Author Archive

Exciting Water-In-Motion Class to be Held in Early 2019

. Posted in Events, FPH, Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

Florida Presbyterian Homes is proud to announce the WATERinMOTION pool exercise program is coming soon. This fun workout takes place in the pool and combines cardio training with muscle toning, all set to energizing music and choreography. “It’s a class that will keep you moving and put a smile on your face the entire time,” said Alison Kennedy, Director of the Wellness Program at Florida Presbyterian Homes.

The class will be open to FPH residents and will be held in the Munn Pool on Wednesdays at 10 am beginning in late January or early February depending on the weather. There will be no cost for residents. Anyone who has been given the go-ahead from their physician to begin a fitness program after an injury or to participate in a workout regimen may attend.

“Our program will be the Platinum version of WATERinMOTION that includes choreography and music geared toward older adults,” said Kennedy. Platinum also offers a shallow-water, low-impact aqua exercise experience that is designed to improve cardiovascular endurance, agility, balance, strength and flexibility. “And, the class will be taught by a WATERinMOTION champion that has not only been teaching the program since it began 8 years ago, but also is featured on the WATERinMOTION videos. We’re very lucky to have this instructor on our campus and providing this amazing aquatic experience.”

Kennedy says that WATERinMOTION allows participants to enjoy a vigorous workout without the pull of gravity on their body. There are many cross-training effects the water provides reducing the impact on the joints, specifically the knees and back. Any necessary equipment will be provided at the pool.

“Interested residents should let me know as soon as possible if they would like to participate,” said Kennedy. “I will keep their name on a list and notify them when we determine a start date in early 2019.” Kennedy can be reached by email at at or by phone at (863) 577-6022.

Doing your Best to Beat the Holiday Blues

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

For most people, the holidays are a time of family gatherings, friends and happiness. Calendars are stacked full with shopping, parties and celebrations. But for some, this time of year can be just the opposite.

Holidays can be a source of the blues thinking about the loss of a loved one, the passing of time, poor health, chronic pain or concerns about money. All of these sad thoughts make it hard to enjoy the holidays. In fact, these feelings can lead to loneliness, sadness or depression, at a time when you least expect it. 

Here are a few tips to help cope with the holiday blues.

  1. Adjust your holiday expectations – Not every holiday will be same and be open to creating new traditions.
  2. Don’t be alone – Ask for help traveling to parties, social and religious events. 
  3. Pamper yourself – Use the holidays as an excuse to do something for you, like a spa day.
  4. Mark your calendar – Stick to your wellness routine of exercise, healthy eating and getting plenty of sleep.
  5. Drink responsibly – Don’t over indulge during the holidays because too much alcohol can make one feel more depressed.
  6. Accept your feelings – If you have lost a loved one, recognize your feelings of sadness and grief as being normal.
  7. Talk about your situation – Don’t isolate yourself, but talk with friends, family or clergy about your feelings.

Holiday blues are mild and should only be temporary, but depression is serious and lasting. Signs of depression are sadness that won’t lift, frequent crying, feeling restless, decreased energy, fatigue or trouble concentrating. Recognize the signs and take action. If you or your loved one feels the situation is more than just holiday blues, talk to your healthcare provider. Remember, depression is not only common, but it’s also treatable.  



** Information provided by the Health in Aging Foundation, 11/2015

Flower Ministry Volunteer Polly Carland Named December Wellness Star

. Posted in FPH, Journey to Healthy Aging Blog, News

Florida Presbyterian Homes is pleased to announce that Polly Carland has been awarded the Wellness Star for December 2018. 

This month’s award focuses on both the occupational and social dimensions of wellness. The occupational dimension can be defined as work that utilizes a person’s skills.  Whereas, the social dimension one’s ability to connect with other people. Carland is a great example of someone who uses both of these dimensions in her daily routine.

Since volunteering is such an important factor on the FPH campus, the flower ministry is just one example of residents serving residents. Carland has been participating in the flower ministry for seven years. “The FPH community has been good to me and it is important to find ways to serve others,” said Carland.  “By volunteering, it helps connect you with other residents, keeps you from being isolated, and provides simple acts of kindness.” 

Carland explained that Chapel flowers are taken apart and redistributed in vases as part of the flower ministry. It usually takes about 45 minutes to separate and prepare the flowers. The new arrangements are then taken by a team of flower ministry volunteers to the health center. Carland not only arranges the vases, but also helps to organize the team of volunteers who receive a flower delivery schedule. 

Carland says the FPH chapel is a sacred place and the flowers are part of the chapel. She is very happy the flowers continue to be enjoyed by people who need them. 

When asked what wellness means to her, Carland replied, “Wellness is the ability to live a long, happy, satisfying life.  FPH offers us that opportunity and how we respond to it is inside each of us.”

November Wellness Star Awarded to Tom Brown

. Posted in FPH, Journey to Healthy Aging Blog, News

Florida Presbyterian Homes is pleased to announce the November Wellness Star award winner — resident Tom Brown. This month’s wellness star focused on the social dimension of wellness. This dimension refers to an ability to interact successfully with others. It involves developing relationships with others, showing respect for yourself and others, and sharing your God-given skills and talents with others.

Tom was given the November star because he excels in the social dimension of wellness. He was a pastor for 21 years at two churches in Colorado. Tom also spent time as an Associate Executive for church development with the Presbytery and 14 years at FPH as an Associate Director and Executive Director. It was in those days when the motto “home with the heart” was developed.

Tom was happy to be awarded the November Wellness star and said, “I love FPH and want to honor it.” He went on to say that his work in a variety of settings has provided an opportunity to hone his good listening skills. “I listen more than I talk,” said Tom. “You hear a lot more that way.”

Through the years, Tom has become skilled at building relationships with people at all levels and is intuitive about people’s needs, offering a kind word or helping hand when needed. He doesn’t like the spotlight and prefers random acts of kindness without anyone knowing. These acts may include throwing a newspaper closer to someone’s front door, walking a neighbor’s dog or offering words of encouragement at just the right time.

According to FPH’s Pastor Barbara, Tom is the type of person who, whenever there is a strong need, he will be the one to show up and do what has to be done. “Tom sees with his heart and soul,” said Pastor Barbara. “He hears the call to meet a need and then does it.”

When we asked Tom what wellness meant to him, he replied, “Having mental and physical well-being. It is exercise, reading, being social and having discussions with others.”

Congratulations, Tom, for being the November Wellness Star award recipient. We applaud your efforts.



Maintaining Balance Should be a Top Priority

. Posted in FPH, Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

By Alison Kennedy, FPH Wellness Director

Is it getting harder to balance your body weight while standing on one foot? Do you find yourself off balance more often than not? Then now may be a good time to work to improve your balance, which will also help decrease your risk of falling.

Balance is the process of controlling the body’s center of mass with respect to its base of support. It can also be described as the inner ear working with the eyes, muscles, and joints. Poor balance can lead to falling. And falls among older adults are a big concern and a leading cause of injuries.

There are multiple factors that cause falls. These factors include taking multiple medications, lack of exercise, chronic illnesses, and a decline in physical and cognitive capacities. Conversely, good posture, strength and flexibility exercises, and an active lifestyle are just a few core ingredients that can help improve balance.

Unfortunately, many seniors believe that loss of balance, strength, endurance and flexibility are inevitable. Not true, says the National Institute on Aging. “When older people lose their ability to do things on their own, it doesn’t happen just because they have aged. More likely it is because they have become inactive.” (Source: Exercise: A Guide from the National Institute on Aging.)

Research utilizing exercise as well as other strategies has been used on healthy older adults with balance problems and has indicated moderate to large improvements in balance and mobility as well as a reduction in falls. And that’s good news for those of us who want to reverse or slow down the rate of decline in the systems that affect balance.

Consider signing up for a group exercise class that focuses on balance, such as tai chi or yoga for seniors. Look to exercises on the internet, such as those from the National Institute on Aging (, or consider DVDs or videos that you can do at home and that are specifically geared for seniors and balance.

October Wellness Star Awarded to Velma Purucker for Environmental Efforts

. Posted in FPH, Journey to Healthy Aging Blog, News

Florida Presbyterian Homes proudly named resident Velma Purucker as the Wellness Star for October 2018. Velma was recognized for her efforts in the environmental dimension of wellness. “It’s important to consider the environment when considering our overall health and well-being,” said Alison Kennedy, Florida Presbyterian’s Wellness Director. “The environmental dimension of wellness is significant because it promotes green spaces, such as walking paths and gardens, encourages recycling and shows consideration of the environment and our important natural resources.”

Velma Purucker

Kennedy was pleased to acknowledge Velma as the October Star since she is a shining example of Environmental Wellness. Over the past several years, Velma has transformed the front and back of her living area into a beautiful garden with potted plants and flowers. “I grew up tending to gardens and plants,” said Velma, “and I’ve always had a green thumb – even as a youngster!”

Velma said she enjoys growing roses and tries to acquire plants that flower year-round. Velma’s friend, Carol Kahlenberg, helps her with the upkeep. People continually compliment the beauty of the garden area. “Carol and I put a lot of work into it,” said Velma, “and it makes me feel good when others enjoy the garden too.”

When asked what wellness means to her, Velma replied, “It is happiness, joy, being able to do the things I want to do, and being able to take care of myself.”

Kennedy added that regardless of our age, we all benefit from the beauty of flowering plants and an attractive outdoor landscape. “Velma’s garden is a wonderful example of bringing people into the natural environment,” said Kennedy, “and for this, we are pleased to recognize Velma with this month’s star.”

Protecting Seniors from Money Scams

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog, News

It’s sad to hear stories about older Americans who fall prey to financial scams. Sometimes these scams are hard to detect; sometimes not — if you’re well informed.

Why not safeguard yourself?

Click HERE to read an informative article with 8 tips to protect yourself and your loved ones — brought to you by the National Council on Aging and the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement.


Balance Class to be Held in January

. Posted in Events, FPH, News

A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls is an 8-week class set to begin on January 24, 2019. The class, which is open to the community, is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. It will be held on Thursday mornings from 9:30 am – 11:30 am in the game room at Florida Presbyterian Homes.

The program will benefit older adults who:

  • Are concerned about falls.
  • Have sustained falls in the past.
  • Restrict activities because of concerns about falling.
  • Are interested in information concerning fall prevention.
  • Are interested in improving flexibility, balance and strength.
  • Are age 60 or older.

Space is limited, so call the Wellness Department at 863-577-6022 to reserve a spot in this upcoming class. A lite snack and workbook are provided. Sign up today!

Protein is Power to Fuel Your Day

. Posted in FPH, Journey to Healthy Aging Blog, News

When you eat healthy, you have more energy.

Healthy food rich in proteins

Think of food as fuel for the body. Important nutrients, like protein, help to build muscle and maintain strength.

In the spirit of Active Aging Week, held Sept. 23-29, 2018 to celebrate the positivity of aging and active living, check out the foods on this handout with at least 5 grams of protein.

Click HERE to view.

Preventing Falls: Tips for Older Adults & Caregivers

. Posted in FPH, Journey to Healthy Aging Blog, News

Did you know that 1 in 4 older adults will fall this year?

Maybe you even think falling is inevitable as you age.

But the good news is, most falls are preventable.

Florida Presbyterian Homes celebrated Falls Prevention Awareness Day on Sept. 22, 2018. This special day focused on keeping older adults safe and active.

You can learn 6 simple steps to prevent a fall by clicking HERE.

© 2014 Florida Presbyterian Homes
16 Lake Hunter Drive - Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-688-5521 or Marketing: 863-577-6001