Shell Point Retirement Community

Shell Point Retirement Community offering a vibrant, warm and active lifestyle

Published in South Fort Myers Community Lifestyles August/September 2014 issue

A continuing care retirement community for individuals 60 years old and up nestled within Southwest Florida provides an abundance of amenities and programs to help guide residents on their own personal journey to better themselves.

Shell Point Resort Services and Wellness Manager Mary Franklin said although there has been recreational activities since it became a part of South Fort Myers community in 1968, it has grown throughout the years.

The community of Shell Point, located on the Caloosahatchee River, at 15101 Shell Point Blvd., Fort Myers, has 2,300 residents, is owned by the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and offers independent living and longterm care.

Shell PointA new community-wide program, LifeQuest, kicked off in January 2013 and has been very successful since its inception. All of the staff has been trained on the mission of LifeQuest and the four restaurants have included a LifeQuest menu, which features healthy options.

“LifeQuest has been an amazing program for us,” Franklin said. “We have seen a lot of residents inspired to make a change.”

Since the program was such a hit for the residents, it is also offered for the 960 employees.

Franklin said with the LifeQuest program, they created a dedicated service and name that brought it to the attention of residents.

The program focuses on six dimensions: physical; educational; community and social; emotional; spiritual and natural environment. Those six dimensions are tied into everything Shell Point has to offer and is carried throughout the residents’ personal journey.

“We are not tracking anything,” she said of each of the residents’ journey. “Every person sets their own personal goals that they don’t have to share and their own personal journey towards a balance in life. That’s their MyQuest.”

Residents are provided with tools, programs and support from dedicated staff, so they can fulfill that personal journey.

One of those tools includes a LifeQuest booklet and a wShell Point coverellness assessment. The assessment questions help the residents take an honest look at themselves through basic and difficult questions. Once the test is finished it provides the residents with a visual of what dimensions and goals they should tackle.

“We give them a booklet to write the goals and keep notes themselves,” she said.

Shell Point publishes a monthly magazine, Shell Point Life, which highlights special programs or services, as well as an individual or group of individuals that are living the LifeQuest lifestyle.

The magazine has highlighted a couple who has lost 80 pounds combined, as well as Shell Point Singers, a group that comes together to put on three to four performances a year.

Franklin said the group was highlighted because they are working together and hitting numerous dimensions, as they practice and work towards a common goal.

The educational dimension includes the Academy of Lifelong Learning, which is offered throughout the year. There are approximately 80 programs every quarter that range from light-hearted programs, such as coffee with a neighbor that shares a unique story, to learning about computers. She said 80 percent of the programs are taught by their very own residents.

“It’s a chance for them to give and share their life experiences,” Franklin said.

Outside professors and guest speakers are also brought in to provide further information on some of the class topics.

The emotional dimension is tougher to tackle, Franklin said, due to individuals going through their own personal emotions. She said there are 10 support groups offered throughout the property that provide assistance.

“We see the support when they do go through a challenge in life,” Franklin said. “When they are engaged, they have such a big support group of friendships right here in the community.”

Some of those include a Parkinson’s enrichment group, a care-givers support group, memory care and salon and spa.

“We also have our case managers, which are there to help our residents with transitions of moving from place to place or any life issues that come up,” Franklin said.

The spiritual dimension includes the Village Church that offers weekly worship services, Bible studies and Season of Praise concerts. She said since residents represent many religious backgrounds and beliefs, the spiritual dimension embraces, strengthens and grows the residents’ own spirituality.

The physical dimension is tackled through 35 fitness classes offered every week.

Shell Point also offers Health Connection, which offers such specialty classes as balance and higher intense water classes. The new LifeQuest aquatic center has a 99,000-gallon main recreation pool, which includes two-lap lanes, a 23,000-gallon therapy pool that has an easy-access ramp and adaptable water chair.

“We also bring in outside doctors in the community here at Shell Point or the Fort Myers community to educate our residents on different physical issues,” she said. “We also have presentations by Shell Point staff on ways they can enhance their physical abilities.”

Community and social is everything fun that Shell Point offers for its residents. There are more than 60 activity groups ranging from kayaking to bridge and pinochle, which are all run by residents. There are also 21 social programs offered from going out to dinner, to holiday celebrations, bringing in musicians and hosting a weekly farmers market on property.

Shell Point also has more than 60 volunteer groups, which includes participation from more than 50 percent of its residents. Last year, 116,000 volunteer hours were turned into staff.

“Our residents themselves give themselves and it makes a strong sense of community here,” she said.

The last dimension, natural environment, is unique to Shell Point because of its proximity to the Caloosahatchee River. The community runs educational programs and classes, as well as offer garden plots that the residents maintain.

The community also offers such things as walking paths, birding groups and a photography club for the natural environment dimension.

“One of the things that makes us unique is we have our very own marina,” Franklin said, which includes the Shell Point boat Suzy Q 5.

The residents volunteer as the mates and narrators as residents and guests go out for trips on the water, while learning about dolphins, manatees and the mangroves. The boat ride also includes a lunch outing at a different restaurant.

Franklin said although they offer six dimensions of wellness and programs are offered under each one, they realize that going for a walk is truly only physical for one person, while being emotional for another.

“We try to pick the most obvious dimensions, but that is why it is such a personal journey,” she said.

The Shell Point community, Franklin said is full of active residents that are always having fun and smiling.

In addition to the community-wide program, Shell Point offers an abundance of amenities. Some of those include the Shell Point Golf Club, an 18-hole championship golf course; state-of-the-art Medical Center with full-time staff physicians; Salon and Spa Services; on-site hotel and on-site dog park.

Increased distance

Today as I rolled out of bed and eventually woke up, I laced up my running shoes and headed to my favorite place – Snap Fitness.

My goal, yes not my New Year’s resolution, but my goal for 2014 is to increase those running miles. Day one, huge success. I ran an extra mile and a half today and it felt wonderful. I am determined to strengthen my legs, so they can carry me throughout that cardio workout, which I love so much.

I never thought running would be something that turned into a passion. I remember hating P.E. classes in high school when the teacher made us run around the track. Yep, I was one of those students that took advantage of walking every curve and running the straight aways. I’m so glad that all changed, there is something magical that happens when I take that first stride. It’s therapeutic to run.

Now that my exercise is completed for the day, I can start catching up on some writing, since I graciously gave myself a few days off.

Today definitely kicked off a great start to 2014!

Left behind

Some days can definitely get the best of me …

Before Jason left for work he left me with a message before he kissed me goodbye, one that grabbed a hold of me. I had to make things happen. He has a way of encouraging me to make the best of everything.

So I decided to make some time for me, some time doing what I love …

I laced up my running shoes and tackled some cardio. My hope while walking to the gym was for some, if not all, of my stress to fade away … I also wanted my cloudy world, caused by awful allergies, to clear again.

Mission accomplished!!

I turned on Pandora and put on a station I knew would get me motivated. As the music flowed through my ears, I picked up my speed as I let go of each ounce of stress that grabbed a hold of me today. It’s amazing, as my worries flew off my back my run became a little easier. I improved once again.

I then stepped onto the elliptical and began my workout … and accomplished more personal bests. I love setting goals for myself, especially when I meet them every time I workout.

My shoulders feel lighter after that workout. Once again I left all my stress and worry at the gym on those machines that made me work up quite a sweat.

My cloudy world also became a little clearer, so now I can get back to my desk and work on more articles. 

Phenomenal workout

I have to say after getting back into working out full force last week and going hiking two days in a row, my workout today was pretty incredible.

Last week I ran and did the elliptical five days in a row and then went hiking Sunday and Monday with Jason. Every muscle in my legs felt the burn during our hike, especially my calves. There were times that Jason was way ahead of my on the trails and there were other times we were right behind each other.

Instead of taking today off, I pushed through and ran my best mile since starting again after taking more than a month off. I even increased my distance on the elliptical, as well as my time. I know my body needs a rest, but I’m loving all of this activity.

It’s time to get fit again, it’s time to be active all the time.

I love running because it’s a personal challenge. You can go at your own pace and accomplish your own goals. No matter if it was my best time, I still feel incredible when I finish for the simple reason that I laced up my shoes and attempted another run.

I’m so glad running is a part of my life again. I’m liking the elliptical too, to finish off a cardio workout with that, wow, really makes you feel like you did something.

Well my breaks over, now back to some freelance writing and editing.


Every single day I am reminded of how truly fortunate I am to have such an incredible man in my life.

The last couple of weeks have been hard because my boyfriend has been working so much. Most days I see him for a few minutes in the morning and an hour or two when he gets home after his 15 hours of working.

You don’t realize how spoiled you are until the circumstances change.

I have the up most respect for him. Five doubles in a row and he still comes home with a smile on his face every night. Although I told him I was proud of him, he replied “I’m only doing what I said I would do.”

His countless hours at two jobs is paving the path for our move. This wonderful man is making our dream become a reality.

The little time we are granted every day makes me smile. Last night he instantly had me laughing when he got home, which was funny in itself because he woke me from a deep sleep on the couch.

It’s the little moments we share, the intimate moments that continue to make our relationship stronger. Although I miss having him home, I know he is working towards making our life better.

I love this man to pieces. He has enriched my life in so many beautiful ways.

Second from goal


I took three more seconds off my run … which leaves me with only one more second to wipe out to achieve my goal.

My run was exhilarating this morning as I ran at a faster speed. As we legs became tired I pressed on as I knew I was nearing the finish. The best part was walking during my cool down as I brought my breathing back to normal, as well as stretching when I was done.

What a great way to kick off a day off from work.

A little slower . . .


Unfortunately my run was shortened and a little slower than usual today.

It is incredibly hard to run when you are feeling under the weather, especially when you are fighting a cold. Although lying under the blankets and watching a great movie was helping me feel better, I decided to drag myself off the couch and put on my running shoes.

I started off by running my normal speed, which gradually decreased as breathing became harder with a stuffy nose. As I hit my absolute minimal distance, I slowed down to a walk and gained control of breathing.

Even though it was not a typical run, it made me feel better and gave me a little more energy, as well as a chance to clear my head as another week comes to an end.

Since tomorrow is a new day, my
running shoes will be laced up once again as I try and reach my goal.

There is no better medicine than exercising, working up a sweat and fighting off the germs.

More time…

Three straight days of running just a little bit faster.

I shed another seven seconds off my run, almost reaching my goal.

Since my surgery I have managed to take 11 minutes off my run, which took a little more than nine months (with almost two months off). I cannot explain how happy I am to have accomplished a personal goal.

In just three days alone I have taken 22 seconds off my time, making me just three little seconds away from my goal.

Awe new running shoes …

It felt great running in new shoes. It was like I was running on little pillows, cushioning each and every step as I ran.

Now that I am within reach of hitting a specific time, I might increase my distance and see how much longer I can run instead of hitting a certain speed. I might even take my runs outside of the gym and feel the fresh air instead of stale air within four walls.

When I run I feel like I can accomplish anything, what a thrill. The possibilities are endless because it is up to me to take that next step.

Another great start to another day …

I absolutely love running first thing in the morning!