Venice Retirement Community wishes everyone a blessed Thanksgiving


On our fabulous day of “Thanksgiving” we pause to thank God for His many blessings. We also pause to remember the earliest families and settlers who gathered amidst new friends and different food choices. Always picturing in our imagination or artist interpretations, we see the long table with turkey, potatoes, cakes, fruits and vegetables; especially corn, a major offering from the harvest. And, of course, pies from every fruit or wild berries…

Whether we gather with families here (somewhat difficult if they are “up north”) or friends at church luncheons or sit in the spacious Hibiscus Dining room or Mark Manor Dining room of Village On The Isle, it is time of celebration and choices. There will be topics of choice, the weather, sports, religion, families or even politics. Whatever the choice, it should be a day of thanks. Conversations and visiting will be throughout Village On The Isle at floor gatherings, entrance areas and especially, in the new “Café”.


Converted and totally rebuilt from the Matthew Hall Den, the beautiful “Café’ is a unique reason for thanks. It will bring friends from all over Village On The Isle to enjoy specialty coffees, flavored soft ice cream, pool and Wii.

Yes, it is a season of thanks for a singular reason but also for so much more. Our historic day transcends all things that are God’s gifts to us. In our prayers, we thank God for all His goodness and His countless blessings.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and continue to live a life of “Thanks” throughout the year.

Chaplain Don Hillerich

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




Retirement Community focuses on safety

Retirement Community focuses on safety

Smile – we are here for your safety.

What are some of the new, innovative ideas that we implementing for the safety of our seniors here at Village On The Isle?  One of the newest things we have added to the campus are surveillance cameras located at various spots throughout our campus.  These cameras have been installed at strategic locations to monitor activity in certain areas.  This is not big brother watching the residents; this is more like family looking to provide added protection to our loved ones.

Our security staff monitors these cameras looking for persons not recognized by staff entering the building or maybe someone just lurking around who shouldn’t be.  These cameras have been helpful in that we may observe a resident in an area not deemed safe such as a construction or work area that should be entered by employees only.  This gives us an opportunity to dispatch a staff member to the area and kindly help the resident back to safety.  Or should someone become unstable and fall within view of the cameras, we will be able to react quicker to assist them.   In addition, after hours, when the doors have been locked, we will be able to respond quicker to the area and assist a visitor trying to gain entry into the building.

These cameras are all displayed on a monitor and recorded via a DVR in the Communications area which is manned 24/7.  The lines of communication are also open to after hour visitors to our Independent Living Apartments in Trinity Hall and Matthew Hall.  Besides the video of visitors attempting to enter the building, the person at the communications desk has the capability of speaking directly to the visitor via telephone and if circumstances dictate, they have the ability of remotely opening the door allowing for entrance.


We strive to provide the best when it comes to safety for our residents.  We want them to have peace of mind and just as important we want their families to have peace of mind knowing they are safe here at Village On The Isle.

Village On The Isle residents speak on MSNBC during election coverage!

When Tom Kelly, Village On The Isle, CEO received the phone call last Thursday from NBC Nightly News producer Susan Kroll, he was pleasantly surprised.  Susan informed Mr. Kelly that after a “Google search” (in which Village On The Isle ranked #1) she performed additional research and knew this would be the perfect retirement community for their interview.  NBC wanted to explore in-depth what the issues are that will affect the vote of undecided seniors as we approach Election Day.  The residents had to be undecided on the upcoming vote.

With only 4 days to spare, Village On The Isle had 6 wonderful residents who were self-reported undecided voters, to be interviewed by NBC Nightly News.  Journalist, John Yang interviewed the 6 residents on Tuesday August 21st , 2012 on campus and the interview will air next week when he is back in Tampa for MSNBC’s election coverage.  Tune into MSNBC on Monday August 27th , 2012 at 9am and again at 11am to see the interview.


It was quite interesting to listen to the residents speak openly on their views.  Each of them undecided on their vote and age range of 75-94.  What an intelligent group of folks, very articulate, open and honest.  There was synergy throughout the group not only about their indecisiveness but when asked about the younger generations and their loyalty to voting.  There is a different mind set when it comes to the younger generations, maybe more so Generation Y.  They don’t see the value or great privilege it is to be able to vote.  The group didn’t blame them, they agreed that maybe the older generations haven’t done a good enough job instilling the value of voting to them.  When asked by John Yang, “Would any of you even think about NOT voting because of your indecisiveness?”  The group of resents responded in unisome, “No!” John Yang also asked if they had to vote right now, who would they vote for…the residents all responded – you’ll have to watch the interview to see if he unveils their responses.


Fall is in the air!


Fall is in the air!

What is it that makes us Floridians miss the autumn season? Is it that we are tired of the hot weather, or do we miss the taste of fall? Granted it is nice to have cooler mornings and less humidity but is it the fresh picked crisp apple we miss or the smell of pumpkin pie through our neighbors’ windows. With Labor Day behind us and Halloween fast approaching try explaining to a child what it was like growing up with a true autumn season. Picking apples and pressing cider is as foreign to them as their iPod is to me.


Nothing can describe the excitement in the air as we went to the harvest fair and how for the next few months Mother Nature turned the leaves of the trees into the most beautiful shades of reds, oranges and yellows one could ever imagine. I explained this to my seven year old who stared at me as if I had gone completely over the edge. What was I talking about? They had both seen the leaves turn colors every year… via the internet so what was the big deal? The big deal is that as summer does turn to autumn; we do miss the imagistic landscapes, but the true meaning of autumn is family; and Village On The Isle is family.

The VOTI family is unique, we do celebrate fall; we decorate the campus, invite friends and family to our houses, plan special holiday meals and spend more time with each other. We may not have crisps apples off a tree but we do have fresh baked apple pie. Our apple cider may come from a store, our pumpkins do not have frost on them and they are smaller than what we had up north but on Thanksgiving morning, we the VOTI family will be celebrating our blessings as Floridians’ do with a wonderful meal and a dip in the pool. Come visit us this fall at VOTI and see what you are missing!

This blog was written by Kathleen Blackburn Dietary Manager at Village On The Isle.

“Staying Connected” at Village On The Isle

At Village On The Isle, “staying connected” is important to us so we’ve structured our community to deliver the In-house IT services you need when you need them. In-House IT Services is focused on providing unparalleled Service and Support to existing and new Independent Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing residents.

When our residents move in, they may ask themselves, “How am I going to hook up my computer, what if I plugged it in the wrong way, what provider should I use…etc.?” At Village On The Isle, we want resident’s transition from their current residence to their new home to be as smooth as possible. Retirement is all about not needing to worry,  so the In-house IT will hook up your computer and all residents at the Village have free access to WiFi (Wireless Network).  In-house IT also provides beginners and basic computer classes periodically throughout the year.

We know that many of our retirees who move in may have family members across the state or even the country.  We have many ways for family members to connect with residents at Village On The Isle.  We showcase our daily activities, events and residents on our Facebook page daily.  This gives others a sense of what the lifestyle and culture is at Village On The Isle in Venice, FL.  We also offer Skype capabilities to residents who may not have a video camera on their computer or for those who are not able to use a computer.  Residents whose family members wish to see them up close and personal can use our Skype mobile phone.  We will assist these residents in using and they will be video chatting with family in no time.

It is reassuring to know that with one phone call or email your IT needs are handled quickly and professionally.

Just how “independent” are you living at home alone? It may be time to think of a Continuing Care Retirement Community …

Just how “independent” are you living at home alone?

It may be time to think of a Continuing Care Retirement Community

Elderly Woman Driving

Would you rather live at home, alone, depending on others, not being able to do the things you once could?  Is this really keeping your independence?  Unable to mow your lawn or keep up with daily chores around your house is a constant reminder that you may actually be losing your independence.  Why burden yourself with these worries?  You should be enjoying your retirement years… Your time is NOW!

Take a look at the list below.  Answer each question to yourself and find out if you’re really as “independent” as you want to be.  Be honest with yourself.

  • Do you spend quality time with other people every day?

YES –or- NO

  • Do you have the energy to clean the house every week?

YES –or- NO

  • Do you fix yourself 3 healthy meals per day?

YES –or- NO

  • Can you drive yourself to the store, church and other places, daily, weekly?

YES –or- NO

  • Are you able to mow the lawn and take care of your yard throughout the hot summer?

YES –or- NO

  • Can you fix things around the house by yourself?

YES –or- NO

  • Is it easy to climb steps?

YES –or- NO

  • Could you care for yourself if you broke your hip or leg?

YES –or- NO

  • Are you happy living by yourself and do you look forward to each new day?

YES –or- NO

  • Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to worry about Hurricane Preparedness?  If you lived in a community that took care of this for you?

YES –or- NO

  • Do you have a strong social support network, locally?

YES –or- NO

It’s important to be honest with yourself and keep a positive attitude about aging.  These are the years you should be enjoying yourself.  You should have fewer worries and really live the life you deserve.  We work towards retirement our whole lives and mowing the lawn or driving when we are impaired should not be what makes us feel independent!  Socializing with others, laughing, joining activities, relaxing with our peers – these things are what it’s all about!

Hurricane Season 2011, Are you Ready?

Hurricane Preparation

Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean starts June 1 and ends Nov 30th. Even though it has been over 5 years that Florida has been hit by a hurricane. No one is sure when and if a Hurricane may hit our area. Because of this we take Hurricane Preparedness seriously here at Village on the Isle. This year The Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University today called for an above-average Atlantic basin hurricane season in an early extended-range forecast for 2011.  The team anticipates 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5) with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater for the 2011 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. These forecast numbers for 2011 are close to the active Atlantic basin hurricane season experienced in 2010.

Village On The Isle is home to 400 plus seniors and we have a dedicated team of staff and board members that makes it our mission to keep our residents safe during a disaster. We believe that we have set the standards of hurricane preparation in Sarasota County.

Village On The Isle is a very safe facility that can withstand up to a Category 3 Hurricane. Some of our safety features are:

  • Six large generators for emergency power.
  • These range from 40 KW to 300 KW
  • We have multiple fuel sources that include diesel, natural gas and propane.
  • Two of these are bi-fuel which may use one source or another or a combination of both.
  • We have 10 portable generators for extra back up
  • Hardening of the facility with use of impact glass and hurricane shutters
  • New roof that are built up to the newest wind uplift codes
  • Emergency food and water for up to 7 days
  • Six buses for transportation
  • A vehicle capable of providing additional fuel


During Hurricane season we will constantly keep an eye on the tropics to see if there is any activity going on. Some of our sources that we use extensively are Sarasota Emergency Management, The National Hurricane Center, The Weather Underground and ABC Channel 7 news. These sites also have many useful facts to keep you safe and can assist you in preparation of a Hurricane. If there is a threat is out there, we will convey our disaster team to take appropriate action. If we need to evacuate we have 12 off site locations. These are located throughout the State as far a Port St Lucie. The evacuation site that we will go to depends on the predicted path of the hurricane.

We just completed our 6th yearly evacuation drill where we take 50 residents and 10 staff members to Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp located in Fruitland Park, FL. There we spend three days and two nights. Each time we partake in our drill we learn from our experiences and solve any problems that may occur in preparation for an actual evacuation.




Security in a Retirement Home setting …



Security in a Retirement Home setting …

Who more deserves to live in a safe, secure setting then our seniors?

The definition of the word security is “the degree of protection against danger, damage, loss, and criminal activity.”

So what is security in a retirement home?

At Village On The Isle we adhere to the following guideline to keep our residents Safe, Secure & Comfortable:

  • 24 Hour Security conducting routine rounds inside and outside the building.  We will stop and talk with persons that may look out of place or in the wrong place and direct them off property when necessary.
  • Constant monitoring of the nurse call system, Wanderguard system and fire alarm system. We will dispatch the proper personnel to rectify the situation be it, medical, smoke or a confused person
  • When an ambulance is in route on a emergency call, we will keep designated areas free from obstruction, hold elevators and escort the emergency medical staff to the proper location in the quickest manner possible.
  • Addressing Emergencies (accidents, disturbances) quickly and efficiently without disturbing the peace of our other residents.
  • Quarterly resident meetings are held where we will inform and discuss residents of online safety and scams.  We monitor the Sheriffs website and other related sites on up to date information about seniors and online safety.  When relevant we post updates to our resident bulletin boards

Just as safety is one of your biggest concerns and number one priorities for you and your family, it is also ours here at Village On The Isle. We take your safety very seriously. We work very hard at providing a safe & secure environment so that you have peace of mind while enjoying this retirement community in sunny Venice, FL.

Just as our mission statement states, it is our duty to maintain a safe, secure and happy lifestyle for our residents!

Mission Statement

As a not-for-profit ministry affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; we are committed to sharing God’s love by promoting individual growth and dignity, enhancing the quality of life and meeting the human and spiritual needs of our residents, staff and community.







So often when we think of Spring Cleaning the traditional organizing, de-cluttering and purging of our household items comes into play.  We spend a day or a good solid weekend performing this annual chore, but do we ever spend any time on cleaning up other important areas of our life?  At Village On The Isle we feel there are three key areas to keep clean in your life.

Commonly, New Year’s resolutions regularly include losing weight, eating healthier or exercise.   However, by the time spring roles around most of those resolutions have been long forgotten.  Spring is a great time to take a look at your food consumption. Fresh veggies and fruits are in season and readily available at your local supermarket or farmers market.  The nicer weather also makes it easier for us to choose healthier, lighter food options.

Next of our top 3 is your Mental Health.  Many things can affect our overall mental wellbeing.  Finances, Family, Work …  Have you filed your 2010 taxes or are you riding out an extension?  Is there a family issue that you are struggling with?  Are you balancing work and home life?    These situations are all manageable. Once tackled, you will feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.  Take control of the situation and move forward positively.  Spring Cleaning your mental health does not mean you do not have issues or stresses in your life.  It means you are in control and are making moves to handle these situations.

Last but not least your home. Do not overwhelm yourself in this area.  Start with a plan.  What are the areas of your home that require the most attention?  Is there an area you may not have tackled last year during Spring Cleaning?  Are you able to park your car in your Garage or does this area of your home end up being the storage room?  When were the last time you swept underneath your bed?  Take a look in your dresser draws, items you no longer use can be donated or thrown away.  Good Housekeeping breaks Spring Cleaning up into 10 minutes per day – Quick and Easy just the way we like it!

So… Get Up, Get Motivated and GET CLEAN!