Super Soaker Alzheimer’s Fundraiser

Vintage proudly supports the Alzheimer’s Association in the fight to end Alzheimer’s. For the second year in a row Eric Dobner, Activity Director at Narrows Glen, rode his stationary bike from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on July 13th in order to raise money for the Walk To End Alzheimer’s. Donations provided the opportunity to soak Eric down with a Super Soaker. Resident Stan Allen was first in line! Eric raised $500 dollars for the Alzheimer’s Association. Thank you Eric! Call a Vintage Senior Living community near you. Join us in our efforts to end Alzheimer’s.


Resident of The Week

Ruth, a resident at Vintage Mission Viejo, was born on March 23rd, 1922 in the small town of Page, North Dakota. When Ruth was born with pyloric stenosis the doctor told her mother that they could take her to a hospital in Fargo but it was very likely that Ruth would not live. Her mother decided to keep her at home and just feed her frequent small feedings. Although she was very small and required much attention, she pulled through.

Her father was a carpenter by trade and mother was a professional seamstress. Her family owned half the city block that included barn pasture land, chicken house and a two-story building. In the summers Ruth’s siblings and friends would give plays for the neighbors in their playhouse.

Ruth graduated from high school in 1939, earning many scholarships for teaching colleges. She had really wanted to go to nursing school but it was very expensive and they wouldn’t accept anyone under 18. She went to a teachers college for 2 years and then began working as a first and second grade teacher and began organizing and directing a high school band in a small town in Minnesota as well.

On December 7th, 1941 the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The other teachers and Ruth were just leaving their lunch break when they heard the news. Because nurses were desperately needed the government began a Cadet Nursing Program for high school graduates. This was Ruth’s chance. She was accepted to the program and began training at the University of Minnesota.

After attending nursing school she met her husband, George, and they married in 1948. After having kids her husband decided he wanted to start his own agency, Ruth soon began to miss her nursing career. So, as he started up his agency Ruth took refresher nursing classes and began working at the New Tustin Hospital as the supervisor.

In 1969, Ruth and George decided to move to Mission Viejo. All of the children were talked into the move. At the time, Mission Hospital was just being built and so Ruth worked with the new director as the assistant director to write the nursing policies and procedures. The hospital opened in 1971.

After staying home for a few years and having all her children marry, Ruth decided to start volunteering. Her current volunteering work ranges from taking blood pressure at the senior center to housing information booths at her church. We are so happy to have Ruth as part of the Vintage family, adding to the rich history that each resident brings with them.


Blog Post From Don Bishop, Narrows Glen Resident

When Betty was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease we were living in a downsized, one-level home. As time moved on and cognitive ability continued to fail, it became apparent that we would need to move. She was not willing so I finally told her that “I needed to move” and that she should come with me.

We began searching the area for retirement communities. My parameters were: close to family and, if possible, within our city of University Place. We visited a number of communities and all were nice but had drawbacks. When we found Narrows Glen we liked what we saw and began regular visits to experience the lifestyle and get Betty used to the surroundings. We attended social hours and different activates for 6 months total where Betty was also able to meet many very friendly residents. The residents and staff were really the deciding factor, however, the physical plant and the landscaped grounds certainly added to the mix. So, we moved into a two-bedroom unit. It had a patio and a garden area that appealed to me. It was also very close to the main parlor and the Rose Garden.

My passion has been gardening. After moving in, I got involved in the Garden Club and was quickly put in charge. I started to care for and nurture the Rose Garden and then the Dalia Gardens, Resident Gardens, etc. A plant/grow room was assigned to me, which I took to like a “duck to water.” The next thing I knew, I was elected President of the Residence Association. This has been an interesting experience and has put me in closer contact with management and residents. I am an advocate for the residents and work closely with the management for the betterment of all. There are so many activities available for residents that there is something for everyone, from trips to Wii Sports to various outings. All make living at Vintage a great experience.

As Betty’s disease progressed, it became necessary for me to move her to the Memory Care area, as I could no longer give her the care that she needed. Again we visited before the move to view the surroundings and get better acquainted with the surroundings and staff. Some of our family was not ready for the move and some were upset with me for “just doing it,” but they stepped up and one of them took Betty out for about two hours while the others prepared her new apartment. When she was brought to the new apartment many of her favorite pictures and belongings were in place. This was their way of trying to make her feel more at home. She has adjusted well and seems happy, has made many friends and is close so that I can visit frequently. The rest of the family is happier now and actively visiting as well.

The staff is just remarkable in what they do. The staff is familiar with all the idiosyncrasies of the residents and they know how to deal with them. For example, if I go to visit and it is time for me to leave, Betty doesn’t usually want to say goodbye. Immediately the staff will interject and get Betty actively helping them with another project so that she can be diverted – something that I can’t do on my own.

We have never looked back at the decision to move to Narrows Glen and it has made everything so easy. It was the right move for us and the timing was good.

This post was written by Don Bishop who is a resident at Narrows Glen, a Vintage Senior Living community located in Tacoma, Washington.


Vintage Senior Living Wins California Championship

On Thursday, April 26, 2012 seniors from all over California gathered at Vintage Westwood Horizons in Los Angeles, CA to compete in the 2012 California Senior Championship of the NSL (National Senior League). This year, Vintage Senior Living had eleven teams participating in western regional tournaments in California and Washington including Vintage Cerritos, who captured the National Senior League’s 2012 Wii Bowling State Championship.

Vintage Cerritos, better known as the “Cerritos Falcons” were lead by 95-year-old Bill Burd who aided the team in successfully bringing home not only the California Championship title but a title of Western Regional Finalists.

            “This significant win marks the end of a long journey that included an entire year of practice,” said Burd. “Bringing home the first place trophy was important for us old-timers who still believe one is never too old to compete and have fun.”

The Cerritos Falcons battled the South Bay Blasters from Front Porch Community in San Diego at Vintage Westwood Horizons in Los Angeles. Surrounded by cheering fans, the eight-member teams played two games resulting in the following scores: Game one: Falcons- 879, Blasters- 653 and game two: Falcons- 830, Blasters- 583.

“The team has mastered the electronic game to a degree that they see it as real bowling with all the rules and playing techniques,” said Tracy Cofield, Activities Director of Vintage Cerritos. “What they enjoy most from Wii Bowling is being together and experiencing camaraderie and competition regardless of their age.”

In today’s electronic gaming world, even seniors are having a blast in front of the big screen—reliving the glory days of the neighborhood bowling alley.  Wii Bowling is giving Vintage Senior Living residents many thrills, especially after bowling a strike.  From a health standpoint, Wii Bowling offers a new form of exercise, and more importantly, encourages seniors to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. The game has even inspired the forming of teams from retirement communities across the country.

The communities’ common areas have been transformed into an electronic-driven playground where players and spectators enthusiastically exchange tips and comments. The opportunity to be on a team and participate in a league creates camaraderie among residents who might otherwise have trouble socializing.  Wii Bowling has even spanned across generations by encouraging young volunteers and grandchildren, who are no strangers to electronic games, to participate.


Featured Resident of the Week

Our resident of the month is Gloria Klein. Gloria was born in sunny Los Angeles in 1925 as an only child to two loving parents. As a young adult, Gloria started working at MGM Studios as Head Secretary for the Music Department. She enjoyed being a young woman in Hollywood, going to all the glamorous parties and dancing the night away. But that soon changed after Gloria took a trip to New York to visit one of her girlfriends. She was set up on a blind date with a very handsome man by the name of Dick. At first glance Gloria and Dick fell in love, and ten days later the two were married. Gloria cherishes the fact that she lived a very good life. She has traveled all over the world with her husband and lived in many different places such as New York and Florida, before finally settling into the East Bay. Gloria has raised two children, many grandchildren, and just recently welcomed her very first great-grandchild.

Today Gloria lives a very active life. Her days consist of running to and from activities, going on trips and being an active member of the Berkshire’s Ambassador Club. You will always find her encouraging other residents to sign up for trips or activities. She is always willing to lend a helping hand when it comes to decorating for a special event, or even giving guidance to new residents of the Berkshire. Gloria is always smiling and has a very contagious laugh. She is what many like to call a social butterfly at its finest. We are very proud to call Gloria a resident of The Berkshire in Berkeley, CA.


Ask The Expert, Episode 3

Is it better for you to try and care for a loved one alone? David Hahklotubbe, Gerontologist and Executive Director of Vintage Sonoma explains why it is a bad idea. Hahklotubbe also discusses caregiver burnout and why we shouldn’t delay a decision to move our loved ones.


Featured Resident of The Week

Bill Wylie has found his second childhood since moving into Vintage Brush Creek in Santa Rosa, CA. When moving into the community Bill brought along with him Brush Creek’s first community Ping-Pong table and the inspiration to buy a small fleet of adult tricycle bikes that Bill rides during daily walks. Along with the bundle of toys, Bill also has started traditions such as Friday night Ping-Pong and pizza. He has even taught residents how to make paper airplanes and how to ride a tricycle. Outside of the community, Bill has shown residents hidden spots in Santa Rosa like Flat Rock and Brush Creek trail.

Bill believes he found Brush Creek for a reason. With this belief come daily actions of goodwill toward his fellow residents. He is known to loan a friend a coat when they are cold, offer a backrub when someone is looking sad, or walk a friend to an apartment if they get turned around. Bill has made a positive impact in the lives of other residents and in the lives of the staff. He takes the time to know people as individuals and genuinely wants to help us all lead happy lives. Lately, Bill has been sharing inspirational books and is always on the lookout for special events that he thinks residents should attend in their spare time. Bill is an inspiration and we thank him for all that he contributes to Vintage!


Featured Resident of the Week

Esther Houston, a resident in Rosemead, CA was born in Shady Side, OH as the oldest of all her siblings. Being the daughter of a priest, she’s been surrounded by religion her whole life. Esther dedicated her schooling to the study of religion. She was extremely successful in school, so much so that she was elected to be a part of Mensa, which is a group of people in our society who have high IQ’s. She now competes in an Annual Spelling Bee for California Mission Inn. We are so glad Esther has chosen Vintage Senior Living to call home.


Visit Vintage Senior Living – California Mission Inn in Rosemead’s website.