The Importance of Understanding Your Emotional Wellness

. Posted in FPH, Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

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

With the start of the new year, I wanted to share some information about the importance of emotional wellness. You may ask what “Emotional Wellness” is all about. It can be defined as one’s ability to handle the stresses of life, to adapt to change, and to successfully cope in difficult times. A few ways to seek emotional wellness are to learn how to manage stress, accept support from others, accept your mistakes, be positive, seek balance in your life, and understand life is all about change. Sounds easy? Sometimes it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Emotional-Wellness-Is-Important-To-Your-Overall-WellbeingI had the opportunity to speak with a mental health professional here in Lakeland to better understand emotional wellness. I learned that how you feel can affect your ability to carry out everyday activities, such as relationships and overall mental health. I also found out that how you react to your experiences and feelings can change over time.

Let’s look a little closer into emotional wellness with these helpful answers to my questions:

  1. How is emotional wellness defined?
    • Being emotionally well or stable suggests that one has an awareness of his/her feelings — good or bad. The individual manages these emotions so that they are understood as a message, something within or without, that is manifesting this feeling. One who is emotionally well can process feelings with others and admit to difficult feelings. Managing feelings appropriately means others in the environment are not harmed or hurt by those feelings.
  1. Why is it important for an individual to have emotional wellness?
    • The individual can be at peace. And, with that peace, the world can be at peace.
  1. Are Americans doing a good job being emotionally healthy? Why or Why not? 
    • At this time in our nation, we have observed those who are not managing their feelings well. It’s concerning that our  children and grandchildren are watching adults demonstrate immature responses to their feelings. We need better role models for the healthy communication of feelings.
  1. What can an individual do to have or maintain good emotional health?
    • Daily self-examination, daily self-forgiveness and asking forgiveness of others, practicing self care and doing the hard personal work of finding healthy ways of being on your own and with others.
  1. What does wellness mean to you?
    • Living a life of self-discipline that impacts mind, heart, body and spirit.  Choosing habits that affect these aspects of oneself.

In closing, it’s important to realize that emotional wellness is part of the greater challenge of being healthy as a whole. Emotions should not be overlooked or considered meaningless. We need to acknowledge the importance of our emotions and to understand the role emotions play in our overall health and well-being.

Source: Lakeland community professional and

Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

Washing your hands is easy, AND it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent contracting Covid-19 and spreading the coronavirus that causes the disease to others. Some people skip washing their hands because they don’t realize how important it is or because they are short on time. Without washing properly and killing off the coronavirus — and other viruses, bacteria and germs we pick up from raw meats, fecal matter and respiratory droplets — it can spread between people and cause disease.

follow-these-5-steps-for-washing-handsClean hands, created simply with thorough hand washing practices, can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community. Follow these five steps every time.

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Worried about dry hands? After washing your hands, simply pat them dry with a clean towel, leaving them slightly damp. Use an ointment, lotion or cream to lock in the moisture, gently working it into your skin, fingertips and nails.

Overall, hand washing is an easy, effective, affordable do-it-yourself practice that prevents infections and saves lives.

Just do it, please.


Next Matter of Balance Class to Begin In February 2021

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

The Wellness Department at Florida Presbyterian Homes is pleased to present the upcoming ‘A Matter of Balance’ class, an evidence-based program designed to improve activity levels among older adults and reduce the fear of falling.

Matter-of-balance-class-at-florida-presbyterian-homesThe next 8-week program will begin Tuesday, February 23 at 1:15pm (South) and Thursday, February 25 at 1:30pm (North). The class will meet once a week; Tuesdays in the game room on the South side OR Thursdays in the McArthur Center on the North side.

The class is FREE and open exclusively to FPH residents at the current time. Residents who have already taken the class are welcome to take it again. 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 contact Alison in the Wellness Department at 863-577-6022 or to reserve your spot. A lite snack and workbook are provided. Sign up today!

December Wellness Star Awarded to Lifelong Event Planner

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

Florida Presbyterian Homes has named resident Sally F. as the Wellness Star award winner for December 2020. This month’s wellness star focused on the social dimension of wellness, which can be defined as the type of relationships someone has and how interactions occur with that person and those around him or her.

Florida-Presbyterian-Wellness-Star-Award-Winner-for-December-2020Sally has always been a social person. Having four children kept her busy throughout her life, especially with planning family events such as birthday parties and gatherings with her children’s friends. Not only was she busy with her children, but also with entertaining for her husband’s business.

Sally’s event planning talents have extended beyond her family, as well. Once she moved to FPH, she immediately started planning activities and became the neighborhood’s social chair and chairman of the food committee. “Neighborhood events such as the soup, ice cream and hamburger socials were a lot of fun,” said Sally. “Planning for events is a great opportunity for me to get to know my neighbors.”

Sally shared that as people get older, they have a tendency to isolate. But, she has found that organizing social events helps her to interact with others on a more regular basis. “Being social is important because it keeps you young and helps keep your mind active,” said Sally.

When asked what wellness means to her, Sally said, “Wellness means to move and to do. It’s living a long and active life, not a sitting life!” Wise words from this month’s winner of the Wellness Star award. Congrats to Sally!


Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

. Posted in FPH, Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

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

The holidays can be a difficult time for many people for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons may be weight gain.

Tips-to-avoid-holiday-weight-gainIt’s no surprise that maintaining and not gaining can be very challenging over the holidays, especially considering the holiday parties, calorie-rich foods and over-indulging. The average person gains between 1 to 3 pounds. While this may not seem like much, it is for most people. Why? Because they don’t lose it when the holidays are over. In fact, the holidays tend to be a big contributor to a person’s annual weight gain.

So, what can you do to help avoid the extra pounds?  Here are a few helpful tips:

  1. Stay active – walk more and sit less.
  2. Control your stress – holidays can be stressful. And for some, that means eating more. Use healthy stress relieving techniques such as meditation, yoga or deep breathing to help.
  3. Cut back on desserts.
  4. Use a smaller dessert plate for your holiday meal.
  5. Plan ahead – don’t arrive at your party hungry. Before you go, eat something healthy and filling.
  6. Take smaller portions and think twice before you splurge on a second helping.
  7. Think about the drink.  Remember alcohol has calories. For example, a 5 oz. glass of wine has 120 – 130 calories.

To learn more, here are 20 tips to help you avoid weight gain during the holidays.


Source: Healthline

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.

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.

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

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