Preparing to put your parents into a Retirement Community

Preparing to put your parents into a Retirement Community


For many families, putting their loved ones in a retirement community can be nerve-racking and a scary transition. You always want to be sure that you have done your research and made the best choice possible. Most children have a deep fear of bringing their parents to an assisted living facility, even if it is as beautiful as our Florida retirement community.  They feel their parents would rather stay in their own home. This can make the decision very hard on the children and they begin to feel guilty that they may not be making the right choice.

A Senior Couple Sitting on a Park Bench Next to Rose Bushes


Here at Village On The Isle, we try and embrace the families to let them know this retirement community is the proper placement for their loved ones at this stage in their life. To make the transition easier on the families we reassure them and go over very thoroughly what we do in regards to their loved ones health and well-being. Our continuing care retirement community offers the best care for our residents which includes medication assistance, housekeeping and laundry. We also care for our residents by providing services for activities of daily living which include bathing, dressing and eating amongst other daily routines. Unlike most retirement communities that charge for different levels of care, we assist in all the activities of daily life. This can take a lot of pressure off the family members knowing that their loved ones daily routines are taken care of and that they are being provided for.


Another one of the perks of living at Village On The Isle that puts family members minds at ease is how we monitor our residents to make sure they are always safe and healthy. A fear of some families is that their loved one may not be properly taken care of when it comes to doctor appointments or other medical treatment. This is not the case at this retirement community. We facilitate and take residents to and from doctor appointments. To promote safety, we do checks on our residents every two hours, other retirement communities do not do this. The families of our residents are also very surprised when we discuss our staffing ratio when compared to other Sarasota area retirement communities. We have nurses on site 24/7 and we only hire CNA’s. We always make sure we are properly staffed with 7 CNAs daily as well as 4 CNAs nightly. We only provide the best for our residents at Village On The Isle.  


Exciting New Changes Planned For Village On The Isle

Exciting New Changes Planned For Village On The Isle


Here at Village On The Isle we care deeply for our residents and always strive to provide the best living arrangements. That is why we are currently working on our new changes planned for Village On The Isle , the “Matthew Den.” The “Matthew Den” will be located in our Independent Living, Matthew Hall and will be a great addition to our community.  We wanted to create this room to give our residents a new gathering place where they can socialize, participate in activities, and enjoy the company of others. We have a building on campus that already contains an update like this in Trinity Hall, “The Phoenix Room.” This room inspired us to do the same for our Matthew Hall residents so  our CEO, Tom Kelly, partnered with Beebe Design Studio and shortly after a renovation plan was put in place.

Going into the project we already had a few upgrades in mind that we wanted to make sure were added to the space to make the room more enjoyable. Some of the renovations include more seating for our residents, more food choices and of course a spectacular place for them to gather. When it came down to the layout of the room we brainstormed with our contractor and eventually came up with a Venetian theme for the new space and thus the Venetian Cafe was born. There are many other add-ons  that will go into this project like a cappuccino machine and soft serve ice cream, two items we are sure our residents are excited about! It will also feature a continental style breakfast for our residents to enjoy.

We also wanted the space to have more recreational use too, so we are expanding the room to make way for a new pool table. We are positive our residents will love our new upgrades and the new amenities that  Matthew Den will offer.

We are working diligently to get this project completed so we chose Dunn Enterprise’s to build the Cafe. We started this past Labor Day (September 2015) and hope to be completed by the beginning of the new year.  We truly care about the wellbeing of all who live here.  The main objective of this project is so we constantly strive to improve the lives of our residents and always provide state of the art spaces to relax and enjoy.

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Choosing the “RIGHT” Retirement Community | Sarasota Retirement Community


Downtown Venice SignYou think you have chosen the retirement community that you want to make as your home for the next chapter in your life.  You believe you have done your homework.  As a senior housing professional for the past 45 years, I believe it is important that a savvy senior consider the following checklist as well as all the other due diligence that was taken prior to the actual selection of a community.


Do you wish to live in a rental community or one with a one-time membership charge, as both types of communities offer advantages?

  • Does the location suit your geographic desires to be near family and friends?
  • Will you have to find a new group of medical professionals?
  • Does the community you are looking at meet your social, emotional, spiritual and physical needs?
  • Did you make one or more unannounced visits to the community on a weekend or holiday to see how the community operates other than Monday through Friday?
  • Did you ask for and were you provided proof of financial stability and regulatory compliance?
  • What is the longevity and stability of the management team and hourly workers at the community you are considering?
  • Did you ask for and receive a day or two trial stay without anyone from management hovering?
  • Was your entire involvement with the community informative or was it more of an attempt to get you to sign on the dotted line?
  • Were recreational offerings physically, socially and mentally stimulating for the type of lifestyle you wish to continue?
  • What has been the annual percentage increase of monthly fees for the past 3 and 5 years?
  • Can the community offer a full range of health related services including in home care, assisted living and skilled nursing care should your circumstances require it for a short, intermediate or long period of time on the campus of the community?

The above items need to be included in your overall due diligence as you go about selecting the retirement community you wish to call home if you want to maximize your quality of life.

May your life be a continuous happy journey!

Tom Kelly, C.E.O.

Quality of Life CNA | Sarasota Area Skilled Nursing

Quality of Life CNA | Sarasota Area Skilled Nursing


About a year ago we initiated a new position at Village On The Isle titled, Quality of Life CNA.   This CNA position is specific to spending time with small groups or individual residents in our continuing care retirement community who would benefit from personal time with our staff.  Originally it was put in place to help reduce the risk of residents falls and promote safety but this position has now evolved to much more than that. The Quality of Life CNA helps our residents with other personal tasks such as making sure they are having time outside getting fresh air as well as inside, receiving care and attention for little things like getting their nails done or being read to.  Our Quality of Life CNA might also be in charge of running an event like bingo or an ice cream social for our residents.

In order to determine events for our skilled nursing residents,  our CNAs discuss with our residents’ families and the residents themselves to get to know them on a more personal level.  We communicate and engage with them to learn about the lives they lived, the activities they like and the places they’ve been.  From there, we are able to see what events and activities our residents are able to partake in. Depending on the residents’ response we can choose specific activities and the nursing team can then evaluate their progress.   The progress of the residents in these activities is tracked and reported to the families in our quarterly facility care meetings.  At these meetings we discuss offered programs, medications, report if there are any changes in their care and their condition.

Quality of LIife CNAThe Quality of Life CNA at Luke Haven is an important team member that is here to help make a positive impact on the lives of our residents.  Here at Luke Haven we provide higher than mandated staffing numbers for CNAs and nurses. Even in our departments such as housekeeping and dietary, making sure Luke Haven is kept a clean and healthy environment for our residents is top priority. This helps ensure that all residents are getting the care they need and deserve.  At Luke Haven, we stand out amongst other Skilled Nursing facilities.   Our caring staff works together as a team to improve the lives of our residents, and their families while making sure they are getting the most out of their time spent here.  Just ask our residents or their families about Luke Haven.  It is the place people have come to know as a skilled nursing center that provides the best care possible.

What is Pneumococcal Pneumonia? | Sarasota Area Retirement Community

What is Pneumococcal Pneumonia?

At Village On The Isle our residents’ health is very important to us.  Keeping them safe, healthy & happy is what we strive for.  Pneumococcal pneumonia is estimated to put as many as 302,000 adults over 50 in the hospital each year. In some cases, it can even lead to death.  It’s important for our team to know the symptoms when caring for seniors in our Skilled Nursing center. 

Pneumococcal pneumoniaPneumococcal pneumonia is not a cold or the flu. It’s an illness that is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common bacteria. Its symptoms appear quickly and can be severe. For some people, certain symptoms like cough and fatigue can last for weeks or longer — even after treatment with antibiotics.

Symptoms are distinct, can appear quickly, and may include:

Chest pain with difficulty breathing

A high fever, shaking, chills

Excessive sweating


A cough with phlegm that persists or gets worse

Like some other common infectious diseases, the bacteria that causes pneumococcal pneumonia can be spread when airborne droplets are launched in the air by coughing or sneezing, or exchanged through close contact.

At Luke Haven, we assess if the resident has had the vaccine, if not we educate the resident and/or family on the risks and benefits of the vaccine.  If they agree we will administer it at that time, after getting a physician order.  We strongly encourage residents to receive the vaccine to prevent pneumonia.  If residents are symptomatic, we contact the doctor to receive diagnostic and treatment orders.  Diagnostic is normally a chest x-ray.  Treatment orders are antibiotics, nebulizer treatments and maybe oxygen.  Our Independent Living and Assisted Living also have protocol in place when dealing with this disease. 

Our goal is to create a healthy & happy environment and we will never stop working to make this place the BEST retirement community on the gulf coast.

More info on Pneumococcal pneumonia can be found here.

Sarasota area Retirement Community rich in activities puts safety first.

Sarasota area Retirement Community Rich in Activities puts Safety First.

“Going the extra mile”

By mile, we literally mean going the extra “miles” as we love to travel here at Village On The Isle. Our activity and social calendar are full of exciting events and wonderful gatherings that keep us very active. Recently the residents and I took a scenic cruise up the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Memphis Tennessee. Everyone is still talking about all the fun we had. Most importantly, we are always put safety first when we travel here at Village and a lot of prep and planning goes into each trip.

Sarasota Retirement CommunitySo let’s talk safety!   This past May we had our annual Evacuation Drill to Leesburg, Florida. This year was better than ever. I guess you can say, “Practice Makes Perfect!” As usual, we’ve been practicing this drill for years now, and the staff made sure this year topped the charts. Village On The Isle is unique in many ways, one way is that we send a licensed nurse from our wellness office on any overnight trips the residents participate in. You might wonder why Independent Living residents need a nurse escort? First, simply just for resident comfort & safety. Second, to observe with “nurses eyes” for a realistic approach to resident needs, which is quite different than observation of “non-medical eyes.” The stress of traveling itself can take a toll on seniors’ health & well-being. Independent residents with disabilities, those who might need a little extra assistance when traveling, residents who have assistive devices such as oxygen, C-PAP machines and ones who would not normally go on trips, feel much more confident knowing a trained medical staff member is on hand. Dehydration, fluctuation of blood sugar levels and fatigue, which can result in a fall, are all accidents in which we’d want a nurse on hand. Wouldn’t you?

Our nurses know our residents and they are familiar with their basic medical conditions. It gives them a sense of peace and comfort having them along. In addition, I take each resident’s confidential medical form on all trips, this has their basic health information, medications, allergies, etc. In case of an unexpected emergency or hospitalization this information would be extremely valuable for their continuity of care.

As a nurse I understand that seniors traveling out of their familiar environment are prone to anxiety and stress. Sensory changes (vision & hearing) can trigger stress and make trips uncomfortable and not enjoyable. That is not what we want at Village, we want our residents to enjoy retirement. After all, we live in paradise.

Our Continuing Care Retirement Community administration and staff are constantly seeking ways to improve and enhance our residents daily lives by exceeding their expectations. “Going the extra mile.”

Health & Happiness Always, Vicki Morehead

We live where you vacation | Sarasota Retirement Coummity

We live where you vacation … Sarasota Retirement Community

The sun is shining the weather is perfect and another beautiful day has begun at Village on the isle.  Spring is definitely here, the morning is slightly cool and a refreshing breeze is blowing across the campus from the Gulf of Mexico.  Sounds like a postcard doesn’t it? Well to us, it is home.  During the past year many wonderful articles have been written about the City of Venice and Village On The Isle.  Venice is truly a wonderful place to live and Village On The Isle is a major part of this city.  The Residents’ in this retirement community are able to take advantage of everything Venice has to offer.  Residents’ can stroll around the beautiful grounds that surround our Independent Living campus or take one of the 9 buses downtown to participate in local community events.

DSC04097Everyone in our Continuing Care Retirement Community gets involved with local and national events.  The Residents’ of Luke- Haven Skilled Nursing facility were able to participate in National Nutrition and Hydration Week’s,  Annual Tea Party (only USA nursing homes are able to participate). The tea party is called the “ World’s Largest Tea Party. ” The party was held on March 18th to help celebrate the week and also emphasize good nutrition and hydration.  The residents were visited by the “Mad Hatter,” Brian Couch, Luke-Haven’s Activates Director and the “White Rabbit,” Kathleen Blackburn, Luke-Haven’s Food Service Director; for an Alice in Wonderland inspired “un-birthday” tea party.  The tea party was a grand event which promoted getting to know your neighbor by sharing stories and a cup of tea. The staff and residents did get to know each other; we talked about everything, including the beautiful Florida weather, the bad winter up North, the continued improvements around the our retirement community, what brought us to Venice and VOTI and about our award winning beaches that our friends up north can only dream about.  When all was said and done, the staff and residents agreed that “We live where you vacation.”  So the next time you are on vacation why not stop in for a cup of tea; a little conversation and see why you too want to live where your friends and family vacation


Staying Active During Retirement | Sarasota Retirement Community

Staying Active During Retirement

Staying active is extremely important in any lifestyle. In senior retirement communities, people still have the same basic needs—they need to laugh and have fun, sing and dance, learn and explore, play and compete.  In short, to be able to live life to its fullest, staying active during retirement is important as we age.

Senior Retirement ActivitiesVillage On The Isle recognizes that our residents’ tastes and abilities will vary, and we try to offer something for everyone by allowing residents to choose from a wide array of enriching and sometimes unconventional activities. We frequently host field trips to the Ringling Museum, Tampa Bay Rays games, Venice Symphony and the Venice Theatre.  We even took a trip to Arcadia Rodeo last month. Residents enjoyed sitting up close to the action and ended up with a lap full of dirt. In the end, everyone had a great time! Coming up on Friday, April 24, we have an exotic eco-adventure scheduled to Giraffe Ranch in Dade City.  Residents will experience firsthand, the lives of giraffe and other species from around the world living under huge live oaks and open grasslands in a setting that is right out of Africa. We will learn about exotic animals from an expert guide in the comfort of a specially designed 4-wheel drive vehicle.

After the event, lunch will be at Lunch On Limoges which is described as like eating in a fairyland. It is a former clothing and dry goods store owned by the Wilson family for about 100 years. It will be a unique shopping and dining experience—eating in the center of a general store.

On Sunday, April 26, we are planning a trip to the Tampa Bay Rays game vs the Toronto Blue Jays. Then on the first weekend in May we will witness the beauty and grace of the Original Lipizzan Stallions of Austria.

Learning is a joy, and lifelong learning opportunities are a crucial ingredient in any great senior activities program. Last month we had 13 iPad graduates! Coming soon is a Windows 8.1 class in May. For the literary side of things, our residents read a different book each month with the VOTI Book Club.  As you can see we are not just sitting around in this retirement community, we are enjoying life to the fullest!

Now let’s move on to our entertainment.  Of course entertainment is a big event every week in this place! We have had a Frank Sinatra impersonator, a Broadway play singer and much much more. For those who love to laugh, we have a stand up piano comedian coming up that is sure to be a hit! Later this summer, July 23rd to be exact, we will hold our big Volunteer Gala.

As you can see, there is always something happening on our calendar. Our goal is to keep residents active, happy and involved.

Any of our upcoming calendars can be found on our website

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 and relaxing then sprucing up our back courtyard with a pavilion structure for our residents to enjoy some peace and serenity!

CEO, Tom Kelly and Luke Haven Administrator, Kristy Tolley have been very active in moving this process along and on schedule.  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! A perfect place to socialize!

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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, socialize and of course get some well-needed peace and serenity. 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!

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