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Community Update – September 8, 2020

. Posted in FPH

On September 1st, the Governor issued the Division of Emergency Management Emergency Order No. 20-009 regarding visitation in long term care facilities (Assisted Living and Skilled Care/Short Term Rehab). The Order was implemented upon his signature, but the state has stated they would give AL and Skilled facilities time to put protocols and policies in place.

Each AL and Skilled Care resident or his or her legal representative may designate up to two “Essential Caregivers” (Those who provide assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, eating, and/or emotional support; two “Compassionate Care” visitors providing emotional support to help a resident deal with difficult transition or loss, an upsetting event, or end-of-life (more episodic occurrences); and up to five “General” visitors. In all cases, no more than two visitors at a time are allowed for a resident unless at imminent end-of-life. General Visitors are prohibited until a facility has 14 concurrent days with no new facility onset of staff or residents COVID-19 cases. For a positive staff member, it is 14 days from when a positive staff member was in the facility ten days prior to the positive test.

We are presently developing policies and protocols as the state required so it will be a few days before we have these policies and protocols in place and can then safely support visitation. We are allowed per the Order to:

  • set a limit on the total number of visitors allowed at any given point on campus based on staffing ability to screen and monitor visitations;
  • develop an agreeable schedule for visitation;
  • provide and require infection prevention and control training including proper use of PPE, hand hygiene, and social distancing;
  • require appropriate PPE to be worn while on campus;
  • limit the visitors’ access to the defined visitation area and require the visitor to wear their PPE and maintain safe distancing from all other residents and staff going to and from the designated visitation area;
  • maintain a visitor screening process and visitor log;
  • prohibit visits, except for compassionate care visits, if the resident is quarantined or if the resident is positive for or shows symptoms. General visitors would be prohibited;
  • after attempts to mitigate concerns, restrict, or revoke visitation if the essential caregiver or compassionate care visitor fails to follow prevention and control requirements or other COVID related rules.

The Order also states that we have to have sufficient staff to support visitations; adequate PPE for staff, adequate cleaning, and disinfectant supplies; and our referral hospitals must have adequate capacity.  We need to provide outdoor visitation spaces (which we have in place) and are developing safe indoor visitation spaces. The Order notes that general visitation must be scheduled, and we limit the length of visits, days of visits, hours for visitation, and the number of visits per week based on the ability of staff to screen and monitor scheduled visits.

No doubt this Emergency Order will be well received by both family and residents who have not been in the same room with their loved ones since the Governor’s Executive Order back in March. We recognize the Executive Order was put in place to best minimize the risk of COVID-19 to the most vulnerable population. Now, with this Emergency Order, we need to all work together to assure that it is rolled out in a safe and organized manner for the wellbeing of all.  If you would like to read the Order it can be found at  Once we have our: form for AL and PMG residents to list their Essential Caregivers, Compassionate Care Visitors, and General Visitors and a Visitation Consent Form for each visitor to complete and sign acknowledging they have completed training provided and they understand, accept and agree to adhere to the terms identified in the documentation provided; and all policies and protocols defined as stated in Emergency Order, we will assist AL and Skilled resident with completing their form and notifying their selected Essential, Compassionate, and General visitors they have been selected. Then we will provide those selected with Visitation Forms and our Protocols and Policies including how to go about scheduling visits.  We need to stress that no one can show up unscheduled on campus and expect to see their loved one under this Emergency Order.  We need to follow the requirements and guidelines identified in the Order.

We continue to ask every RL and IL resident to wear a mask when out of his/her home where social distancing could be difficult. Masks are required in all FPH buildings. For those out walking their dogs, running, walking, bicycling, have a mask with you, and should you approach someone, please wear your mask on until you are safely clear from the person.

Please reach out to a member of our team with any questions or concerns.

Stay safe and many blessings,

Joe Xanthopoulos

Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

Healthful Tips – from the FPH wellness committee

. Posted in FPH, Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

 – By Marilyn R., Wellness Committee Co-Chair

Summer is here and the pandemic along with it. Combining the need to stay home with all this summertime heat can be challenging. Your wellness committee members would like to share some good food for thought:


  • Keep Moving. Even though you may be home, try to stay active.
  • Take a Breathe. Get some fresh air and sunshine.
  • Be Safe. Remember to stay 6-feet apart, wash your hands, wear your masks and use hand sanitizer.
  • Stay Hydrated. In other words – drink your water!
  • Keep Busy. Find something to do — read a book, do a puzzle, take a walk, make a craft.
  • Reach Out. Stay in touch with friends and family, virtually if you can.
  • Stay Connected. We’re all in this together.

These are helpful tips that might not seem easy, but with a little effort, they can be.

Matter of Balance Class Set to Begin in September

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

Balance-class-set-to-begin-in-September-at-Florida-Presbyterian-Homes-in-Lakeland-FLThe Wellness Department at Florida Presbyterian Homes is pleased to announce the next program dedicated to reducing the fear of falling and increasing activity levels among older adults. Entitled “A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls,” this evidence-based class will begin on Tuesday, September 8 and run one afternoon each week for 8 weeks.

This class is only open to residents of FPH and will be offered on both the North and South sides of campus. The program is designed to 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 or email to reserve a spot by Tuesday, Sept. 1. A lite snack and workbook are provided. Sign up today!

Avid Runner Wins August Wellness Star Award

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

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

This month’s wellness star focused on the physical dimension of wellness, which can be defined as lifestyle choices that maintain or improve health and functional ability. And this month’s winner does just that — she embraces physical activity for a healthier lifestyle.

florida-presbyterian-homes-wellness-star-award-winner-august-2020Joan has been physically active throughout most of her life. She was a cheerleader and tennis player in high school and continued to be very active into adulthood. She enjoyed many activities with her husband such as sail boating, showing Quarter horses, running and cycling. Since she and her husband were able to retire early, it allowed them time to make several annual trips to Europe during the months of May and June, where they enjoyed cycling through different countries. “Those are good months in Europe because of the weather and not being crowded with too many tourists,” said Joan. All in all, they traveled through thirteen countries over the course of their cycling trips!

Another activity Joan enjoys is running. She has long been an avid runner, racing in events from a 5K to different marathons. Joan ran her first marathon in Italy at the age of 70. She also ran several half marathons at Walt Disney World and in Miami. She even won her age group at the Army ten miler!

Joan continues to stay active at FPH with group exercise classes and swimming. “Being active helps keep me independent and I feel better when I exercise,” said Joan. “It’s important for people to make the effort and find something they like to keep them active and not isolate themselves.”

When asked what wellness means to her, Joan said: “It is feeling good about myself, being around other people and having  confidence in myself.” Good advice from this month’s Wellness Star.

Sun Safety for All

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

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

Florida is the sunshine state and we need to protect ourselves from getting too much sun. The summer months can be especially harmful due the longer days, stronger sun and more people spending time outdoors.

What can you do to protect yourself from too much sun exposure? Here are some helpful tips to reduce your risk of skin damage and skin cancer:

  1. Remember to seek shade under an umbrella, tree or shelter when spending time outdoors.
  2. Wear long sleeved shirt or pants. Some clothing has ultraviolet protection factor built into it.
  3. Wear a hat with a brim that will cover your face, ears, and back of your neck.
  4. Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. The best sunglasses are those that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  5. Use sunscreen. The best sunscreens are those that offer broad spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays. Choose a sunscreen that has at least a 30 SPF sun protection factor and water resistant. Check the expiration date before using your sunscreen. Most are good for 2-3 years.

By keeping these tips in mind, you should be all set to enjoy another beautiful, sunny day in paradise, otherwise known as Florida.

Source: CDC and the American Cancer Society

Community Update – August 11, 2020

. Posted in FPH

Dear Family and Friends,

The following is an excerpt from the news release, “Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Task Force to Explore the Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long-Term Care Facilities.” The full news release can be found at

“Tallahassee, Fla. – On Aug 6, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the formation of Florida’s Task Force on the Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long-Term Care Facilities. Members of the task force will work together to develop guidelines on how to safely allow family members to visit their loved ones in Florida’s long-term care facilities where visitation has been prohibited since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘The last four and a half months have been difficult for all Floridians, especially our residents in long-term care facilities and their families,’ said Governor DeSantis. ‘In an effort to protect our most vulnerable, we made the difficult decision in March to prohibit visitation to these facilities. While these measures were necessary, it has taken an emotional toll on our families. I look forward to the ideas that arise from this task force on how we can continue our mission to protect the vulnerable while allowing for the much-needed human connection of spending time with family and friends.’”

We hope to get more information soon and will be sure to pass on the information as soon as possible.

Currently, we have no COVID cases in our resident population. Our two positive employees remain off the work schedule. We have a good supply of Personal Protective Equipment including N95s, gowns, and face shields. The use of UVC lights and/or fogging with an electro-static system has become a normal cleaning protocol following our typical deep cleaning practices after any room changes, discharges, or bouts of illness. Staff continues to be tested every two weeks, per the CDC guidelines. If you would like to schedule a video call (Zoom, FaceTime, Skype) with your loved one, please reach out to a member of our Life Enrichment Team.

Please reach out to a member of our team if there are any questions or concerns.

Stay safe and be blessed,

Maria Rivera, Administrator

Community Update – July 20, 2020

. Posted in FPH

On Sunday, July 12, Florida set a record for total new confirmed cases in the country at 15,000+ and an almost 20% positive confirmed to tested percentage. The numbers in Florida continue to rise well above the targets set by the White House COVID-19 Task Force for phased re-openings. Our country has the highest number of confirmed cases and the highest death rate in the world. We are doing the best we can following guidelines and protocols provided through Executive Orders, the CDC, AHCA, the DOH, and the NIAID/NIH. Community spread in our area is a major challenge in mitigating the risk to our residents and our staff.

This past week a beloved resident passed on due to COVID-19. As of 7/20/20, we have one resident of PMG in our “COVID” designated area on the PMG first floor. We also have two other COVID-19 positive residents in Lakeland Regional Hospital. We presently have three staff members who have been confirmed and are at their respective homes.

Our resident in residential living who was confirmed with COVID-19 at the beginning of the month is back on campus and doing well. All residents who participated in contact tracing relative to this occurrence were tested and all came back negative. We have instituted updated procedures for our community and amenity spaces to help keep our residents and staff safe.

Together with faith in God and seeking his help, guidance, protection, and finding peace through him, we will get through this. The wellbeing of our residents and staff continues to be our priority. We follow the clinical directives and protocols of the leading clinical experts in disease control and prevention as well as executive orders and our regulatory agencies. We take conservative approaches in every level of living seeking to minimize risk, exposure, and spread. We encourage staff (and residents) to seek out help and direction when they have questions or concerns . . . no one carries the burden on their own, together we can carry more than we can individually.

We continue to implore those around us to please stay safe; wear a mask; maintain social distancing, and wash your hands thoroughly. We are thankful for the dedication of our staff each and every day to protect our residents and each other.

Be well and stay well,

Joseph J. Xanthopoulos, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

Staying Hydrated

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

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

Summer months spell heat and humidity. Staying hydrated is tricky during these hot months because people are sweating more.

Staying-Hydrated-Is-ImportantDehydration is a common cause of hospitalizations for adults over the age of 65. With the adult body being over 60% water, making sure you stay hydrated is very important.

Why? Staying hydrated helps:

  • to regulate body temperature
  • to improve sleep quality
  • to keep bowel movements regular
  • to keep organs functioning properly
  • to maintain lubrication in joints
  • to enhance circulation, and
  • to reduce the risk of kidney stones.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep you hydrated:

Invest in a water bottle. They come in all shapes and sizes, so find one unique to you.

Keep track of your fluid intake. You can do this by adding up the ounces as you drink throughout the day and writing it down.

Drink better tasting water. Consider investing in a filter, such as a Brita pitcher filter, or one that can be installed at your sink or in your refrigerator.

Eat fruits and veggies with a high water content. Examples include watermelons, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Keep an eye on your urine. Urine should be a pale color — not dark, cloudy or foul-smelling.

Watch the coffee and alcohol. These fluids are diuretics, making you urinate more often and retain less water in your body.

 – Source:, by Alex Van Buren

July Wellness Star Shines Bright With Commitment to Her Faith

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

Florida Presbyterian Homes has named resident Nancy T. as the Wellness Star award winner for July 2020. This month’s wellness star focuses on the spiritual dimension of wellness, which can be defined as living with meaning and purpose in life, either through group or individual faith-based activities.

July-Wellness-star-award-winner-at-florida-presbyterian-homesNancy’s life is a great example of the spiritual dimension of wellness. She volunteers at First Presbyterian Church in Lakeland, as well as here at FPH. Her spiritual journey as a Christian began when she was 11 years old, and strengthened as she matured and fully understood what it meant to have joy for the LORD. In fact, her favorite verse is Nehemiah 8:10, “the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nancy strongly believes a person must make a point to recognize joy even when things around them aren’t joyful.

While Nancy misses living up North near her family, she believes God has a plan for her to be here in Florida. At her church, she volunteers with the older adult ministry, many times serving lunch, presenting devotions or leading music. She’s not only busy at her own church but also as a member of the FPH Spiritual Life committee. Nancy says one of the main goals of the Spiritual Life committee is to support the chaplain and provide feedback on any issues that are presented. The committee also purchases the Daily Bread devotionals for FPH and writes the Advent and Christmas devotionals for the campus.

When asked what wellness means to her, Nancy said, “It’s a combination of body, mind and spirit. Doing the best I can for my body by eating well and exercising. Spiritually, it means spending time with the Lord and helping others.”

Congratulations, Nancy, for winning the July Wellness Star award. We’re happy God led you to Florida — especially here to Florida Presbyterian Homes, where you’re a kind and gentle servant for the Lord.

Community Update – July 2nd

. Posted in FPH

July 2, 2020


To All FPH Residents:

This morning July 2, 2020, we were notified that one of our Residential Living residents living on the North Side has been confirmed positive for COVID-19. This resident is in the hospital and the family has been notified. I cannot share any more specifics out of respect for the resident and in alignment with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Contact tracing has begun. Until contact tracing has been completed and we have called residents, who may have come in contact with this resident, we have temporarily closed all resident amenity spaces on the north side of campus. We are also suspending the Beauty Salon service on campus for all residents until further notice. Residents living on the north side who ordered meal service will be delivered their meals during this temporary period. The purpose of temporarily closing these spaces is to protect our residents and staff.

Once those identified residents at risk are contacted, we will require them to contact their physician and to self-isolate in their own home for fourteen days from today. Per the recommendation of our lab provider, we will be offering COVID-19 tests and a respiratory panel to the identified residents living north of Cresap Street.

Per the mandate from the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) we have begun and will continue doing COVID-19 testing of all staff working in Assisted Living and Porter McGrath.

Our focus continues to be on the wellbeing of our residents and staff. We pray for those affected by this virus in any manner, and really that is everyone, and especially those we care deeply about who have been confirmed positive. We are all so thankful for your understanding.



Joseph J. Xanthopoulos, Executive Director/CEO  and Maria Rivera, Administrator

© 2019 Florida Presbyterian Homes
16 Lake Hunter Drive - Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-688-5521 or Marketing: 863-577-6001