By: Beatrice Silva
2 min read November 2020 — John Knox Village of Florida, Inc. (www.johnknoxvillage.com) is South Florida’s internationally award-winning premier life-care retirement community, offering independent and assisted living, memory care, rehab, skilled nursing and home healthcare. An interview with Invest:, Gerry Stryker, president and CEO of John Knox Village of Florida, discussed the company’s expansion plans and innovative programs to help bridge the generational gap in the local community.
John Knox Village broke ground on its $135-million expansion plan last year. Where does the project stand?
We have been executing our Master Vision Plan, which has been developed over the last three years. Part of that plan, Our Welcome and Innovation Center, was completed in August of this year. The center serves as a place where future and current residents can explore John Knox Village’s lifestyle and amenities. It also boasts conference rooms and a 2,500-square-foot indoor/outdoor space for Village meetings, events and gatherings for the community.
The other piece that is opening is the $7.6-million Aquatic Complex that will consist of a four-lane, 75-foot long lap pool and a resort-style pool adjacent to the new Glades Grill restaurant and Stryker’s Poolside Sports Pub with an open-air entertainment space. The Aquatic Complex also includes Pickle and Bocce Ball courts, jacuzzi and a fire pit.
How is John Knox Village bridging the generational gap while helping its residents live a more purposeful life?
We are helping our residents who want to keep working determine what they want to do and how to create a strategic plan for those aspirations. Many of the residents at John Knox Village want to be able to live purposeful lives up until their last breath. With help from other collaborators, we are making this possible by identifying meaningful part-time or vocational opportunities. I do not think society has been willing to accept that retiring can be a secondary phase of someone’s career. Here at John Knox Village, we have four generations in the workforce, and we are helping to bridge the generational gap between all of them through our Business Incubation Lab. We planted the seed this year with Florida Atlantic University and while there are all sorts of incubation programs around the county, ours is the first that is going to bridge older adults working with younger adults. The lab looks to improve services and products for older adults as well as creating new ones. These are the types of programs that are helping our residents have a purpose and that’s what is most important to us.
How is your community encouraging sustainability and eco-friendly efforts among your residents?
One of the things we are doing in our master plan is our collaboration with Florida Power and Light. We are harnessing the sun through solar energy to increase our cost-effectiveness. We are building an energy plant in an environmentally-friendly way that will create power here on our property. We have many mature trees on our campus, so it is very important for us to repurpose and help keep our environment green.
What are your goals for John Knox Village of Florida for the remainder of the year and beyond?
We want to continue to enhance our beautiful 70-acre campus so it can be relevant to prospects who are looking for various lifestyle amenities and layouts. It is not just a one- or two-bedroom villa or apartment home, but rather how that square footage in the home is used. I think we have some exciting offerings that allow people to walk out of their residences and be immersed in this botanical garden. As we head into 2021, we will continue to execute on our master plan while also expanding our offerings to people who want to age in place. We have busy and innovative life-enrichment teams that enhance wellness, technology and social interaction for residents, including over 400 events monthly that feature arts and cultural programs, Broadway-style entertainment, lifelong learning, fitness programs, spiritual life and meaningful life.
JKV is also home to Florida’s only Life Plan Community GREEN HOUSE® Project that offers a new model of care for living and healing. We want to be able to take all our different types of programs that we do really well here and offer them to people in their own private homes to help them thrive. We do not want to assume everyone is the same, so we are constantly thinking about how to create services that are personalized to each of our residents and future clients.
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