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Social Resident Wins November Wellness Star Award

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

Florida Presbyterian Homes is pleased to recognize resident Kay B. as the Wellness Star Award winner for November 2020.

This month’s wellness star focused on the social dimension of wellness, which can be defined as one’s ability to interact well and develop positive relationships with others.

Social-Resident-Wins-November-Wellness-Star-AwardKay has always been a social person; a real social butterfly.  “Kay is the type of person who keeps a full calendar,” says her good friend Mary. “She has many friends from her church and her old neighborhood. Everyone there still stays in touch with her.”

Mary went on to describe Kay as being such a nice woman that people just gravitate toward her.

“As neighbors, Kay would stop over and visit two or three times a day to talk about a variety of things,” said Mary. “She enjoys playing bingo and going to her favorite exercise classes. Plus, she participates in various activities on her floor, and she really enjoys interacting with other residents.”

When asked what wellness mean to her, Kay said, “To be able to do what you want to do. Also, exercising is good for you — especially at my age.”

Kay – We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations to Kay and to her commitment to wellness.

Retired? It’s Important to Stay Active in Body & Mind

. Posted in FPH, Journey to Healthy Aging Blog


– By Alison Kennedy Hand, MS, Wellness Director, Florida Presbyterian Homes

Do you want to feel better, move better and sleep better? Staying active may be the answer as you move into your golden years.

stay-active-in-your-golden-yearsFind opportunities to stay active throughout the day.

You can walk your dog, reduce time in front of the television and computer, move during commercials or walk to the mailbox. Dance to your favorite music or join an exercise class.

It’s important to take care of your mind, too. Stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on your health.

Helpful mind boosting activities include deep breathing, playing cards or games, listening to classical music or watching a funny movie.

Remember, every little bit helps. Try it, you may like it!


Source: American College of Sports Medicine. Exercise is Medicine, 5 Ways to Stay Active in the Golden Years 2019. By Marias Butas.

Community Update – October 27th

. Posted in FPH

The following is a summary from the Agency for Health Care Administration: “On October 22, 2020, at the direction of Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz issued Emergency Order 20-011 revising some of the requirements for individuals entering residential and long-term care facilities.

The revisions include the following:

  • Collapse Essential Caregiver into the Compassionate Caregiver definition
  • Require signage in the facility for infection control reminders
  • Clarify hospice may serve their residents
  • Allow resident visits from their legal counsel when virtual means are not available
  • Eliminate maximum limit on the number of visitors a resident may have listed – the facility must have policies addressing the number of visitors allowed with a resident or in the facility at one time
  • Allow children to visit with appropriate monitoring
  • Allow outdoor visitation regardless of facility COVID cases”

The full Executive Order may be found at the following website:

We ask for patience as we update our current policies to reflect these changes.

Routine Testing of Staff
Porter McGrath staff continue to be tested weekly. Routine testing should be based on the extent of the virus in the community; therefore, facilities should use their county positivity rate in the prior week as the trigger for staff testing frequency.

Testing of Staff and Residents in Response to an Outbreak
An outbreak is defined as a new COVID-19 infection in any healthcare personnel (HCP) or any nursing home-onset COVID-19 infection in a resident. In an outbreak investigation, rapid identification and isolation of new cases is critical in stopping further viral transmission. A resident who is admitted to the facility with COVID-19 does not constitute a facility outbreak. Upon identification of a single new case of COVID-19 infection in any staff or residents, all staff and residents should be tested, and all staff and residents that tested negative should be retested every 3 days to 7 days until testing identifies no new cases of COVID-19 infection among staff or residents for a period of at least 14 days since the most recent positive result. Therefore, residents were COVID tested again this week.

Please continue to wear your masks, maintain social distancing of 6 feet or more (The CDC confirmed recently that the virus can be airborne transmitted), and limit exposure to people you do not live with as much as possible.  People can be presymptomatic or asymptomatic and be contagious.


Stay safe,

Maria Rivera, Administrator

National Medication Take Back Day Set for Oct. 24

. Posted in Events, News

The 2020 National Medication Take Back Day is set for Saturday, October 24. You can be green and keep your community safe by dropping off unwanted or expired medications — including medicines for both humans and pets.

Safe disposal drop off locations are available from 10 am – 2 pm all throughout Polk County.


Auburndale Police Department  – 2 Bobby Green Plaza

Bartow Police Department – 450 North Broadway Ave.

Davenport Police Department – 16 Bay Street W

Haines City Police Department – 35400 Highway 27

Lakeland Police Department – 219 N. Massachusetts Avenue

Lake Alfred Police Department – 190 N. Seminole Avenue

Lake Hamilton Police Department – 100 Smith Avenue

Lake Wales Police Department – 133 E. Tillman Avenue

Winter Haven Police Department – 125 N. Lake Silver Drive NW

This year’s event is presented by StandUp Polk, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration and Polk County Waste & Recycling. For more information, please call StandUp Polk at 863-802-0777.

Swimming Keeps October Wellness Star Active and Happy

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

Florida Presbyterian Homes is happy to announce resident Hope K. as the award winner of the Wellness Star for October 2020.

This month’s wellness star focused on the physical dimension of wellness, which can be defined as lifestyle choices that can maintain or improve health and functional ability.

October-Wellness-Star-Award-Winner-At-Florida-Presbyterian-Homes-Lakeland-FLHope, pictured here in the pool, has been an active person throughout most of her life. In high school, she was a baton twirler and would jump hurdles on the track. But her favorite activity, above all others, has always been swimming. Hope has wonderful memories of her family spending time at the lake every Memorial Day holiday, where the kids would enjoy competing to see who could swim across the lake first. “I’ve always enjoyed the water and have been around it for as long as I can recall,” said Hope.

During World War II, however, Hope worked as a nurse and wasn’t able to swim during that time. “I was very busy as an operating room nurse in England, France and Belgium,” said Hope. But once her military career ended, Hope was able to get back to the pool and stayed active with both swimming and walking.

She continues her love of swimming today, rarely missing her pool time here at FPH. Before Covid-19, her daughter Kristen would join her at the pool and they would exercise together. “My time in the pool is invigorating and the water helps me to move much easier,” said Hope.

When asked for the secret to her longevity, Hope said, “I don’t let things bother me. I do not stew about them or let things get to me.” She also said there are days she has to push herself to get up and move, even when she doesn’t feel like it. “I get up and press on.”

Congrats to Hope and her good advice as this month’s Wellness Star award winner.

Community Update – October 19th

. Posted in FPH

The positivity rates for Polk County remain above 5% and therefore we continue weekly COVID testing of our Porter McGrath (PMG) employees. Last Friday, we received the results of 117 employees tested and one employee tested positive. Contact-line listing was conducted and reported to the Polk County Department of Health per regulations. General visitation and Beauty Salon appointments for PMG have ceased for 14 days. Residents of PMG were re-tested upon consent and results are expected today.

On our campus please continue to wear your masks, maintain social distancing of 6 feet or more (The CDC confirmed recently that the virus can be airborne transmitted), and limit exposure to people you do not live with as much as possible.  People are typically most contagious before they start showing symptoms and it has been estimated that up to 40% of people can be “asymptomatic” meaning they do not exhibit active symptoms.

Dr. Redfield of the CDC recently stated “But what we are seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually the acquisition of infection through small household gatherings. Particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it is really important to stress the vigilance of these mitigation steps in the household setting.” The US is seeing a resurgence in cases and 36 states (not including Florida) have seen a rise of new cases by more than 10% in the past week versus the week prior. 12 states reported their highest seven-day case averages. Europe is also seeing a resurgence. Should Polk County see a significant resurgence, like what we experienced earlier this year, we will need to reinstate additional safety guidelines to minimize risk to our residents and staff. Hopefully, we will not need to reinstate such guidelines.

Please reach out to a member of our team if you have any questions or concerns.


Thank you and be well,

Joe Xanthopoulos, CEO/Executive Director and Maria Rivera, Administrator

Don’t Let Isolation Get the Best of You

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

 – By Marilyn R., Wellness Committee Co-Chair

According to a recent article I read written by a therapist, isolation not only zaps our energy but can also lead to depression.  The recent pandemic and quarantine has certainly taught us that.

Don't-let-self-isolation-get-you-downLet’s be mindful of ways to help ourselves when the impact of isolation sets in:

  1. Keep a good schedule every day, waking up at the same time, eating healthy meals, and getting plenty of exercise. Prayer or meditation can help as well.
  2. Contact friends and family by social media or phone.  It’s a good chance to catch up and the interaction will lessen your feelings of separation.

This is all easier said than done. But, by helping yourself, you can help others too.

Recognizing Falls Prevention Week

. Posted in FPH, Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

– By Alison Kennedy Hand, MS, Wellness Director, Florida Presbyterian Homes

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This holds a lot of truth for Falls Prevention, as well.

Falls are a leading cause of death due to injury for people over the age of 65. But, there are several things older adults can do to stay fall free.

Considering Falls Prevention Week is Sept. 21-25, 2020, now is a great time to take these 6 simple steps to prevent a fall in the future:

  • Keep moving – find a good balance/exercise program. And wear sensible shoes too!
  • Talk to a Doc – make an appointment with your health care provider and be prepared to answer questions.
  • Be aware – review your medications with your doctor for any potential side effects or interactions that may impact your balance or risk of falling.
  • Hear it – schedule an annual hearing test.
  • See it – get a vision test each year
  • Remove home hazards – keep your home free of clutter and tripping hazards. Also, keep it well lit, consider nonslip mats, and install hand rails and grab bars where appropriate.

For more information visit

Community Update – Sept. 21, 2020

. Posted in FPH

The above chart was reported on September 14th by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) on their website. There were 83 confirmed new cases in Polk County on Sept. 14th and only 53 new cases the day before . . . the trendline is better. Bars opened at 50% occupancy and with more stringent protocols. On 9/12 we saw a bit of a spike of new cases to 134 in Polk County possibly related to the recent holiday. The average age of cases has dropped from an average median from March through August of about 54 to 40 (as of Monday per the FDOH) largely due to younger people (34 and under) cases rising. The City of Lakeland and many area businesses continue to mandate mask-wearing and social distancing.

A new Visitation Policy and related protocols and forms for Porter McGrath (PMG) and Assisted Living (AL) have been implemented. Visitation in PMG and AL is by pre-scheduled appointment only. Per the Visitation Policy and in keeping with the Governor’s Emergency Order, first, the PMG or AL resident (or his/her legal representative) completes a form designating their chosen Essential Caregivers (2 people), Compassionate Care Visitors (2 people), and General Visitors (5 people) allowed to visit them. Anyone who is not on a designation form will not be provided a visitation. Those who have been designated will receive a packet including a Consent Form they must sign and return our Visitation Policy, a copy of the Emergency Order, Visitation Protocols for Window Visits, Outdoor Visits, and Indoor Visits, as appropriate. Approved “general” visitors must use “SignUpGenius,” a free web-based event registration tool to schedule a visit. They will be asked to arrive early for their visit to complete their infection control and protocols training before they can participate in a visit. General visits are required to be monitored by staff and General Visitors must maintain social distancing and wear a mask at all times. Visits are limited to 20 minutes. Should we have a positive COVID test-result, general visitation must be put on hold for at least 14-days.

The state’s required bi-weekly testing of all AL and Skilled Care staff ended last week. The federal government’s weekly testing of staff who work in Skilled Care started last Monday. If Polk County averages a positivity test rate of 10% or greater for 7+days, we would be required to test twice a week. If we get one positive resident or staff member, we will be required to test twice a week and we heard last week that they may require us to test all PMG residents (we presently have zero confirmed positive residents).

Please reach out to a member of our team if you have any questions or concerns.

Be well,

Joe Xanthopoulos, Executive Director and CEO

September Wellness Star Awarded to Faithful Exerciser

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

Florida Presbyterian Homes has named resident Gerry H. as the Wellness Star award winner for September 2020. This month’s wellness star focuses on the physical dimension of wellness, which can be defined as lifestyle choices designed to maintain or improve health and functional ability.

Wellness-Star-Award-Winner-for-SeptemberWhen you think about Gerry, you think about her being faithful in two ways —

  1. committed to her faith, and
  2. faithful to exercise as a means to improve her quality of life.

Gerry has been very faithful about exercise since graduating from her rehabilitation program with Lisa, her FPH physical therapist. “It was a smooth transition from rehab to the wellness program because I was already familiar with the machines,” said Gerry. “I go to the McArthur [Exercise] Center every day except Sunday to do the strength machines or to ride the NuStep.”

After finishing rehab, Gerry said she needed to be persistent and keep doing the exercises even when she didn’t feel like it. “A person doesn’t have to get weaker just because they’re getting older,” said Gerry. “The machines help to develop muscles and make you stronger, even with your daily activities. I’m able to put on a fitted bed sheet, to move more confidently around the house, and I can get up and out of a chair without help.”

Gerry says that she has had some tough times in her life, but her friend told her: God will give you whatever you need to get through each day. This faith-filled quote keeps her going and helps her stay faithful to her exercise program.

When asked what wellness mean to her, Gerry said, “Growth in spirituality and a dependence on God, thinking, eating, exercising, and living your best life.”

Well said, Gerry, well said.

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16 Lake Hunter Drive - Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-688-5521 or Marketing: 863-577-6001