Ask the Expert, Episode 5

We’re continuing on with our Ask the Expert series!
Take a look at this video to get your Assisted Living Questions Answered -  Why you should not let finances slow your decision and when is it time to make a decision?

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Unconditional Love From A Veteran

Vintage residents have a deep history. For many, that deep history includes memories of being an active part of the war. Each Vintage community honors these residents by putting their pictures on a “Veteran Wall.” Learn about Wallace, a veteran and his wife, Marilyn.

This story began in the city of Pasadena.  Wallace and Marilyn met when they were four years old.  They attended the same church and their mothers were friends.  Wallace lived in Montebello and Marilyn in Pasadena.  They grew up knowing each other and spending Sundays together.  They attended different schools but were friendly throughout their childhood and adolescent years.

In 1943, Wallace joined the marines and was sent to Iwo Jima with the 5th Marines.  He had just become engaged to a high school sweetheart right before departing for battle.  But after enlisting and being sent off, he reconsidered and broke the engagement, thinking it would be unfair to have his fiancé wait for him.  The next six weeks of war were very challenging ones for Wallace.  The battle was treacherous and difficult to fathom.  But Wallace persevered.

Wallace acknowledged it was a horrible war.  When the flag was raised at Mount Suribachi, he shared that a roar could be heard from all the Americans.  The point was so high, Americans could easily spot the American Flag.  “It sends a chill in me to think of it” Wallace would say.  “The flag stands for something.  It stood for a lot that day.”

Wallace was discharged in 1946.

When Wallace returned in 1946, he once again became engaged to his high school sweetheart.  Marilyn was invited to the wedding. But two weeks before, the wedding was once again called off, this time by the soon to be bride.  It was for the best as Wallace did not feel as bad as he thought he would. It simply was not meant to be and this opened the possibility of a romance with Marilyn.

Marilyn and Wallace continued to be friends throughout this time.  In fact, Wallace’s father would encourage Wallace to ask Marilyn out as he was fond of her.  Finally, after week s of prompting, Wallace did ask Marilyn out after church one Sunday.  Their first date was going to see  “I’ve Always Loved You”, a war movie.  Their courtship was quick and they become inseparable thereafter.  Their relationship continued to strengthen and their romance was alive and well!

They were married in 1947 at the Church of Roses in Pasadena (which is still there).  Marilyn was studying English literature and they moved into her mother’s home in Pasadena. Wallace found a job in the van and storage business and Marilyn found herself pregnant.  They have resided in Alhambra for 57 years with 3 children.

For 65 years, Wallace and Marilyn have been together.  They had a happy marriage, she shares, with many good times.  Wallace was firm but never got angry and never raised his voice.

They both moved to Massie Hall at California Mission Inn in July of 2011. Marilyn shared she knew it was the right place when she visited and discovered the building was built in 1926, the same year as she was born, and was originally a home for missionaries.  Her faith has always been strong.

“We love being here, it’s home” she says. “The staff is wonderful to us, from the food servers to the caregivers.  They are all kind, considerate, ready to do the next step and so good at anticipating our needs. I am so happy here!”

In March of this year, 2012, Wallace moved to Recollections.  Marilyn stayed in her apartment.  Fortunately, they are on the same floor so she can visit him frequently.  “Separating from Wallace was the hardest thing I have ever done.  But I’ve gone the road as far as I can go with Wallace and we are in the best environment now.” They still dine together as well as spend quality time together, watching Dancing with the Stars, a favorite activity.

Marilyn concludes, “We have three wonderfully supportive children and three wonderfully supportive grandchildren. We could wish for nothing more.  And here, we are surrounded by wonderful people.  We are lucky!”

For more information on how Vintage has honored our veterans, visit our YouTube channel.

Find a community near you.

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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.

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Ask The Expert, Episode 4

Learn about Assisted Living – questions answered: What support is offered for seniors transitioning to assisted living? What happens when siblings disagree about moving mom or dad? What causes family issues surrounding moving to assisted living? Is guilt normal? Knowing when it’s the right thing to do – moving mom into assisted living or memory care for dementia.

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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.

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Resident Testimonials

Vintage Senior Living prides itself on the happiness of our residents. We are very thankful for all of the Vintage family and proud to display a few of their testimonials:

 

“We enjoy living at a Vintage community and love our beautiful apartment.  Living here has made life so much easier for both of us as taking care of a home was just getting to be too much.  And we can’t say enough about the people who work here—they are wonderful. Moving here is one of the best things we have done for ourselves.” — Pat & Jim F.

 

“When I first moved to a Vintage Senior Living community I could not bend down to put on my shoes and socks or tie my shoelaces.  Because of the exercise program I can do all of that myself again!  I found the perfect apartment at Vintage Senior Living—just a beautiful new home for myself.  I have enjoyed decorating it and making it my own.  I am very proud to call Vintage HOME.” — Betty K.

 

“Living at Vintage is like living in a large family, you never have to be alone.  There is always someone to talk to and laugh with.  There is always something to do, day trips, games, reading, painting and bingo.  It’s always a great day at Vintage.” – Joann G.

 

View more resident and family testimonials on our YouTube channel.

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Resident of the Week

Rosemary Kotch, resident of the month and resident at Las Palmas in Laguna Woods, CA comes from the sunny state of Arizona. She married in 1946, and her husband decided to move to Southern California. After their move out West, Rosemary went to work as a secretary for the first J.C. Penny’s buying office when they opened their first West coast branch. Together they had four delightful children.

During the war, her husband was in the Air Force stationed in France. They decided to move the whole family to Chateauroux, France, which is 150 miles south of Paris for three years. Her favorite part of living abroad was traveling throughout Europe with their four young children. Rosemary loved boat rides on the French Riviera as well as her trips to Paris, her favorite European city.

When she returned to California, Rosemary and a business partner started a fabric store called “Fabric Lane” in Garden Grove. When they started the business, between the partners they had 10 children and neither had much business experience. They enjoyed what they did and were quite successful in their store, holding classes, selling fabric, and holding fashion shows. Rosemary and her business partner had a wonderful relationship for 16 years before they decided to sell their business.

When her husband also decided to retire, the two took some time to travel all over the world. They traveled to Europe, Asia, the Pacific Islands and throughout the United States. They frequently traveled to Hawaii since her husband got his wings there! Hawaii functioned as a second home. After traveling extensively they lived in Arizona for 30 years until Rosemary moved to California to live at Las Palmas. She loves volunteering at the hospital. Rosemary enjoys oil painting and ceramics as well as staying fit. She played tennis 3 days a week until she was 80 and she loves swimming, water exercise, and walking. Visit our Activities Page for more information about Vintage Senior Living’s Activity Program. Rosemary really enjoys Chef Louie’s cooking and delights in not having the responsibility of having to cook anymore! We are glad to have Rosemary in our Vintage family.

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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.

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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.

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Glossary of Helpful Senior Living Terms

Searching for assisted living and a little lost on the lingo? Here’s a list published by the Assisted Living Federation of America detailing all those confusing acronyms and words:

http://www.alfa.org/alfa/Glossary_of_Terms.asp

 

Some of the most commonly used are:

  • Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) – Bathing, dressing and grooming, walking and moving about, eating, toileting, and other personal care tasks.
  • Independent Living Units – Units that may include some basic services such as meals and housekeeping. Sometimes also referred to as “Instrumental Activities of Daily Living” or IADLs)
  • Caregiver or (CNA) – Refers to day-to-day caregivers in senior living settings who may aid with medications, dressing, dining, ambulating, etc. These are often certified professionals (Certified Nursing Aides)
  • Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) – A community that offers several levels of assistance, including independent living, assisted living and nursing home care. It is different from other housing and care options for seniors because it usually provides a written agreement or long-term contract between the resident and the community, which offers a continuum of housing, services and health care system, commonly all on one campus or site.
Visit vintagesenior.com to find a location for you with the best ADLs and CNAs!
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