Spring has sprung and it’s one of my favorite seasons! Everything blossoms and grows, and everywhere you look there are blue skies, colorful flowers and green grass. At Oakmont, many of our chefs will be getting their hands dirty planting Chef Gardens full of fresh herbs and spring vegetables that will be harvested and used in our restaurants all throughout the fall! One of the things I look forward to in the spring in my family is our family gatherings for Easter. Each year we enjoy an afternoon meal to which we each bring our own signature spring dish to share. As you can imagine, as a Chef I have many! One of my favorites to share with my family is my famous Blood Orange Shortbread Bars. Highlighting the peak of the citrus harvest, these delicious, refreshing and sweet treats are something everyone will enjoy. This year I am excited to share my recipe with you! Happy spring! - Chef Rina Younan, Regional Executive Chef for Oakmont. Chef Rina's Blood Orange Shortbread Bars (Makes 18ea. 3x2in bars) For crust 1 1/2 C Flour 1/4 C confectioners’ sugar Pinch of salt 1 + 1/2 stick of unsalted butter (very cold) cut in small cubes Preheat oven to 325F Whisk flour, salt and sugar in bowl to mix. Cut in butter with pastry cutter or food processor, until butter makes flour into cornmeal consistency. Make sure butter is very, very cold! In a 13x9 baking dish, press the crust into bottom and [...]
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Ask someone who volunteers their time and skills to help others why they do it and you will get a variety of answers: some put themselves in the shoes of those in need, while others do it because giving makes them feel useful and needed. Some just say that it feels good to do good. Whatever the reason, giving back to those less fortunate is an important way that we can support our local community. Seniors especially can reap great benefits when giving back to the community: Whether they are retired after years of working or experiencing an emptier home after a lifetime of raising a family, older adults can find a new sense of purpose when they volunteer their time and skill-sets to the less fortunate. Many times volunteering involves socializing with other’s donating their time, giving seniors opportunities to meet other people with their same interests. Whether it is during a crafting session making blankets for under-served children or manning an information booth for a local non-profit, conversation and camaraderie abound! Volunteering can help keep us active and out of the house! You don’t have to be physically fit enough to help corral animals at an adoption event to benefit; just getting outside and sitting in the fresh air during a fundraiser can improve one’s overall wellbeing. And you don’t have to be ambulatory to help; knitting hats for cancer patients or helping a child learn to read are great ways to give back. Starting on the [...]
The staff at Oakmont of Santa Clarita are connecting their senior residents with different nonprofits in the Santa Clarita Valley community every month in 2017. While Oakmont is continuing its regular excursions and outings for residents, a re-vamped activity program is engaging residents with the community and helping give them a sense of purpose, according to Executive Director Margie Veis. “One of the areas that we’re focusing on is connecting, not only to each other but to the community,” she said. “So every month we’re going to pick a nonprofit in Santa Clarita and our residents are going to volunteer and be able to give back.” For the month of February, Oakmont’s residents have come together to make blankets for children in need, which will then be donated to Family Promise of SCV for distribution. “So our residents have taken the time, they’ve socialized while they’ve made them and then they’re going to be able to present to a nonprofit something that will benefit them,” Veis said. Ideas for future months include focusing on helping animals, children and other seniors, Veis added. “This is a great way for residents to have purpose, for residents to be connected to each other and to be giving back,” Veis said. “We’re not just writing people off that you’re old and you need to be taken care of — that’s not true. Residents need to be taking care of somebody else as well.”
After celebrating Oakmont of Santa Clarita’s one-year anniversary on Jan. 11, Executive Director Margie Veis is looking back on the senior living community’s first year in the Santa Clarita Valley. “They say time flies,” Veis said. “We did Monte Carlo Night for our residents and our families and our staff to just celebrate all that we’ve accomplished, which, when I take that step back and look at it, we’ve accomplished so much.” One of Oakmont’s biggest accomplishments in Veis’ eyes is the transition Oakmont of Santa Clarita has made from an empty building to an active community to a true home for its residents. “You look at the friendships that have been formed from resident to resident, staff to staff, but also resident to staff and family member to family member — they’re there to support one another in the good times, in the not so good times,” Veis said, “because in a year, life happens.” Unfortunately, the senior living community has already lost a few of its residents in its first year, but Veis stressed the importance of focusing on the relationships made and impact each one had on those at Oakmont, and vice versa. “Even though they may have only been there a short time, there’s such a connection,” she said. “I mean, we’re taking on a family member — that’s a huge responsibility, and they quickly become very close at heart.” A common question Veis gets is how she copes with the loss of her senior [...]
In an effort to create service project opportunities for its senior residents, Oakmont of Santa Clarita is introducing a brand new program for 2017 called “Oakmont Contributes.” The senior living community is partnering with all 23 Oakmont Senior Living communities to implement the program, which will have a different theme and related service project every quarter. “(It’s going) to give our residents the opportunity to make an impact on their own local community,” said Mary Dembkowski of Oakmont of Santa Clarita. “So as part of the core element, ‘contribute,’ we’re going to be including weekly activities on our calendar that correlate with different themes.” The first quarter of the program is centered around the theme, “Community Connections with Underprivileged Children, Seniors and Children,” and will create a partnership with Family Promise of SCV. Oakmont’s seniors are coming together to make blankets for children in need every week, which will then be donated to Family Promise of SCV for distribution. Animal lovers from the community are looking forward to the program’s second quarter theme, “Hearts and Homes for Animals.” “We’re very pet-friendly at Oakmont, so I think our residents are really going to enjoy getting involved with, maybe partnering with the SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals),” Dembkowski said, “and have an outing for our residents to visit a local shelter.” The third quarter is centered around the theme, “American Pride: Supporting Our Troops and Veterans,” with the final theme, “Supporting the Quest to Find a Cure for Alzheimer’s,” [...]
Honey Lopez, Oakmont of Santa Clarita By Signal Contributor - January, 2017 Oakmont of Santa Clarita, a luxury Assisted Living and Memory Care Community, celebrated their 1-year Anniversary on Wednesday, January 11. To mark the milestone, residents, family members and employees enjoyed a Monte Carlo theme party with casino-style games and hors d’oeuvres prepared by the community’s exceptional chef, Jonathan Schwartz, and his restaurant-style culinary team. Over 120 guests enjoyed delectable appetizers while trying their luck at the gaming tables provided by The Casino Kings, and Councilmember Bob Kellar presented Oakmont’s Executive Director, Margie Veis, with a Certificate of Congratulations from the City of Santa Clarita. Boasting over 100 residents and a growing waitlist, Oakmont has a lot to celebrate. “It has been such a wonderful journey this year watching as Oakmont of Santa Clarita transitioned from a building to a home and family for our residents and staff.” said Margie Veis, Executive Director. “I am so extremely proud of all that we have accomplished this year, from the new friendships that have been made to the outstanding care and services that Team Oakmont provides on a daily basis. I am excited to see all that the New Year brings.” For more information on Oakmont, please call (661) 347-0051 or visit www.OakmontOfSantaClarita.com.
Pacific Beach, Calif. (December 20, 2016): The marketing information center at Oakmont of Pacific Beach, a coastal retirement community, is now open to the public. Seniors and their families who are interested in learning more about this premier retirement community are welcome to inquire at 4312 Cass Street 7 days a week. Oakmont of Pacific Beach is scheduled to open for resident move-in by late spring or early summer 2017. Located in the heart of Pacific Beach on Grand Avenue and just three blocks from the Ocean, Oakmont of Pacific Beach will be a 72,266 square foot community featuring 38 assisted living and 34 memory care apartment homes. Floor plans include studio, one and two bedroom options ranging from 400 to 966 square feet, all with 10-foot high ceilings and spacious bathrooms. Just minutes from Mission Bay, La Jolla Cove, and Balboa Park in Downtown San Diego, Oakmont of Pacific Beach is ideal for active seniors in search of resort-style amenities and continuing care services. “Whether you enjoy sailing on Mission Bay, or fishing off Crystal Pier, Oakmont of Pacific Beach is a community that fulfills the dream of an endless summer,” said Laurie Tomasello, Executive Director of Oakmont of Pacific Beach. “We are excited to provide seniors and their families the opportunity to experience exceptional senior living in this beautiful coastal community.” To meet the diverse demands of vibrant and refined seniors, the community’s amenity package for all residents includes: Gourmet meals served in a restaurant-style dining room, with a full menu designed and prepared by a five-star executive chef and culinary [...]
In the midst of the holiday season, Mary Dembkowski of Oakmont of Santa Clarita shared how the seniors at the luxury Santa Clarita senior living community are staying festive and giving back. The 4th annual walk, which is held nationwide by the Alzheimer’s Association, is returning to Bridgeport Park in Valencia on Oct. 8 While approaching their one-year anniversary since the community’s grand opening, Oakmont staff are working to create some impactful holiday traditions. “On Tuesday before Thanksgiving, we had a huge family thanksgiving feast,” said Dembkowski. While Oakmont staff are working to ensure that their residents are enjoying the holidays, they are also working to give back to the community. For example, Oakmont of Santa Clarita residents are currently hosting a Toys for Tots drive and a “Be a Santa to a Senior” tree. “The residents are excited. They’ve been going out every day to Walmart and Target, picking up their toys and getting them ready to donate,” said Dembkowski. The Toys for Tots drive launched Dec. 3 and is open to the public as a donation location. Oakmont of Santa Clarita is also a host site to “Be a Santa to a Senior,” a service project through Home Instead Senior Care that aims to bring holiday cheer to local seniors who might not receive gifts during the holiday season. “There are different places throughout the Santa Clarita Valley where you can go in and pick up an ornament,” Dembkowski explained. “On the ornament is a senior’s name with their wish [...]
Situated on the bluffs overlooking the beautiful Sacramento River, the marketing information center at Oakmont of Redding is now open to the public. Seniors and their families who are interested in learning more about this premier luxury retirement community are welcome to inquire at 2150 Bechelli Lane 7 days a week. Oakmont of Redding is scheduled to open for resident move-in by late spring 2017. Oakmont of Redding will be an 88,098 square foot community featuring 59 assisted living and 33 memory care apartment homes. Floor plans include studio, one and two bedroom options ranging from 400 to 1,192 square feet, all with 10-foot high ceilings and spacious bathrooms. Located just minutes from the Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Shasta Lake, Oakmont of Redding is ideal for active seniors in search of resort-style amenities and continuing care services. “Redding is a community filled with natural beauty,” said Lorene Bower, Executive Director of Oakmont of Redding. “We are excited to provide seniors and their families the opportunity to experience exceptional senior living in this beautiful environment.” To meet the diverse demands of vibrant and refined seniors, the community’s amenity package for all residents includes: Gourmet meals served in a restaurant-style dining room, with a full menu designed and prepared by a five-star executive chef and culinary team On and off-site recreational and social activities A library, movie theater with plush seating, full-size fitness center with exercise classes and activity rooms with scheduled social events, games, arts and crafts An onsite salon [...]
The holiday season is almost upon us! This is the time of year where we get together with our extended families and connect over shared memories, holiday feasts and festive activities. These events are great opportunities to spend time with our senior loved ones and learn more about their life stories and the history of our relatives. These precious memories can be lost forever if they aren’t passed along, so taking the time to capture them is not only an enjoyable way to spend time together but is also a gift to future generations. The world has changed so much over the past century and these seniors are our link to what life was really like back then. Plus, telling these stories can be a great brain exercise for someone who might be experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s or Dementia; it can feel good to talk about the remembrances that are still with them, which are often some of their oldest memories. Here are some great ways to help capture and share your loved one’s life stories. 1) Bring out old pictures and have them tell stories about what they remember from the photo. Write notes on the back of the photo so that you know who is in the photo, where it was taken and any stories that went along with the image. You can also take a picture of the photo to upload to an online scrapbook along with your notes. This can then be shared with family [...]