who may need to consider Assisted Living. If apartments remain available, our final step will be to open it up to our Harbor Club wait list and then to non-Plymouth Harbor Sarasota community residents. If you are interested in being placed on the wait list, please contact Liz Clark, Administrator of Assisted Living/Director of Home Care, Ext. 245.

How will therapy change when the new building is opened?
The current therapy gym, which is located in the Smith Care Center, will remain as is. We see this space primarily being utilized by Smith Care Center residents. When the Northwest Garden Building is complete, we plan to open a new outpatient therapy gym for use by both our independent living residents and non-Plymouth Harbor Sarasota community residents. The new therapy gym will be placed in N-213. At 1,650 square feet, this space is the perfect size and location for this amenity.

Will the new building have its own kitchen and dining staff?
Yes. However, much of the preparation will be done in the Mayflower Restaurant kitchen, as is currently done for the Smith Care Center. Chef René has been involved in the planning process for the new building, and is confident in the ability of the kitchen staff to meet the increased demand for dining.

When the new building is complete in November 2017, what will be the process for residents who will be moving in?
We are currently in the process of developing a “traffic schedule.” To do this, we are meeting with residents who will occupy the new building and are creating a list and timeline that will allow for a smooth, gradual move-in process.

What is the current status of the Multi-Use Recreational Trail (MURT)?
As it stands, the City is responsible for finishing the MURT trail, including the portion from Plymouth Harbor’s entrance east to the Sarasota Yacht Club. This is slated to begin Fall 2017.