Helping retirees prepare for retirement

Helping retirees prepare for retirement

Preparing for RetirementThis is my first BLOG spot as a member of the Village On The Isle team.  In May I will be celebrating my first anniversary as the Associate Director of Sales and Marketing.  I am so happy to be here among so many wonderful people both staff and residents.

As we go through life, we are taken down many paths and prepare for what the future may hold for us.  Through life and school we get ready for the “real world” and our future careers!  We are usually asked “what do you want to be when you grow up” and most of us can honestly say, that the thing we said we wanted to be isn’t necessarily what we end up being.  But we walk down that path, and try to prepare as much as possible because let’s face it, we don’t know what is out there waiting for us.  We don’t know where we’ll be in 5 years, 10 years, etc.

With that being said, I feel as the roads of life previously traveled have prepared me for this position, especially my two most recent experiences in Real Estate Sales and as a Preplanning Specialist for a Funeral Home.  These two positions have many similarities to what this job entails.  I was showing and selling homes, very much like I do here. I educate our prospective customers on the importance of planning ahead, helping them understand that like it or not we will all age and that my goal is to allow people to age in place.  So it does require a certain amount of preplanning in a couple of areas.  Those two areas are financial planning and emotional preparation.

What I have seen is that people are living longer so they are waiting longer to make this move because they feel they aren’t “ready for this.”  Can I ask ready for what?  Someone to cook and clean for you?  Drive you around town during our hectic seasonal traffic?  Do all the maintenance inside and out?  Build relationships with other residents that become like family?  What’s not to love about all that?  Independent Living is just that … Independent, but with perks!  It is gaining freedom from the less important tasks and not giving it up in other areas as so many people think. In fact, during your career you actually have quite less freedom from the things you really love to do, right?

 The most common thing I hear from our current residents are that they wish they’d come to Village On The Isle sooner! “Why did I wait so long?” they tell us. The hardest part of the process is to make that decision but once made, the rest will fall into place. We don’t have a crystal ball to see how things will transpire in our future so it’s important to plan for the “what ifs” or “just in case.”  Our lives can change in a heartbeat!  One fall resulting in a broken hip and your whole world can be turned upside down. The transition into Independent Living is a much easier one to do than to go from your own home into Assisted Living. You are buying into a lifestyle here … enjoy it before it’s too late!

Written by Dawn Thompson, Associate Director of Sales and Marketing

A place of peace and serenity | Sarasota Area Skilled Nursing

A place of peace and serenity |Sarasota Area Skilled Nursing

The temperature is starting to warm up. The sun is starting to stay out a bit longer and the smell of spring is starting to fill the air, so what better way to prepare for the season of outside sitting then sprucing up our back courtyard with a pavilion structure for our residents to enjoy!

CEO, Tom Kelly and Luke Haven Administrator, Kristy Tolley have been very active in moving this process along.  In addition to the pavers and new ground cover, there is going to be a canopy with three ceiling fans to keep the residents cool. The area will be wheel chair accessible with tables and a grill all allowing for a beautiful space and enchanting atmosphere for outdoor activities, games, arts & crafts, and music!

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This area will also provide a space for the residents to enjoy a little “R&R,” where they can lounge around, spend time with friends and socialize. The Pavilion area will also be accessible through our BRAND NEW automated doors that were just installed to be wheel chair accessible. To finish off this tranquil setting is a beautiful and soothing water feature that promotes serenity with the sound of fresh running water cascading down the river rocks.   Could you ask for anything more in a retirement community?

Come by and see the new area and all the progress we are making! Once it’s finished and ready we will all be eager to make good use out of this amazing new space!

Related Blogs:

Village is where the heart is! |Sarasota Area Assisted Living freshens things up

Village is where the heart is!

The word home, what does it mean? Wikipedia defines home as “the dwelling place used as permanent or semi-permanent residence.” Isn’t it so much more than just a residence though? It’s where you live, eat, sleep, relax, entertain and so much more. It’s your place of everything, so shouldn’t it be a place you love to be in.

As you know, in this retirement community we take a lot of pride in our living areas for all of our residents.  Whether it be the Cottages, independent living apartments, assisted living or even skilled nursing, we believe wherever you “dwell” should make you feel relaxed, refreshed and always at home! For those reasons, we aim to update and improve all our living quarters to continuously improve the quality of life for our retired residents.

Recently, Mark Manor assisted living was chosen to undergo a few renovations.  Here are just a few changes we made. The walls were painted on each floor, as the colors needed updating and a new coat of paint always makes a room fresh! We also took it a step further and decided to decorate each floor with a different color scheme.  Many of the residents, family members, and visitors have complimented us on the new look and we couldn’t be happier.

We laid new laminate flooring in the hallways and bought new furniture and accessories for the lounge areas. With these additions, the sitting areas have a fresh, new look inviting the residents to relax and socialize.  New plantation shutters were also added in the apartments and we replaced the air conditioning units so our residents live in total comfort.  It’s great to update aesthetics, but living in Florida, an updated and working AC unit is a MUST!

As you can see, or as you will see by when you stop by Mark Manor and take a look, we’ve made some wonderful updates and changes to give our residents the best home feeling possible. Remember, your home isn’t just a place to dwell; it’s where the heart is!

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As you can see, or as you will see by when you stop by Mark Manor and take a look, we’ve made some wonderful updates and changes to give our residents the best home feeling possible. Remember, your home isn’t just a place to dwell; it’s where the heart is!

Florida Retirement Community making improvements for 2015

Florida Retirement Community making improvements for 2015

Independent Living FloridaWell, 2014 has been a busy and productive year for the maintenance department here at Village On The Isle. We have made several improvements as well as small changes to our beautiful, Florida retirement community. These changes have included improvements to our safety and security, lighting, landscaping and much more. Let’s give you a recap of what we were up to last year …

A big focus of ours was the installation of a new call light system in Luke Haven, Skilled Nursing. This was needed and enables our staff to provide quicker responses for the needs of our residents. We also completed the installation of impact glass in Matthew Hall, Independent Living as well as the Communication lobby, which will further protect our residents in case of a hurricane. The retrofit of the lighting in the parking area was also completed; we replaced the lighting with energy efficient LED fixtures and will now provide cleaner lighting with an added bonus of 66% less power consumption.

Another big project completed in 2014 was our installation of an additional elevator to Mathew Hall. We are very proud of this project because it not only makes it convenient to have another elevator, but it provides a large elevator for the purpose of moving and EMS services.

We are also continually improving and updating the campus by remodeling common areas. For example, Mark Manor, Assisted Living and Matthew Hall, Independent Living both had floors renovations done. This included new flooring, painting of the walls and doorways that boast beautiful, new art work and decor.

Our communication lobby has been completely renovated with the implementation of improved sitting areas that sit around a fireplace giving the residents a more “homelike” setting. Earlier in the year, the Trinity Hall recreation room was completely renovated and transformed into what the resident call, the “Phoenix Room.” It is now a show place that is both functional and comfortable for the residents.

Late in 2014 we started the remodeling of our main kitchen. This has been a large undertaking, it has been in the planning for two years.   We have involved all of the department managers, the city of Venice building department, the fire department, EMS, the police department, and the board of health. We are ensuring all parties involve will work together to coordinate a smooth running project. For this major renovation, a temporary kitchen has been set up while our remodeling is in progress. The temporary kitchen is composed of (4) fifty five foot trailers, four coolers, and a storage section which have all been placed into our road way next to our dining room and carports. The kitchen also includes a full range of cooking equipment, a dishwashing line and walk-in coolers and freezers. This kitchen is very functional and has kept a high level of food quality.  The residents are still loving our food quality and we are certain that nothing “skips a beat” in this department.

Now, as you can imagine, the years and our Florida climate have not been kind to the breezeway structure. We recently brought in a contactor to see where the degradation started and what kinds of repairs were needed to make the structure stronger and withstand our tropical weather. With the consultation of an engineer, a plan was formulated and the improvements have begun.

A very exciting project that went underway is the courtyard at Luke Have being transformed into a more functional area for our residents. You will now find a larger activity area, new landscaping and a large shade structure. This is currently being designed to provide comfort to our residents while they are outside to relax or while having group activities. As you know, the direct Florida sun, while we love sunny days, is not ideal for outdoor activities when there is no shade coverage available.

These are just a few improvements to our campus that were completed and started during 2014, and there are many more to come. As you can imagine, we have a lot to be excited about and look forward to! From all of us here in the maintenance department, Happy New Year, we hope you have been enjoying it so far!


Christmas Greetings from Florida Retirement Community!

Christmas Greetings from Florida Retirement Community!


It has been a very busy and joyous calendar as the season is celebrated. Village On The Isle staff and residents are staying busy.  There have been numerous floor parties, full community events, special seasonal concerts, lots of visitors and worship services of celebration.  

So, from all of us here in this wonderful Florida retirement community …  WE WISH EVERYONE A MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANUKKAH AND NEW YEAR FILLED WITH MUCH JOY, PEACE AND GOOD HEALTH!

To view all of our Christmas photos please visit our Facebook page!

*This blog was written by Rev. Don Hillerich

Sarasota area retirement community receives HIGHEST national quality award from the American Health Care Association!

Sarasota area retirement community receives HIGHEST national quality award from the American Health Care Association!

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living has recognized Village On The Isle as a tier four achiever for our skilled nursing facility, Luke Haven. This is the highest designation centers can achieve. There were numerous goals and achievements required for this designation such as; increased staff stability, increased customer satisfaction and reduced hospital readmissions. “We are proud of our entire Luke Haven team under the leadership of Kristy Tolley, Assistant Administrator, for this remarkable achievement award,” states Tom Kelly, Village’s long time CEO. Luke Haven has always been committed to quality and providing the best for their residents. Village On The Isle is currently the only Continuing Care Retirement Community located in Venice, FL.  In honor of their success, Village On The Isle will attend the AHCA/NCAL Quality Symposium in February in Austin Texas where they will be recognized for their achievements.

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Village On The Isle is a full service, not-for-profit, faith based, continuing care retirement community located less than half a mile from the Gulf of Mexico in beautiful Venice, Florida. Our goal at Luke Haven skilled nursing facility is to assist our residents to return to their previous home setting or meet their long-term care needs. This is a 60-bed skilled nursing facility providing extensive medical rehabilitation & therapy. Therapy is provided 7 days a week (depending on physicians orders) to meet the needs of our residents. For more information visit



Continuing Care Retirement Centers, “A Retired Senior’s Best Choice.”

Continuing Care Retirement Centers, “A Retired Senior’s Best Choice.”

Retirement communities are not all the same and great care should be exercised in choosing which community best meets your needs.  This blog, written by Village, CEO Mr. Tom Kelly supports this statement.

Assisted Living SarasotaIn Florida, seniors have the option of choosing a community (CCRC) that meets specific State of Florida criteria which makes it the wisest choice and most consumer friendly choice of all the options.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) are regulated under Chapter 651 Florida Statutes through the Office of Insurance Regulation.  This is the ultimate in consumer protection for seniors.

The regulations require many things of the CCRC provider of service including:

  1. Using State of Florida approved contracts.
  2. CCRCs must maintain significant cash reserves that the Office of Insurance Regulation has authority over protecting the residents’ contracts.
  3. Financial transactions of the community must be transparent and made available to the residents.
  4. Community residents must be provided a minimum four opportunities per year to meet directly with the Board of Directors/Trustee in an open meeting.
  5. Time specific refunds.
  6. Community must provide copies of inspection reports to the residents of the community and perspective residents upon request.
  7. Residents are self-governing and the State of Florida validates that management does not interfere with the residents being self-governing.
  8. Numerous other benefits for living in a CCRC.

Retirement communities (self-labeled) who are not Continuing Care Retirement Communities are not required and frequently do not meet all or any of the standards noted above.

The consumer in these non-CCRC type of organizations must rely upon the promises made without anyway of verifying the completeness of the promises.

Remember:  It is always a good idea to trust and verify all promises made by all retirement communities prior to investing your retirement dollars.

At Village On The Isle we welcome this scrutiny and applaud the seniors for their due diligence.  Check us out at (, our website ( or call us at 941-486-5484 to arrange a tour 7 days per week 365 days per year.  Carol will be happy to set-up a tour that is convenient for your schedule.


This blog was written by, Thomas Kelly, C.E.O. Director of Sales/Marketing




Why relationships are so important in this Sarasota area Retirement Community …

Why relationships are so important in this Sarasota area Retirement Community …

At Village On The Isle, we don’t just care for our residents we truly care about them.  The relationships that our residents have with the staff are so important.  Not only are they so precious but also they are key to the overall well-being and quality of life for our residents.  Many of our residents come to Florida to retire from up north, where their families still live.  Imagine the void that is filled when our residents have the company of our youth who work around campus here at Village.  For example, residents enjoy watching our students who work in the dining room go through high school, share the latest news on the iPhone & iPad, then watch them graduate & enter into college as young adults.  Yes, they may visit their grandchildren from time to time, but there is nothing like the day-to-day interaction that occurs here on campus.  Equally important are the relationships the residents form with our nursing, management and operational staff.  When you walk through the halls of this campus you will often see the Village team mingling with our residents, most everyone knows each other on a first name basis and you can genuinely see the happiness as they greet one another.  When we say we are a “Continuing Care Retirement Community, “ we really mean we are a community of friends & family.  And without sounding boastful, we are not certain that you can find this in every retirement community.

Just a few pictures to show you how important our relationships (both with staff and residents) really are …

Recently to celebrate National Housekeeping Week, Village On The Isle management took our 18 member housekeeping team to lunch.  It’s very important for us to show our appreciation for the hard work, dedication and passion that this team gives on a daily basis.

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Pictured here, Luke Haven resident Jocelyn B. with Activities Director, Brian Couch watering the plants together after a period of hot, dry weather.  Rumor has it Jocelyn even sprayed Brian –all in good fun!

Sarasota Retirement Community

Retirement Community begins kitchen renovation

Village On The Isle is excited to begin our Kitchen Renovation Project.

While we routinely update and change out our cooking and refrigeration equipment on an on-going basis, the physical structure of the building is 30+ years old and needs to be updated.  Some of the major renovation that will be completed includes:

  • Replacement of drain lines under the floor,
  • Replacement of walls and ceilings
  • Brand new HVAC system (heating/cooling system)
  • New exhaust systems,
  • New custom built food prep and serving areas will be installed,
  • Upgrades on equipment such as an additional walk-in cooler for uncooked meats and proteins and a blast chiller to quickly cool down heated foods.

For approx. 5-6 months starting by the second week in January of 2015, we will be out of our main production kitchen.  All of our cooking and refrigerated equipment will be un-installed and stored on site and then be re-installed once the kitchen has been renovated.  

During the kitchen renovation project we have contracted with a modular kitchen rental company to provide us a temporary modular kitchen system to produce the food for our residents.  The modular kitchen will consist of 4 main 56’ x 11’ buildings that interlock together creating a cooking area that will have the exact same cooking and warming equipment that we currently use, prep areas, and a full dish wash and pot and pan sink area.  There will also be (2) 10’ x 20’ walk-in freezers, (2) 10’ x 20’ walk-in refrigerators and (1) 10’ x 20’ dry and canned storage room that attach into the main modular kitchen structure.  The temporary kitchen will be set up on the driveway between our Marketing and Communications Lobby entrances with access in and out via an ADA ramp system.

The modular kitchen system is due to arrive on November 19th with installation taking about a 1-1/2 weeks to crane lift the modular structure onto supports and attach the buildings together.  Then hurricane tie downs will be installed, the buildings sealed together along with a/c and exhaust equipment installed etc..   Then our on-site kitchen contractor will need to connect all the electric, gas, water, and sewer lines from our current buildings into the leased modular kitchen system. After all of this work is complete, we will have inspections by the local building department, Fire Marshal, and Health Departments before we can operate out of the modular kitchen.  We expect to this completed by the week of December 15th.

Once we are permitted to use the modular kitchen we will slowly move our food production into the temporary structure over the remainder of December running a parallel operation out of the temporary kitchen and our main production kitchen.  After the first week in January we will move the entire food production operation into the modular kitchen.

Once we are fully operational, all food production, prep, and washing will occur in the modular kitchen.  Food will be prepared in batches and transported by insulated rolling hot boxes to each of our dining rooms to be served to our resident via a buffet style system.  All Dishes will be transported back and forth to the modular kitchen’s dish/pot and pan area.

Retirement Kitchen RemodelAs you can see this is a major operation, one that we have carefully planned out and one that will ensure we don’t skip a beat when it comes to the quality of food for our residents!  We look forward the start and finish of the kitchen renovation project and hope to keep everyone updated as progress is made.

This blog was written by Mike Donelan, Director of Food Services at Village On The Isle.

Keeping it clean in this retirement community!

Here at this continuing care retirement community we take great pride in our appearance and cleanliness. With a housekeeping team of 30 dedicated and seasoned employees, when you walk through the doors of our amazing campus it feels like you’re walking into a 5 star resort.  The floors are always sparkling, the air is always fresh, the windows glistening and most importantly our residents are always smiling.  Our staff has many years of experience and we strive to be the best “clean team” on the Isle of Venice.

Florida Retirement Community

Village On The Isle consists of Independent, Assisted and Skilled living areas.  We have 4 buildings and 7 cottages that make up our campus and each one is just as important as the next to maintain. One of the 4 buildings is our skilled nursing building “Luke Haven” which just recently went through a state survey. The outcome of the survey was very favorable, resulting in ZERO deficiencies along with surveyor comments noting how this building was one of the “cleanest buildings they had surveyed in a very long time.”  Way to go VOTI team!

Just recently our pool area was renovated into a beautiful, tranquil paradise.  With that, the task of keeping the pool area sparkling & supplied with fresh towels has been added to our housekeeping “to do” list.  Keeping the buildings clean on the inside is very important.  However, during these hot summer months, we realize staying cool by the pool is just as important to the residents.   We want to make sure the swimming area is clean and comfortable for everyone to enjoy.

I am very proud of my team and even more proud to be part of a team that has the opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents!  For questions related to housekeeping here at Village On The Isle, please feel free to content me directly.

Blog written by:

Missy Collard

Director Of Housekeeping