February Wellness Star Awarded to Carol Kahlenberg

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

Florida Presbyterian Homes has named resident Carol Kahlenberg as the Wellness Star for February 2019. This month’s wellness star focused on the physical and intellectual dimension of wellness. The intellectual dimension can be defined as engaging in creative pursuits and intellectually stimulating activities to keep the mind alert.

Kahlenberg started taking Tai Chi class about two years ago. She was one of the first to take the Tai Chi for Arthritis class. She continues in Tai Chi and has added Qigong for Health to her routine. Each class meets once a week.

Kahlenberg says she benefits tremendously from going to the classes. By taking the Tai Chi class, she has learned to relax and calm herself by learning to focus on movements and stay in the moment. “If I’m going through a hard time,” says Kahlenberg, “it doesn’t bother me as much because I know how to put moments into perspective.”

Tai Chi has helped Kahlenberg to be more focused with activities such as reading and prayer. Plus, she has gained better balance and strength in her legs — relying minimally on her cane. “Stairs used to be difficult for me, but I’m now able to do them without fear,” said Kahlenberg.

When asked what wellness means to her, Kahlenberg replied, “Wellness means body, mind and spirit.”

And it is with great spirit that we congratulate Carol for winning this month’s star. We applaud her commitment to wellness and her willingness to share her experience with us!

Practicing Proper Cold and Flu Etiquette this Season

. Posted in Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

By Alison Kennedy, FPH Wellness Director

Germs like the flu virus can spread with a simple touch or through the air. Experts believe that viruses predominantly spread through droplets expelled when sick people cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets have the potential to make their way to the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, as well as on any surface. Using good manners at the table and when in the company of others — such as coughing or sneezing into a napkin — can help prevent the spread of germs.

Here are some helpful tips to keep you and others well through the winter months:

  • Stay Home – If you are sick, the best thing to do is stay home until you are no longer contagious. Do everything you can to avoid contact with others.
  • Hand Washing – Wash your hands frequently throughout the day. You may have picked up some germs from touching doorknobs, computer keyboards or a phone. Lather your hands and wrists with soap for at least 20 seconds and rinse. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket or purse. If you can’t get to a sink, use the hand sanitizer.
  • Tissues – Have a stash of tissues in your home and car. Keep a travel pack in your purse or pocket. When you feel a sneeze or coughing attack about to happen, simply cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. As soon as possible, find a sink and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, bend your elbow and cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm. Sounds funny, but it works!
  • Cleanliness – Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects within your control – counters, doorknobs, handles, TV remote and sink faucets. Wash pillowcases, washcloths and towels more frequently and in hot water.
  • Coughing Fit – Keep cough drops, mints, water or a travel mug of hot tea with you. If you still can’t control the situation, quietly step out of the room until you can soothe your cough.
  • Don’t Share – It’s best to avoid sharing food, utensils, beverage containers, towels, lipstick or anything else that might be contaminated with cold and flu germs.

By practicing your best cold and flu etiquette, you will help to stop the spread of germs this winter. And your friends and family will thank you for it!

Source: Reader’s Digest, Everyday Wellness by Kelsey Kloss

Diane Van Dusen Named as January Wellness Star

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

Florida Presbyterian Homes is pleased to award the January 2019 Wellness Star to resident Diane Van Dusen. This month’s wellness star focuses on the physical dimension of wellness, which promotes proper care of our bodies for optimal health and functioning. There are many aspects to physical wellness including physical activity, nutrition and mental well-being.

Diane Van Dusen is a great example of physical wellness and has been active her entire life. As a teenager in high school, she was a swimmer, cheerleader, tennis player and water skier. She says she enjoyed the water skiing most and performed at Cypress Gardens during high school and summer breaks from college. While attending Florida State University, she was in a synchronized swimming group, which according to Van Dusen, “was a lot of hard work!”

As an adult, Van Dusen continued to stay active as a member of a local health club and the YMCA. She enjoyed use of the jogging track at the health club and participated in group exercise classes. When Van Dusen moved to FPH three years ago, she found it most convenient to participate in the group exercise classes at the McArthur Center on the FPH campus.

Van Dusen believes it’s important for older adults to get out and join something. “Be active,” she says. “Because if you don’t use it, you will lose it!”

When asked what wellness means to her, Van Dusen said, “Wellness means taking care of yourself, which involves fitness. It’s a new year and we can all find ways to be more active.”

Florida Presbyterian’s Wellness Program Provides Ideal Setting for Outpatient Rehab

. Posted in FPH, Journey to Healthy Aging Blog

There’s a hidden gem located along a tree-lined street on the campus of Florida Presbyterian Homes (FPH) in Lakeland, FL. That gem is a state-of-the-art rehabilitation gym located in the McArthur Center, adjacent to the Porter McGrath Building on Lakeside Avenue. The gym is one component of an active wellness program that is open to both FPH residents and rehab referrals.

Just ask Dan Hoover, a 74-year-old Lakeland resident who uses the gym about three days per week and has found it to be just the right prescription for his own cardiac rehabilitation.

“The equipment in this gym is far better than most other rehab facilities,” said Hoover, who experienced a heart attack in 2003 and had a stent placed in 2016 due to a blocked artery. “I started at FPH’s gym this past April when my former cardiac rehab location closed down. I tried a few gyms around town before I found the FPH gym, but nothing compared. The FPH wellness program provides me with everything I need to rehab – from personalized attention to a wider range of rehab equipment.”

FPH’s gym houses HUR strength equipment, which is designed to provide older adults with a total body workout. The gym has cardio-specific equipment, such as treadmills, elliptical, stationary bikes, recumbent bikes, NuStep and row machines.

There’s also a simple SMART card system so program members can personalize their workouts according to their individual rehab needs, track their progress and report performance.

“The wellness director, Alison Kennedy, takes time to create an individualized plan for each person” said Hoover. “She does a great job. She reviews your health history, tells you what machines will help you and monitors your progress, adjusting as you go.” Kennedy collaborates with the physical therapists in FPH’s rehabilitation dept. to make sure the wellness program is in line with what patients need as they move from inpatient therapy to outpatient recovery.

Hoover said his insurance initially paid for 36 visits of cardiac rehab, but he is now on his own to pay for services out of pocket. His doctor recommended he try the program at Florida Presbyterian Homes. “I know how important it is to continue my rehab,” said Hoover. “The FPH program is less expensive than other gyms and the atmosphere is friendlier. The hours are great, and everyone is courteous and works together.”

In addition to Hoover’s concerns about heart health, he also experiences pain due to arthritis and bursitis in his hip. “My doctor said, ‘Don’t you dare quit going to the gym. Exercise is what’s helping your pain, and if you don’t do it, the pain will get worse’,” said Hoover. He agrees with his doctor and feels much better after working out. Hoover even plans to increase his workouts to 4 or 5 times per week in the coming year. “They’ve got an excellent program over there. It’s a true gem.”


If you’re interested in learning more about the wellness program at Florida Presbyterian Homes, visit the Wellness page on the FPH website or contact Alison Kennedy, MS, at akennedy@fphi.org or (863) 577- 6022.

Gym Location

McArthur Center
811 Lakeside Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33803

Gym Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday 6:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday 7:30am – 9:00pm
Sunday 12:00pm – 9:00pm

Wellness Program Membership Fee

A monthly membership fee of $20 includes the use of the gym equipment, wellness workshops AND group exercise classes. All members must sign a waiver/release and policy & procedure form before joining the gym. New members are encouraged to schedule a gym orientation on proper use of the HUR equipment and SMART card system. Personal Training is available upon request. Please check with the wellness director on cost and availability.

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 (https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/exercise-type/balance/), 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.


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