All Village Streams Articles

Village Streams is a free, monthly senior living e-newsletter that provides useful and timely information about ACV and is generally comprised of four articles concerning the issues of aging and its effects on families. Sign up for yourself or send ACV's e-newsletter to family and friends. If at any time you wish to be removed from the mailing list, it's just as easy to opt out as it is to sign up.

I’ll Always Be Able to Make My Own Decisions … Won’t I?


None of us likes to think about a time when we may not be able to make decisions for ourselves. We may never face this, but it is still important to plan ahead for the possibility. We carry health insurance even though we don’t want to get sick. In the same way, it is important to have an official plan in place in the event our reasoning or ability to communicate may become impaired.

Bobby Horton returns to ACV to explore the development of the American railroad system in “The Long Steel Rail in America” through songs and stories.

Bobby Horton Brings ‘The Long Steel Rail’ to ACV


Seasoned performer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and music historian Bobby Horton will return to Advent Christian Village to perform “The Long Steel Rail in America”.

Bill and Patty Davies are ACV's newlyweds.

New Love at Any Age: ACV’s Newlyweds


Bill and Patty Davies are Advent Christian Village’s most recent newlyweds. They were married in July of 2016. They very much enjoy spending time together and getting to know each other better. They’re much like any other typical newlywed couple. Except that they’re both in their 80s.

The Perks of Moving to North Florida


Florida has long been known as one of the best retirement destinations in the United States. Studies reveal that Florida is actually the No. 1 state in the country for retirement living, with around 55,000 Americans age 55 and older moving to Florida every year. In fact, 19 percent of the population in Florida is above age 65! For those who seek a warm climate, affordable housing and a lower cost of living — plus plenty of social opportunities and fun area attractions — retirement in Florida is the perfect choice.

Help! I Think I’m Getting Alzheimer’s!


Dementia is becoming more prevalent in our society, and it is affecting people at younger ages. Many people fear that a loved one or maybe even they may develop dementia. You may experience forgetfulness when it comes to names, appointments and/or misplacing items. When we are young, we do not always pay attention to these lapses, but as we get older we may become a little anxious about what it may mean.

It is now more than 75 years since Glenn Miller first succeeded with the Orchestra, which still bears his name until this day. Except for a few years following his disappearance, Glenn’s orchestra and music have been heard around the world continuously since 1938. See them in person at Advent Christian Village on Feb. 1.

King’s Brass and Glenn Miller Come to Dowling Park


Two exciting events are coming soon to Dowling Park. Tim Zimmerman and The King’s Brass are set to perform Thursday, Jan. 25, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra will be here Thursday, Feb. 1.

Ed and Karen Young raise their cows and chickens as naturally as possible so the beef, poultry and eggs they produce are “like the good Lord made them.”

Raising Healthy Cows and Chickens in North Florida


Do you know what makes food “organic”? Do you look for food that is GMO-free? Do you know what fertilizer is safest? Suwannee County residents Ed and Karen Young have been on a journey for over a decade, growing and raising plants and animals with the intent of producing the healthiest foods possible. It’s a journey that is not only benefiting themselves but many others in Florida.

Save Money, Stay Informed: At-Home Medical Tests


In this day and age, when you can order a pizza by talking to your TV, let the exterminator into your house by unlocking the door using your cellphone while at work (and watch her work via online camera feeds), and rent your entire wardrobe online, it’s no wonder the demand for a variety at-home medical tests is rising.

Giving Seniors the Gift of Beating the Holiday Blues


The Christmas season is a joyous time to celebrate. We focus on family, feasting on favorite dishes and keeping traditions, like huddling around the TV with family to watch holiday classics. But, this can be a bittersweet season for the elderly. Joy may be clouded with feelings of isolation or thoughts of lost loved ones or times past. What can we do to support our loved ones in a way that helps meet their emotional and physical needs? There are steps you can take to encourage a positive frame of mind and help beat the “holiday blues.”

Susan Marie Frontczak as Mrs. Roosevelt will present “The Power of Words: Eleanor Roosevelt Reflects Across the Decades” in Dowling Park on Jan. 8.

‘Eleanor Roosevelt’ to Reflect in Dowling Park


Storysmith Susan Marie Frontczak will bring the iconic Eleanor Roosevelt to life in Dowling Park on Monday, Jan. 8, as part of the 30th anniversary Live! at Dowling Park Artist Series. You will want to join us at The Village Church at 7 p.m. for what is sure to be an unforgettable performance.

Nicole Hernandez, PA-C, is available for appointments at ACV’s Copeland Clinic within the Copeland Medical Center. She is excited to be providing care in the areas of family primary care and geriatrics. Copeland Medical Center welcomes the general public. Call for an appointment: (386) 658-5300.

Welcome ACV’s New Physician Assistant


Advent Christian Village at Dowling Park is happy to announce an addition to their medical team: Certified Physician Assistant Nicole Hernandez. Nicole, a graduate of Nova Southeastern University in Orlando, will be working primarily at Copeland Clinic in Copeland Medical Center. She will also make regular visits to Good Samaritan Center, ACV’s skilled nursing community.

Offering Practical Help to Loved Ones During Holiday Visits


The holidays are a special time for family and friends to get together. It’s not uncommon for us to visit a senior loved one who would benefit from our help. As you make your holiday plans, think about how you can help your loved one with things in the home so they don’t have to do it later. Offering your assistance during your holiday visit is a great way to show love and support in ways that linger on throughout the year.

How to Keep Your Teeth for a Lifetime


It is a common myth that senior adults are destined to lose their teeth. There is no reason seniors cannot keep their teeth for a lifetime, since tooth loss is simply the result of an oral disease — not the aging process.

Actor David Payne portrays the famous C.S. Lewis at The Village Church at Advent Christian Village Thursday, Oct. 12.

‘C.S. Lewis’ Comes to Dowling Park


Advent Christian Village (ACV) invites you to experience one of the world’s most famous modern-day authors — C.S. Lewis — portrayed expertly by actor David Payne. Payne, who has been playing Lewis for more than a decade, will be at The Village Church on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 7:00 p.m., as part of the Live! at Dowling Park Artist Series. Lewis is the author of such famous works as The Chronicles of Narnia, Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters.

Sweet Harmony of Jasper, Florida, entertained the Autumn Fest crowd by singing several sets of oldies.

2017 Autumn Fest and Auto Show a Success


Despite the threat of rain, all who attended Autumn Fest 2017 and the 4th annual Cruizin on the Suwannee Auto & Truck Show at Advent Christian Village (ACV) on Saturday, Oct. 7, enjoyed a beautiful morning outdoors. It was an enjoyable time at the Village Square along the Suwannee River.

ACV’s Bridge to Medical Care at Home


Advent Christian Village (ACV) is a full-service community, with living options ranging from independent living to skilled nursing and even memory care; there is something for virtually everyone. ACV Home Care offers different solutions for those who need varying degrees of in-home help. But you don’t have to be an ACV member to receive these services.

Senior Living on a Budget


Sometimes financial words such as taxes, mortgage and interest can be intimidating. Another important financial word that many people avoid is budget. Unfortunately, because many avoid living on a budget — not to mention even creating one — their financial situation suffers. This suffering can be greater if the individual is a senior adult.

The San Marco Chamber Music Society will perform at The Village Church at Advent Christian Village at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18.

One of Jacksonville’s Favorite Ensembles Comes to ACV


The second Live! at Dowling Park Artist Series concert takes place on Monday, Sept. 18. You are invited to an evening of beautiful and inspiring chamber music by the San Marco Chamber Music Society, performing a number of pieces on string instruments and oboe.

Sisters Barbara Carter and Reba Loston were honored last month for 20 years and 30 years of employment (respectively) at Advent Christian Village. ACV is so blessed to have these two on staff at Good Samaritan Center, providing compassionate care to our members who need the most support.

30 Years of Compassionate Care


Twice a year, Advent Christian Village (ACV) recognizes employees who celebrated a milestone in their length of service, beginning at the five-year anniversary and every five years thereafter. When an employee reaches and surpasses 30 years, they are given special recognition by ACV’s president, Craig Carter. Reba Loston was one such honoree last month.

Each annual ACV Autumn Fest is a great time to gather on the banks of the Suwannee River for a refreshing fall morning of browsing and shopping. Join us this year on Oct. 7, 8 a.m.–1 p.m.

Join Us at ACV’s Annual Autumn Fest


Kick off your fall at Advent Christian Village (ACV) on Saturday, Oct. 7, at the eighth annual Autumn Fest. Come enjoy a morning of fall festivities, flavors, sights and sounds.

A New Chapter, A New Beginning


“Move? At my age?” “I’ve got decades of stuff to go through and get rid of before I could even think about moving.” “I’m too young. I’m not ready.” The list goes on and on — these are just a few I have heard as reasons to put off moving to a senior living community. It’s easy to find excuses when you can think of more reasons not to do something. So, let me give you some reasons why you’d want to move so you can let those excuses go.

Live! at Dowling Park Artist Series Celebrates 30th Anniversary


Thirty years ago, Advent Christian Village’s Dick Grillo put together the first artist series season. At the time, Advent Christian Village (ACV) was approaching its 75th anniversary, and became Florida’s first retirement community to initiate and host an artist series for its own members as well as the surrounding communities. The final performance of the very first season was the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, playing to a full house in the new Village Church sanctuary.

Esther Moreno has been a world-traveling flamenco dancer. She will grace the Advent Christian Village stage on Sept. 4.

Flamenco at ACV: An Intense Experience


Advent Christian Village’s 30th anniversary Live! at Dowling Park Artist Series kickoff event will be Monday, Sept. 4. It will be an exciting one: a night of flamenco dance and Spanish guitar performed by Esther Suarez and José Moreno. Described as “intense” by José himself, flamenco is an incredibly expressive form of dance where the dancer uses their whole body — feet, arms, torso and even face — to tell a story, be it entertaining, romantic or comforting.

How to Get More Bang for Your Social Security Buck


In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the original Social Security Act. Social Security is funded primarily through payroll taxes collected by the IRS. With a few exceptions, all salaried income, up to an amount specifically determined by law, is subject to the Social Security payroll tax.

Your Sunscreen May Be Killing You


According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, over the past 30 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. In fact, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. Because of this, protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing sunscreen on a daily basis has been advertised heavily. Even some makeups now claim to offer protection from the sun’s UV rays.

A big part of the fun at Camp Suwannee is making new friends.

It’s Time Again for Camp Suwannee!


Did you attend camp as a child? If you did, I’m sure you have some great stories to tell. Whether you have kids or grandkids of your own, or know children from your area, an opportunity for them to create awesome camp memories awaits them in Dowling Park, Florida, at Camp Suwannee.

The staff at Dacier Manor, Advent Christian Village’s assisted living option, loves working together and with the men and women they serve. Because of this, Dacier Manor is a great place to live.

This Staff Loves Serving Others


Do you love your job? Sadly, polls show that around three-quarters of the American workforce does not. That statistic is completely inaccurate when it comes to the staff of Dacier Manor — Advent Christian Village’s assisted living facility. They love working there.

The Jo Kennon Public Library in Dowling Park has books, audiobooks and DVDs to borrow, computers to use, and friendly staff to offer assistance.

The Jo Kennon Public Library is at Your Service


According to recent Pew Research Center survey data from fall 2016, 46% of adults ages 18 and older say they used a public library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months. Western Suwannee County is on its way to topping that percentage due to the excitement surrounding the grand opening of the Jo Kennon Public Library on the campus of Advent Christian Village in Dowling Park. The library reported that over 800 people visited the new building in its first two weeks following its grand opening on May 11.

No Better Time than the Present to Treat Hearing Loss


This is the third and final article in a series I recently wrote concerning hearing loss. If you have not yet read the first two articles, I encourage you to read both “10 Surprising Causes of Hearing Loss” and “Untreated Hearing Loss: Effects and Who to See.” In those articles, I have outlined how hearing affects the overall health of our aging loved ones, and who should be seen to treat the effects of hearing loss. Today, let’s focus on some causes of hearing loss and available technology advancements.

The Jo Kennon Dowling Park Public Library will open for business following its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday, June 11.

New Public Library, Archive Wing and Ceramics Shop Open


We are pleased to announce that on Sunday, June 11, a dedication ceremony and a ribbon cutting will be held at Advent Christian Village (ACV). At 2:00 p.m., in The Village Church, ACV will dedicate Phase II of Taylor Commons, its newest neighborhood; the Marion Polk Ceramics Shop; and the Shirley J. Brooks Archive Wing, which is part of the Jo Kennon Public Library. At 3:00 p.m., Suwannee County will celebrate the grand opening of the Kennon Library with a ribbon cutting on site. The public is invited to these events.

Advent Christian Village is excited to welcome The Village Church’s new music minister, Traci Nissley, and her family to Dowling Park.

The Village Church Welcomes New Music Minister: Traci Nissley


For a full year the ACV community prayed for God’s leading in searching for a new music minister for the Village Church. Those prayers were answered, as Traci Nissley accepted the call to this position of ministry; her first Sunday was June 4.

Don’t Believe These Lies About Falls!


Approximately 9,500 deaths of older Americans are associated with falls each year. Falls are the leading cause of death from injury among people 65 and older, and at 80 years, over half of seniors fall annually. In fact, 87 percent of all fractures in the elderly are due to falls, and two-thirds of those who fall will do so again within six months. One-fourth of seniors who fracture a hip from a fall will die within six months of the injury.

Untreated Hearing Loss: Effects and Who to See


Think about the people you have met who have an obvious hearing loss. Do they seem to be delayed and even disoriented during conversations? Do they repeat things or start conversations on topics that have already been discussed? Do they have the appearance of being uninterested in what is being said? Do they talk incessantly and never give others a chance to speak?

These eight Suwannee High School seniors received Marvin E. Jones Scholarships at Advent Christian Village. Pictured (l–r) are Mikaila Letu, Kaleb Dye, Pascual Jahuey, Luke Henderson, Keverly Lee, Hannah George, Rachel Lake and Jesus Mendoza.

Advent Christian Village Supports Youth Through Educational Scholarships


Advent Christian Village (ACV) has been ministering to children for over 100 years. Today, that continues in a number of ways, including the administration of educational scholarships: the Forward Fund Scholarship and the Marvin E. Jones Scholarship.

ACV's Nursing Home Receives 5-Star Rating


Good Samaritan Center, Advent Christian Village (ACV) at Dowling Park’s skilled nursing center, is excited to announce that they have received a 5-star rating from CMS, the US government’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

10 Surprising Causes of Hearing Loss


We begin hearing in the womb, and the auditory processing part of the brain is the last sense to stop working when we are dying. While this may be a tough way to begin a conversation with you, I hope stating these facts works as a kind of wake up call. Since God designed us this way, the hearing sense must be vital to our being.

Helen Myers has spent the last half of her life in north Florida. Over a period of 30 years of that time, she worked at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, helping raise dependent and neglected boys.

A Little Love Goes a Long Way


Helen Myers, a five-year member of Advent Christian Village at Dowling Park (ACV), has been helping people for a long time — and doing a fine job of it. Even two years ago, at 90 years of age, she was asked if she would be willing to work some hours in a customer service role at ACV. She gladly accepted and still spends several mornings a week at the front desk of Carter House, greeting members and guests with a big smile. Some of her regulars even gift her with sugary snacks to thank her for her friendliness.

Kathy Bochow, one of the attendees at the Suwannee County Health and Wellness Fair held at Advent Christian Village at Dowling Park on March 31, has her cholesterol checked at the Lake City Medical Center booth.

Fair Promotes Health and Wellness in Suwannee County


The setting was Phillips Center at Advent Christian Village at Dowling Park (ACV). Tables covered with information about an array of services, agencies and resources lined the hallways and meeting spaces. It was the annual Suwannee County Health and Wellness Fair took place on March 31. This year’s event was sponsored by Advent Christian Village and Good Samaritan Center, ACV’s skilled nursing community.

Move to Improve: Exercise is Just as Important for Seniors


Not long ago, it was common belief that older adults didn’t need to exercise — retirement was time to just sit and relax. Another widespread idea was that exercise was actually harmful for people with certain ailments — “I can’t exercise because I have heart disease.” Now, more people than ever, at all ages, are exercising. So, does age-old wisdom prevail, or is exercise important for senior adults? If it is important, how much is enough?

Deputy Sheriff Greg Kastor has worked most of his life in Suwannee County law enforcement. He now brings his considerable experience to the streets of Dowling Park.

There’s a New Sheriff’s Deputy in Town


Deputy Sheriff Greg Kastor is now on patrol in Dowling Park. The grandson of Eula Setzer, one of the first five orphans to move to Advent Christian Village in 1913, Dep. Kastor says working here feels like coming home.

Verna Simpson recently moved into Taylor Commons, a new neighborhood still under construction at Advent Christian Village at Dowling Park. The two benefits she’s most excited about are no yard work and the convenient location. When complete, Taylor Commons will house 30 apartments.

Brand New Apartments Opening in Dowling Park


Members and friends of ACV have been watching as a stretch of Dowling Park Drive has undergone a dramatic transformation. Where once cinderblock duplexes stood, now stands an entirely new neighborhood of townhome-style apartments called Taylor Commons. This project not only increases occupancy in that area, but also enhances curb appeal at ACV’s center.

Want a Better Life? Drop the Candy Bar!


Above treasures and wealth, health is one thing that no one can put a price tag on. The state of our health depends largely on choices we make during our lifetime. Are we exercising enough? Are we involved in risky behavior? And the question I’d like to focus on: Are we eating the right things? Did you know that one cookie here, one carrot there can still affect your health 10 years down the line? If it was easy to predict the impact of each of our food choices, I’m sure some of them would be reconsidered.

Sadie Feagle is about to celebrate her 100th birthday, defying the medical prediction given to her mother so long ago. The framed dress is the gown she was to be buried in prior to her third birthday.

100 Years Young


When someone turns 100 years old, you feel you need to ask them their secret. There are no secrets with Sadie Leona Feagle; she’ll tell you straight out, “Hard work never hurt nobody.” Talking with Sadie is a true privilege. After all, how often do you have the chance to talk with someone who remembers when the sun didn’t shine in the Florida sky for two weeks in the 1930s because of the Texas Dust Bowl, or who took cotton she grew on her farm to the gin to make her own mattress ticking?

Falling Happens to Other People, Not Me


Many people think falls are a normal part of aging. The truth is, they’re not. Most falls can be prevented — and you have the power to reduce your risk and the risk of loved ones. Exercising, managing medications, checking for vision problems, and making the living environment safer are all steps you can take to prevent falls.

Clearing the Clutter for a Better Life


Dealing with clutter is a common struggle in the US. Americans continually buy new clothes, new books and new gadgets without getting rid of anything. Those who lived through the Depression were conditioned to never throw anything away. Closets, attics and garages swell with “stuff,” especially for those who have lived in the same home for many years. However, clutter can be a real problem for senior adults. It can be a health hazard, and it quickly becomes overwhelming to get it under control. If you have a clutter problem, what can you do?

ACV President Craig Carter presents Shirley Lawson a token of thanks during her retirement celebration on Dec. 14. Shirley worked over 31 years as a CNA at Advent Christian Village.

A Shining Example of ACV’s Mission


In December, Advent Christian Village (ACV) held a bittersweet celebration at Good Samaritan Center (GSC), its skilled nursing community — the retirement of Shirley Lawson. Shirley Lawson has worked as a CNA for ACV for 31 and a half years. Her outstanding dependability is usually the first quality anyone mentions when speaking about Shirley.

Scientific studies have begun to document a connection between living a lifestyle of faith and good health.

The Science of Healing Through Prayer


Many people believe science and faith cannot mix. Science can be observed, tested and proven. Spirituality can also be observed and tested, but many aspects of spirituality are difficult to prove. Faith is necessary when dealing with spiritual matters. But when tested over and over and the positive results appear to correlate, it seems impractical to discount what appears to be scientific proof of a spiritual matter. For example: healing through prayer.

Away from Home for the Holidays


Home for the holidays. Don’t those words paint a happy picture? Just imagine: In the living room is a giant tree laden with ornaments and presents piled underneath. Garlands and swags hang from banisters and mantles. Candles flicker in every window and hundreds of lights glow outside. It is a scene worthy of a Christmas card. But sometimes people find themselves lodged “at the inn” instead. Usually it’s only for a few days because Grandma’s house couldn’t fit everyone. Christmas is a time for joy, and even if you’re an out-of-towner, whether for one night or many, you can still have a holiday that is merry and bright.

What is GriefShare?


Each of us has experienced grief. People can grieve many different things in life — homesickness, side effects of advanced aging or illness, and even general disappointments. And we have all experienced grief due to loss of life, whether for a stranger (9/11, Columbine, etc.), a friend, family members, or possibly spouses. Is there help for people dealing with grief?

Holiday Visits — Offering Practical Help to Loved Ones


The holidays are a special time for family and friends to get together. It’s not uncommon for us to visit a senior loved one who would benefit from our help. As you make your holiday plans, think about how you can help your loved one with things in the home so they don’t have to do it later. Offering your assistance during your holiday visit is a great way to show love and support in ways that linger on throughout the year. It’s natural to be concerned that your loved one remains safe and happy in their home as they age. You have a great opportunity during your holiday visit to help them … and make your visit even more meaningful.

Harold Garner says one key to being a successful stained glass artist is to have a proper work space. Harold has been crafting stained glass beauties for over 10 years, and he is very talented at it.

Stained Glass is an Artform


Pliers, cutters, grinders, soldering irons, lead, copper, and … glass — these are the tools of a stained glass artist. A touch of engineering, a dash of imagination and skilled hands come together to produce works of art that can only be truly appreciated in the light. Just like painting and sculpting, anyone can pick up the tools and produce a product. But it takes an artist to produce something beautiful. Harold Garner is an artist.

Sharon Belovarac (left) and Lynne Spriggs (two surveyors with CARF) pause with Advent Christian Village President/CEO Craig Carter at the very start of ACV’s on-site survey. A third surveyor, Brent Edgerton, performed his duties remotely. ACV recently learned that they were awarded a Five-Year Term of Accreditation.

Five More Years!


CARF-CCAC (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities - Continuing Care Accreditation Commission) announced that Advent Christian Village (ACV) has been awarded a Five-Year Term of Accreditation. The announcement came early this month following an on-site survey at the end of September.

Don’t Be a Statistic — Avoid the Flu


Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a respiratory condition that can cause serious complications, especially in young children, older adults, and people with certain medical conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 115,000 people across the U.S. are hospitalized each year as a result of severe illness from the flu. Influenza is the ninth leading cause of death in the country. The good news is that there is something we can all do to keep our families and communities safer. The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age or older be vaccinated annually.

Renovations Beautify Good Samaritan Center


Advent Christian Village at Dowling Park (ACV) is much more than just a nursing home; it is truly a village, with homes, apartments, stores, restaurants, a medical center … the list goes on. Despite ACV’s diverse and varied offerings, its nursing home, Good Samaritan Center (GSC) — a skilled nursing community offering short-term rehabilitation stays and long-term nursing care — is a big part of Advent Christian Village’s continuum of care. Because of its importance, for the better part of three years, GSC has been undergoing a complete renovation — and we are happy to report that the renovations have reached a milestone.

The Risks of Using Someone Else’s Wi-Fi


The internet has made doing many things much easier. It provides instant gratification for shopping for that perfect outfit or new gadget, and banking and bill payment services are just a click away. But the internet also has made it much easier for cybercriminals to get your personal information.

Low-Income Senior Housing: Great Places to Call Home


No matter our age, we all crave a place to call our own that is comfortable and secure, has friends close by, and affords privacy when we want it. We do not “outgrow” the desire for these things. But, sometimes, after the paychecks stop coming and the savings account dwindles, seniors wonder what’s next. How will they afford a place of their own? What are their options?

Advent Christian Village’s new Service Coordinator, Nancy Moral (center), is already loved by many of ACV’s members.

ACV’s New Service Coordinator is a Perfect Fit


When asked what it is about Advent Christian Village that makes it so great, most members talk about the people — not only the people who live here, but also the amazing people who work here. One of ACV’s newest employees, Service Coordinator Nancy Moral, is no exception to this praise.

Plan a Fall Foliage Foray


For many, the beauty of fall is one of the highlights of the year. As leaves change from shades of green to yellow, orange and red hues, the landscape takes on a glow that delights and inspires. But for the average Joe, it’s hard to know exactly when trees will be at their best. Here is a handy guide provided by to use if you’re planning a fall foliage foray.

The Keys to a Successful Reunion


What do family, friends, co-workers, classmates and special occasions have in common? Memories! One way to celebrate those memories and to continue them is with a reunion. Reunions can be planned any time of the year. Life gets busy and busyness makes time pass rapidly. Our time is valuable, so it’s important to make the best of it. Celebrate, grab those happy moments, and reflect on them when you can. Most of us have to make an effort to create those moments. Spending time together away from daily distractions with all the relatives, friends, classmates, or co-workers creates quality time as well as lasting memories. You might only see one another once or twice a year or maybe it’s been several years. Reunions make it count, but they don’t just happen — someone has to make them happen.

Natalie Gordon, ARNP-C, recently joined the medical staff at Copeland Medical Clinic in Dowling Park. She specializes in geriatrics and is available for appointments — call (386) 658-5300.

New ARNP Rounds Out ACV Medical Team


One of the vital services provided at Copeland Medical Center at Advent Christian Village in Dowling Park is Copeland Clinic. There, outstanding medical care is offered to area residents five days a week. Board certified family doctor/geriatrician Dr. Maria Gonzalez leads the medical team, along with two nurse practitioners: Beth Fulford, and newest team member, Natalie Gordon.

Paddling down the Suwannee River could be your next great adventure.

Consider a Canoe for Your Last Summer Excursion


Where has summer vacation gone? It seems like only yesterday the last school bell was ringing and we were looking forward to a few months of the easy life: lounging by the pool, trips to see family, and vacations at interesting places. In many locations, school is already back in session, and it won’t be long before the rest follow suit. But don’t despair if you’re still hearing the call of the wild for one more trip. Florida will still be warm and sunny for a few more months, and we’d like to suggest a fun-filled trip down the beautiful Suwannee River.

Designing Your Home for Your Senior Years


When designing or shopping for a new home, we should consider the livability and comfort the home will afford us. There are always specific features that we are attracted to, and a general flow of spaces that we feel will make our particular living style more comfortable. When a young bachelor shops for a home, he looks for different features than a couple with children. Their needs have changed and so they look for the features to accommodate a family. Designing a home or adapting a home for your senior years requires a similar rethinking of your current needs and what your future needs might be.

RiverOak Technical College and Advent Christian Village partnered at the beginning of this year to bring a unique, five-week Certified Nursing Assistant course to Good Samaritan Center. The first graduating class graduated at the end of March. Pictured from left to right: GSC Administrator Keri Hilliard, GSC Director of Nursing Judy Crager, RiverOak Patient Care Technician Instructor Traci Thompson, GSC Director of Staff Development Brenda O'Steen, five graduates (Toquita Gandy, Kaitlyn Lawson-Mrus, Adrienne Lovett, Jessica Nichols and Sabrina Watkins), and RiverOak Director Walter Boatright.

RiverOak CNA Class Held at ACV a Success


Following Suwannee-Hamilton Technical Center’s identity change to RiverOak Technical College (Live Oak, Florida) last year, administration added several new program opportunities. Early this year, the college renewed its partnership with Advent Christian Village (ACV) in order to offer a unique, five-week Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class taught at Good Samaritan Center, ACV’s skilled nursing community. This isn’t the first class of this type to be taught at ACV and they are thrilled to be working with RiverOak to once again offer more medical education in western Suwannee County.

Richard and Patricia Hanks live part of the year in their River Woods home at Advent Christian Village and the rest of the year in their mountain home in north Georgia. One reason for maintaining their Georgia home is because they are currently the only two bailiffs in Towns County, Georgia.

Richard and Patricia Hanks: Advent Christian Village’s Bailiffs


Advent Christian Village members Richard and Patricia Hanks’ relationship started in a courthouse. In fact, they still spend a lot of time in a Georgia courtroom, but they’re not in trouble; they’re bailiffs.

Advent Christian Village has a team of Service Coordinators ready to provide whatever support their members living independently need. Ashley Scarborough (left) is one such caring individual.

A Valuable Resource: Service Coordinators at ACV


If you are a senior adult who is hospitalized following a fall or an illness, who do you turn to for help when it’s time to go home? Your family or friends? What if none are available? At Advent Christian Village (ACV) the answer is easy — you call your Service Coordinator. Or better yet, the hospital discharge coordinator calls the Service Coordinator with the details of the kind of care you will need after your discharge. From there, the Service Coordinator sets up any necessary services, like delivered meals, housekeeping, or home care. They even see to it that prescriptions are filled and that you have transportation to follow-up medical appointments and specialists. This is just one of the facets of the Service Coordinator’s role.

Falls are dangerous, but avoidable. Have a fall assessment done by professionals, such as the therapy department at Advent Christian Village.

Tips for Lowering Your Risk of Falling


“Falls are an inevitable part of aging. There is nothing to do to prevent falls.” These myths are commonly believed. However, research tells us that there is much that can be done to reduce and even prevent falls.

High school juniors and seniors have been training to be leaders at Camp Suwannee in Dowling Park for 10 years.

Ten Years of Developing Stronger Leaders


May 10, Advent Christian Village held a celebration in honor of 10 years of the Camp Suwannee Leadership Development Training program. A large group of former students as well as current and past leaders attended. It was a fun evening full of remembrances, congratulations, and hope for the future.

Rosemary Humbles Retires from The Village Church


A lot has changed since 1972. In 1972, bell bottoms and body suits were in style, two Apollo missions landed Americans on the moon, a gallon of gas cost 55 cents, the original Godfather premiered, and Atari released PONG. The year 1972 was also a remarkable year for Advent Christian Village (ACV) because of the addition of several key staff member, and among them were Jim and Rosemary Humbles. Jim retired as president of ACV in 2008. And this month, Rosemary is following suit, retiring from the position she has held since 1981: minister of music and education.

Pill Organizers: Keeping You on the Right Medication Track


As everyone knows, the memory starts to suffer with age. Whether we blame it on forgetfulness, old age, or too much other stuff to remember, most of us feel the effects of not remembering everything we’d like to. But when forgetfulness gets in the way of our health — such as forgetting to take our prescription medications — it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Moving Your Parent to a Nursing Home: A Caregiver’s Observations


There may come a time when you need to help a loved one — due to illness, injury or condition — move into an assisted living facility or nursing home. While even the logistics of helping someone can make this type of move intimidating, the addition of strong emotions, memories, and “stuff” can easily be overwhelming. As the responsible person, you will need to consider your loved one’s finances, mail, clothing, and other personal goods, as well as the facility’s processes and approvals.

These seven Suwannee High School seniors received scholarship from Marvin E. Jones Memorial Trust. Pictured (l–r) are Scholarship Trustee Robert Jones, Krunal Shukla, Tessa Ferreira, Kyler Gray, Kaitlyn Rogers (winner of the four-year scholarship), Blake Ulmer, Megan Letu, Cari Blalock and Scholarship Trustee Mike Jones.

Advent Christian Village Celebrates 25 Years of Scholarships


Advent Christian Village (ACV) hosts many annual events, but an event on April 19 hosted a group of nervous high school seniors. For the 25th year, the Marvin E. Jones Memorial Scholarship finalists gathered with their loved ones in Dowling Park to learn whether they would be the recipient of a large college scholarship. “Take a deep breath and count to 10,” advised last year’s top scholarship winner, Darrah Lane, who explained — during a report on how her scholarship had helped her during her first year of college — how nervous she had been a year ago.

This stately, young Floridian not only spent some time as the postmistress of Dowling Park, but also became the first female mayor south of the Mason-Dixon Line when she won her Live Oak election.

A ‘Ruby’ in the Rough: Dowling Park’s Postmistress and the South’s First Female Mayor


The United States of America will turn 240 years old this summer. Compared to most of the world, that is very young for a country. Similarly, Dowling Park, Florida, became a community around 115–120 years ago: very young by the world’s standards, young even when compared to most cities in Florida, but still historic for our southern United States. One historic individual who called this area home for most of her life was Ruby Estelle Jordan.

What is Cancer, Anyway?


Cancer is a major reason for deaths worldwide. It leads to more deaths when compared with AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Deaths from cancer globally are forecasted to continue to increase to over 11 million in 2030.

The Arts in Health Care


Pablo Picasso said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” No matter a person’s physical, mental, emotion or spiritual state, some form of art is going to appeal to them, whether it’s music, drama, dance or a painting, sculpture or quilting. And sometimes, when that “dust” is cancer, depression or Alzheimer’s disease, art can be a soothing ointment.

Librarian Rhoda Odom leads a monthly book club at Advent Christian Village.

Advent Christian Village Loves Books


A library is being built in Dowling Park. But the locals aren’t waiting until the future Jo Kennon Dowling Park Public Library opens to get excited about books and library programs. Inside the Phillips Center, just down the road from the library’s construction site, the Dowling Park Suwannee River Regional Library (SRRL) Book Club has been meeting monthly since September 2015.

An Artist of Three Dimensions


Rosemary Eakins has been creating art in three dimensions since around the time she started school. Her apartment overlooking the Suwannee River at Advent Christian Village is a testimony to the skills she learned and has honed over the years. On tables and shelves, and in bookcases and cabinets, are tiny rooms full of tiny furniture, clothes, and faux food, animals and people. The realism and creativity is astounding.

When a Parent is Unsafe Behind the Wheel


As a child grows, their parents watch them and encourage them to do more in the name of maturity. And sometimes, as a senior becomes more frail, their child watches them and encourages them to do less in the name of safety. It’s a difficult role reversal.

Margy DeGeorge, an Advent Christian Village member, worked with President Ronald Reagan for a year and a half on a jobs program she helped develop. After her involvement was over, he presented to her this “Summer Jobs Award” in the Rose Garden at the White House.

Remembering Ronald Reagan


Nancy Reagan’s recent passing has prompted many people to express a wide range of emotions on social media. Conservatives remember President Ronald Reagan’s widow as a strong, positive and caring individual. She died 12 years after her husband, the 40th president of the United States.

Stress causes all kinds of problems. To counter it, engage in relaxing activities such as those offered by the Conference & Retreat Center at Advent Christian Village.

10 Health Benefits of Relaxation


You may have heard that a little bit of stress is actually good for you. In the just-right amount, that adrenaline rush can power you through a long day at work, boost your workouts and more. But while it feels good to conquer the day, in the end, it just simply feels better — and is more beneficial to your health — to relax.

Are Mom and Dad Still Safe Behind the Wheel?


A time of great anticipation in almost every American teen’s life is when they can get their driver’s license. Do you remember the family discussions leading up to the time prior to getting your own license? How excited you were for the benefits you would have once that driver’s license was in your hands? Your new license held your passport to freedom and new adventures.

Feb. 13, Advent Christian Village will hold the Suwannee Gala for Treasure Seekers with silent and live auctions which benefit sending kids to camp and the ministries of Camp Suwannee.

Benefit Auction Helps Make Camp Possible for Kids


Advent Christian Village (ACV) has been helping kids since its beginning over 102 years ago. Five orphans from North Carolina moved to Dowling Park in 1913 because they needed a place to live and Advent Christian Village was born. Today, children do not live at Advent Christian Village. Times have changed and orphanages do not exist in the United States any longer. But ACV has not stopped helping children. It has many programs designed to minister to the young, including Camp Suwannee, the full-service campground located at Advent Christian Village.

Ed Siergiej entered the US Army at 18. He experienced many hard times during his time overseas, but he never lost sight of the fact that he wanted to help people.

War is About People


Although the 70th anniversary of the great Second World War has come and gone, we’d like to spotlight one more WWII veteran who calls Advent Christian Village home before we close this book. Our final interview is with a soldier who never lost sight of what this war was all about: people.

Building Muscle After 60


Some people believe a common myth that, after age 60, the human body is unable to build muscle. The fact is, according to Dr. David Heber, director of UCLA's Center for Human Nutrition, new research published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise finds older adults who begin lifting weights after 50 may win the battle against age-related muscle loss.

Mom Needs a Nursing Home — How Will She Pay?


Your loved one’s health has suddenly or gradually declined. They need 24-hour medical attention, but not at a hospital. Their medical need is greater than what home health care can cover, so most often the best option is for them to stay in a skilled nursing facility. What happens next? And, how does it get paid for?

Victor Grondzki poses with his fiancé, Florence, before being shipped overseas as an infantry radio operator toward the end of World War II. Vic spent 22 months on foreign soil before the war ended and his life was changed for the better.

A Life Improved by World War II


Seventy years ago, World War II was officially over, but its effects were still being felt across the globe. For some, the effects of their time during the Second World War have yet to completely die away. For one such soldier, the things he learned and the experiences he lived through helped to shape his entire outlook on life, strengthening his character and improving the world around him — a Marine by the name of Vic Grondzki.

Dr. George Cohen with Dermatology Associates of Tallahassee is just one of many specialists seeing patients at Copeland Medical Center in Dowling Park.

Come to Dowling Park to See a Medical Specialist


Advent Christian Village (ACV) has been on the cutting edge of medicine for many, many years. ACV was the first retirement community in the nation to invite medical students to complete their training in geriatric care on its campus. In the early 70s, it became the first retirement community in Florida to have its own outpatient clinic. It was the first retirement community in Florida to employ a physician’s assistant. Today, Copeland Medical Center, a state-of-the-art medical complex, is located on the north side of campus providing medical care, a pharmacy, outpatient rehab and dental care for its members and the general public. Part of the medical care it provides is by offering a range of medical specialists, reducing the need to travel greater distances for medical care.

Feel Comfortable When Visiting Grandma in the Nursing Home


It’s Christmastime again — and that usually includes visiting family who you may only see infrequently. For some, a family member may live in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Because of inexperience, some people feel so uncomfortable at nursing homes that they avoid visiting loved ones who live there. Some people find it depressing; others just don’t know what to say. It can be awkward, but if you are prepared, it can be a meaningful time for both of you.

Alan Leith enlisted in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He started out as a mechanic, but performed many other duties, including firing mortars with the 91st Chemical Mortar Battalion.

Battle of the Bulge Survivor Finally Finds Peace


It’s been said that war changes people. Those that go away are changed. Those that stay home are changed. And sometimes, the greatest changes happen after the warrior returns home. On this 70th anniversary of World War II, we take a look at one such soldier. Alan Leith went away a boy and, like many others, he came home a troubled man.

Gift Ideas for the Senior Adult in Your Life - UPDATED


Sometimes it’s hard to choose the right gift for an aging parent, grandparent or loved one. After all, they’ve had a lifetime of gifts and often have a different perspective on life than you may have. Here are some great holiday gift ideas to help get you started.

Help! My Dad is Dating Again!


While some marriages end in divorce, there are many relationships that last the long haul. Couples celebrate 30, 40, 50 or more wedding anniversaries all the time. For most of these long-lasting marriages, when one spouse dies, the loss is tragic, not only for the widowed, but also for the family left behind. Many times, the children are grown and have children of their own. Traditions have been followed for decades. The loss is large and if the widowed spouse moves on before the rest of the family feels they are ready, problems can arise.

Mary Carter, then Mary Meter, was a member of the Navy WAVES during WWII. Her job was to assess film data for accuracy of gun and bomb sites.

Making History as a Female WWII Sailor


Prior to World War I, women were rarely found working outside of the home. Common thinking was that women should support their families by staying home. During World War I, America quickly realized women were needed to fill the thousands of jobs left vacant when its men joined the war effort. Women were also allowed to enlist in the Navy and Marine Corps — a first for American armed forces. After the war ended, our soldiers returned to their jobs and most women returned to their homes. But when World War II broke out, women once again hung up their aprons and joined the workforce. And a greater number of women enlisted. Mary Carter, current Advent Christian Village member, was one such woman.

Dr. Laurel Pfeil (left) consults with Ashley Swinson, RN. Dr. Pfeil is a new consulting geriatrician at Advent Christian Village's Good Samaritan Center.

Geriatrician Teams Up with ACV


Advent Christian Village (ACV) is happy to announce an addition to its medical team. Dr. Laurel Pfeil, a licensed geriatrician, is assisting ACV’s physician, Dr. Maria Gonzalez and Beth Fulford, ARNP-C, with admission assessments and regulatory visits at Good Samaritan Center, ACV’s skilled nursing community.

Don’t Let Sibling Friction Worsen a Parent’s Health Issues


When a senior adult experiences health problems, it can be a great blessing to them when their children are available to help. Help can be given in different ways: phone calls of encouragement and advice, going along on doctor appointments to help understand and remember information, helping more at the house, assisting with finances, or even providing hands-on care. Having more children usually equates to more help. However, when there’s disagreement among children about what’s best for the parent, more stress can be added to an already stressful situation.

Katrina Fillyaw, Good Samaritan Center’s new Assistant Administrator, has worked at Advent Christian Village since 2008. After intensive training, she recently earned her Nursing Home Administrator’s license.

ACV Employee Earns New Position


Advent Christian Village is blessed to have outstanding staff members who carry out its mission each day. Several have taken additional training in order to grow and advance within the organization. One such employee is Good Samaritan Center’s (GSC) new assistant administrator, Katrina Fillyaw.

Your Right to the Life and Care You Prefer


Do you remember the name Terri Schiavo? Her name was prominent in the news beginning in the late 1990s. Terri had suffered a cardiac arrest and massive brain injury due to lack of oxygen in 1990. Within a couple of months, Terri’s diagnosis was changed to that of a persistent vegetative state. Eight years later, Terri’s husband petitioned the court to have her feeding tube removed. Her parents fought the petition and a heated legal battle began. The case passed through many court systems and reached as high up as President George W. Bush. Finally, in 2005 Terri’s feeding tube was removed for the last time (it had been removed and reinserted once during the legal struggle) and she died 13 days later. Why a seven-year legal struggle over a feeding tube? Because Terri’s husband was confident that his wife would not want to live in such a vegetative state, and her parents believed that, as long as their daughter was alive, she should be allowed to remain so.

Earl Van Amburg stands on Japanese soil just after the end of World War II in 1945 or 1946 while serving as a Boiler Technician in the US Navy.

No Service is Unimportant: A World War II Spotlight


When Earl Van Amburg was asked if he’d agree to an interview as another of ACV’s World War II veterans, during this 70th anniversary of the war, he agreed, but he warned that his story wouldn’t be interesting because he never saw combat. We feel that any veteran’s story is important and interesting. See if you agree.

My Dad Needs a Speech Therapist. What is That?


What exactly is a speech-language pathologist (SLP), or “speech therapist,” as they are frequently called? When someone mentions physical therapy, people instantly have some understanding of what lies before them: Some part of their body isn’t working quite right and so a therapist will physically work with them in order to correct or lessen the problem. But, speech therapy? Is the therapist just going to teach them how to talk? Much more than that, a speech therapist’s job is to evaluate and provide therapy for a variety of disorders, not all of which are speech based, but most deal with communication or the mouth and throat.

Dealing with Grief and Loss


We deal with different kinds of loss in our lives: the loss of a loved one through death, the loss of a relationship through divorce or separation, the loss of a career or ministry position. It could even be the loss of an idea, possibly the idea of how we thought our lives would turn out. The pain of loss is very real, no matter the cause.

In Service of God and Country


Seventy years ago, World War II was almost a year old. The United States had yet to enter the war directly, though they were sending supplies to their allies in Europe. Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia were marching (literally and figuratively) through Europe and Asia, defeating and laying claim to those countries they desired. It was a frightening time at home and abroad. And things had only just begun.

Preparing for Hurricanes in Florida


California has its earthquakes. Kansas has its “twisters.” New England has its nor'easters. And along other areas, the southeast has its hurricanes. Hurricane season, the time of the year when more hurricanes hit, is June 1 through Nov. 30. It’s during this time that hurricane preparedness becomes important.