The Plymouth Apartments is an independent living housing complex in Winter Park for low-income older adults. The complex, which is home to over 200 residents, was built in 1971 and while the apartments and lobby area were refurbished, the community kitchen was not and it is currently unable to accommodate residents that use assistive mobility aids such as walkers, scooters and wheelchairs.
Thanks to a grant of $25,667 from the Winter Park Health Foundation, the Plymouth kitchen will undergo a total makeover including several senior-friendly features such as improved lighting, (overhead, task and natural), a lowered microwave, raised dishwasher, softer flooring, tilt-out shelving, and multiple drawers (as opposed to large cabinets) so things can be stored and retrieved more easily. A local architect and occupational therapist provided their expertise by consulting on the design after hearing the wish list prepared by residents.
Ultimately, with all these improvements, the kitchen will be used to provide meals for events, parties, educational seminars, resident meetings and functions and, the ultimate goal – regularly scheduled community meals among residents. “The complex does not have a congregate meal program as some other senior housing communities do. The Plymouth Resident Association is planning to create its own program. It is great to see the residents showing such concern for each one another and creating a solution that will benefit all,” said Diana Silvey, Winter Park Health Foundation Program Director.
The property is owned by the Winter Park Housing Authority (WPHA) who provides financial support to the Plymouth Resident Association. These funds will be used to purchase the food necessary for the congregate meal program. In addition, WPHA is funding new flooring, donating a refrigerator, and will have responsibility for ongoing maintenance, utilities, etc. The new community kitchen and related projects are expected to be complete in six months.