Margie Veis, executive director of Oakmont of Santa Clarita, is encouraging grandchildren to learn their family history so they can carry their grandparents’ legacy from generation to generation. “A great activity that someone can do with their grandparent is bring old pictures, and try to get them to tell stories,” explained Veis. “Write notes on the back of the pictures so you know who that is or where that was — get them to talk about that story.” Veis notes that this activity will not only be beneficial for the grandchild, but it will also be fun for the grandparent. “It’s also a great way for your grandparent or your great grandparent to leave that legacy… to remember those good times,” said Veis. “It’s a great brain game for someone that might be dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Those are the memories that are still there.” Getting the stories behind the photographs is a way of further strengthening the connection between grandchild and grandparent and understanding the significance of the picture, Veis pointed out. “You can find a box of pictures, but you don’t know who those four men are, you don’t know what that beach was, you don’t know where they spent the summers or their first job or the hardships that they went through to get us to where we are now,” explained Veis. While listening to stories of the past, Veis noted it could be recorded on someone’s phone, adding the element of hearing the emotion and tone [...]
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Survey of Residents and Families Shows Positive Impact Assisted Living Has On Seniors’ Quality of Life Santa Rosa, CA – As part of its recognition of Assisted Living Week, September 11-17, Oakmont Senior Living today released the results of a recent study conducted by global market research firm ProMatura on the impact that assisted living has on the overall well-being of residents. This study affirms the positive role assisted living is having on seniors’ quality of life and shows that the Assisted Living care model promotes overall well-being. Both residents and family members responded that assisted living is helping to preserve the things that are most important to maintaining a strong sense of self even as seniors enter a new phase of life. According to Dr. Margaret Wylde, PhD, ProMatura’s President and CEO, “The things that influence quality of life don’t change over time. The setting may change but what people need for emotional well-being remains the same. Significantly, the study we recently concluded makes it clear that, even as residents face the physical challenges of aging, they can – and do – enjoy a good quality of life when they feel safe, have control in their lives, are recognized and part of a caring community. Those are the things assisted living fosters.” The study, commissioned by the California Assisted Living Association (CALA), of which Oakmont Senior Living is a member, was based on responses to questions that were identity- and life-based rather than event-based. Questions were designed to determine [...]
Mary Dembkowski, of Oakmont of Santa Clarita, is encouraging Santa Clarita Valley residents to participate in the fourth annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s event set for October in hopes of raising funds for Alzheimer’s research. The 4th annual walk, which is held nationwide by the Alzheimer’s Association, is returning to Bridgeport Park in Valencia on Oct. 8 “It’s just such a special event, just seeing all the people touched by this disease and coming together to raise funds for programs (and) research,” Dembkowski said. The majority of the funds raised from the event are allocated to conduct research in order to provide resources to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, according to Dembkowski. Related: Oakmont Of Santa Clarita Official Encourages Seniors To Join Waitlist Now “Research, research, research — that’s where the most important part of the funds go, and the more that we can support that research, the closer we’re going to become to finding a cure,” explained Dembkowski. Around 35 teams have formed in Santa Clarita so far, including a team from Oakmont of Santa Clarita, and Dembkowski encourages others to create their own team or join an existing team as well. “Any individual who wants to walk and support the cause can form a team,” she said. “There’s no registration fee to start a team and hopefully you and your team can raise funds.” Funds are raised through sponsors, who pledge a certain dollar amount to those who are walking, or through direct donations made to the Alzheimer’s [...]
Contributed photo – A support group gathers at an Oakmont of Fresno’s meeting room. By Carole Grosch | Reporter Newly opened in March 2015, Oakmont of Fresno was quick to offer the general public opportunities to view its upscale facility and attend informational heath care workshops. Guest speakers came and educational presentations were given to those who wished to attend. Soon, the Diabetic and Alzheimer’s support groups were formed, both of which have been well received. It’s not necessary to be a resident at Oakmont in order to take advantage of support groups or attend their events. This family-owned premier senior community, developed by Oakmont Senior Living, is “dedicated to hearing, understanding and responding to the needs of aging seniors.” It was with this philosophy the premier senior community, located in northwest Fresno, offers educational sessions and support groups. Based on five-star consumer ratings and reviews, Oakmont of Fresno was rated Best Assisted Living in Fresno. The honor was given by the nation’s leading senior care websites, Caring.com and SeniorAdvisor.com. These awards honor service excellence in Assisted Living and Alzheimer’s Care. “We saw a need within the community to help educate and support those citizens affected by these diseases,” said marketing coordinator Vanessa Lopez. “The majority of our other communities offer these support groups as part of our mission.” The Alzheimer’s Support Group is led by social worker, Tony Onkka and Executive Director, Dr. Marcy Johnson who are with UCSF’s Alzheimer’s and Memory Center. Caregivers or family members are encouraged to [...]
Oakmont of Santa Clarita not only offers educational events for residents of the luxury senior living community, but for the Santa Clarita Valley community at large. For example, last month a gastroenterologist from UCLA gave a presentation on healthy eating for digestion. “We are what we eat, and a lot of digestive diseases are a result of what we put into our bodies,” said Mary Dembkowski of Oakmont of Santa Clarita. “Staying away from processed food was the biggest message I came away with.” On July 30, Oakmont of Santa Clarita partnered with the Senior Resource Alliance to hold a free workshop called “Life’s Last Chapter.” Related: Oakmont Of Santa Clarita Raising Funds For 2016 Walk To End Alzheimer’s Some of the topics discussed included end-of-life planning, hospice care and who qualifies, California state laws that protect consumers when it comes to pre-planning funeral expenses, VA benefits and more. “All of that information (is) so needed, and yet we don’t think about it until the time comes,” said Dembkowski, a member of the Senior Resource Alliance. “Our goal is to prepare you for those types of things.” In addition to educational events surrounding the topic of aging, Oakmont of Santa Clarita also offers a variety of entertainment activities for its residents, including a “Happy Hour” every Wednesday featuring live entertainment. The most recent Happy Hour event featured a comedy musical group that appeared at Oakmont of Santa Clarita for the first time, which was well-enjoyed by residents, according to Dembkowski. “We [...]
In celebration of National Dog Day – August 26th! By: Margie Veis, Executive Director of Oakmont of Santa Clarita and proud “parent” of Biff! Pets fill a special place in our lives and hearts. They have made great comrades through adolescence, marriages, and raising children. They have provided comfort when our nests have emptied and support through loss and illness. There is nothing quite like the sound of a cat’s purr or the feeling of a dog’s soft fur to help buoy our spirits and get us through the tough times. As we age, the benefits of pet ownership become even more significant. A senior’s quality of life can be vastly improved, both physically and emotionally, when they have an animal companion to care for and spend time with. At pet-friendly senior living communities, residents can bring their beloved furry friends to live with them, allowing seniors to reap the rewards of pet ownership even as their own care needs change. Below are some of the benefits of pet ownership for seniors: 1) Companionship – Loneliness is dangerous to our health at any age, but is prevalent in seniors who have lost spouses, live far away from family or have become isolated due to health challenges. A pet provides a daily companion who is eager to see you every morning and is a constant cohort throughout the day. 2) Purpose – Pets give us a reason to get up in the morning when we are having a hard time [...]
Oakmont of Santa Clarita is fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association through “Team Oakmont,” which is set to participate in the 4th annual Walk To End Alzheimer’s on October 8 at Bridgeport Park. Oakmont of Santa Clarita is fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Association through “Team Oakmont,” which is set to participate in the 4th annual Walk To End Alzheimer’s on October 8 at Bridgeport Park. Oakmont officials kicked off the month of May with their “Barbeque, Beer and Boogie” event to raise awareness for the Alzheimer’s Association, whose mission is to advance research to end Alzheimer’s and dementia while enhancing care for those living with the disease. “We had a country western band and southern-style barbeque, and we invited our families, … people that have visited Oakmont and some of the professionals in the community to come out to support the event,” said Mary Dembkowski of Oakmont of Santa Clarita. Admission to the event was free, but donations were accepted for the Walk To End Alzheimer’s in Santa Clarita. By the beginning of July, Team Oakmont had raised $1,160 — 23 percent of its total goal of $5,000. More than 100 participants from 37 local teams raised approximately $17,600 for the Santa Clarita walk so far, which has a listed goal of $65,000.
By: Margie Veis, Executive Director at Oakmont of Santa Clarita At Oakmont of Santa Clarita, we love this time of year. Our resident and chef gardens thrive in the warmer days and higher temperatures at night make dining alfresco on the patio a lovely way to enjoy dinner with neighbors and friends. However, with the heat of summer comes health risks for seniors. Older adults are at a higher risk for dehydration when temperatures rise; our sense of thirst decreases as we get older as well as our body’s ability to retain water and respond to temperature changes. The sunny days that we once enjoyed can be dangerous if we do not take precautions to stay healthy and safe. Below are 6 easy tips to help seniors stay hydrated throughout the summer months. 1) Seniors should drink a full glass of water (8oz) every time they take medications. This can be an easy way to ensure better hydration without having to specifically set aside time to drink water. 2) Caregivers: make a point of offering water throughout the day. Even a sip here and there will help support better hydration. 3) Seniors and their caregivers should keep track of how much and how often they are drinking fluids. It can be easy to think that an older adult is getting enough water because they are not thirsty, but a reduced sense of thirst makes it hard to accurately measure fluid needs. 4) Keep water accessible throughout the home by [...]
In the first segment, The Senior Hour welcomes Mary Dembkowski back to the program to discuss the latest happenings at Oakmont of Santa Clarita and different events and benefits Oakmont is involved in to support the seniors of the surrounding Santa Clarita Valley. The conversation takes many turns from pets at Oakmont to the fight against Alzheimer’s. “Actually, it’s been almost three months since we opened our doors and its just flown right by.” – Mary Dembkowski “It’s very important to us to provide education for our residents, but not only our residents but the seniors in the community.” – Mary Dembkowski “If we can keep them active and engaged they are less likely to get depressed.” – Mary Dembkowski on the importance for activities and events for seniors With that being said, Mary informs listeners of the upcoming event Senior Health and Wellness Fair (Living Your Life Like It’s Golden What: Senior Health and Wellness Fair When: Friday, April 15 10am – 3pm To Dos: Free health screenings, cooking and exercise demos, diabetes workshops, giveaways and more Lunch will be provided! Presented by: Oakmont of Santa Clarita and Stop Diabetes (American Diabetes Association) In the second segment, The Senior Hour welcomes back friend to the program Nola Aronson, owner and audiologist at Advanced Audiology to discuss the hearing health of our local seniors. Nola makes an important note about the cost of hearing aids, which she believes scares off a lot of seniors. “When one has hearing problems and [...]
By BROOKE E. SEIPEL / STAFF WRITER OC Register Construction could start as early as June on a three-story, 98-unit senior living community planned at 630 The City Drive South. Oakmont Senior Living is developing the complex and will run the facility, to be called “Oakmont on The City Drive” once it opens, which officials expect will be August 2017. The project was recently approved by the Orange Planning Commission. Of the 98 units, 27 will be part of a care unit for those with “advanced memory loss” due to illness such as Alzheimer’s. The other units are a combination of one- and two-bedroom assisted-living units. The development will be a licensed residential care facility for the elderly, said Bill Mabry, a project development partner for the group. “Employees will assist residents in requirements of daily living: dining, transportation, wellness checks and medication reminders.” Mabry said building permits are still needed, but once acquired, the office building currently at the site will be demolished and work will be underway. The future 91,919-square-foot building, he said, will have several amenities for its residents. “Outside we have a large courtyard area and a pet park. There’s a small, raised garden bed area so seniors can grow some flowers,” Mabry said. “Basically we want to make sure they can continue to do some of the same activities they would do at home.” “There’s a bistro, private dining where residents can have a party or private event and a full theater with leather seats and [...]