JKV Resident Spotlight: 2 Military Heroes

 Audrey Sutton collage of military headshot and action pic

Audrey Sutton, Retired Lieutenant Colonel
Lakeside Villa Resident

In 1974, when John Knox Village resident Audrey Sutton was the Director of a Mental Health Center in Baltimore at 27 years old, she got an offer she couldn’t refuse – someone she respected dared her to try out to be in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) Reserve. Audrey finished basic training in just two weeks, started on the Private Honor Trainee from Cycle, and was quickly sent to Fort Jackson, South Carolina for three years when she was promoted to Officer. After attending Officer Candidate School for one year, she earned Second Lieutenant when she was awarded a special Commandant Professional Award made specifically for her.

She graduated and became Second Lieutenant, served only two years in that position, and then was promoted to Captain. Audrey said she was terrified. Her primary duty as Captain was to provide leadership to the women. The women were always in training and doing challenging exercise drills to prepare for any impending conflict. As a reservist, Audrey still had her day job in Baltimore, doing social work administration for the city’s Child Protective Services, foster care, and adoption. When she was made Chief of Childcare in Baltimore, she oversaw the government-sponsored programs for over 3,000 children, including daycare, social workers, educational programs, cafeteria workers, drivers, and more.

At the same time, Audrey was promoted to U.S. Army Commander, a position at the time that belonged almost exclusively to white males. As a black woman, Audrey truly was a trailblazer. For two and a half years, on weekends, she traveled to serve at the U.S. Army Reserve Center in Dover, Delaware. After her command there, she was promoted to Major, where she served at bases in Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, and other states. She also worked at the V.A. Washington, DC, as a Major for school administration to help advise, guide and semi-command.

When Audrey was assigned to Cocoa Beach, Florida, she taught Equal Opportunity Training, which was, by this time, co-ed. She taught both male and female soldiers about sexual harassment and how it would not be tolerated and encouraged women to report any incidents if they occurred.

Her next assignment combined her military service with her day job. Audrey was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and became the CEO of the foster care, adoption, and mental health program before retiring as a U.S. Army Reserve Commander in 2003.

Audrey feels she was lucky to have the support of her mom and five siblings. Her mom told Audrey, “Honey, aim high and never quit. Expect to win and stay tough,” — words that guided Audrey throughout her 29-year military career.

When asked if there was a person she served with whom she remembers fondly, Audrey immediately thought of her First Sergeant Jean Branch, whom she really admired and has remained friends with to this day. According to Audrey, “I had no experience being a military leader. Jean told me, ‘If you do what I do and follow my example, you’ll be fine.’ Which I did. We ended up problem-solving together.”

 

Colonel William F. Sullivan

Bill Sullivan, Retired U.S. Army Colonel
Westlake Resident

Bill was drafted in 1969 and reported for induction at the AFEES station in Jacksonville, Florida just as Neil Armstrong was taking man’s first step on the moon. From there, he was sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey, for basic training at a Private E-1. Bill graduated nine weeks later and received his officer’s commission as a Reserve Army Captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. From Fort Dix, he was sent to Fort Lee, Virginia, for a two-week officer orientation course. Bill’s next assignment was to JAGC School at the University of Virginia for the two-month JAG Basic Course. The group graduated at Christmas in 1969 and received orders to report to their first duty station in January 1970 in Fort Riley, Kansas. Bill worked for a Colonel he respected, so when he was reassigned to Army Headquarters in Okinawa, which was then a Protectorate of the U.S., Bill requested to go with the Colonel. He received his reassignment to Okinawa a few months later. Bill and his wife Judy had their first child at Fort Riley, and when Judy arrived in Okinawa, she was ripe with baby number two, who was born a month later.

Bill’s most memorable assignment was as a member of the Army Homecoming Team, Operation Homecoming, Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines, from January 1973 to April 1973. Hostilities had just ended in Viet Nam and the POWs were being repatriated from their POW camps. Many were flown to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines for debriefing, then to Germany, and then to the States. The Army had its team of doctors, social workers, chaplains, lawyers, and finance officers to deal with any questions or concerns that the men may have had. Bill vividly remembers standing on the tarmac at Clark as the Air Force transports landed and the men came down the boarding ramps. He states that there was not a dry eye in the house. That very scene was repeated many years later as the troops were coming home to Hunter Airfield in South Carolina after the first Gulf War as he stood on the tarmac at Hunter.

Okinawa was his terminal assignment, and after his discharge in 1974, he and Judy, with their two young daughters, moved to Lighthouse Point, Florida. Bill is from Miami, and Judy is from Coral Gables, so moving to South Florida was an easy decision. Bill started practicing law with his fraternity brother Peter Portley in 1974, and they continued to practice together until they both retired in 2020.

Bill’s active-duty career was from 1969 to 1974. He had the foresight to stay in the Active Reserves and retired as a Colonel in 1997. Bill concludes, “I always smile when someone thanks me for my service because I truly feel that I got more than I gave. Judy and I loved the culture of the military community, and we made so many great friends and shared so many wonderful experiences. There is a comradery of military service that is hard to explain unless you have experienced it. Judy and I both loved it, and we will always cherish the memories.”

As we celebrate Armed Forces Day around the nation, we would like to thank all members of the Armed Forces, past and present, for their dedication and service to our country. At John Knox Village, we treasure the many veterans who call JKV home. We’re honored to have them here.

We invite you to visit John Knox Village of Florida to learn more about us and see what sets us apart from other senior living communities. JKV is a life plan community offering an exceptional lifestyle and the financial security of having a plan in place for any future care that might arise.

Join us for brunch at 11:00 am on June 13, 2024 to learn more, or contact us for a conversation or to schedule a tour.

 

12 Quotes That Prove: Mother Really Does Know Best!

Moms make sure our beds are made, our teeth are brushed, and we eat our veggies – all things that set us up for a happy, healthy, successful life! But maybe most importantly, they dispense valuable advice that stands true throughout our lives.

We asked some of our residents and team members to share what their moms have taught them, and uncovered some gold nuggets:

“Mom used to say, ‘Think of the consequences before you step too far off your normal path, but don’t be afraid to open new doors and look inside.’” – Claire McCarty, JKV resident

“My mother-in-law used to say, ‘Don’t count your chickens with a hatchet.’ My grandmother used to say, ‘Smoking is not at all necessary and very unladylike.’” – Dorothy Romanelli, JKV resident

“My mom’s advice to me: ‘If you’re thinking about someone you haven’t been in contact with in a while, don’t wait to call, write or text. Make the time to reach out. Tomorrow is never promised,’ and ‘Give hugs and handshakes like you mean it!’” – Jody Puishys, JKV Executive Assistant

“My mom-in-law always says, ‘You can never do the wrong thing by doing the right thing.’ I love this. It has guided me to always try to take the high road.” – Yael Fishman, JKV Digital Marketing Coordinator

“My Aunt Mickey said, ‘NEVER pass up a chance to pee!’” – Diane Barton, JKV resident

“Don’t worry about anything until you know what you’re worrying about.” – Twylah Haun, JKV resident

“When you become a parent, you will always be a parent. But when your children become adults, you stop parenting.” – Jody Leshinsky, JKV Life Enrichment Manager

“As a young kid, I always wanted to take dance lessons. I was also pretty clumsy and I guess my mom knew that dance lessons were probably not something I’d ever benefit from. Her retort to me was always, ‘You’ve gotta get something in your head before you get it in your feet.’ Needless to say, I never got those dance lessons, but I did do well in school.” – Julie Vikmanis, JKV resident

“Love what you do and help others.” – Kellie Camp Thomas, JKV Community Engagement and Business Development Manager

“My mother always advised me that if you really want something to happen in your life that isn’t happening, write it down so it can be out in the universe to help manifest it. I have found that this tactic often works.” – Kim Morgan-Vagnuolo, JKV PR Specialist

“My mother taught me to say, ‘thank you.’ She said it was like a prayer and I must admit, I say it a lot. I’ve added a smile when saying it. I was taught it expresses gratitude, humility, and understanding. Try it and see what these two words from you do to others. Don’t forget to add a smile!” – Shari Vordermeier, JKV resident

And perhaps the best advice of all:

“Never cook bacon naked.” – Steph Messana, JKV resident

Click here for more “mom wisdom” from our residents!

 

Mother’s Day Recipes

Two recipes for a delicious Mother’s Day brunch!

breakfast taco with egg bacon sausage avocado

Breakfast Tacos with Bacon, Avocado, and Sausage

 

Breakfast Tacos with Bacon, Avocado and Sausage
Serves 8

8 pieces bacon
8 breakfast sausages, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 large eggs
1 whole avocado, peeled, pitted, and small diced
8 soft taco tortillas, flour or corn
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional toppings:
Shredded cheddar cheese
Salsa
Chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 375°. Place the bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until crispy, about 15-18 minutes. Drain on a paper towel and cut into small pieces.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a 10” pan and cook eggs over medium heat, using a spatula to move them while they cook, flipping a few times until they’re soft and pillowy but cooked through. Remove from pan, place in a bowl, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add remaining olive oil to pan and cook sausage until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Remove from pan, place in a bowl, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Discard any remaining oil and wipe out pan with a clean paper towel. Warm each tortilla for about a minute on each side, flipping and removing to a plate. Keep stack of tortillas warm by covering plate with foil until it’s time to assemble the breakfast tacos.

Once all your components are ready, assemble by spooning sausage, eggs, bacon and avocado on to each tortilla and lining them up on a serving platter. Serve with shredded cheddar, salsa and chopped cilantro for topping.

 

pink grapefruit mimosas

Pink Grapefruit “Momosas”: Perfect for Mother’s Day

 

Pretty In Pink Grapefruit “MOMosas”
Serves 8

3 oz. red grapefruit juice, chilled
750 ml. Bottle of Prosecco or dry sparkling wine, chilled
Raspberries, pomegranate seeds or thyme for garnish

Fill stemware glasses or champagne flutes half full with grapefruit juice. Top off with Prosecco or sparkling wine and stir lightly.

Drop a few raspberries or pomegranate seeds into the glasses for extra garnish. Lay a small sprig of thyme across the top of the glass for an extra touch.

 

senior couple shopping

Senior Discounts That’ll Stretch Your Dollar

In addition to having some well-earned wisdom, being a senior has its advantages. As prices keep soaring, older adults can still strike gold if they know where to look. Florida has some of the best senior discount programs in the U.S. There are easy ways to save money on food, entertainment, and more at many retailers, and every little bit helps. Check out the following perks to save you money and help you plan your shopping days each week.

Retailers:

Kohl’s – www.kohls.com
15% discount on Kohl’s only brands and other brands every Wednesday in-store for adults 60+.

TJ Maxx – www.tjmaxx.tjx.com
In Florida, shoppers aged 55+ can save 10% off on Mondays.

Joann’s Fabrics – www.joann.com
20% off in-store purchases for adults 55+ on senior discount days, announced by location. Must have state-issued I.D. to qualify.

Walgreens – www.walgreens.com
Adults 55+ receive 20% off eligible items in-store on the first Tuesday of every month. Must be a myWalgreens member.

Michaels – www.michaels.com
Michaels Rewards members 55+ receive 10% off, including sale items and online. For non-members, 10% discount in-store with valid ID.

Ross Dress for Less – www.rossstores.com
Adults 55+ receive 10% off every Tuesday.

Bealls Department Store – www.bealls.com
15% off every Tuesday. Must be 50+.

Pep Boys – www.pepboys.com
Adults 55+ with a valid ID get a 10% discount on any in-store purchase.

Publix – www.publix.com
Every Wednesday, adult shoppers 60+ shoppers get 5% off their grocery bill.

 

Restaurants/Eateries:

Applebee’s – www.applebees.com
10% to 15% off at participating locations for customers 60+.

Ben & Jerry’s – www.benjerry.com
10% off for adults 60+.

Burger King – www.burgerking.com
Adults 55+ receive a 10% discount on their purchase.

Chili’s – www.chilis.com
55+ adults can get 10% off at participating locations.

Dairy Queen – www.dairyqueen.com
Participating locations offer 10% off purchases or one free small drink for customers 55+.

IHOP – www.ihop.com
The 55+ Menu offers lower prices for smaller portions of dinner entrees such as pot roast and lemon chicken and breakfast favorites such as French Toast. And most locations have a 10% discount for seniors, although the age requirement may vary.

Krispy Kreme – www.krispykreme.com
Adults 50+ receive 10% off or a free donut with the purchase of a coffee.

Einstein Bros. Bagels – www.einsteinbros.com
10% off purchases for adults 60+.

All of these retailers have locations in or near Pompano Beach, where you will find John Knox Village (JKV), a premiere life plan community only minutes away from the pristine beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. JKV is an internationally award-winning community of choice for those seeking an upscale, enriched lifestyle that provides long-term medical care for residents if the need arises.

For the past 56 years, JKV has set the bar when it comes to delivering an all-inclusive resort lifestyle designed for living life to the fullest at each stage of retirement. JKV emphasizes fitness and overall well-being with world-class programming, state-of-the-art amenities, healthy and delicious dining, and much more for over 1,000 residents.

Residents are entitled to unlimited use of healthcare services on campus, including wellness nurses available 24/7. There are no time or financial limits on the long-term care benefits that residents receive, regardless of the level of care required. Simply put, a life plan at JKV provides a fiscal safety net with an unparalleled community geared to a wide range of needs for living life to its fullest at every stage of retirement.

To learn more about John Knox Village, contact us for a no-pressure conversation or to schedule a tour.

7 Free Apps For Seniors Worth Downloading

Most of us rely on our smartphones and tablets to keep us connected to the world and our loved ones throughout the day. But are you taking full advantage of all that your phone can do for you? Apps on our mobile devices make it so easy to use technology to make our lives easier. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to reap their benefits.
We’ve curated 7 of the very best apps for older adults to help you save money, stay organized, and improve your wellbeing. Let us introduce you to apps you may have never heard of, and a few old familiars with secret features you never knew they had.

1. Google Maps – Remember Where You Parked
You may have Google Maps already downloaded on your mobile device, but did you know it can help you remember where you parked? If you allow Google Maps to access your Motion and Fitness Activity and use the app to navigate somewhere, once you arrive at the bottom, you can turn on “Know Where You Parked.” Even without enabling access to your activity, you can also open the app, touch the blue dot showing your location, and tap “Set as parking location” to keep a pin on the map where you left your car. Read step-by-step instructions here. Available on iPhone and Android.

2. Medisafe – Manage Your Medications
Many of us need to take medication to manage our health. If that includes taking multiple medications or doses throughout the day, it can become overwhelming to track what we need to take and what we’ve already taken. The Medisafe app helps you avoid missing a dose and even allows you to manage a loved one’s medications. You can also enable an optional feature that notifies someone you trust if you miss a dose. The app can also notify you of potentially harmful drug interactions, remind you of upcoming appointments, and let you know when it’s time to order refills. Available on iPhone and Android.

3. ShopSavvy – Nothing Beats Getting A Great Deal
Let’s face it. We’re all watching our pennies. Use an app like ShopSavvy to make sure you always get the best deal. This app continuously tracks prices across thousands of retailers and lets you compare prices. Find out instantly when an item you’re interested in drops in price or goes on sale. ShopSavvy also reads product reviews and ratings and summarizes them all into a simple set of pros, cons, and conclusions. Available for iPhone and Android.

4. Hopper — Get The Best Deals On Travel
Everyone loves a great deal on travel, and Hopper finds the best deals from sites across the web. You can browse hotels, flights, and car rentals. What makes this app especially helpful is getting notified when prices drop and features like Price Prediction and Price Freeze, enabling you to lock in the price if you need more time to plan your trip. Available on iPhone and Android.

5. Google Tasks – Because Everyone Loves Crossing Things Off A To-Do List!
How many times have you made a grocery list or written down your “To Do” list, only to misplace it or leave it at home? Another gem from the Google collection of apps, Google Tasks allows you to create as many lists as you like and check items off your list once complete. You can also change the order of items on your list by holding your finger down and dragging the list item to wherever you want it so you can reprioritize throughout the day. It’s also a great place to “jot down” anything that comes to mind — especially helpful when you don’t have a pen handy! Available on iPhone and Android.

6. Hunched — Your Good Posture Guardian 
In this tech-driven world, many of us are “hunched” over our mobile devices throughout the day without any thought to how it may be physically affecting us. Developed by a chiropractor who noticed an increasing number of headaches in his patients from poor neck posture when looking down at our devices, the app will help you avoid “text neck” by alerting you to raise your device and correct your posture. Available on iPhone.

7. Magnifying Glass + Flashlight – Like Your Readers, But Better
You’re sitting in a restaurant and wondering, why is the print on this menu so tiny? (Thank you, ambient lighting. You’re not helping.) Not a problem. This app enables you to turn on the magnifier that will auto-focus the text. You’ll also be able to zoom in and out as needed. Also helpful for reading pill bottles and small numbers like the serial number from the back of devices. Available on iPhone and Android.

Technology is ever-changing and keeps bringing us new ways to enhance our wellbeing, connectedness, and lifestyle. At John Knox Village, we strive to inspire our residents to embrace technology with all its benefits and to never stop learning. JKV’s Technology Coordinator, Jason Cook, provides ongoing classes, workshops, and one-on-one education to JKV residents each week. It’s just one of the ways we’re redefining senior living.

To learn more about the lifestyle at JKV or to schedule a tour, call us today.  We’d love to show you what sets us apart.

11 Fun Things To Do With Grandkids (And Great Grandkids!) In South Florida

One of the greatest things about living (or snow birding) in South Florida is that getting kids and grandkids to come visit isn’t a very hard sell! Our incredible sunny days and sparkling beaches make it a welcome spot for all generations. So now that they’re here, what to do? We’ve rounded up our 11 favorite places to go that everyone in the crew, no matter how old, can enjoy. 

 

Broward County  

Museum of Science & Discovery & IMAX Theater, Fort Lauderdale www.mods.org  

MODS exhibits are designed for children and adults of every age and include the Keller Science Theater, Florida Ecoscapes and Wildlife, Science Park, the Great Gravity Clock, Storm Center, Prehistoric Florida – a Dino-Paleontology Experience, Food Forrest, otters at play, and so much more. Home to South Florida’s largest movie screen, the IMAX Theater features big budget movies and gorgeous documentaries on the natural world.  

Butterfly World, Coconut Creek www.butterflyworld.com  

The largest butterfly park in the world, Butterfly World is located in Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek. Since 1988, Butterfly World keeps 20,000 butterflies on display and up to 50 species can be seen daily. Attractions include a Lorikeet Encounter, Paradise Adventure Aviary, Bug Zoo, The Butterfly Lab, Tropical Rain Forest Aviary, Macaw Landing, Wings of the World Secret Garden and much more. 

Bluefoot Pirate Adventures, Fort Lauderdale www.bluefootpirates.com

Swashbuckling fun for the whole family, Bluefoot Pirate Adventures is South Florida’s top-rated boating attraction where all ages are welcome. Book a Pirate Family Adventure Cruise where little pirates search the ship for treasure as you sail through the waters of the Intracoastal. The Bluefoot is a U.S. Coast Guard-inspected and certified vessel with a maximum occupancy of 49 passengers. Also offered is a daily Pirate Sunset Cruise and private charters.  

Xtreme Action Park, Fort Lauderdale www.xtremeactionpark.com  

The largest indoor entertainment venue in Florida, Xtreme Action Park has over 200,000 sq. ft. of exciting attractions including Go Kart racing, bowling, an arcade game room, Ropes Course Adventure, Trampoline Park, roller-skating rink, escape rooms, laser tag, virtual reality games, mini golf and more. Get the kids out of the heat and into the fun, Monday through Sunday.  

Tigertail Lake Recreational Center, Dania Beach www.tigertaillake.com

One of Broward County’s best-kept secrets, Tigertail Lake Recreational Center is run by Broward College, but open to all. The Tigertail Lake experience is for every age with a variety of activities from watersports, sailing, wind surfing, a ropes course, kayaking and canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding, and a water obstacle course. All activities are offered in one-hour sessions so you can book them a-la-carte to create a fun-filled day of activities for the family. Private parties and picnic areas are available.  

Flamingo Gardens, Davie www.flamingogardens.org  

Situated on 60 acres, Flamingo Gardens features botanical gardens, an Everglades Wildlife Sanctuary, and over 3,000 species of rare, exotic, tropical and subtropical native plants and trees. It’s also home to a 25,000 sq. ft. aviary with over 250 birds representing 45 species, a Birds of Prey Center, Black Bear Habitat, Flamingo Pond, American Crocodile, River Otter, Panther and Bobcat Habitats and more. The Wray Home Museum at Flamingo Gardens is the oldest residence in Broward County with a glimpse of life in South Florida in 1930s.  

 

Palm Beach County  

Riverbend Park, Jupiter https://discover.pbcgov.org/parks/Locations/Riverbend.aspx  

Riverbend Park on the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter offers endless fun in the tropical 666-acre park split by the Loxahatchee River with hiking and horse trails, plus picnicking. Activities include bicycle and walking trails, canoeing/kayaking, freshwater fishing, and even seven miles of equestrian trails. The park is also home to Loxahatchee Battlefield and a portion of the Ocean-to Lake Florida Trail.  

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Boca Raton https://www.myboca.us/2096/Gumbo-Limbo-Nature-Center  

The Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex, commonly known as the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, is operated by the City of Boca Raton. The center includes an indoor museum with exhibits, small aquariums and a gift shop, plus several large aquariums featuring ecosystems for fish, turtles, and other sea life, a boardwalk trail through the adjacent woods, and a garden designed for observing butterflies. Events organized by the center include observations of sea turtles during their nesting season.  

Manatee Lagoon, West Palm Beach www.visitmanateelagoon.com  

Manatee Lagoon is dedicated to educating the public about manatees and is a free Palm Beach County educational attraction with a dedicated area for viewing manatees up close. The 16,000-square-foot center features engaging hands-on exhibits for visitors to learn all about these threatened and unique creatures as well as the natural wonders of the surrounding Lake Worth lagoon. On cold winter days, the facility’s observation deck is the ideal spot to view manatee herds basking in the warm-water outflows from Florida Power & Light Company’s adjacent Riviera Beach Next Generation Clean Energy Center. Florida manatee season runs from November 15th to March 31st.  

Lion Country Safari, Loxahatchee www.lioncountrysafari.com  

Lion Country Safari is situated on nearly 600 acres of natural area and home to hundreds of animals. The 4-mile drive-through wildlife park features large herds of animals roaming wide open in naturalistic habitats. Visitors can expect to see impala, wildebeest, waterbuck, buffalo, lions, zebras, rhinoceros, giraffes, ostriches, chimpanzees, and so many others. Kids of all ages can have close-up experiences with the animals in encounters including giraffe and lorikeet feedings and a petting zoo. Lion Country also offers an amusement park, water park, a mini golf course, pontoon boat rides, paddle boats, a hedge maze, fun slide and more. 

Cox Science Center and Aquarium, West Palm Beach www.coxsciencecenter.org  

Since 1959, the Science Center has revolved around a simple premise: science is exciting! The Cox Center has expanded since its creation and now houses over 50 hands-on exhibits, a planetarium, a 3,000 sq. ft. aquarium, mini golf, and a large exhibit space that displays a temporary traveling exhibit. The planetarium presents daily shows utilizing a traditional star projector, as well as full-dome digital video presentations on a variety of scientific topics. The “Aquariums of the Atlantic” exhibit is a 3,000 sq. ft. area consisting of multiple tanks that house native Florida species, including Queen Angels, Pink Wrasse, sharks, seahorses, eels, stingrays, and some invasive species such as lionfish.  

John Knox Village of Florida, Inc. (JKV), Pompano Beach, (www.johnknoxvillage.com) is an internationally award-winning Life Plan Community of choice for those seeking an upscale, enriched lifestyle which provides long- term medical care for residents. Residents do not have to look far for ideas and activities to do with their grandchildren – the JKV Life Enrichment and Fitness teams plan approximately 250 activities per month, including outings and visits to interesting points of interest in South Florida. 

Senior couple walking hand in hand alongside Lake Maggie at John Knox Village

Celebrate Earth Day Every Day – And Live a Long, Healthy Life

How it all began

Over half a century ago, Earth Day was made official on April 22, 1970, marking the birth of the modern environmental movement. In previous years, Americans were true gas guzzlers driving massive and inefficient cars that emitted smoke, sludge, and air pollution without any concern for its impact on our environment. Sadly, Americans remained largely oblivious to environmental concerns and how pollution threatened human and other living organisms’ health. And there were no legal or regulatory procedures in place to protect the planet.

Inspired by the anti-war movement and being a longtime advocate against the decline of the natural world, Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin created Earth Day in the spring of 1970 to force the issue onto the national agenda. On April 22, 1970, twenty million Americans demonstrated in cities across the country with rallies, clean-up events, and educational programs, and Earth Day was born.

Spending Time with Nature Can Add Years to Your Life

Did you know that spending time in green spaces may contribute to your longevity by as much as 2.5 years? Studies suggest that long-term exposure to greenery is good for your health.

From The Washington Post, “(Studies) show that being near green space causes some biological or molecular changes that can be detected in our blood,” says Lifang Hou, a preventative professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the study’s principal investigator. David Rojas-Rueda, an epidemiology professor at Colorado State University, adds, “We know the benefits of green space in reducing premature mortality. (We now know) how this could happen by describing how green spaces can modify how genes are expressed.”

Trees & Flowers May Boost Cognitive Health

Trees, flowers, grass, gardens and parks are wonderful for all our senses, but they’re also great for our cognitive health. According to The National Institute on Aging, residential areas with more green space are associated with faster thinking, better attention, and higher cerebral ability.

A journal published by the JAMA Network Open shares findings of a US-based study of adults 65 and over, citing that exposure to some natural environments can be associated with a decrease in hospitalizations for Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias, as well as Parkinson’s Disease. The study found that “exposure to green space around one’s home and surrounding neighborhood could improve processing speed and attention, as well as boost overall cognitive function.” The results also showed that “lowered depression may help explain the association between green space and cognition, bolstering previous research that has linked exposure to parks, community gardens, and other greenery with improved mental health.”

For older adults, retirement can provide more time and opportunities to engage with nature, irrespective of age and health status. In whatever ways we’re able to get out and enjoy the natural environment, there’s no doubt a breath of fresh air and experiencing the wonder of nature does a body – and mind – good.

John Knox Village in Pompano Beach, Florida is an internationally-award winning senior living Life Plan community that engages its residents with exciting activities to stimulate the mind and senses. Located three miles from the beach, it’s situated on a 70-acre lush, tropical campus with an abundance of green space for residents to enjoy.

Join us in celebrating Earth Day this April at any of the following John Knox Village events:

April 6th – Bonnet House Orchid Festival & Brunch
April 10th – Sample McDougald House Garden Tour & Lecture: ‘Environmental Discussion on Climate Change and Bees & Pollinators’, and Art in the Park: ‘Herb Bouquets’
April 17th – Wildlife Wonders Presentation: ‘The Majestic Elephant’ at JKV
April 26th – Nature Walk (Fitness event)
April 27th – Pompano Beach Green Market outing

Contact us for more information on any of these events, to reserve your spot, or schedule a tour. Visit JKV and come see what sets us apart!

 

Michelin-Star Chef Frederic Delaire joins John Knox Village as their new Executive Chef

JKV Spotlight on Executive Chef Frederic Delaire: His Journey from Michelin-Starred Restaurants to Senior Living

As an award-winning Life Plan community in Pompano Beach, Florida, John Knox Village prides itself on finding incredible talent, such as Chef Frederic, and offering the very best to its residents – from life enrichment and fitness to cultural arts and dining. Chef Frederic Delaire has been a fantastic addition to John Knox Village, and we are so fortunate to have him. 

Chef Frederic grew up in southwest France in the idyllic town of Agen, one hour from Bordeaux. As a boy, he became interested in cooking as his grandfather was a well-known bread baker. He cooked at home for his family all the time. So, when he graduated high school in 1989 at 16, he was presented with a choice – culinary school or an apprenticeship at a restaurant. Being from a middle-class family, neither Frederic nor anyone in his family had ever eaten in a high-end restaurant. Imagine his surprise when his first restaurant apprenticeship was at the 2-star Michelin classic French restaurant, L’Aubergade in Puymirol, about an hour from home, where he started as a dishwasher and worked his way up to Pastry Chef.  

Struck by wanderlust after four years, Chef Frederic traveled to Germany to work with German Chef Christian Lohse at the restaurant Die Windmule in Westphalia. In 1997, he returned to France to join the team at the famous Michelin Star restaurant Jules Verne, located on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, where he worked both the meat and fish stations for three years.  

In 1999, Chef packed his bags and flew to South Florida. Among his stops as Executive Chef before joining JKV were the Historic National Hotel on South Beach and Loews Miami Beach. 

He also participated in the South Beach Wine & Food Festival for 13 years, collaborating on special dining events.  

The long hours and 7 days a week schedule running busy kitchens began to take their toll on Chef and his wife and daughter, who is now 12 years old. Chef Frederic says, “I knew I had to make adjustments to my work/life balance to spend more time with my loved ones, as well as to take care of myself.” He started looking for different opportunities. His job search led him to Lance Sanson, the VP of Dining Services at JKV. After a meeting of the minds, Sanson hired Frederic as the Executive Chef at JKV in July 2023. Adds Chef, “The reason I am at JKV is because of Sanson. He has a vision for John Knox Village, and I want to be a part of that. It is an exciting time to be here.” 

John Knox Village Executive Chef Frederic Delaire visits a table to check in with residents about their meal

Under Chef Frederic and Lance Sanson’s leadership, the dining program across the board has gone through a great metamorphosis at the 6 restaurant concepts across campus. New approaches have been implemented at the Pavilion, where there are two restaurants – The Pearl and Seaglass that share a kitchen, and a new menu has been created to better serve our residents.  The other restaurants, The Palm Bistro, Glades Grill and Poolside Pub, each have their own personality with fresh concepts. The soon-to-open Westlake Eatery and BVs French Press Coffee & Wine Bar are in menu development and will open in the summer of 2024. They will also focus on fresh, healthy, delicious options – all under the supervision of Chef Frederic. 

Get to know us and come see how Chef Frederic and the rest of the JKV community are best-in-class.  If you would like to schedule a private tour and tasting dinner at JKV, please contact VP of Sales, Kim Ali at kali@jkvfl.com, or (954) 783-4040. 

 

Treats for Your Sweet on Valentine’s Day

Food is the universal love language, and Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to express it! Whether cooking a romantic dinner for two or hosting a Galentine’s Day brunch, show your sweetie or your friends some love by making one of these delicious recipes that members of the JKV community have whipped up for you. […]

Be in the Know: Life Plan Communities Offer Some Valuable Tax Benefits

When looking at retirement living options, buying or renting into a senior living community are well-known options. But choosing to live in a Life Plan Community offers some valuable federal tax benefits that other senior living options do not. Read on to learn more.

What is a Life Plan Community?
Life plan communities, also known as continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), provide the security of having a plan in place for any future healthcare needs that might arise. Residents live independently, knowing if they ever need care, they’ll have it. Most CCRCs offer multiple service levels: independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory support services, all available when you need them.

What are the tax benefits?
Current federal income tax laws permit residents at Life Plan Communities or CCRCs like John Knox Village in Pompano Beach a tax deduction on a sizeable portion of the one-time entrance fee the year of move-in. In addition, a percentage of the monthly service fees paid during each year can be itemized as a medical expense.

At the beginning of each year, in some communities, such as John Knox Village, auditors calculate the portion of the Entrance Fees and Monthly Service Fees that are attributable to medical expenses and provide this information to residents for their tax preparation.

Can a financial advisor help me navigate this?
Tax and financial advisors can play a crucial role in helping seniors living in CCRCs and Life Plan Communities navigate the complexities of tax laws related to their unique situation. An advisor can help you understand CCRC-related tax deductions, such as:

• The amount or portion of your healthcare services and fees to the CCRC, as applicable
• Other potential itemizable deductions, such as local income taxes related to living in a CCRC
• Specific tax implications of different types of CCRC contracts, including the nuances of life care, fee-for-service, and other modified contracts

In addition, financial advisors can help seniors project future healthcare needs and provide guidance on potential tax implications for accessing long-term care services within or outside of the CCRC.

How much can I deduct?
According to Carol Enisman, Investment Advisor Representative and Managing Partner at Premier Wealth Planning in Fort Lauderdale, “The current tax code allows you to deduct a portion of your unreimbursed medical and dental expenses that exceed a set percentage of your Adjusted Gross Income.”

However, she says, it’s important to note that you’ll need to itemize your deductions rather than take a standard deduction, which would disqualify you from claiming medical expenses.

I’m not sure which type of care contract I’m going to choose. Can you tell me the tax benefits of each?
The tax benefits may vary, depending on which type of care contract you select. A Life Plan Community Consultant can explain the different contract options, including Type A, B, and C contracts, and what each includes. Depending on how much healthcare coverage is included in the contract you choose, the medical expense tax benefit may vary.

For some types of CCRC contracts, a portion of the entry fee and monthly fee may be applied toward future medical expenses. Essentially, this portion is considered a pre-paid medical expense and may be included as part of your annual medical expenses.

It’s always best to speak with your tax professional, who will be able to advise you with up-to-date tax regulations.

Are there any other tax deductions seniors should keep in mind when filing taxes?
Most of us know that medical bills, hospital bills, prescription costs, dental and vision care, in-home medical care, and costs for hearing aids and glasses are tax deductible.

Another hidden gem that might surprise you is that the standard mileage rate for driving to and from doctor appointments, therapy sessions, and other medical care is also tax deductible.

JOIN US FOR A FREE TAX SEMINAR IN MARCH

Join us for a free seminar on Monday, March 11, 2024 at 11:00 am, at the John Knox Village Auditorium. We’re excited to welcome Carol Enisman, Investment Advisor and Managing Partner, and Ariel Enisman, Estate Planning and Asset Protection Attorney from Premier Wealth Planning in Fort Lauderdale, to our campus. JKV Residents and guests are welcome.

Carol will focus on the importance of proper tax planning, tax filing updates, and optimization strategies and will offer a new client discount of 25% for tax preparation this year. Ariel will be speaking on wills, trusts, probate avoidance, and the importance of proper estate planning.

Premier Wealth Planning works with clients to understand the complexities of the tax code and how it applies to residents of a CCRC.  Non-JKV Residents who are interested in attending are welcome. Please call John Knox Village at (954) 783-4040 to RSVP.

Premier Wealth Planning Mandatory Disclaimer:
Securities are offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Cambridge and Premier Wealth Planning are not affiliated. Cambridge and Asset and Estate Planning, LLC are not affiliated. Cambridge does not offer tax nor legal advice.

12 Reasons Why Pickleball May Be the Greatest Sport to Ever Come Along

Whether or not you’ve taken to the court yet, it’s hard to escape the fastest-growing sport in the United States.  Pickleball, the racket sport that’s a Badminton-Ping-Pong hybrid, seems to be everywhere!   With its skyrocketing popularity and the demand for places to play, public parks are making renovations to create more courts to keep up with demand, and now empty retail spaces abandoned by the likes of Bed Bath and Beyond are being considered as potential locations for indoor courts.

What makes pickleball so great?  JKV Residents Michael and Barbara say it gives them “purpose to get up in the morning and get moving.” Barb says, “When we’re playing, we are using almost all the muscles in the body, and the game connects us socially to so many other residents.  We laugh so much when we play!  We’re so lucky to live at JKV and to be able to utilize the beautiful pickleball courts, any time of the day, at the new Aquatic Center.”  She says the reason they play almost every day is, “A day without pickleball is like a day without sunshine.”

If you’re not already in the game and that hasn’t convinced you, here are 12 reasons why you should be playing:

  1. It’s Easy to Learn

Pickleball is an approachable sport.  Even for those not athletically inclined, it’s a non-intimidating sport that can turn even the most unlikely candidate into an athlete.    You can step onto the court and be at an intermediate level within a short amount of time.  Unlike tennis, the rules and basic techniques are relatively easy to learn.

  1. Anyone Can Get in the Game

Whether you’ve always been active by nature, or have always wanted to be, pickleball is suitable for all fitness levels.  The size of the court is one-fourth the size of a tennis court.  With that much less real estate to cover while trying to hit the ball, it’s less intimidating for those who may not be athletes.

  1. It Contributes to Longevity

A Mayo Clinic study found that playing racket sports may increase the life expectancy of participants by 6 to 10 years.  Although the study was observational by nature, it was noted that because racket sports involve more interaction with others than individual sports, and socialization has been shown to positively impact one’s well-being, this benefit may be a factor in pickleball’s overall health benefit.

  1. Your Heart Will Get a Low-Impact Workout

Playing pickleball provides a moderate workout for middle-aged and older people but may be safer than tennis for people with heart issues.  Although it’s a cardiovascular workout, it doesn’t put excessive strain on the body.  You’ll burn twice as many calories as you would walking 3 miles per hour on moderate terrain.

  1. You’ll Build Muscle and Improve Your Balance

In addition to the boost it gives your cardiovascular system, playing pickleball requires hand-eye coordination, and builds your muscles.  Your forearms, biceps, triceps, hamstrings, and quadriceps are all getting a great workout when you play.  It can also help your balance.

  1. It Keeps Your Brain Sharp

Once you master the basic skills of the game, you start to think about strategy.  Where is your opponent positioned? Where does their typical serve land on the court? Analyzing the competition, your own placement and strategy, and the desire to keep improving your own game all keep those synapses firing and help keep your mind sharp.

  1. You’ll Sleep Like a Baby

Playing pickleball is so much fun, you’ll hardly notice that you’re getting a real workout until later in the day.  Aside from the physical exertion that’s been proven to have significant benefits for sleep, getting out there and playing helps lower stress levels and helps you relax when the day is done.

  1. It Promotes Healthy Habits That Can Lead to Weight Loss

Playing pickleball burns eight to eleven calories a minute, so 60 minutes of play can burn 480-660 calories.  You’d need to play four and a half hours a week to meet recommended exercise guidelines, but with the enticement of the social aspect, it gets some people moving who would otherwise not be doing any physical activity.

  1. Get a Confidence Boost

Even for those who historically haven’t been athletic, pickleball is a great entry-level sport anyone can become good at.  There’s much to be said for the confidence that physical activity, accomplishment, and pride (especially when you’re on the winning team!) can do for your confidence.

  1. It’s Good for a Laugh

Pickleball is a very social sport, and most people who play would probably agree that this is one of the things they most love about this sport.  Although you can play “singles” (a.k.a. one-on-one), games are often played as “doubles”, where you and a  partner compete against another team of two.  Inevitably, you’ll get a good laugh.  Laughing isn’t just good for your mental and emotional health – it’s “good for the soul.”

  1. Your Relationships Will Grow

There’s something about spending time together and competing on a pickleball court that fosters mutual respect among players in the game.  It’s a great way to get to know someone in a setting that’s typically lighthearted (unless, of course, you’re competing in a tournament). 

  1. It’s Fun for All Ages

Another truly great thing pickleball has going for it is that it’s a sports activity that different generations can play together.  In this world of generational divides, especially when it comes to technology-driven activities, pickleball is simple fun that brings people of all ages together.

As always, engaging in any sporting activity is not without risk.  Talk to your doctor before starting and find out if playing pickleball is right for you.  As part of John Knox Village’s impressive array of amenities, its Aquatic Complex is home to covered pickleball courts adjacent to two sparkling pools and a Poolside Pub. 

Want to learn more about what John Knox Village has to offer?  Contact us today to take a tour, or for a no-pressure conversation with one of our Life Plan Consultants.