The Roman poet Virgil once said, “The greatest wealth is health.” At Plymouth Harbor we couldn’t agree more and our Wellness Center promotes that mindset in countless ways—through group fitness, whole-person wellness, social activities, and much more.

From its formal inception in 2011, Plymouth Harbor’s wellness program was designed to evolve. As we approach Plymouth Harbor’s 50th anniversary next year, we thought it would be fun to take a look back and see just how far fitness and wellness have come from those early days.

Back in the Day

While it was state-of-the-art at the time, retirement living back in 1966 (when Plymouth Harbor first opened its doors) looked quite different than it does today. Back then, physically-passive, socially-oriented activities like walking, gardening, and shuffleboard were the norm. Plymouth Harbor’s Activities Department offered a weekly exercise class and, in later years, resident Lois Droege, with her background in physical education, led a popular group fitness class for residents.

july-wellnessTimes changed, and by 2005, later generations were expressing a desire for more comprehensive fitness programming. The opportunities they were enjoying at the local YMCA or other health clubs weren’t available at Plymouth Harbor; Marketing was hearing this from prospects and their families as well.

A 2011 resident survey revealed that one of residents’ top three priorities was a wellness center with professional staff and programming. Residents wanted updated equipment, knowledgeable instructors, and a variety of fitness classes. Next step? Making it happen.

Our philosophy was “develop the program and they will come.” The brick and mortar would come later. The first step was recruiting a wellness professional, with the proper credentials and experience with a senior population, who could build a program from the ground up. Enter Chris Valuck in September 2011.  As planned, by April 2013, Chris had developed the program to the point that a second full-time staff member was needed and Amanda Kirk joined the team.

By May 2013, a capital campaign was underway and the funds needed for the cost for a new, state-of-the-art wellness center had been donated by generous residents and staff. In September 2014, Plymouth Harbor’s beautiful ‘new’ Wellness Center opened its doors. By November 2014, Chris and Amanda, along with seven other staff members,  were helping to develop Plymouth Harbor’s employee wellness program, OnBoard. 

Wellness Today

With experienced and knowledgeable staff onsite, residents receive a multitude of benefits, including personalized fitness assessments, weekly orientations, and enhanced programming—including both group fitness and other physical activities.

Resident fitness assessments are conducted for each new resident, whether in-home or in the Wellness Center. After assessments are completed, resident records are created and maintained, including documents such as consent forms, waivers, guidelines, medical clearances, medical history, and exercise logs. Today, the Wellness department is in a position where they can also offer re-assessments to current residents, upon request.

With the help of contracted instructors, the Wellness Center offers at least 10 separate fitness classes each month, some of which meet two to three times per week. Chris is onsite to teach some; however, contracting with qualified instructors allows the Wellness department to offer specialized classes in areas like Tai Chi and ballroom dancing that might not otherwise be available. Countless hours are spent researching, contacting, and vetting these individuals, to ensure residents are receiving the highest possible quality of exercise.  In addition to monthly classes, Wellness staff researches, organizes, and conducts both off-site and on-site events, including last year’s Wellness Week, field trips, kayaking, and more.

Community outreach and networking with other local fitness centers and CCRCs is conducted on a regular basis to keep programming up-to-date. To promote both Plymouth Harbor and wellness in the greater community, Chris and Amanda also serve as “The Face of Wellness” at receptions and events to assist the Plymouth Harbor marketing team. The two additionally contribute monthly to the Harbor Light, and have prepared, designed, and produced numerous take-home brochures and guidelines for increased in-home fitness for residents.

Wellness in the Future

As time passes, there continues to be a resident desire for added programming. Residents can expect the Wellness Center to adapt and improve to meet these requests—through continued research, and an emphasis on unique classes and events. One resident-requested improvement in particular that will be implemented, is the expansion of outdoor physical activities (like the popular beach walk or kayaking) into regular programming.  You can look forward to seeing these types of activities more often, as well as new, never-been-done-before activities like visits to local state parks. Residents can also expect additional group fitness classes, such as the desired tap dancing class. These unique forms of physical activity promote exercise in an interesting, social environment and we hope they will inspire and encourage more residents to participate in physical activity to enhance their well-being.

With a higher resident demand for in-home fitness, a “Wellness Center Exercise Series” is also in process, which will encompass a series of exercise booklets and DVDs of the most popular wellness classes. As of now, the Line Dancing DVD is complete, and Sit Fit and Better Balance are in the works. Stay tuned for additions to this series. Along those same lines, the long-awaited Preferred Professionals Program is now available. Designed to meet resident requests for personalized services (including personal training, Pilates, yoga, dance, and massage), residents can expect this brochure in their mailbox in just a few short weeks.

Wellness goes beyond the four walls of Plymouth Harbor. For that reason, the Wellness department is collaborating with staff to offer an internship program to qualified students studying Exercise Science. They are also planning to offer a Harbor Club program, where members are allowed special access to participate in popular Wellness activities.

We’ve come a long way since 1966, and we plan to keep evolving to meet your needs. Stay tuned for updates on new programs and activities, and please continue to share ideas and enthusiasm with staff.

By Barbara Leverone

wellnes12Only within the past few decades have scientists begun to embrace the concept of neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Prior to this, it was believed that after childhood, adult brain anatomy was fixed, only changing in the direction of decline.

Dr. Michael Merzenich, considered to be one of the world’s leading researchers in the field today, has repeatedly validated, along with many others, that the adult brain, in response to experience, is indeed plastic and capable of change.

Dr. Norman Doidge, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and research faculty member at both Columbia University and the University of Toronto, went wellnes1on to explore this hypothesis. He documented Merzenich’s experiments along with many other leading-edge scientists in his 2007 best-selling book, The Brain That Changes Itself. In Dr. Doidge’s most recent book, The Brain’s Way of Healing, he continues to explore the brain’s highly dynamic ability to heal when stimulated by noninvasive use of light, sound, vibration, and movement. Using everyday language, he writes about successful treatment protocols for numerous conditions including Parkinson’s, stroke, multiple sclerosis, balance issues, and chronic pain.

He devotes a chapter of his book to Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-1984), a pioneer in the field of neuroplasticity. As early as 1949, Dr. Feldenkrais wrote that the brain could form new neural pathways to organize itself in response to demands of the environment. Dr. Feldenkrais even created a method that uses movement lessons as a stimulus to develop new options for thinking, feeling, sensing, and doing.

Learn to move with ease and efficiency, and also improve posture and flexibility through the gentle, exploratory movements of The Feldenkrais Method. Discover how mindful, novel movements can create new neural pathways, and experience firsthand the power of neuroplasticity.

To read a portion of Dr. Doidge’s chapter on Dr. Feldenkrais, click here.

Credits:
PHOTO CREDIT: Elaine Litherland, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Doidge, M.D., Norman. The Brain That Changes Itself. New York:
Penguin, 2007. Print
Doidge,M.D., Norman. The Brain’s Way of Healing. New York:
Penguin, 2015. Print.

While Wellness is a  priority at Plymouth Harbor 365 days and 52 weeks of every year, we will be celebrating our second annual WELLNESS WEEK April 20 through 24.

Each day during Wellness Week will see at least one special, out-of-the-ordinary activity for all to enjoy.  Take a look at the schedule and plan your own week!

 

djembeMonday, April 20
Drum Circle

Gather with friends and experience a fun and healing drum session led by Jana Broder.  Beautiful djembe drums will be provided.

Time:   2:00-3:00 p.m.
Location:   Outdoor area near the bocce court/pool.  In the event of inclement weather, Wellness Center Group Fitness Studio.

 

 

IMG_1154Tuesday, April 21
Kayaking

Enjoy an adventurous morning kayaking through the beautiful mangrove tunnels just south of Plymouth Harbor’s backyard.  Single and tandem kayaks are available.

Time:  Meet in lobby 8:30 a.m.
Return around 11:30 a.m.
Cost:   $65/person: includes a kayak and 2-hour guided tour.
Sign-up by calling Amanda x350 by April 13th. Space is limited!

 

 

 
mote boatWednesday, April 22
Mote Boat Tour

Join a marine biologist on a cruise through Sarasota and Roberts Bay to observe manatees and bottlenose dolphins while learning about the ecology, history, and area folklore. On-board restrooms and comfortable seating are available.

Time:   Meet in lobby 9:15 a.m.
Return around 2:00 p.m.
Cost: $37/person
Sign up by calling Amanda x350 by April 13

 

jaszz bandThursday, April 23
Dine, Dance & All that Jazz

It’s time to break out your dancing shoes!  Enjoy an evening of dinner and dancing with your friends and neighbors, enjoying music by the Al Hixon Jazz Quartet with a special guest performance by resident Carl Denney. You won’t want to miss this!

Time:  6:00-9:00 p.m.
Location: Mayflower Dining Room
Cost: $30/person
Make your reservation by calling Dining Services x258

 
brain-fitness-introFriday, April 24
Quick Witz Brain Game

Guest presenter Becky McLaughlin will explain the concept behind this mental fitness program designed to maximize mental ability.  You’ll enjoy the challenging, hands-on, interactive activities designed to help the aging brain get sharp and stay sharp!

Time:  10:00-11:15 a.m.
Location:  Club Room
No sign-up required.

 

Bocce1-267x300Friday, April 24
Outdoor Game Party

Come and play a variety of outdoor games like bean bag toss, ladder golf, skittles, and bocce.  Healthy snacks & refreshments will be provided.  Come out and play, or just cheer on your neighbors!

Time:   3:00-5:00 p.m.
Location:   Bocce Court

No sign-up required.

Ted RehlNow hear this . . . Hearing loss is not just an age issue. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders  “approximately 17 percent (36 million) of American adults report some degree of hearing loss.”    Furthermore, a 2011 report based on audiometric testing of Americans 12 and older in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Surveys (NHANES) states that 30 million Americans have at least a 25 db hearing loss in both ears and 48 million in one or both ears.

Pilgrim Hall Now Looped In

Of course, Plymouth Harbor is committed to provide resources and technology that can enhance quality of life for all residents. In fact, in many cases, the generous gifts of donors to the unrestricted fund of the Plymouth Harbor Foundation make improvements in quality of life possible.

Thanks to those donors of unrestricted gifts, the next time you attend a performance or event in Pilgrim Hall, you will be able to flip the T-Coil switch on your hearing aid and the sound will be much improved!

What is a hearing loop and how does it work?

A hearing loop is a wire connected to an electronic sound source that transmits that sound to the telecoil in a hearing aid or cochlear implant. A loop can discreetly surround a room, a chair in your home, or even be worn around the neck. Hearing loops can be connected to a public address system, a living room TV, a telephone (land line and cellular), or any source that produces sound electronically.

A hearing aid and most cochlear implants equipped with a manually controlled T-Switch is all that is required to hear in a hearing loop. The telecoil or T-coil receives the signal from the loop and turns it back into sound in the hearing aid, eliminating the background noise.

For the listener, they simply switch their T-coil on and the sound is heard directly into their hearing device, clear as a bell. No background noise or interference. If the listener prefers to hear surrounding sounds, they only need to switch their hearing device to M/T. It’s that simple!

loopWhy are hearing loops needed? Don’t hearing aids enable hearing?

Today’s digital hearing aids enhance hearing in conversational settings.  Yet for many people with hearing loss the sound becomes unclear when auditorium or TV loudspeakers are at a distance, when the context is noisy, or when room acoustics reverberate sound.  A hearing loop magnetically transfers the microphone or TV sound signal to hearing aids and cochlear implants that have a tiny, inexpensive “telecoil” receiver.  This transforms the instruments into in-the-ear loudspeakers that deliver sound customized for one’s own hearing loss.

How many hearing aids have the telecoil (t-coil) receptor for receiving hearing loop input?

In surveys of hearing professionals, the Hearing Journal (April, 2009) reported that 58% of hearing aid fittings included a telecoil, an increase from 37% in 2001.  In its 2009/2010 reviews of hearing aid models, the Hearing Review Products reported that 126 (69%) of 183 hearing aid models—including all 38 in-the-ear models and 29 of 30 conventional behind-the-ear models—come with telecoils.  In 2014, the Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Aids reported that 323 of 415 hearing aid models (71.5%) were now coming with telecoils, as were 81% of models larger than the miniaturized completely-in-the-canal aid.  Moreover, the greater people’s need for hearing assistance, the more likely they are to have hearing aids with telecoils—as did 84 percent of Hearing Loss Association of America members in one survey.  New model cochlear implants also offer telecoils.

By Chris Valuck, Wellness Director

strength training for seniorsExercise Resistance training, also known as weight training or strength training, incorporates exercises that build muscular strength and endurance of skeletal muscles (as opposed to cardiovascular exercise that develops heart muscle endurance). These terms include all types of resistance, whether you are using exercise bands/tubes, dumbbells, weight machines, milk jugs, soup cans, or even your own body weight (i.e. push-ups).

A couple of weight training questions that I am frequently asked are, “How much should I lift?” and “How many times should I lift it?” It seems like the answer should be simple, but it really isn’t because so many factors must be taken into account. A good strength training exercise prescription must include functional exercises that will help improve performing activities of daily life; exercises that take into consideration the individual’s goals, ability levels, orthopedic limitations, time constraints; and the list goes on.

The detail involved in this type of programming is too involved to fully discuss in this article. But I will clarify a few in an attempt to answer these two questions, assuming that the goal of the exerciser is muscular strength and endurance—which is the most common reason a person incorporates strength training into their exercise regime. Also, in the box below are evidence-based guidelines by The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), which is the most respected organization in the industry and considered to be the gold standard.

The biggest misconception regarding resistance training is that you must perform “3 sets of 12 reps” for each exercise or you will turn into a pumpkin. Not so! The “3 sets of 12” idea is just a guide. In fact, for an older population, just 1-2 sets of 10-15 reps may be more suitable. Research shows that the average adult will develop strength and endurance when they use a resistance that is challenging between 8-12 reps. The power lifter or bodybuilder who is only interested in strength might use a resistance so heavy that he cannot perform the exercise more than 2-6 reps and the exerciser interested only in endurance may use a load that is not challenging until 15+ reps are achieved. But because the average person would like muscular strength and endurance, we recommend a middle range of 8-12 repetitions (or 10-15 for an older or deconditioned population).

Once you determine the goal (i.e. muscular strength and endurance), then you determine the resistance required to safely challenge the muscle in that range, which in this case is 8-15 reps. The key word is “challenged.” This means not just doing the exercise 12 times, hopping to the next exercise, 12 times, and so on. It means that with each subsequent set, you should feel that the muscle is beginning to tire and you cannot safely do another. This is what we call momentary muscle fatigue, the point at which the muscle is being challenged to do more than it already can do on a daily basis. The result is increased strength over time. If you simply “count reps” and never challenge the muscle with a tiny bit more weight over time, you will not realize any strength gains, but simply remain where you are. I suppose that at least you can say you’re maintaining your current strength, but most people want to improve strength.

We’ve addressed repetitions and resistance, but now let’s look at sets, which are groups of repetitions. Most group fitness instructors and personal trainers work with the basic guide of “3-sets” of each exercise, providing that only one exercise is being performed for each major muscle group during the exercise session. Again, these exercises vary tremendously and can get very elaborate, but let’s just stick with the basic program which is three sets or less for each major muscle group.

If you choose to do three sets for a particular muscle group and you subscribe to the theory that each repetition should take some effort, then it stands to reason that you would not be able to do 12 repetitions in the second set and definitely not in the third if you are becoming increasingly, but safely, fatigued. More realistically, an effective workout session for any particular muscle group that consists of three sets would look more like this: 12 reps attained in the 1st set;  now a rest period because you should be a little bit tired. In the 2nd set you might only able to perform 10 or 11 reps, and in the 3rd set maybe only 8-9 reps. Is this making more sense?

The above theory is the hardest to convey to the exerciser, but it’s the most important if your goal is to increase strength and endurance. So, the next time you’re in one of the group fitness classes or using the Keiser equipment, ask yourself, “Am I just going through the motions, or am I safely challenging myself enough to make a difference?”

Begin with a 5-7 minute warm-up, consisting of continuous movement (i.e. walking or cycling).

Frequency: 2-3 days per week, working each major muscle group

Sets: Older Population: 1-2 sets of 10-15 rep of each exercise. Most Other Adults: 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps of each exercise.

 Weight lifted should be “challenging” but attainable within the repetition range.
 Rest 1-2 minutes between sets.  Allow a day of rest between strength-training sessions (48 hours).
 Work large muscles first (chest, back, legs); then smaller muscles (shoulders, arms).
 Use proper body alignment and maintain slow, controlled movement.
 Use proper breathing technique: exhale on exertion and never hold your breath.
 Gradual progression of greater resistance, and/or more repetitions per set, and/or increasing frequency is recommended as strength increases.

Pescatello, L., Arena, R., Riebe, D., & Thompson, P. (Eds.). (2014). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (9th ed., p. 185). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

By Chris Valuck

reformerThe Wellness Center has a new piece of exercise equipment, The Pilates Reformer.   Located in the group fitness room, you cannot ignore its ominous presence.  It has been met with curiosity and hesitation by residents who have never seen a Reformer,  but greeted with a gush of excitement by residents that up until now had to go off campus to receive private instruction on the Reformer.  Now, not only can we offer an opportunity for residents to have their instructor come to them, but residents who participate in a group  Mat Pilates Class at the YMCA and HealthFit, can look forward to a similar class coming soon to the Wellness Center. The Mat Pilates Class consists of a series of floor exercises that were the precursor to the Reformer.  The Pilates Method has an interesting history that I thought I would share.

Joseph Pilates was born in 1883 in Germany.  Although growing up with athletic, health-centered parents (his Greek father was a gymnast and his mother a naturopath) he was a very sickly child, suffering from many illnesses.  With early poor health being the impetus, he devoted his life to the pursuit of a strong, healthy body through physical fitness.  He grew to become quite an athlete, participating in several sports such as gymnastics, skiing, and body-building.

Joseph Pilates, 1883-1967 At the age of 29, Pilates moved to England and earned a living as a boxer, circus performer, and self-defense trainer for police schools and Scotland Yard.  Nevertheless, he was interned during WWI with other German citizens and while confined he taught wrestling and self-defense to fellow inmates.  It was here that he began developing a fitness program with minimal equipment.  Basically, a series of floor exercises that evolved into a whole system of exercises that he called “Contrology.”  He trained his fellow inmates and even incorporated yoga into their routines.  It has been said that inmates who trained with Pilates survived the 1918 flu pandemic due to their good physical health.

After WWI. Pilates returned to Germany and collaborated with experts in dance and physical exercise.  When pressured to train members of the German army, he left his native country, and emigrated to the United States in 1925.  On the ship he met his future wife, Clara.  They opened a studio in New York City and directly taught their students into the 1960’s promoting “Contrology,” which is the use of the mind to focus and control core postural muscles that help keep the body balanced and provide support for the spine. Clara and Pilates developed a loyal following within the dance and performing arts community in New York.  Their devotees included George Balanchine and Martha Graham, who regularly sent their students to Pilates for training and rehabilitation.  After Pilates became known for training ballerinas for flexibility, strength, and stamina, society women flocked to his studio on 8th Ave.  To this day, around the world, dancers and people from all walks of life continue to practice Joseph Pilates’ methods to control the movement of their bodies by creating flow through the use of appropriate transitions, building strength and stamina.

Joseph Pilates has written several books, including Return to Life Through Contrology, and as an inventor has 26 patents cited.  The content of this article was taken from the following sources: www.joseph-pilates.info/history-of-pilates.html, www.pilates.about.com/od/historyofpilates/a/jpilates.htm,www.wikipedia.org/wiki/joseph_Pilates                         –

rehab imageEvery day, in every part of America, there are individuals facing similar challenges transferring from medically supervised rehabilitation care in a skilled nursing facility back to their “normal” routine at home.

Doctors suggest walking, swimming, low-impact exercise, and even returning to the gym, to regain strength and balance. However, doctors are not trained in exercise physiology and cannot offer the practical advice needed for each individual’s recovery. For this reason, they prefer to send their patients to a supervised rehab facility. Too often, if there is no means of structured support to continue their recovery through exercise once rehab is over, people settle back into a more sedentary lifestyle, resulting in a less than optimal recovery.

Sarah Ross, Physical Therapist, PT, DPT, GCS, CEEAA, a certified expert on exercise for aging adults, works with many of our patients in the Smith Care Center (SCC) during supervised rehabilitation. Sarah says the ideal outcome is for every individual to safely mainstream into an exercise program suited to their body and condition. “Ongoing exercise provides the maintenance program for a happier, more active lifestyle which everyone deserves,” she adds.

“At Plymouth Harbor, our goal is to provide a continuum of care and communication to help residents safely transfer from supervised rehabilitation to ongoing use of the exercise equipment in our Wellness Center,” says Chris Valuck, M.S., ASCM-CES, CWWS Certified, Director of Wellness.

The Wellness Program at Plymouth Harbor, led by Chris Valuck, communicates routinely with SCC Rehab Services, led by Clinical Manager Gina Kanyha.  When a resident in rehab expresses an interest in actively pursuing their recovery by using the facilities in the Wellness Center, a connection is made with Chris Valuck to confer on individual rehab needs and requirements.

While the Wellness Center staff do not provide one-on-one physical training, they are on hand to monitor and attend to resident needs in the strength-training area.  They have found the communication with SCC Rehab Services goes both ways. “It is not uncommon for a resident to share their concern about an observed pain or decreased mobility,” shares Chris. “I can then refer them to Sarah or the other physical therapists in the Smith Care Center where they can receive out-patient rehab services.”

“I like to bring patients over to the Wellness Center before we release them so that I can encourage their use of the Wellness Center and provide an initial orientation to the equipment best suited to their rehab and medical issues,” says Sarah.

One resident shared, “In rehab, I liked the security of knowing that someone (a physical therapist) was there to push me to do things that I didn’t realize I was even capable of doing.  Things (exercises) I would not have dreamed of trying.”  She went on to say that she was encouraged and challenged throughout the process and considered it a great opportunity to learn and continue her exercise program in the Wellness Center once her physical therapy ended.  Her ‘transition’ experience from Rehab Services to the Wellness Center?  “It all just fits together!” she exclaimed.

That’s what it is all about: one smooth transition of care with the goal of optimal health for all residents.

By Chris Valuck

What is the Biodex Balance System?

BiodexIf you’ve never seen this type of equipment, it is because The Biodex Balance System™ SD is generally seen in a rehabilitation setting as opposed to a health club or wellness center.  In a senior rehab setting, Biodex might be used for fall risk screening and subsequent treatment; in a sports medicine setting it may be used as a tool to evaluate an athlete’s functional strengths and weaknesses to help develop a training program.

Biodex is suitable within a wellness center environment also, and Plymouth Harbor is fortunate to have this special piece of equipment in our new Wellness Center.  With minimal instruction, a user can independently and at their own pace, perform several different exercises, such as static and dynamic balance activities,  weight shifting, reaction time, and increasing limits of stability.  Exercises can vary in difficulty to accommodate different ability levels of the user, to improve strength, range of motion, gait and balance.  Since gait and balance disorders are high risk factors for falls, balance training is an important component to a regular fitness program at any age. (www.biodex.com)

One illustration as to the effectiveness of Biodex as a training protocol is a 2012 study conducted by Gusi et al. that incorporated the use of a Biodex in their study involving an older population.  Fear of falling was the primary outcome of the study and dynamic balance & isometric strength was secondary.  After a 12-week program of 30 minutes of balance training per week using the Biodex Balance System, the main findings concluded that the Biodex training protocols reduced the fear of falling and improved dynamic balance and knee strength.  (Gusi et al., 2012)

While not intended to replace physical therapy, Biodex may improve strength, range of motion, gait, and balance among regular users.  If you have not had a demonstration of the Biodex by a member of the Wellness staff, join us for our Equipment Orientation weekly at 11:00 a.m.

 

Gusi, N., Adsuar, J.C., Corzo, H., Pozo-Cruz, B., Olivares, P., & Parraca, J. (2012). Balance training reduces fear of falling and improves dynamic balance and isometric strength in institutionalized older people: a randomized trial. Journal of Physiotherapy, Vol. 58, 97-104.

IMG_0430Ever since he was a young child in Colombia, Luis Revalo remembers loving his bike and the sensation of wind and freedom. When he was 14 years old he fantasized about being a professional cyclist. Then at age 16, he started his professional career racing all over South America. The career ended only three years later when an accident broke his legs and arms. Soon he had to find other work. When Luis moved to the U.S., his new home in New Jersey had both bad traffic and weather, two disincentives for getting back on his bike.

Twenty years passed before he rode again, and that was when he moved to Sarasota in 1999. With favorable weather nearly year round, biking is now a love from which Luis will never again stray.

He indulges mostly in distance biking, riding a carbon fiber Specialized light-weight road bike, just like the professionals use.

This past year when he turned 60, his wife suggested they’d throw a party to celebrate. Instead, Luis said he’d prefer to spend to money for a trip to France during the most famous bike race in the world, the Tour de France. And that’s what he did.

IMG_0522“It was like a dream,” Luis remembers, “It was so beautiful.” Not only was he there to observe the Tour, but he had his own bike with him and rode 70-80 miles every day for 2 ½ weeks.

“The views throughout the Pyrenees Mountains and in these little towns were unbelievable. The people are nice in the south of France,” continues Luis as he shared his impressions. “I met other bikers, and even met a sports broadcaster.  He was old like me, too!”

And he still rides.  In October he participated for the 5th time in a cancer foundation ride 230 miles across the state from Daytona to Sarasota. But this year, he and some friends decided to make it a 460 mile round-trip riding from Sarasota to Daytona while others took a bus, and riding back with the others.

Luis still rides every weekend with people from all walks of life. What’s most important?  That he’s still riding!

 

Wellness Florida Retirement Community

Staff work with residents Jeanne Manser and Geri Johnson to assess gait and balance functionality.

The Health Services Team hosted an open house recently at Plymouth Harbor to highlight the wide breadth of Therapy Services available to residents and community members in this continuing care retirement community.

The Open House provided residents with a glimpse of both the therapy and nursing services offered to them. Physical, Occupational and Speech therapies showcased a diverse and energetic approach to rehabilitation and the spectrum they have to offer the residents. Nursing services from the skilled nursing center, assisted living, and home care  provided blood pressure screenings and insight to the total package of caring individuals within their building. The focus of this Open House was to address the “One Stop Shopping” for meeting their healthcare needs at Plymouth Harbor.

“We decided to do this in a fun, expo-like format, so that our residents would have a good time while getting to know the breadth of services that are available to them here,” says Joe Devore, Vice President of Health Services.  “Some of our residents are not aware that full therapy services are right here at Plymouth Harbor for their convenience.”

The entire room was buzzing during the afternoon as residents visited station after station to assess their own functional levels in balance, cognitive memory recall, endurance, and even blood pressure.  Residents could also sign up to volunteer in the Smith Care Center if they have interest.

Many residents came out to the Open House to learn more about the therapy services offered.  Visitors could register to win the drawing for a gift basket.

Many residents came out to the Open House to learn more about the therapy services offered. Visitors could register to win the drawing for a gift basket.

Staff in occupational, speech, and physical therapy led the balance, endurance, and memory cognition assessments.  Greg Carvajal, who works with our therapists and led part of the assessments, added, “We are looking for fall risks and functional deficits during these assessments. If we detect any here, we can recommend that they follow up with the staff at a later date, and hopefully avoid serious injury.”

Gina Kanyha, Director of Rehabilitation Services at the Smith Care Center, hopes to introduce the residents to the therapy staff.  “Our goal was to bring the faces of the team to all residents and let them know who we are and that we are there for them.  This also gives us an opportunity to showcase the services we can offer.”

Also available during the open house was staff from the Smith Care Center, Home Health Services, and Assisted Living.  “We are here to provide services for our residents and building that relationship early, even before they ever need our health services makes it so much more comfortable for all of us when and if the need arises,” said Stacy Baker, Director of Nursing Home Health.