Article Lloyd Hartley/
Photography Lauria Gallagher  /  in Conejo Valley Lifestyle

Our nation faces a unique challenge, as every day 10,000 people are turning 65. With the maturation of the 76 million “Baby Boomers,” an entirely new industry dedicated to navigating the aging process has emerged.

Custodial home care companies, placement referral agencies and various senior housing options have all blossomed in the past few years.

Today’s seniors are living longer and demanding a better lifestyle. Assisted living communities now emphasize a wide array of exercise programs, field trips, educational lectures and gourmet healthy dining options to provide seniors with options for active and social lifestyles.


There are three main benefits assisted living communities provide for aging seniors: socialization, healthy dining and exercise. Seniors typically experience a shrinking circle of friends as they age. Assisted living communities offer opportunities for socialization, expanding their circle of friends, which can help with processing the loss of a loved one and other inherent aging challenges.


Dining experiences are important for not only the socialization aspect, but for healthy nutrition. Seniors frequently rely on processed and pre-packaged easily prepared foods rather than cooking fresh food. Assisted living communities generally offer a wide menu selection with freshly prepared, nutritious meals providing a multitude of benefits.


In addition to eating better with improved socialization, most communities are structured to encourage movement, thus avoiding the natural tendency toward a sedentary lifestyle. Fitness opportunities abound with creative innovations being introduced, showing encouraging results!


When considering a senior community, it’s imperative to visit to see if there is a good fit. Note the other residents to see their engagement level. Try a meal for taste and evaluate the social aspect. Finally, understand transitioning into a communal living environment takes some adjustment but will ultimately lead to a healthier and happier lifestyle.

At Meadowbrook Senior Living, caring staff is available 24 hours a day to meet the needs of community residents, adding to their peace of mind and quality of life.

Meadowbrook Senior Living is located at 5217 Chesebro Road in Agoura Hills.

Find out more at or call 818.991.3544.

5 Trusted Strategies When Researching Assisted Living & Memory Care

See a change in your parent or loved one that leads you to believe they might benefit from an assisted living community? You don’t know where to turn. As the healthcare industry experiences a digital boom, 77% of us begin our healthcare search online, according 2015 Healthcare Consumer Trends survey. But how do we know who and what to trust?

Here are 5 of the most trusted locations to help you begin your search!

  1. Always talk to your family, friends, and neighbors first – word of mouth is powerful
  2. Connect with people who serve seniors such as,
    • Senior centers
    • Rehabilitation Centers
    • Clergy
    • Meals on Wheels volunteers
    • Pharmacists and Dieticians
    • Hospital Administrative staff, nurses, and paramedics
    • Physical, occupational and speech therapists
    • Physicians, including ophthalmologists, neurologists, psychiatrists and geriatricians
    • Psychotherapists, psychologists and licensed counselors
    • Home care and hospice providers
  3. Research online reviews. Review sites publish reviews of local businesses, written by people who have had first hand experiences with the business. The top sites we recommend are Google and Yelp. Some review sites even help users find out which assisted living community will provide the best care for aging parents.
  4. Go to their Facebook page! Check out the vibrancy of the community. Do they go out on outings? Are they consistently connected to family, friends and the community?  Are they promoting health and wellness? Do the residents look inspired or challenged? Are they happy?
  5. Call a handful of your favorite communities and set up a tour with your loved one. Experience first-hand what is offered at each community while asking questions.

Take Stock of Aging Parents During Holiday Visits

3 Tips to Prepare for the Future from Cypress Place Senior Living

VENTURA, CA – Cypress Place Senior Living in Ventura encourages families, during holiday visits with aging loved ones, to check on their health, discuss their senior care and review their important documents. Reuniting at the holidays is a natural time for adult children to observe their elderly parents and help them organize for long-term care.

“Many people go home ready to celebrate the family being together,” said Steve Spira, executive director of Cypress Place. “Then they notice their parents have changing needs. Holidays are a good time to pause and check in on how your aging parents are really doing.”

Spira suggests three ways to use family time to get organized for the future care of an aging loved one:

1. Take Stock of Health and Wellness
Evaluate your elderly loved one’s overall living situation including eating habits and look for weight loss or gain. Ask about their medical visits and call their doctor for another perspective. Take a photo of their prescriptions for your records. Inquire about their social life and listen for mental health concerns. Look for red flags that identify potential safety, mobility and health issues that you can help your parents address.

2. Discuss Senior Living Choices
Families reuniting for the holidays enjoy reminiscing about past get-togethers. Turn on the video camera and “interview” your parents on a variety of topics, such as growing up, their young adult years, favorite holiday traditions or whatever is of most interest to your family. This can lead to discussions about how they want to continue to live their life. This will ease you into the “tough conversation” on aging and different senior living options.

3. Review Important Financial and Legal Documents
Families can find themselves in a crisis needing to make quick decisions about care for an elderly parent or relative. Set aside time to collect important documents to prepare for a parent’s elder care and health care. Knowing where to find insurance cards, birth certificates, wills and financial records can help families be prepared for hospital visits and making decisions about senior care for their loved ones.

“Using your holiday visit for evaluating your elderly loved ones is more effective than a phone call or short-term visit,” Spira said. “Being proactive and engaging your parents about their future may seem awkward, but knowing how they feel and understanding their legal and financial realities, helps your family make better choices.”

Cypress Place Senior Living is a premiere senior community in Ventura County. The beautiful senior living campus features an Active Senior Living community and adjacent Assisted Living and Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care community connected by a lushly landscaped courtyard.

This safe, loving environment offers residents a continuum of care through life’s transitions. Amenities include three meals daily, weekly housekeeping, transportation, activities, utilities, as well as personal caregivers and laundry service in the Assisted Living and Memory Care communities.

To learn more about Cypress Place Senior Living of Ventura, visit their web site at or call 805-650-8000.


If you’d like more information about this press release, please contact Mike Macke at 805.650.8000 x15, or via email at

Celebrate Nutrition Month!

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? Created by the American Dietetic Association, the event is dedicated to bringing attention to various aspects of nutrition, including the importance of making informed food choices as well as developing and maintaining good eating and exercise habits. National Nutrition Month was first observed as a week long event in March 1973 and then became a month long celebration in 1980 due to increasing public interest in nutrition.  The March 2013 theme for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.” The theme recognizes that food preferences, lifestyle, cultural and ethnic traditions and health concerns all impact individual food choices.

You might ask, why celebrate National Nutrition Month? Well, simply because good nutrition is important! The fact is that the majority of diseases that affect Americans today, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, can be a result of unhealthy eating habits. A number of chronic conditions, such as hypertension, can be greatly improved by making healthy food choices. Following a healthy diet will also give you more energy and increase your general sense of well being! Ever heard the saying “you are what you eat?” Its true! Everything you put into your body affects your health in some way.

You can celebrate your own health and National Nutrition Month by keeping a few helpful health hints in mind. First of all, think fresh. Stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts for a healthy snack.  Snacking on these foods is smart they are low in fat and sugar and provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals. Unlike junk food, fruits and vegetables are high in fiber which will help keep you fuller longer! At meals, try to increase the amounts of fruits and vegetables you consume. A good guideline is to divide your plate into four sections and fill one-half with fruits and vegetables, one-quarter with meat, and the remaining quarter with starch. Be sure and chose lean meats (i.e chicken, turkey), whole grains (i.e whole wheat bread, wheat pasta) and low fat dairy products more often. When cooking, try using fresh herbs and spices for seasoning instead of butter and/or salt to cut fat and calories without losing good taste! Also be sure to drink a lot of water everyday and limit the amount of sodas and sweetened fruit juices you consume.

Eating healthy can be challenging at times, so don’t feel guilty if you indulge occasionally, as long as you are not doing so every day. Keep in mind that everything in moderation is OK! In my opinion, the best way to make successful changes to your lifestyle is to take baby steps toward your goals. For example, if you are an avid soda drinker, try cutting down the amount of soda you drink down by one can each week until you are down to zero cans instead of going cold turkey. If you find you have multiple goals focus on accomplishing only one or two at time so you aren’t overwhelmed.  Following a healthy diet might be a little hard at first but you will certainly reap the benefits in the long run. Therefore, I encourage you to celebrating National Nutrition Month this month by committing yourself to making healthy lifestyle changes!


Senior Housing: What Are Your Options?

In today’s Senior Living industry there are so many different housing and services options.  Knowing which community is right for you or a loved one can be very confusing.

There are a few key questions to consider about what is important to you in your new home, such as what amenities do you want and what supportive services do you need?  If you do not require skilled nursing care, a senior living community is one of your best options.

Independent Living communities provide housing and often some dining and housekeeping services, transportation, and an array of activities.

A Licensed Adult Home or Enriched Housing Community offers even more services and also support with personal care. The majority of these communities are licensed and operate under the auspices of the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). NYSDOH licensing requires that services such as assistance with personal care, medication, meals, housekeeping, laundry and most importantly case management, be provided for residents in these communities.

A Licensed Assisted Living Program, another program within an Adult Home or Enriched Housing community, also provides supportive services and helps individuals who require financial support meeting the Medicaid guidelines.

The most recent certifications called Assisted Living Residence (ALR), Enhanced Assisted Living Residence (EALR), and Special Needs Assisted Living Residence (SNALR), provide individuals an opportunity to continue to safely reside in their current senior living community.  Residents receiving EALR services may receive support to include management of incontinence, diabetes, oxygen, and other medical equipment, and one person assistance with ambulation and transfers. SNALR services would provide supervision and care to individuals afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Other communities advertised as Assistive Living Communities (unlicensed) often have similar services but are contracted by the resident directly through a home health care agency.

The Senior Living industry has taken some forward steps by providing these options for our seniors and helping them to age in place. In other words, seniors may continue to reside in the senior living community they initially selected and which has become their “home,” able to receive additional necessary services without having to move to another facility.