An Important Message from our CEO/Executive Director

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

 – By Joe Xanthopoulos, Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director

The well-being of the residents living and staff working at Florida Presbyterian Homes are our greatest priority. COVID-19 is proving to be the most challenging immediate threat to our residents and staff. Face coverings/masks have been determined by the CDC, NIAID, Drs. Fauci, Redfield, Hahn and Admiral Dr. Giroir, and many other reputable and qualified health experts, to have a positive impact on mitigating risk and exposure for contracting COVID-19.

The attached letter which has been sent to the Lakeland Commissioners via the lakelandgov.net website and in hard copy print, was co-drafted by myself and Brian Robare at The Estates of Carpenters. We felt that this issue is of such importance to all people living in Lakeland and certainly especially for those we serve, we need to state our position strongly with the hope the Commission will reconsider the Executive Order presented by Mayor Mutz. We encourage everyone who receives the attached letter to contact our City Commissioners at lakelandgov.net.

(Click on each attachment to view Page 1 and Page 2 of the full letter.) 

Food & Nutrition Classes Offered This Summer

. Posted in Events, News

Food-AND-Nutrition-Classes-Offered-All-Summer-Long-Online-And-FreeThanks to the University of Florida’s Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Program, everyone is eligible to participate in a series of food and nutrition classes being offered online.

These classes are free and open to the public. They begin in June and run through the middle of August 2020.

FPH residents, staff and family members are encouraged to participate, however, you must sign up by clicking through to the registration links found here.

The UF/IFAS Extension Polk County Family & Consumer Sciences division is dedicated to providing science-based information to empower individuals and families to make changes to improve their health and quality of life.

If you have questions, please contact Andrea Nikolai, UF/IFAS Extension Polk County, Family and Consumer Science Agent at andreanikolai@ufl.edu or 863-519-1041.

Life-Long Educator Recognized with June Wellness Star Award

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

Florida Presbyterian Homes is proud to award resident Gene Scruggs with the Wellness Star for June 2020. This month’s wellness star focuses on the intellectual dimension of wellness, which can be defined as engaging in creative pursuits and intellectually stimulating activities.

Dr-Gene-Scruggs-Wins-Wellness-AwardDr. Scruggs has made wonderful contributions as an educator, author and coordinator of the FPH Academy. In fact, several residents are currently reading one of his books — The View from Brindley Mountain: A Memoir of the Rural South, which is available in bookstores and online. His next book, The Widening View, should be published and available by late summer or early fall of 2020.

Dr. Scruggs received his Bachelor’s degree in comparative literature, as well as his Masters and Doctorate in linguistics and French Studies from University of Kentucky. He taught at four universities throughout his career, but spent most of his profession working at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Dr. Scruggs finished the last 10 years at USF as Director of International Studies and Exchange.

His gifts and talents from his professional life have served him well with his volunteer teaching opportunities right here at FPH. (We’re lucky to have him!) Dr. Scruggs started helping his wife with her Bible studies in early church history and new testament, which segued into a Bible discussion class that draws around 20-25 residents each time they meet. He currently is leading a creative writing class and oversees the Academy, often as a guest presenter. According to Dr. Scruggs, his favorite volunteer activity has been the time spent in the assisted living facility while leading “Tuesday Morning Dialogue.”

When asked what wellness mean to him, Dr. Scruggs said, “I feel well when my brain is working. If I can get up, read a book or do a crossword puzzle, then I’m doing ok.”

We couldn’t agree more. Congratulations to Dr. Scruggs for his most recent award.

Community Update: 5-22-2020

. Posted in FPH, News

For 65 years, Florida Presbyterian Homes (FPH) has put the well-being of our residents first, with the mission of: Providing compassionate personalized continuing care and service of the highest quality consistent with our Christian Heritage. This commitment is now at the forefront as we address the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of today, FPH has not had a resident or staff member with a confirmed COVID-19 test.

One of the most heartbreaking challenges communities here and across the country are facing will be shared from the perspective of a couple who live at FPH in an upcoming story in The Ledger. One spouse lives in Independent Living and the other spouse lives in our Skilled Long-Term Care facility, Porter McGrath. The Ledger article will describe the challenges of being apart from loved ones due to COVID-19.

“We understand the past several months has been very difficult for our residents, their families, and our staff as we have all been dealing with the most serious global health crisis in generations. In order to protect the most vulnerable population, the State of Florida and federal government have put into place emergency measures strictly limiting the access to assisted living and skilled nursing facilities,” said Joe Xanthopoulos, CEO and Executive Director of Florida Presbyterian Homes. “We are extremely grateful to all our residents, staff, and family of our residents who have put the well-being of our residents and our staff first, and who have supported the protocols we have put into place as needed and required. We ask them to continue supporting these protocols.”

Xanthopoulos went on to say, “Every day, we are tracking information and guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Florida Department of Health, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and communicating with our state and national associations, colleague providers, and area health systems. We are committed to implementing ‘best practice’ protocols and procedures to minimize the risk here to our residents and staff. We consider all dimensions of wellness including emotional well-being in everything we do here. Our life enrichment and clinical care teams have provided video chats and phone calls to connect Assisted Living and Porter McGrath residents with their loved ones. We have also added more small group and individual activity programming during this time.”

Xanthopoulos said these are difficult times for not only our community, but for the entire country. “We fully understand that this situation is very stressful for our residents and their families. We remain committed to minimizing the risk of COVID-19 to all of our residents and staff during this pandemic, and we address challenges like this in an effective and compassionate manner consistent with our Christian heritage,” Xanthopoulos said in closing.

Florida Presbyterian Homes (FPH) was established in 1955 and is an accredited and award- winning continuing care retirement community designed to accommodate the changing needs of residents as they age. A wide variety of homes, duplexes and apartments for independent seniors are available, as well as an on-site rehab unit, wellness center, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. The campus is located on 48-acres along the shores of Lake Hunter in the historic Dixieland neighborhood of Lakeland.

For more information about Florida Presbyterian Homes, visit the website (www.FPHI.org) or call 863- 688-5521. Members of the news media may contact Joe Xanthopoulos directly at 863-577-6002.

May Wellness Award Winner Finds Joy Through Art

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

Florida Presbyterian Homes is pleased to recognize resident Linda P. as the Wellness Star for May 2020.

Wellness-Star-Award-winner-finds-joy-through-artThis month’s wellness star award focused on the intellectual dimension of wellness, which can be defined as engaging in creative pursuits and intellectually stimulating activities.

Beginning as early as the 8th grade, Linda’s teacher recognized her natural talent for art. Linda attended the University of Cincinnati’s fine arts college majoring in costume design which was a co-op program. A co-op program combines both classroom and real-work experiences together.

Linda’s loves painting flowers with lighter shades and vivid colors. “I’m happiest when I am painting,” said Linda. “I want to bring people joy when they look at my work.”

A truly gifted artist, Linda has always had a passion for art and enjoys working with her fingers. She enjoys sewing and made her children’s clothes while they were growing up. As an adult, Linda was quick to find various opportunities to join craft and painting groups. Her favorite medium is water-color, but she has experience with acrylics, as well. Over the years, Linda has attended a variety of art workshops and courses — sometimes through the Lakeland Art guild, at an artist’s home or on a nearby college campus.

When asked what wellness means to her, Linda said, “Eating healthy, getting exercise, having a spiritual life, and keeping the right mental attitude.”

Congratulations Linda, our Wellness Star Award Winner!

Former Nurse Awarded April Wellness Star

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

Florida Presbyterian Homes has named resident Ellie K. as the Wellness Star award winner for April 2020. This month’s wellness star focused on the vocational dimension of wellness. That includes work that utilizes a person’s skills, while also providing personal satisfaction through volunteerism. Ellie’s love of the nursing profession and her interest in helping others made her a perfect choice for this month’s award.

Resident-recognized-as-April-Wellness-Star-Award-WinnerEllie had a 40+ year career in the nursing profession, which included degrees from the University of Rochester and Florida Southern College. She began working as a nurse in the University Hospital before moving to Florida, where she spent the remainder of her career at Winter Haven Hospital in surgical intensive care, IV therapy and as a nursing supervisor.

Ellie says she enjoyed nursing because it was challenging and she loved caring for people. Her talent from her professional life as a nurse has served her well with volunteer opportunities in the Porter McGrath Center here at FPH. She has been volunteering with a resident in the health center for the last two years. “It’s satisfying knowing I am helping other people — not only the resident, but also the caregiver who can get some time away,” said Ellie.

When asked what wellness means to her, Ellie said, “To feel the best I can and be able to do the things I like to do. Plus, I have to keep walking and doing my exercises.”

Well said, Ellie. Congratulations on your commitment to wellness!

Avoid Coronavirus Scams

. Posted in FPH, Industry News, News

Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the Coronavirus.

What the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is Doing

The FTC and FDA have jointly issued warning letters to seven sellers of unapproved and misbranded products, claiming they can treat or prevent the Coronavirus. The companies’ products include teas, essential oils, and colloidal silver.

The FTC says the companies have no evidence to back up their claims — as required by law. The FDA says there are no approved vaccines, drugs or investigational products currently available to treat or prevent the virus.

Avoid Coronavirus Scams

Here are some tips to help you keep the scammers at bay:

  • Don’t click on links from sources you don’t know. They could download viruses onto your computer or device.
  • Watch for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or experts saying they have information about the virus. For the most up-to-date information about the Coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • Ignore online offers for vaccinations. There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) — online or in stores.
  • Do your homework when it comes to donations, whether through charities or crowdfunding sites. Don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. If someone wants donations in cash, by gift card, or by wiring money, don’t do it.

Link to ftc.gov/coronavirus for the FTC’s most up-to-date information about Coronavirus scams

Nature Lover Receives March Wellness Star Award

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

Florida Presbyterian Homes has named resident Debbie G. as the Wellness Star for March 2020. And it’s her love of nature that helped her to be recognized for this award. Each month, we look at various types of wellness, including the environmental dimension of wellness. Environmental well-being promotes interaction with nature and one’s personal environment.

Wellness-star-winner-florida-presbyterian-homesDebbie is a nature lover. In fact, it started when she was a child. Debbie’s dad and grandmother taught her about different birds and she enjoyed feeding birds in her grandmother’s garden. She and her grandmother would spend hours watching birds and chipmunks.

Today, Debbie’s love of birds helped her to create a habitat for them to live within our community — specifically the Wood Ducks and Purple Martins.  She made three new Wood Duck boxes and replaced two Purple Martin houses near the boat ramp. Debbie says the new houses are easier to clean and have bigger apartments for the birds. 

In July of last year, Debbie noticed several feral cats within the community. With the help of a friend, they began putting out traps. The goal was to capture the cats and take them to the SPCA for neutering, rabies shot, and de-flea medicine. Some of the cost came out of Debbie’s own pocket, but several residents helped to cover costs. Seven cats were taken to SPCA to be neutered. Out of the seven, two cats became house pets.

When asked what wellness means to her, Debbie replied, “Life in balance, focused on now and trying every day to do better.” Good advice from this month’s Wellness Star award winner. Congratulations Debbie!

February Wellness Star Awarded to Former Project Manager

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

Florida Presbyterian Homes is pleased to recognize Doug M. as the Wellness Star for February 2020. Congratulations Doug!

Florida-Presbyterian-Homes-Wellness-Star-for-February-2020.For this month’s wellness star award, we focused on the vocational dimension of wellness. Work that utilizes a person’s skills while providing personal satisfaction is valuable for society as experienced professionals, caregiver, mentors and volunteers.

Doug enjoyed a long career as a project manager. His gifts and talents from his professional life have served him well with volunteer opportunities to both organize and manage. Doug enjoys getting to know people and connecting with those around him. Now that he is retired, volunteering has given him a wonderful way to network and connect with people here at FPH.

“I want to make a personal contribution to Florida Presbyterian Homes,” said Doug, “and I want to help people in the process.” Doug takes pride in helping people connect with a task they are interested in and enjoy.

When asked what wellness means to him, Doug said, “It’s physical and mental wellness combined. Being mentally well is just as important as the physical aspect of wellness. It’s your mental attitude that can affect your longevity.” 

Well said Doug. Here’s to many more years of wellness for all!

Popular AquaFit Class Held Weekly at FPH

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

Florida Presbyterian Homes is proud to offer AquaFit – a water exercise program held three times a week at Munn Pool. “It’s a class using therapy-related movements to improve range of motion, balance, strength and flexibility,” said Alison Kennedy-Hand, Director of the Wellness Program at Florida Presbyterian Homes. “In addition to the cardio benefits of AquaFit, exercising in the pool can really help with aging joints.”

Water-exercise-class-at-Florida-Presbyterian-HomesAccording to Kennedy-Hand, pools provide a “softer” environment for exercise. The water supports the participants’ body and falling isn’t a concern. Water exercise has also been found to help in alleviating fatigue, as well as relieving stress and tension. No special equipment is needed, although a variety of fitness or flotation devices are available.

AquaFit is open to FPH residents and takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:15 am. There is 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.

“Besides the physical benefits of AquaFit, participants really enjoy the social opportunities of gathering with others in the class,” said Kennedy-Hand. “It’s a fun program and the participants enjoy their time together.”

Interested residents should sign up or contact Alison Kennedy-Hand in the Wellness department by email at akennedy@fphi.org or by phone at (863) 577-6022.

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