When It’s Time to Move to a Retirement Community | Sarasota Retirement

10 Signs that it is Time to Move into a Continuing Care Retirement Community

couple votiThe decision to move into a retirement community is never easy. However the time may come when it is a necessary move for the health and well-being of you or a loved one.  Keeping in mind that it is always better to be pro-active than reactive, here are ten tell-tale signs that could help determine whether or not additional care is required.



  1. Increased Difficulty Managing Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): Has shopping, dressing, cooking, laundry, managing medications and other normal daily tasks become painful or challenging?
  1. Recent Accidents or Close Calls:  Did a recent fall and/or accident occur or almost occur which resulted in a fear of living alone?
  1. Driving:  Are you or a loved one putting others at risk while driving?  Driving equals independence, so this is an extremely sensitive subject.  At VOTI, we recognize this fact and understand the importance of independence.  Therefore, transportation is provided for both our Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing residents in Venice, FL.
  1. Feelings of Isolation and Depression: Is there a lack of social interaction? Unfortunately, there often comes a time when friends have either moved or passed away.  The lack of companionship is devastating and can cause both emotional and physical stress.  Our continuing care retirement community offers many group activities and opportunities for social interaction on a daily basis.
  1. Spouse Needs Additional Care:  Has the responsibility of being a caretaker for your spouse become overwhelming?
  1. Issues with Memory Loss:  Are you or a loved one becoming more and more forgetful?  This is a potentially dangerous situation as memory loss can result in safety hazards at home, i.e. forgetting to turn off the stove, leaving a candle lit, or forgetting to take important medications.
  1. Changes in Appearance and Hygiene:  Have you or a loved one lost or gained a significant amount of weight due to poor diet and nutrition? Other signs to look out for are body odor, dirty clothes, unbuttoned shirts or pants, an unshaved face, or the general lack of attention to one’s appearance.
  1. Decreased Strength and Stature: Do you or a loved one have difficulty getting in and out of chairs?  Is balance becoming an issue where falls have been more frequent?
  1. Poor Financial Decisions:  Have you or a loved one fallen victim to a scam or have difficulty managing bills or balancing a checkbook?
  1. Plans for the Future:  Are you or a loved one making important decisions about future long-term needs but do not need that level of care just yet?  If this is the case, consider a continuing care retirement community that starts with Senior Independent Living.  As needs progress, so will the level of care.

If you are interested in touring Venice’s only faith based, not-for-profit continuing care retirement community offering Independent Living, Assisted Living, or Skilled Nursing facilities in Venice, FL, please give us a call at 941-484-9753.

For more information on the benefits of a CCRC (continuing care retirement community) click here.

Consider Sarasota Your Home For Active Retirement | Village on the Isle

Consider Sarasota, FL Your Home for Active Retirement and Assisted Living


Choosing a Retirement Community CEO, Tom Kelly, shares the beauty of retiring in Sarasota.

Thinking about moving into an active retirement community?  There are many factors one must consider before making this important decision, especially when selecting the location.  Perhaps you are looking for a community that is close to home or you’re ready for an adventure and would like to live somewhere new.  There are options aplenty, but one of the most desirable locations for retirement living near beautiful Sarasota, FL.  There’s a reason why so many flock to this sunny destination to spend their golden years, and it all comes down to one thing…location, location, location.  Here are ten reasons why the Sarasota area should be on your radar:

1.     The average year-round temperature is 72 degrees.  Need I say more?

2.     There are many affordable options for retirement living especially at Village On The Isle, Sarasota and Venice’s top choice for assisted living and an active retirement community.  Being that it is a not-for-profit community, there’s piece of mind that you will be okay should a financial disruption occur.

3.     There’s so much to do!  Sarasota is an area that heavily promotes culture and arts.  Take in a play at the Venice Theatre or enjoy the orchestra at the Venice Symphony.  Tour the exquisite grounds at Ringling Museum or visit the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.  With year round events at beautiful venues, your social calendar will be booked!

4.     Sarasota is a culinary experience!  Although meals are typically provided, there are times when you’ll want to experience some of the area’s best cuisine outside your community.  From the freshest seafood to down home BBQ, there are amazing restaurants all over Sarasota and its surrounding areas including Venice, St. Armand’s Circle, and Siesta Key to name a few.

5.     Whether you’re heading out of town or friends and family are coming to you, traveling is easy with the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.  Located only 5 minutes from downtown Sarasota, you can get in and out in a snap!

6.     Access to excellent medical care is an extremely important factor when deciding on an active retirement community.  Sarasota is home to four accredited hospitals as well as some of the best practicing physicians in the country.

7.     The Sarasota Venice area is a diverse community offering faith-based practices of all major religions.  Wherever you live, your faith is an important part of your community.  You will find a home in one of the many places of worship in our area.

8.     Whether you enjoy breath-taking views of the ocean or a simple walk in the park, Sarasota Venice has an abundance of beauty in its natural surroundings.

9.     Take a day trip!  Located only 39 miles from the Tampa Bay area, you can catch a pro football or baseball game, visit Busch Gardens, and gamble a little (or a lot) at the Hard Rock Casino.  Travel further east and spend a fun day at Sea World or other Orlando destinations.

10.  The Sarasota area has shopping galore!  Between the Westfield Sarasota Square mall, the new Mall at University Town Center, the Ellenton Premium Outlets, and tons of specialty boutiques, you can shop to your heart’s content!

These are just a few reasons to consider us your home.  It’s not just a city.  It’s a lifestyle where you can love where you live and live where you love.  For more information on the assisted living and active retirement community, contact us today!

World’s Largest Tea Party | Village on the Isle Retirement Community

Village On The Isle Prepares for the “World’s Largest Tea Party” Event!


There’s a buzz in the air at Village On The Isle for the upcoming “World’s Largest Tea Party” event!  This theme-based activity originated in England and is a worldwide event created to raise awareness for Nutrition and Hydration Week (March 16-23).  Village On The Isle is proud to be the only Continuing Care Retirement Community in the Sarasota/ Venice area to participate in this great event, and the residents couldn’t be more excited!  Festivities will be held on March 19, but the fun is also in the preparation!  This entire week, the groups from Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing will be making festive hats, decorating the public areas, and sampling tea from all over the world.

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Nutrition and Hydration Week was established to promote the importance of nutrition outside of the three main meals a day.  To promote the event, key professionals leading Nutrition and Hydration Week asked health and social care providers from all over the world to participate.  Caroline Lecko, Patient Safety lead for NHS England commented, “We are keen to engage everyone no matter where they care for someone in providing an afternoon tea on the 19th.  It is important that caregivers remember that nutritional intake takes place outside the three main meals of the day, and we see the concept of an afternoon tea focusing our message on this key aspect of nutritional care.”

Nutrition plays a critically important role in the health and well being of residents at Village On The Isle.  There is an ongoing mission to promote healthy lifestyles, and the “World’s Largest Tea Party” event is a great way to engage and further educate the residents on nutrition.  The tea party will bring residents together for a fun social event where they can get a little silly, sip some tea, and have a great time!

Keeping Venice Retirement Community Residents Safe | VOTI Blog

It seems that everywhere we look, there are cameras looking at us.  Some people are annoyed and believe that big brother is watching.  Others believe that they are here to keep us safe.  At Village On The Isle, the latter is what we strive to achieve.  We have cameras located in various sites throughout the Venice campus.  These locations were chosen after careful consideration and planning.  They have been placed at sites believed to be high activity areas and locations where a resident may wander.

Retirement SecurityAs with most buildings there are certain doors that should be used for entrance and exits; this is one example of an area we have chosen to monitor.  These cameras have been placed with some of the following activities in mind.  We monitor entrance doors where visitors and vendors use.  Just like any active retirement community, we encourage the residents to have visitors but, it’s important to know who is coming in and out of our doors visiting your loved ones.  All visitors are required to stop at our welcome desk to sign in and out.  Cameras have also been strategically placed so the staff at the communications center, can view and speak by means of a telephone after hours, to persons trying to enter the building without the keypad code .  We can also access the situation from there to determine if security is needed to respond and verify information.

What happens if our communications personnel needs to review something captured by the cameras?  We have the capability of reviewing the recordings up to one month later. Cameras cannot take the place of human action, but can be a useful tool in providing additional safety for the resident. They can also provide a means of preventative actions. There have been certain situations where a review of past recordings has been very helpful in determining if additional safety measures need to be implemented.

So smile, because you are on camera! We are watching you – and we are ready to protect and serve to keep our happy retirement community a safe and secure one!

Menu Planning at Continuing Care Retirement Community Venice

Sarasota Retirement DiningWe are asked a lot of questions in this retirement community.  BUT one very important question that future residents of a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Center) are always interested in is, “How is the Food?”  We can tell you, here in this Florida retirement community the food is top notch!

At VOTI, we work with a food and dining committee that is appointed by the General Resident Council.  Each building on our 16 acre campus has a certain number of residents allotted to represent that building.  The food and dining committee will meet on a monthly basis to discuss food items that they like, suggestions for future menu items, feedback from other residents on select dishes and any concerns they may have for the food service management team.

In addition to the regular food and dining meetings, the foodservice management team sets up separate meetings (which all food and dining committee members are able to attend) to discuss any menu changes and updates to the selections.  Our menu planning is taken very seriously, we will meet for up to 6 hours over a three week period looking at proposed menus on a day-by-day basis.  We review what should the soup of the day be, what entrée & side choices work well together, and of course what should the dessert choices be (we never forget about desert).  The residents bring their own ideas, other residents’ ideas from their buildings, and plenty of recipes as well.

We want to include the residents’ ideas, suggestions, and most importantly their input & feedback in designing the menus in which they will eat off of.  By collaborating as a team with our residents, we are truly providing them what they desire.  They should eat what they like and our menu should be tailored to their desires not our own.  Our process is always well received with our residents and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tips for Choosing the Right Retirement Community

Tips for Choosing the Right Retirement Community

Choosing a Retirement CommunityMoving into a retirement community is a great option for those looking to trade in the burden of home ownership for the improvement of lifestyle by focusing on health and increasing social and recreational opportunities.  It’s a very important decision as to where and when one decides to spend their golden years, as well as a significant financial investment.  If you or a family member is considering a retirement community, here are some helpful tips for making the right decision.

1)     Range of Service Options: It’s important to define what kind of services you require now and in the future.  Needs could range from all-inclusive dining and simple home maintenance to an intensive level of care where assistance with everyday activities is required.  Many retirement communities offer multiple tiers of living facilities that cater to all levels of care including active living centers with apartment homes, assisted living centers, and skilled rehabilitation nursing centers.

2)     Consider Finances: As with any big move, financial considerations are extremely important. In addition to the monthly fees that typically include your residence, food, and recreational activities, many retirement homes also require up-front fees.  Compare your current monthly household expenses to the fees at a retirement community, and make sure to consider the value-added benefits and amenities that are included with the monthly cost of living.

3)     Apply While Still Healthy: Many retirement communities require their members pass both physical and psychological tests and, at times, reject those with high-level care requirements.  If a continuing care retirement community accepts a member who is not healthy, it’s typically based on space availability.  By applying while still healthy, you have more options and are not limited to time and space restrictions.

4)     Consider Lifestyle & Location: Look for communities that will accommodate your lifestyle and location needs.  Many active retirement communities offer amenities such as a fitness center, golf course, access to cultural events, and planned community activities. Create a checklist for what you want, and cross check with what a community offers.  Also consider the location of the community.  Do you wish to be in a warm climate or is being close to family your top priority?

5)     Visit the Communities: Like interviewing for a job, it’s important to get a feel for the “culture” of an environment.  By visiting the communities you will accomplish this and complete an important part of the decision making process.  Sample the dining by staying for lunch or dinner.  Attend social events or planned activities.  This is a great way to assess your comfort level within a community. It may be good to schedule a visit on the weekend or on a holiday in addition to during the week to see how the staff and the community operate in comparison to “normal business hours.”

6)     Check References:  Do your homework and always check references to make sure you get unbiased opinions about a retirement community.  Ask friends and family and other members of your social circle.  It’s also a great idea to talk to your priest, attorney, or doctor as they may also have valuable input or feedback about a particular community. There are a number of communities throughout Florida that are CCRC communities and are regulated by the Office of Insurance Regulation.  You can check their regulatory compliance via the web. A retirement community may or may not be a CCRC and it may or may not be regulated by the Office of Insurance Regulation. You can check here: http://www.floir.com/CompanySearch/

7)     Take Your Time:  Do not downplay the importance of this decision.  Take your time finding the right community for you or your family member.  Retirement communities are staffed with knowledgeable representatives that will answer your questions and provide tours.  If you still have questions after your first visit, go back!  It’s critical to have a complete understanding of a community’s financial, social, and health policies.

Making the decision to move into a continuing care retirement community is a big enough decision on its own.  The next step is doing extensive research on finding the right place where health, quality of life, and security must be considered.  If you or a family member is in the Venice, FL area and are looking for a retirement community that caters to multiple care levels, contact us at Village On The Isle today for more information.

Village On The Isle is a full service, not-for-profit, faith based, retirement living community located less than half a mile from the Gulf of Mexico in beautiful Venice, Florida and 10 miles from sunny Sarasota, FL.


Dale Stoffer, Our newest centenarian

Village on the Isle has a new centenarian! On December 17, 2013 Dale Stoffers turned 100.

Adel, who prefers to be addressed as “Dale,” was born and raised in Arcadia, Iowa. She lived on a farm until she sold it in order to go to college at the age of 40. She became a special education teacher at an elementary school.

She and her husband have one daughter, Harriet. Dale graduated college the same year that her daughter graduated high school.

In 1999, Dale was looking into moving to one of four independent living facilities. She ended up choosing VOTI in Venice, Florida solely because of the three phases offered. She has transitioned throughout the campus and still active in Red Cross exercises, bingo, baking club, playing cards, happy hour, museum trips and beach outings.

Dale is known for her many years of volunteer work and sharing her lovely smile at VOTI.

Centenarian Venice, FL 100th Birthday Party 003 100th Birthday Party 008

Staff Member Job Satisfaction = Excellent Quality of Care and Happy Residents

Staff Member Job Satisfaction = Excellent Quality of Care and Happy Residents

“People make the difference.” It’s a common saying often used when describing the demeanor of employees at an organization. Whether its context is positive or negative, it couldn’t be more accurate.  This is especially the case when referring to the quality of care provided by staff members of a retirement community.   From the management team to the social directors and everyone in between, these people are the building blocks of a retirement community whose success and job satisfaction is dependent on the residents they serve.

Sarasota Retirement CommunityThere’s a certain amount of trust in the hands of retirement community staff members.  To many residents and their loved ones, it was a hard decision to make the move into a retirement community in the first place.  Knowing that residents receive the best quality of care by happy and motivated staff members provides peace of mind and is a key factor in the decision making process.

How can one judge the quality of care provided by staff members when choosing a retirement community?  First and foremost, make sure to visit the community.  When you are there, talk to the other residents and ask how they feel about the staff members.  Watch and interact with the staff while on the tour and pay attention to the little details, as they are often what matter most.  Meet the different departments such as management, housekeeping, sales, social, etc.  Ask yourself the following questions.  Are they pleasant or grumpy?  Are they happy to be at work or just getting through the day?  Do the other residents seem to have a good rapport with the staff?  Do the members of different departments get along and work together?  Just like interviewing for a job, it’s important to get a feel for the culture, and the staff will have the largest impact on this as they are the “face” of the community.

Quality of care is largely dependent on job satisfaction.  Happy residents will return the favor by treating staff members with respect and appreciation, thus creating a motivating and pleasant environment.  Here at Village On The Isle it is equally important to us that our staff is happy as well as our residents.  We take great pride in the longevity of our team, many whom have been here well over 25 years.  We show our appreciation daily and most recently at the Village On The Isle Christmas Party, residents showed their appreciation by generously gifting each staff member a $10 Wal-Mart Gift Card as well as tons of door prizes including a LCD 40” TV and Samsung tablet!  These happy staffers were just as excited as the residents who gave the gifts.  What a wonderful way to say “thank you” and another indicator of the joyful spirit at Village On The Isle, a gift that gives year round.


The Gift of Independent Living

Independent Living Sarasota Florida

Village on the Isle is a gift you give yourself, says and Health & Wellness Director,  Vicki Morehead and CEO Tom Kelly.

As the Health and Wellness Director of our Independent Living here in Venice, one of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing the “transformation” of each new resident that comes to live here.

Lets face it, it can be a scary thing, leaving your home to come to another (a continuing care retirement community). Leaving old neighbors and friends to meet and make new ones. Moving all of your possessions, what to keep what not to keep, that’s A LOT to think about! The good news is, our move-in coordinator takes the stress out of the moving process. Even downsizing from a home becomes a positive experience when you pick your most prized and favorite possessions to enjoy in your new surroundings- in retirement.

It’s great to see how proud residents feel that they have taken charge of their own destiny as they begin a new exciting chapter in their life, retirement. Residents have immediate access to a selection of new friends, neighbors, and having somewhere to dine and people to dine with, enjoy activities, exercise, and socialize with.

All these things help our residents maintain good physical and emotional health and cognitive function. They never need to feel alone again, plus the burden of home maintenance is over; all one needs to do is pick up the phone, dial the operator, maintenance, housekeeping or transportation, and even 24 hr emergency response is available.

Any problem will be responded to by a concerned staff member that can assist with the residents adjustment and continuing care retirement needs.

I love to see the happy glow and the relief on their smiling faces, as they say to me “I wish I had came sooner.”

*This blog was written by Vicki Morehead, Health and Wellness Director of our Independent Living at Village On The Isle


Thanksgiving, Our National Day of Thanks!



As a young boy, growing up in Miami, Florida, I remember so clearly, the celebration of Thanksgiving. Everyone in the neighborhood came together for what is now called, a “Pot Luck” luncheon. The tables were covered with a variety of cloths, turkeys, dressing, cranberries, candied sweet potatoes and pies for every taste bud was abundantly present. There were games for children and the adults sat around for hours visiting and celebrating. Away from family members and homes “up north,” everyone had each other to celebrate. Those are good memories.

At Village On The Isle, there will be a Thanksgiving Feast, Eve Day Worship and lots of gatherings. Best of all, everyone, will have each other. With many families “up north” our residents, staff and friends will have each other to celebrate and count their blessings.
That is the way it is at Village On The Isle; there are so many neighbors and friends to share the holidays and every day with. One beauty of the community is that living “Thanksgiving” is a way of life. Every day at VOTI, is a day of neighborly sharing of numerous activities, programs, meals and conversations as a Way of Life. As many residents have said, “I am so happy to be here, I have a family here and we look out for one another.”

Retirement Venice ThanksgivingAs the Puritans came together with their neighbors; so will we, and at VOTI, and we will continue the annual tradition on a daily basis, for God has blessed us where we live or serve.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, it is our wish that all our families, friends and neighbors be blessed this season and share the blessings we daily receive.


God’s Richest Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
This blog was written by Chaplain Don Hillerich.