It's that time of year when the outdoors beckon! Spending time outside in the summer is good for all ages, but especially beneficial for seniors. It increases vitamin D levels, which helps fight certain conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer, heart attacks and depression. And while the sun has its benefits, it’s also best to keep safety in mind. Summer can bring extreme heat that can increase the risk of dehydration, heat stroke, and other health risks, so prepare by staying cool and hydrated. We recommend wearing sun hats and keeping a bottle of water handy. If you’re looking for a fun list of activities that you can participate in during the summer, then we have a few suggestions for you. Volunteer – There are lots of organizations that need helping hands and are very active during the summer months. Find a cause that you want to support and see if they’re hiring any volunteers. Oakmont Senior Living has plenty of opportunity for seniors to get involved. For this season’s volunteer program, we’re doing a focus on animals and how seniors can enrich pets lives by donating their time to adoption centers and creating animals treats. If you’re interested, reach out to your local senior living community and see how you can lend a hand! Check out the community pool – The pool is always a favorite activity when it’s hot outside. Most cities and towns have multiple community pools and are relatively priced. For example, Santa Clarita has the [...]
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Staff and residents at Oakmont of Santa Clarita are inviting the Santa Clarita Valley community to come out for a “BBQ, Beer, & Boogie” fundraiser in support of the Alzheimer’s Association. Set for May 24, the event will kick off Oakmont of Santa Clarita’s participation in the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s in October with food, music and fun. “Our culinary chef will be putting on a BBQ, we’re having a country western band and a raffle,” said Mary Dembkowski of Oakmont of Santa Clarita. “All the proceeds will go to support the Alzheimer’s Association.” The 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s is planned for October 7 at Bridgeport Park in Santa Clarita. Once again, Oakmont of Santa Clarita staff and residents have formed a team to participate in the walk, “Team Oakmont.” The team has set a goal of raising $5,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association this year, according to the walk’s website. “We are excited about supporting the Alzheimer’s Association (at) the upcoming Alzheimer’s Walk,” Dembkowski said. “Come out and see us in May for the May 24 fundraiser.” Oakmont of Santa Clarita also strives to support caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease by offering a monthly support group to the community on the third Thursday of every month. “For those out there that are caring for a loved one (with Alzheimer’s), we know those challenges and we have a support group ongoing at Oakmont,” Dembkowski said. In addition to offering both independent and assisted living care, Oakmont of Santa Clarita [...]
This quarter’s Contribute theme is focusing on pets and animals in need. Oakmont has always been a proud supporter of our residents having animals in their homes. Animals provide companionship and love, and encourage our residents to maintain healthy and active lives. In fact, there are many health benefits that someone who owns a pet can enjoy, including lower blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels. Not to mention the happiness boost that we receive when we see a wagging tail or hear a purring kitten. One way that our residents are giving back to animals in need of a loving home is by donating their time this summer. Many of our communities are hosting pet adoptions right at the property itself. For those that aren’t hosting adoptions, communities have been baking dog treats from scratch and creating dog toys and blankets for local animal shelters. We’re thrilled at the opportunities that our communities have come up with to support the need of local shelters and animals. If you’re thinking about adding a new four-legged member to your family, there are a few potential benefits that make owning a pet rewarding: Lower stress, higher happiness: Pets provide a comfort system and actually produce a chemical chain reaction in the brain that helps to lower levels of the stress-inducing hormone, cortisol, and increase the production of the feel-good hormone, serotonin. More physical activity: Walking dogs and playing with pets are great ways to get more exercise, which is beneficial for overall [...]
Varenna, a luxury Continuing Care Retirement Community, and Villa Capri, an Assisted Living and Memory Care community, hosted a joint art show on their shared campus to showcase their residents’ incredible talents. Over 100 guests attended, including residents’ families, neighbors and members of the local community. Executive Chef Tim Chism and his culinary team prepared a delightful spread for guests to enjoy while they strolled through the galleries. Attendees of the art show viewed 60 original pieces, each painted by a resident of Varenna or Villa Capri. Oakmont has been hosting art classes in their community for years, inviting professional artists to come to the community and teach residents new artistic skills they may never have thought they had. With art classes taking place throughout the month, many residents have developed into accomplished artists. Art shows have been held at Varenna previously, but none have ever been open to the public. “There are many talented artists living at Varenna. This event allowed them to share their work with residents and the public.” said Andi Johnson, Marketing Director of Varenna. “We look forward to inviting guests to the community for future art shows” Varenna and Villa Capri are Oakmont Senior Living Communities located in Santa Rosa, California. Inspired by the beauty and intimate sense of community of its Italian counterpart, Varenna is designed to take advantage of the temperate climate and sweeping views of its Santa Rosa location in the foothills of Wine Country. With luxurious floor plans, private movie theaters, full [...]
When looking for a fun activity to do outside, many of our residents choose gardening. It stimulates all of the senses, awakens our connection with nature, and rewards us with fresh flowers and juicy tomatoes. In terms of other benefits, it can help prevent injury, ease stress, anxiety, and be a mood booster. Another plus side of gardening is it can offer an increase in mobility and flexibility. Gardening has something for everyone, whether you’re new to the hobby or a seasoned pro. What Oakmont loves about gardening is it gives our residents the opportunity to watch something they planted slowly come to life, which can be invigorating. As a company, we love making gardening an activity that everyone can enjoy, including creating a safe environment where our residents can foster their gardening experiences. We are also looking at creating other activities for all residents to partake in, such as gardening lessons, trips to the local nurseries, chef demonstrations, garden socials, and much more. Thinking about adding this fun pastime into your routine? We have some helpful tips to keep in mind when outside: Purchase a kneeling stand for crouching or kneeling for extended periods –These are usually heavily padded low-to-the-ground stools that allow you to comfortably sit or kneel with little leg pain. Use ergonomic or foam handled pruners – These special handles will help ease knuckle and joint discomfort when trimming plants and are helpful for anyone who suffers from arthritis, or can’t hold tools for a [...]
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 [...]
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,” [...]