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Retirement: Enjoying the Golden Years in San Diego

Life in a retirement home or with increased assistance is not what you may imagine it to be.


Life in a retirement home or with increased assistance is not what you may imagine it to be. Residents in San Diego’s senior living communities aren’t just sitting around watching TV or gardening; they’re living vibrant, active lives and embracing this next chapter in life. From taking cooking and yoga classes, to experiencing nature and even competing in Wii bowling tournaments, San Diego’s seniors have many options to enjoy the golden years.

We’ve gone to the top senior living experts around the county and discovered what new programs and services they have at their communities to help seniors experience a fulfilling retirement. You might be surprised at what you’ll find!

Front Porch Retirement Communities is known for its coastal locations with resort-style amenities, but there’s more than spectacular scenery here: Three of its communities are equipped with unique adaptive technologies that can improve the lives of seniors. A robotic baby harp seal named Paro is one of the most popular residents of Summer House at Wesley Palms, Front Porch’s Pacific Beach community designed for memory care. Paro wiggles, squeaks, and shakes its head when its whiskers are touched, and it helps ease anxiety and encourages social interaction for those with Alzheimer’s disease. Fredericka Manor in Chula Vista has a group devoted to CyberCycle—a stationary bike with engaging virtual worlds that has gotten rave reviews from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Both communities also have an innovative program that uses music to engage residents’ memories.

“...the life enrichment programs are tailored to provide seniors with an experience that they can’t get
at home...”

Independent seniors can benefit from attending Seacrest Village’s new adult day service center in Encinitas, which is open to both Seacrest Village residents and the general community, for socialization and encouragement. The center is open daily until 6 p.m. and provides three meals and a home away from home with lots of fun and educational activities, like oil painting, musical performances, cooking classes, and balloon volleyball. Seacrest Village staff use a “best friends” approach in getting to know everyone enrolled in the program, to craft activities to meet everyone’s interests. Danielle White, the center’s director, says the life enrichment programs are tailored to provide seniors with an experience that they can’t get at home, in a welcoming environment. This month, Belmont Village Senior Living welcomes an art exhibit for permanent display at its residences in Cardiff by-the-Sea and Sabre Springs. American Heroes: Portraits of Service features the work of Thomas Sanders, an award-winning photographer who spent the past five years taking portraits of veterans who live in Belmont Village communities in 25 cities across the country. Sanders was commissioned by Belmont Village and has photographed more than 700 men and women for the project. A special opening reception will be held in Cardiff on January 20 and Sabre Springs on January 21.

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