September 9th is Grandparents Day. This national holiday provides the opportunity to honor grandparents and remind them how special they are. Here are a few ways that you can celebrate: Interview Grandparents – whether your parents are grandparents to your children, or you are lucky enough to have grandparents who are still living, schedule a time, via phone or in-person, to interview them. Hear from them about important life stories, events and people in their lives who have made an impact. Consider recording your interview so that it can become a memorable keepsake. Bake them a sweet treat – make a cake or deliver cookies to your grandparents as a symbol of your love for them. Create and send a homemade card – spend the time making a unique and thoughtful card and then write a heartfelt note communicating their importance to you. Cook them a meal – invite them to your home for a special dinner honoring them and the role they have played as grandparents. Ask your children to list off all of the reasons they love visiting their grandparents and create a book for them to showcase what your children look forward to when they spend time together. Make a coupon booklet that grandparents can elect to use whenever they choose. Perhaps there’s a coupon for washing the car and another for mowing the lawn. Thoughtful services are a great way to show your love. Get together with the grandparents in your life and watch [...]
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Oakmont of Santa Clarita hosted a discussion Friday where residents and members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department were able to share their experience during the December 2017 Rye Fire. Fire officials discussed the strategies and tactics they used to save Oakmont of Santa Clarita’s property and other structures around the community. “Power lines apparently started the fire,” said Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Assistant Anderson Mackey. “It was a windy day with red flag weather, so there was pretty extreme fire weather at that time.” Oakmont of Santa Clarita was evacuated during the 6,000-acre Rye Fire in Saugus, where residents and staff were forced to spend a total of 12 days away from the senior living community while restoration crews worked to repair extensive smoke damage. “It went very smoothly by the management,” said Don Skinner, a resident at Oakmont of Santa Clarita. “They really did a great job, it was like they were having a trial run, but it wasn’t a trial — it was the true thing.” Staff and volunteers from the community worked to safely evacuate 94 seniors while spot fires burned around the property and heavy smoke clouded the area. No one was injured during the evacuation, and staff and volunteers managed to work quickly enough to avoid any of the residents becoming ill from smoke inhalation. “We are forever grateful for your service and dedication to our community, and we truly mean that,” said Margie Veis, [...]
August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation declaring this holiday, which honors adults over the age of 60. During his announcement, he explained the reasoning behind this holiday, stating, “For all they have achieved throughout life and for all they continue to accomplish, we owe older citizens our thanks and a heartfelt salute. We can best demonstrate our gratitude and esteem by making sure that our communities are good places in which to mature and grow older — places in which older people can participate to the fullest and can find the encouragement, acceptance, assistance, and services they need to continue to lead lives of independence and dignity.”Over 15% of the United States population is over the age of 60, which means there are a lot of seniors to celebrate! In an effort to honor them and raise awareness of social, health and economic issues that impact the elderly, this holiday is celebrated in various ways. Consider celebrating in one of the following ways:Contact your local senior center and inquire about volunteer opportunities. Offerings will vary depending on the time of day and the needs of the specific center. Perhaps you can assist with meal service, visit with a senior or support staff at the front desk. Set aside time to visit your senior loved ones if they live close to you. Arrange to have lunch together or take them to a movie. Some seniors will love a surprise visit, while [...]
Oakmont Senior Living has launched a website featuring the company’s explanations of how four communities were evacuated during a major wildfire that ravaged northern California last fall. In the aftermath of that disaster, the provider’s emergency response has been criticized in media reports, and the company is also facing a lawsuit brought by former residents.The Tubbs Fire began on the night of Oct. 8, 2017, in the hills north of Santa Rosa, a community of about 175,000 people located roughly 50 miles north of San Francisco. The blaze quickly moved downhill and ultimately became the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history, claiming 44 lives and destroying at least 5,200 homes and other structures.“The lasting impact of the Tubbs Fire will be felt countywide for years to come … our community will be recovering from this devastating natural disaster for quite some time,” Oakmont Management Group Co-Founder and Advisor Chris Kasulka said in a statement emailed to Senior Housing News.Oakmont’s corporate headquarters is located near Santa Rosa, in the city of Windsor. The company has planned and developed more than 50 communities on the West Coast, and operates 24 communities in California and one in Nevada. Two of its continuing care retirement community (CCRC) campuses were impacted by the Tubbs Fire. One of these campuses encompassed Fountaingrove Lodge and its affiliated memory care community, The Terraces. The other campus included Oakmont of Varenna and its associated memory care and long-term assistance community, Villa Capri.These locations all had to be evacuated. [...]
The summer season has arrived! Now that school’s out, many families will take a vacation. If you are planning on bringing a senior on your trip, here are some recommendations for traveling with them. Before you book a plane ticket, make sure your loved one is cleared to travel by their physician. In particular, those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other memory-related diseases should meet with a doctor prior to embarking on a trip to ensure that it is safe for them to be away from home for an extended period of time. Make sure to pack all of your loved one’s routine medications, as well as medicines for conditions that are exacerbated by traveling (i.e. altitude sickness and diarrhea). Pack additional doses in case your travel is delayed. Also include, as needed, an extra pair of eyeglasses and additional batteries for hearing aids. All of these items should be placed in your carry-on luggage, just in case your checked luggage is lost. Before you leave, make copies of your loved one’s passport and driver’s license, as well as prescription medication information. If you are traveling abroad, ask your loved one’s physician to provide you with the generic names of all medications, as some countries may not recognize the brand name they have been prescribed should you need more when you are abroad. Vaccines – make sure your loved one is up to date on all vaccines. Schedule a visit to have any outstanding vaccines administered before you embark. [...]
Oakmont Senior Living proudly supported Empower Yolo’s Summer Solstice celebration, whichtook place this past Saturday, June 23, 2018 at the UC Davis Alumni Center. All proceeds from this event will go towards a remodel of the organization’s shelter kitchen to enhance meal service for the families that Empower Yolo serves. Rina Younan, Oakmont Senior Living’s Senior Regional Director of Culinary Services, wasinvited to be the guest speaker at this fundraiser. She spoke about the special influence that cooking has had on her life and the power of food to foster culture and a sense of community. Incorporating her experiences on multiple Food Network shows including Cutthroat Kitchen, Beat Bobby Flay and Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell, Younan stressed the importance of believing in yourself and the mission that drives your work. She says, “When I went intoculinary school, I aspired to be a fine dining chef...As I grew in my career, I quickly found apassion for cooking good food for good people. I started a career in senior living because I had a mission to change the way we feed seniors. I wanted to bring fine dining and farm-to-tablecooking to senior living. At Oakmont Senior Living we are doing just that.” Oakmont Senior Living was named a “Food is Love” donor, contributing $10,000 towards Empower Yolo’s shelter kitchen breakfast bar, which will allow mothers to easily serve their children a nutritious breakfast before heading to school. About Oakmont Senior Living Headquartered in Santa Rosa, CA, Oakmont Senior Living is an [...]
Thursday, June 21st is the summer solstice, which marks the longest day of the year. The Alzheimer’s Association promotes an annual “Longest Day” campaign on this date to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease. Businesses and individuals are invited to participate in this global movement by raising funds in support of research toward the first survivor of Alzheimer’s. As the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research, many senior living communities will hold events on a regular basis to support the Alzheimer’s Association. This year, for example, several Oakmont communities will host fundraising events as a part of the Longest Day campaign. Last year, Oakmont raised over $78,000 in support of the Alzheimer’s Association as a result of Longest Day events and participation in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Often, in addition to fundraising, senior living communities that offer memory care services will host monthly support groups for family members and caregivers. These meetings are meant to provide a safe space for individuals to connect with others who are impacted by memory-related diseases. Support groups can serve as an important resource for those who may not have others in their lives who can relate to the effects of Alzheimer’s.Senior living communities may also provide educational presentations, often led by the Alzheimer’s Association, to educate family members and the general public on the disease itself and ways to effectively cope with it. Topics range from how to communicate with individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, to how to assist them in leading [...]
It’s the month of May, which means we’ll soon celebrate Mother’s Day. If your mother is a senior, consider these thoughtful gifts as a way to communicate your love. The best gift is your time. If you live nearby, consider scheduling a meal to spend with your mother. If she lives in a senior living community, review their Activity Calendar to see if there’s a special event or brunch planned that you can attend with her. If your mother lives far away, set up a Skype or FaceTime call so that you can see each other face-to-face and make your time together more special than a regular phone call. Ask a family member, friend or caregiver to assist her with technology on the day of your scheduled call so that you can connect easily. Flowers are often the primary way we express our love on Mother’s Day. Instead of a bouquet, consider purchasing a potted plant that your mother can enjoy year-round as a reminder of your love for her. You could even purchase a plant that’s the same type and color as the flowers she had on her wedding day. If your mother needs assistance with maintaining her garden, consider hiring a gardener who can pull weeds and mow the lawn as her gift this year. Create a lasting memento. Do you have children? If your mother’s grandchildren cannot accompany you on your visit, consider creating a video of them wishing her a happy Mother’s Day. This [...]
Many of us have owned a furry friend who has changed our lives. Whether it’s a dog or a cat, we are often drawn to pets because they provide a unique sense of comfort and companionship. As we age, seniors can continue to benefit from owning a pet.Pets are known to reduce stress, increase the secretion of serotonin, the “happy” hormone, and decrease symptoms of depression, which can surface when seniors are suffering from feelings of loneliness. Pets need exercise just like seniors do, so walking a dog can provide the physical activity that both an aging senior and their pet need. Walking a pet also encourages seniors to get outside and enjoy the beauty that surrounds them while caring for their animal.Often times, seniors find a renewed sense of purpose when they become a pet owner. Pets require a routine and may provide a welcomed sense of structure in a senior’s day. And, a new dog, for example, can be a great way for seniors to connect socially with other dog owners. Investing in a pet means proactively engaging with another living being, which can prove to be immensely satisfying for a senior whose social circle may be limited.Sometimes, it becomes difficult for a senior to properly care for their pet. It might become increasingly challenging to pick up after a pet or bend down to feed them. Those affected with memory impairment might forget to feed their animal or administer medication prescribed by the vet. Often times, [...]
Our sleep patterns are affected by time changes and with daylight savings approaching, it’s generally believed that “losing” an hour in the spring is harder to adjust to than “gaining” an hour in the fall. Seniors often have a particularly difficult time getting a good night’s sleep, which is only complicated by daylight savings. This can be attributed to a host of factors. Our bodies produce less melatonin as we age, seniors often develop disruptive napping patterns that alter their sleep cycle, and many report troubles falling asleep.Lack of sleep can lead to a number of problems for seniors, including a depressed mood, increased risk of falls, trouble paying attention and decreased memory functioning. Although our sleep patterns change as we get older, difficulty sleeping is not a normal part of the aging process.It is recommended that older adults sleep for an average of 7-9 hours a night. Here are a few tips to assist you in achieving this:Spend time outdoors; exposure to sunlight for at least two hours a day will help to regulate your melatonin and sleep-wake cycles. Open your blinds and sit by the window as you read a book.Limit napping during the day and exercise regularly. If you are too sedentary, you may never feel sleepy, or feel sleepy all of the time.Limit the amount of alcohol and caffeine you are consuming, especially before bedtime.Listen to your body and establish a regular sleep routine. Seniors tend to feel more tired earlier in the evening, and [...]