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Providing Rehabilitation Services, Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, and Memory Care


News & Media

With more and more baby boomers reaching retirement age, information about rehabilitation services and elder care become increasingly relevant to a large and interested demographic. Pines of Sarasota, long a leader in these fields, and Pines of Sarasota Foundation, its fund raising arm, are important sources of information for those wanting to stay informed.

Media requests and members of the press please call Lis Begin at (727) 243-6965.

American Health Care Association’s Silver Quality Award

Pines of Sarasota Earns National Recognition

for Best Practices in Quality Care

PRESS RELEASE thumbnail qaward 16silver

SARASOTA, FL – Thursday, June 30, 2016 – Pines of Sarasota Rehabilitation and Senior Care Community is one of 70 national winners (10 in Florida) of the American Health Care Association’s (AHCA) Silver Quality Award. This honor is part of the prestigious National Quality Awards program conducted by the AHCA and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). This award recognizes providers across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to improving quality of care for residents and patients in long term and post-acute care centers and communities.

“I could not be more proud of the entire Pines of Sarasota team for their consistent commitment to excellence in caring for our residents and patients. It really does take a village to provide such extraordinary care,” explains David Sylvester, President/CEO Pines of Sarasota. “This achievement is especially gratifying considering that we are serving the largest number of seniors in southwest Florida from Sarasota through Naples,” Sylvester adds.

For more information visit www.PinesofSarasota.org or please call Lisabeth Begin, Publicist, 727.243.6965 or Bette Zaret, Director of Strategic Marketing, 941.309.5712

Pines of Sarasota Education & Training Institute presents “Communications in Dementia Care” Workshops with Teepa Snow on November 19th, 2105

Teepa Snow headshotContinuing to meet the needs of professional and at-home caregivers around the world, Pines of Sarasota Education and Training Institute will offer its newest two workshops “Communications in Dementia Care” on November 19th, 2015, with internationally renowned dementia care specialist Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA.

In the morning workshop (9am to 12pm) “Helping Families, Professionals & Outsiders Understand How to Help More Effectively”, attendees will learn to recognize symptoms, how to move past denial, get support for the primary caregiver, and how to maintain relationships when dementia is changing a person’s abilities.

In the afternoon workshop (1pm-4pm) “Speaking with the Person Living with Dementia – in early Days or with Early Symptoms”, attendees will learn the best communication approaches to common challenging topics, such as getting someone to agree to a screening, giving up driving and how to allow a person to accept help from others.

“Of all difficulties in dementia care, communication is the most challenging,” JoAnn Westbrook, Director of Education, explains. “Particularly family members and friends who aren’t directly involved in the care often struggle to connect with the person living with dementia, resulting in strained and possibly damaged relationships. Teepa Snow is unrivaled in her ability to reconnect caregivers and patients, which is why we’re excited to present this program to the Sarasota and Manatee communities.”

The workshops will be available on DVD at a later date to help caregivers worldwide.

For more information about the workshops please visit www.pineseducation.eventbrite.com or call JoAnn Westbrook at (941) 309-5760.

Pines of Sarasota Education and Training Institute Selected to Participate in Entrepreneurial Initiative

Pines of Sarasota Education and Training Institute Selected to Participate in Entrepreneurial Initiative


Sarasota, FL –Monday, July 20, 2015 Pines of Sarasota Education and Training Institute, part of not-for-profit Pines of Sarasota Rehabilitation and Senior Care Community, was recently selected to participate in Margin & Mission Ignition, an initiative of The Patterson Foundation designed to boost nonprofit mission impact through the development and implementation of earned-income strategies.

The Education and Training Institute, which was one of seven area organizations selected, will participate in the 18-month consulting process with No Margin, No Mission, a social enterprise and national consulting firm hired by The Patterson Foundation that will work with the nonprofits to develop and implement entrepreneurial plans for revenue-generating ventures.

JoAnn Westbrook, Director of Pines of Sarasota Education and Training Institute expands on their involvement, “We are thrilled to be selected for this initiative. This gives the Institute an opportunity to fine-tune our existing strategies and business plan. The Institute holds a unique position as the go to place for practical, skill-focused and engaging dementia care education for care providers and their families. Our programs are offered in a variety of formats, not only making our education easily accessible, but we are able to offer the highest value due to its affordable costs and remarkable benefits.”

“What this means is that aside from the traditional education format in the classroom, much of the Institute’s outreach is in a digital capacity (webinars, streaming video, DVDs and conferencing) allowing for us to reach our worldwide audience of caregivers instantaneously,” Westbrook continues.

“The additional support of Margin & Mission Ignition team will optimize our ability to achieve these education and financial goals more expeditiously allowing us to continue to grow and share this valuable information. We look forward not only to their input in traditional business practices, but to the team’s insight in the evolving digital world of e-commerce.”

“This initiate is not only a great assistance to the Institute, but it is giving Pines of Sarasota’s leadership team and our board members, Jane Hunder and Kyle Booth, an opportunity to become even further involved in helping develop the Institute’s business plan and to share their valuable insights,” states Pines of Sarasota President/CEO David Sylvester.

“All of the organizations participating in this next level of the initiative demonstrate the leadership, willingness, readiness, capacity and culture to take on this kind of commitment," said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. "While it's not an overnight path to success, this kind of work is critical to help nonprofits thrive in a resource-challenged world."

For more information about The Patterson Foundation’s Margin & Mission Ignition initiative, please visit thepattersonfoundation.org or join the conversation using #TPFMarginMission on social media.

About Pines of Sarasota Education and Training Institute: The Pines of Sarasota Education and Training Institute, the educational department of not-for-profit Pines of Sarasota Rehabilitation and Senior Care Community, provides cutting-edge, specialized education, outreach programs, support, and resources to family members and geriatric caregivers. For more information visit www.pinesofsarasota.org/education-instituteand www.DementiaCareAcademy.com.

About Margin & Mission Ignition: An initiative of The Patterson Foundation, Margin & Mission Ignition is an opportunity for local nonprofits in our region to develop and implement earned-income strategies to enhance mission impact. For more information about The Patterson Foundation’s Margin & Mission Ignition initiative, please visit thepattersonfoundation.org or join the conversation using #TPFMarginMission on social media.

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs


Sarasota, FL –Tuesday, February 17, 2015 12pm – 1:30pm

Thunder has been one of nine Therapy Dogs that has delighted Pines of Sarasota’s residents with therapy visits. This coming week, Thunder will be competing in the 139th Annual Westminster Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show in New York City.

Owners, Joan and Stephen Engel and their Curly Coated Retriever, CH Sarasota’s Intrepid Thunderbolt JH CGC (call name Thunder), will be among more than 3,000 dogs competing in the events of Westminster Week.

Pines of Sarasota will stream the preliminary competition for our Assisted Living residents who regularly visit with Thunder. Research has shown that a therapy dog can break daily routine, increase happiness, stimulate the mind and improve overall well being. There is a Hot Diggity Dog Menu Thunder and the Engelsof themed snacks (dogs in a blanket, dog-bone shaped cookies and treats).

The event will take place in Cullers Hall. The Pines’ residents will be joined by four of their nine therapy dogs to cheer on their comrade Thunder. Charlie DeMarco from Therapy Dogs, Inc will be on hand to discuss the benefits of Dog Therapy.

“Our residents really love the visits from their furry friends from Pines’ Pet Therapy Volunteer program. They look forward to it immensely. This program has been so successful that the Therapy Dogs and their owners devoted 396 hours of service to Pines. Visits are always a highlight for residents in our Assisted Living. Skilled Nursing and Secure Dementia/Alzheimer’s Units. Each dog has an individual personality. But they all share a love of people, a calm, quiet demeanor and a disposition. It takes a very special person to help their dog become a therapy pet,” states Ivy Ruark, Director of Volunteers - Pines of Sarasota.

Pines Education Institute Brings Leading Alzheimer’s Researcher to Sarasota

cen4appliedresearch logoInternationally renowned research scientist, author and trainer, Dr. Cameron J. Camp, is bringing his breakthrough training seminar and workshop to Pines of Sarasota

Sarasota, FL – Pines Education Institute of Southwest Florida will be hosting a two-day Seminar and Workshop on March 5th and 6th, 2015, presented by Cameron J. Camp, Ph.D. of the Center for Applied Research in Dementia.

Cameron Camp headshot 215pxPsychologist Cameron Camp has taken a teaching method traditionally used on young children and retooled it to help people with Alzheimer’s disease regain some of the skills that have fallen prey to their illness. Camp’s research has shown that this approach to learning, one based on rehabilitation principles, can benefit people in all stages of their lives, and even those with serious cognitive impairment. It enables persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia to engage in meaningful activities, have social roles as contributing members of their communities, and to live as independently as possible.

JoAnn Westbrook, Director of Education at Pines, explains: “Dr. Camp has trained around the world and improved the quality of life for thousands of people with dementia. We’re excited to have him present in Sarasota.”

Professionals and family members who provide care for persons with dementia are encouraged to attend this unique opportunity. Continuing education units are available, and participants will have the option of pursuing a certification and credentialing track through the Center for Applied Research in Dementia.

For more information please visit www.cen4ard.com.

Pines Education Institute publishes Hospitals & Dementia DVD with Teepa Snow

Hospital cover wrap 300px wideSarasota, Florida – Pines Education Institute of Southwest Florida announces the release of its new dementia caregiving DVD, “The Inevitable Hospital Stay – How to Advocate for Your Loved One with Dementia”.

Presented by nationally renowned dementia expert Teepa Snow, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, this DVD provides family members of dementia patients with strategies and advice to positively impact their loved one’s hospital stay and treatment.

Teepa explains: “Hospitals are incredibly dangerous for people with dementia. And unfortunately, people with dementia visit them disproportionately often.”

“Families might not think that their loved one will need to go to the hospital. But unfortunately, most people with dementia will require even multiple stays as the disease progresses,” JoAnn Westbrook, Director of Education at Pines Education Institute, explains further. “If the family isn’t prepared, crisis easily ensues. Knowing how to detect pain and find comforting solutions, which drugs can be helpful or potentially dangerous, and knowing which items need to be discussed with family is key to ensuring a positive outcome for the person with dementia.

The DVD is now available on www.DementiaCareAcademy.com as well as Amazon.com.

For more information please contact JoAnn Westbrook at 941-309-5760.

Pines of Sarasota Earns National Recognition for Best Practices in Quality Care

PR_graphic_pines_of_sarasotaSarasota, FL – Pines of Sarasota is one of only 40 facilities that is a member of the Florida Health Care Association to recently earn national recognition for extraordinary commitment to delivering quality care to Florida’s frail elders. This honor is part of the prestigious National Quality Awards program conducted by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). Pines of Sarasota is the recipient of the Florida’s 2014 Bronze Quality Award. Pines provides Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care, Rehabilitation and Elder Care Education Services.

“Pines' staff is our best asset. It’s their commitment to improve the lives of our residents with compassionate, quality care; the “care” sets us apart from other facilities, and through “word of mouth,” makes us the facility of choice.  We work as a “team” and I’m very proud of their accomplishments,” states Nina Amaral, Pines’ Nursing Home Administrator

“What is so impressive about this accomplishment is that Pines’ nursing, rehabilitation, and support staff has achieved this fantastic national recognition for superior quality of care in spite of the fact that they are serving the largest number of seniors in southwest Florida who have outlived their financial resources,” explains John Overton, President/CEO.   “Fact is, Pines is the largest provider of skilled nursing services in all of southwest Florida from Sarasota through Naples,” Overton continues.

Florida centers will be honored along with all national recipients during the AHCA/NCAL’s 65th Annual Convention and Exposition in Washington, D.C., in October 2014.

Pines of Sarasota’s Volunteer Program Celebrates the Success of a Special Volunteer

Derek_LevinThe Volunteer Program at Pines of Sarasota is proud that the training, encouragement and support given to Derek Levin led to his employment at Hyatt Regency Sarasota.

Derek is 23 years old and has Asperger's Syndrome. Derek has been volunteering in Pines Fabulous FindsThrift Shop sorting room for almost a year. Derek first visited Ivy Ruark, Director of Volunteer Services, accompanied by his single mother, Elizabeth, who spoke as his advocate. Elizabeth wanted Pines to give Derek a chance at volunteering in order that he learn some job skills. With full understanding of the potential challenges, Pines gave Derek a volunteer position.

Bobby Schiele, manager of the on-campus Thrift Shop, worked with Derek, bringing him gently along. Dr. Carol Chiodo, a Thrift Shop volunteer and a former special education teacher, directly oversaw Derek’s training and still works with him to this day when he needs help. “Derek has gained several skill sets that will not only aid him in a work environment, but at life in general,” explains Dr. Chiodo.

“I am so proud of Derek. How exciting for this young man. When he came to us, he was painfully shy and he needed his mother to stay with him. Derek has blossomed into a productive young man,” states Ivy Ruark.“

Through the patience and persistence of a caring staff and volunteers, Derek has succeeded. It is only natural that my staff saw this opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life and rose to the occasion,” explains John Overton, President/CEO of Pines.

“Derek’s volunteering at Pines has made him feel more independent, stronger, achieve higher self-esteem than he has ever had before. For the first time he was accepted as a friend and coworker. As Derek’s mother, the positive influence Pines has had on him means the world to me,” explains Elizabeth. Derek starts work at the Hyatt in the month of July and he still plans to volunteer at Pines on his days off.

Pines Volunteer Program has opportunities for child care, pet visits, event staffing, highschool volunteer programs, thrift shop and more. To speak with Ivy Ruark and get more information on Pines of Sarasota Volunteer Program, please call (941) 365-0250

Danish student moves into senior care facility for study


fia_photosSARASOTA, Fla. - There are many hotels here on the Suncoast. So why does a 25-year old college student from Denmark choose a 10-day stay a Suncoast senior care facility?

One young woman with a mission traveled more than 4,000 miles from Denmark to Florida to attend the International Conference on Positive Aging in Sarasota. Then she took up temporary residence at The Pines assisted living facility.

25-year old Fia Hojsleth is doing a pilot project focused on social innovation as it applies to the aging population in Denmark. "There's a lot of things happening in Denmark, but the whole creativity and life quality, we're a bit behind."

The Center for Positive Aging put her in contact with Pines of Sarasota, and she moved in for ten days.

And what did she discover there? "Creativity and life quality, it's this feeling of connection and care."

Back home, says Hojsleth, the emphasis is on health. "The main focus in Denmark is active sports."

Small exercise activities are encouraged, with little attention on connection quality and fun. But Denmark’s nursing homes lead in other categories. "The technology around it, like the toilets that we have, showers. Yes."

Volunteer of the Institute for the Ages, Tracy Lux, says another Danish student from a Copenhagen design school at the conference on positive aging focused on the experience of products and services. “They are looking at technology, they are looking at any of the things that are cutting edge that might be done for older people."

Hojsleth says spiritual and emotional well-being are promoted far more here, relatives and guests are encouraged as is interaction with residents. “It’s Wii bowling, which is very fun. I didn't get to play it because I was not good enough.”

And the butterfly garden. “Really getting working and making the garden look nice out there. So there's a huge purpose with actually sitting and doing this activity."

The biggest difference she says is a feeling she can’t describe. And Pines residents say it was a mutual learning experience.

"I think she'll take back an awful lot of good information."

“I think we learned something from her, too. But she does cheat at cards."

There are currently 69 assisted living facilities and 30 nursing homes in Sarasota County.