Archive for the ‘Seniors’ Category

Antioch Council hears about gated senior housing project, approves eminent domain for road extension

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Considers new direction for city’s arts and cultural programs, approves solar project for golf course

By Allen Payton

The Antioch City Council at their meeting on Tuesday, January 9, 2018, heard the preliminary development plans for the Albers Ranch Project, a proposed gated, senior community in the Sand Creek Focus Area. It is planned for land south of Kaiser hospital and the actual Sand Creek, on the east side of Deer Valley Road.

According to the staff report, “The preliminary development plan consists of 301 residential units, a 4.0-acre assisted living facility, a 3.0-acre park and water quality facility, a 0.5-acre water quality facility, 45.0 acres of open space, and 10.9 acres of roadways. The entire project would be senior housing and would be gated with private amenities.

The project site contains a total of 96.6 acres with varying topography. In general, the site contains two hill features – a large knoll on the west side and a smaller knoll on the east side. The central area of the site is a natural depression with generally-flat topography.”

Community Development Director challenged the proposals in the project as being inconsistent with the city’s General Plan, but Mayor Sean Wright later said that was expected.

Ebbs did say “this is a very good project. The purpose of this meeting tonight is to tell the applicant everything they need to know. It’s a very challenging site with all the hills.”

Wright opened the public hearing, and former Antioch City Manager Mike Ramsey, the representative of the applicant Lucia Albers, had 10 minutes to offer their perspective on the project.

“We thought this project was going to be evaluated in the light of an amended (General) plan,” he stated. “So, we’ve been working with staff to have a project that is as consistent as possible with the plan.”

“The plan that we’re presenting to you tonight is still the plan…the best collaborative thinking that we’ve worked out” with staff, Ramsey continued. “A general plan amendment is necessary, and we plan to go forward with that process.”

“We recognize it doesn’t” comply with the current “General Plan Land Use Element. But you have the discretionary authority to make changes.”

“This project has various positive aspects…that are unique to Antioch,” Ramsey shared. “It is fitting in very nicely with the residential development that will occur out there.”

He argued in favor of greater hillside grading than the city currently allows. The grading will allow for view lots and will require a General Plan Amendment.

“There’s not enough of a difference in grading between the current hill and the plan,” Ramsey said.

He also mentioned that “the school district will enjoy the fees they collect without any impact on the schools,” from the seniors who will be residents of the new community.

No one spoke in opposition to the project.

Lucia Albers spoke next, stating there are a number of developers interested in the project and want to begin building, now.

“Reducing the number of lots will make it economically unfeasible…in order to compete with similar developments in other cities,” she stated. “We are not grading hills that have never been touched. Our hills are farmed every year. We grade that area every year. There is nothing that is disturbed. Not allowing this grading will not accomplish anything.”

She said the grading was “in order to elevate the pads and meet the sewer” requirements.

Albers mentioned the senior assisted living facility, saying “this will be a beautiful project. It is going to be something that will compare to any senior housing development” in other cities.

“It will provide security because of the seclusion of the area,” she concluded.

Her husband Monte Albers then spoke in favor of the project, and about the assisted living facility, stating “because there is a great need for it.”

Dr. Alan Iannaccone, a Brentwood chiropractor and the Albers’ son-in-law, spoke in favor of the project as well, stating “we would like to proceed as quickly as possible on this.”

“We would like reconsideration to smaller lot sizes, as seniors don’t want a lot of yard maintenance,” he said.

He also asked for reconsideration on the senior assisted living facility, stating “there are seniors on waiting lists for assisted living facilities” in the area.

The council then took up the matter, asking staff and Ramsey questions about the project.

Councilman Tony Tiscareno said “I think we all agree…that this potentially could be a very good project. The city is in need of a community such as this. I think over all it’s a good project. It’s just a matter of how we get there.”

He mentioned that staff is recommending a minimum of 5,000 square foot lots while the project proposes 4,000 square foot minimum lots.

Tiscareno asked Ramsey to provide examples of other senior communities that had the smaller lot sizes.

He then asked staff about the assisted living facility proposed in the plan.

“There’s no reason other than General Plan inconsistency to oppose the senior assisted living facility,” Ebbs said. “There’s no logistical problems with it being there. Just a zoning issue.”

Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe spoke about the two projects in the Sand Creek area that had previously been approved and weren’t in compliance with the General Plan.

“They created a whole new residential designation,” Ebbs said speaking of the Promenade project. “It wasn’t consistent until they modified it.”

He also said that the Aviano project was zoned for senior housing, and was approved as single-family housing.

“So, there’s no consistency in the General Plan or the projects approved,” Thorpe stated.

He then spoke in favor of the Albers Ranch project, saying “I think senior housing is one of” the desires of the council.

“Three people up here voted for” the Promenade and Aviano projects, Thorpe said, speaking of Tiscareno, and Councilmembers Monica Wilson and Lori Ogorchock. “We’ve been inconsistent. So, I don’t know how we can look someone straight in the face and tell them they have to be consistent.”

Wilson spoke briefly about her concerns with the proposed hillside development in the project.

“If we can make that work within the perameters, then I think this is a very good project,” she said.

Ogorchock then offered her supportive comments.

“We have no senior communities in Antioch,” she said. “We have assisted living facilities,” but they’re full and have waiting lists. “So, we have nothing for our aging communities. They’re moving out of the city” and their homes are “becoming investor owned.”

“I believe in the assisted living facility of this plan,” Ogorchock continued mentioning residents being able to move “right into the assisted living facility right there. It’s a very cohesive environment.”

“I too have an issue with the hillside ordinance. It is difficult to see our hills going bye-bye,” she stated.

“The 4,000 square feet homes, seniors don’t really want anything bigger,” Ogorchock concluded.

Wright then gave his perspective on the project.

“You’ve come with a project that staff has compared to the old General Plan,” he said, speaking to the project proponents. “When we stopped going forward with the Sand Creek Specific Plan, we knew these projects would come forward and be different than the old General Plan.”

“I think the request you have heard from council, today is to make General Plan Amendments to bring the projects forward,” Wright said directing his comments to staff.

Please work with the applicant closer to something we can work with. But, we have a long time before this applicant can come to us for an up or down vote.

Tiscareno said he wanted to make a motion “to give everyone an incentive to look forward to projects like this.”

The hillside ordinance was a lot of mixed emotion by the last council. It wasn’t unanimous.

But, Wright pointed out that the item was only on the agenda for discussion and for the council to give to staff.

Solar Energy Project for Lone Tree Golf Course

In other council action, a solar panel energy project to provide power for the Lone Tree Golf & Event Center was approved by the council. It will cover one of the parking lots. It’s expected to provide a cost saving for the course and city.

Eminent Domain for Prewett Ranch Road Extension

They voted unanimously to pursue eminent domain proceedings for the acquisition of private property to extend the eastern end of Prewett Ranch Road to Heidorn Ranch Road.

“It was part of the development agreement for Heidorn Village,” said City Attorney Derek Cole. “There’s a small strip of land necessary to complete Prewett Ranch Road. A portion of that is on an adjoining landowner’s parcel. The developer needs to acquire the sliver of land.”

The city agreed to exercise the power of eminent domain if the developer couldn’t get the adjacent property owner to sell the sliver of land, Cole explained. Ultimately, only the city can acquire the strip. Once we acquire the strip we can give it to the property owner (developer) because it would be used for a public purpose.”

The developer and property owner couldn’t agree on a purchase price.

No one spoke in favor or opposition to the item.

“We need to obtain council, get them on board,” Cole stated. “If the council takes action tonight it doesn’t preclude the parties from reaching a resolution. It has always been our hope that the property owners and developer work things out.”

“We still have a number of steps before we’re running off to court,” he added.

“So that I’m clear, we move forward, they can still work together and work things out,” Ogorchock said, before making a motion to approve the

Tiscareno asked “does it make more sense to give the parties

“In my opinion it makes more sense to adopt the resolution. We have a development agreement. We have an obligation to do this,” Cole responded. “This is a formality and it doesn’t prejudice either party. It doesn’t stop the parties from negotiating. I will impress upon the parties to negotiate.”

End of City Contract With Arts & Cultural Foundation

According to the city staff report, “In September 2017 the City received notice that the Arts and Cultural Foundation of Antioch (ACFA) was modifying their operations including but not limited to, the resignation of Diane Gibson-Gray as Executive Director for ACFA. In October ACFA informed the City that the Board of Directors voted to terminate the Agreement with the

City for providing art and cultural programs and managing the Lynn House, effective December 31, 2017. The Arts and Cultural Foundation of Antioch has been providing citywide programs and services, and managing the Lynn House, for twelve years.

Art and cultural programs are valuable components for building community and increasing unity. Antioch is host to several nonprofit and community organizations that provide programs such as the Delta Blues Festival and Black History Exhibit. The ACFA will continue to serve the community with programs; most notably, their Celebration of Art exhibit at the Antioch Historical Society.”

The council now needs to find others to run the Lynn House Gallery

Thorpe mentioned how he feels that only certain groups receive funding from the city. Wilson said she would like to see it be a grant process with groups submitting proposals. Wright chimed in saying he planned to discuss the matter during the council retreat, this spring.

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Two public events at TreVista Senior Living & Memory Care in Antioch in January

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

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Antioch’s Quail Lodge Retirement Community wins prestigious Senior Living Award

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

National Award Places the Retirement Community Among Top 1 Percent of Providers on Premier Senior Living Consumer Ratings and Reviews Site, SeniorAdvisor.com

Quail Lodge Retirement Community, an all-inclusive independent living senior retirement community in Antioch, California, and managed by Sunshine Retirement Living, has received the prestigious 2018 Best of Senior Living Award from SeniorAdvisor.com, the largest ratings and reviews site for senior care and services in the United States and Canada. The award recognizes the best of the best of in-home care, assisted living and other senior living providers based on the online reviews written by seniors and their families.

Now in its fifth year, the awards program tabulates over 150,000 reviews to identify the highest quality care providers. To qualify for the award, care providers must have maintained an average overall rating of at least 4.5 stars while receiving four or more new reviews in 2017. Of the nearly 45,000 communities currently listed on SeniorAdvisor.com, just over 1,600 received the award.

“The Best of Senior Living award is especially meaningful as it represents real world, honest feedback from our valued residents and their families,” said Luis Serrano, CEO of Sunshine Retirement Living. “Our amazing team in Antioch truly exemplifies our company’s core values of People, Passion and Excellence, and have made Quail Lodge a wonderful home for our residents, providing comfort and compassion in a welcoming, safe and nurturing environment. We are so very proud of this honor and to be recognized in the top 1 percent of senior living providers.”

“As SeniorAdvisor.com’s ‘Best of Senior Living’ awards enters its fifth year of honoring the top family-rated communities and care providers, we are proud to say that the bar has been raised,” said Eric Seifert, president and COO of SeniorAdvisor.com. “In order to ensure only the best communities and care providers win, we decided to make the criteria harder than ever and we saw over 1,600 winners rise to the occasion. Each year we are more and more impressed with the quality of winners and look forward to spreading the word about these award-winning organizations.”

About Sunshine Retirement Living

Based in Bend, Ore., Sunshine Retirement Living manages 21 retirement communities in nine states, offering senior apartments, independent living, assisted living and memory care. A family-owned business with more than 20 years in the senior housing industry, Sunshine Retirement Living’s mission is to be the preferred senior living provider offering value, choice and independence while promoting health and social interaction that exceeds residents’ expectations and enriches the lives of both residents and staff. By providing meals, housekeeping, activities, transportation, utilities and in-house management staff, Sunshine Retirement Living continues to build an unparalleled community feeling in each property. For more information, visit www.SunshineRet.com or connect socially.

About SeniorAdvisor.com LLC

SeniorAdvisor.com is the largest consumer ratings and reviews site for senior living communities and home care providers across the United States and Canada with over 150,000 trusted, published reviews. The innovative website provides easy access to the information families need when making senior care decisions, and features reviews and advice from community residents and their loved ones. For more information, please visit www.senioradvisor.com or call (866) 592-8119.

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TreVista Senior Living & Memory Care offers five things needed to care for those with Alzheimer’s or other dementia

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

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TreVista Senior Living & Memory Care to hold Holiday Open House Wednesday, Dec. 20

Sunday, December 17th, 2017

TreVista Senior Living & Memory Care is located at 3950 Lone Tree Way in Antioch. RSVP by calling (925) 407-3395

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Cypress Meadows sold, becomes TreVista offering Club Med-like experience for seniors

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

The senior assisted living facility formerly known as Cypress Meadows is now TreVista Antioch.

Working to make every day “magical”, one of 19 facilities by company that pioneer senior assisted living 

By Allen Payton

Opening their 19th location with their acquisition of the former Cypress Meadows Assisted Living facility in Antioch, Agemark Senior Living Communities has renamed it TreVista Antioch and is bringing a new approach of a Club Med-like experience for seniors to East County.

The 10-acre campus is “not a skilled nursing facility,” but offers “both assisted living and memory care to enhance the lives of our residents,” said Senior Care Consultant Amanda Stewart.

She mentioned “many changes are happening, including a new water feature, a new theater,” making the place “more resident friendly and focused.”

The entrance to TreVista Antioch.

They’re part of “a multimillion dollar renovation project that will truly establish TreVista Antioch as the Bay Area’s premier senior living community,” according to their website,

When asked why they chose Antioch, Agemark co-founder and CEO Richard Westin said, “There are a lot of people who need our services in town.”

The Orinda-based company is a pioneer in senior assisted living having introduced the type of facilities to the market.

“We’ve been doing this for 35 years,” Westin explained. “When we first began nobody knew what assisted living was. In the 1980’s it was educating the public.”

The only options were retirement homes of up to six beds or convalescent homes.

“The concept of vibrant, assisted living for people whose average age is 87 didn’t exist other than a convalescent home which was really no place that anyone wanted to go to,” he stated. “It gave senior housing a steep road to climb, because of the significantly, negative reputation that convalescent hospitals had. They (seniors) were just being stored, because people couldn’t take care of them at home.

“The world has changed,” Westin said. “We recognize every one of our residents has a story to tell and wisdom to provide the next generation. There are wonderful opportunities that assisted living provides that didn’t previously exist, that allows people to thrive.”

Agemark does things differently than other facilities. According to their website, their mission and the “Promise” includes the following: “It is our mission, privilege and responsibility to provide the kind of care we want for our own loved ones, fostering a healthy body, agile mind and joyful spirit. We promise to ‘Nurture and grow our communities and the people who work and live in them,’ ‘Actively listen, constantly innovate, and serve with pride and joy,’ and ‘Empower and encourage staff to respond to residents and their families with compassion and respect.’”

Richard Westin, Founder & CEO of AgeMark

“My background is Club Med,” Westin (who said he is unrelated to the hotel chain of the same name) shared. “I used to teach sailing in the summer and skiing in the winter in Europe. I was the first American to ever work for Club Med. It started in 1954 and I started working for them in 1961 at age 20.”

“I didn’t realize at the time I wasn’t teaching people to sail and ski,” he continued. “I myself was learning the hospitality business and 55 years later I’m able to provide a Club Med-like experience for 87-year-olds.”

“First it was for 20-year-olds now it’s for 80-year-olds,” Westin said with a laugh. “Fun is fun. Dancing and going to the zoo, high school and semi-professional sporting events, depending on the location.”

“Engaging with kindergartners and older folks in meaningful activities is really a valuable thing,” he added.

Westin then shared his philosophy of how the facilities operate, with the goal of making every day magical for their residents

“Whenever you say ‘good-night’ to one of our residents it may in fact be ‘good-bye’. So, it is our responsibility to make sure that their previous day was magical,” he stated. “And if we can do that every day we will have made a difference in the lives of the people we take care of and will have accomplished our goal.”

“I’m passionate about what I do,” Westin continued. “At 76 I get up every day and I’m delighted to go to work because I care about the wellbeing of our residents and their families because I know they’re going through a difficult time. We don’t just get a resident we get a family. They never need to call because we’re always ready to show them a clean, happy environment.”

Westin shared about an experience one of their facilities offered to a resident who had never been to a game of her favorite major league baseball team. She got to throw out the first pitch, meet the players after the game and was greeted with a

“We try to do that all the time,” he shared

They’re going through the approval process for six additional locations all in California.

It’s a family run business.

“My son (Forrest) is my business partner and it’s great,” he added.

His partner Jesse Pittore is retired but his son Michael Pittore, a graduate of De La Salle High – who was part of the football team that kept their winning streak going to 101 games – is also part of the ownership team.

“So, we have the two younger generation and me,” Westin shared. “And if I’m healthy I plan to work another 20 years.”

TreVista is located at 3950 Lone Tree Way across the street from Sutter Delta Medical Center. For more information call (925) 329-6296 or visit www.trevista-antioch.com.

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How Antioch’s elderly can improve their memory

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Photo by Hermes Rivera

By June Brown   

Antioch’s elderly population is merely 9% and of this figure, 20% are living alone according to SeniorCare.com. Living alone has many implications including loneliness, isolation and even memory problems. While aging is a normal process, there are things that can be done about memory failure. The good news is there are ways to boost memory and for seniors who are living solo, it helps if memory is intact improving quality of life and their safety.

Lifestyle Changes

Who says no one can change bad habits even if already old? For the elderly, now is a great time to think about those lifestyle changes. There are several ways to enhance and improve memory and one of them is to follow healthy diets and exercise.

Eating well-balanced meals, including lots of greens and fruits as well as important omega-3 fatty acids can keep brains alive and healthy. A diet rich in proteins, lean in carbohydrates and low in bad fats helps brain cells which in turn promotes good memory.

Antioch has an abundance of fresh food markets such as Kaiser Permanente Antioch Farmers’ Market, Brentwood and Pittsburg Markets. Eventbrite is a good source of food and drink events in Antioch where seniors can go such as the upcoming Fall Harvest Festival 2017 and the Acorn Workshop.

Studies also validate that exercise and getting into physical movement can reduce sedentary living which can lead to diseases such as heart attacks, high blood pressure or certain types of cancers. If every senior works out at least 150 minutes a week, it would boost memory and thinking skills (Harvard Health Blog, 2014).

Antioch offers many gyms where the elderly can exercise. There are parks for quiet walks and relaxation. Contra Costa Canal Trail and Contra Loma Regional Park & Swimming Lagoon are great places to go for a walk, hike or a swim. There are golf, bowling and skating facilities for sports lovers and active seniors.

Brain Games and Exercises

The brain like any other part of the body needs to work out. Stimulation is part of keeping brain cells healthy and strong. There are many ways older adults can boost brain power and improve memory with simple daily tasks such as reading and doing crossword puzzles.  Playing chess, trying computer games, and learning new things (language, sewing or musical instruments) also help. By being mentally active, the brain remains sharp slowing down its degradation over time or as one ages.

Socialization

Another factor that contributes to memory retention is socialization. Isolation is not a positive thing as it brings depression, anxiety and stress, factors that contribute to memory loss. Meeting new people whether by going to functions, eating together or volunteering at charities prevents negative psychological effects improving mood, memory and cognitive function. There is a correlation between socialization and dementia incidence. The longer the brain stays inactive, the more likely it will stagnate. Social engagement is important to keep it functioning well. It also forces people to respond and the brain to react.

The Antioch Community Center and Southeast Community Center organize activities for older adults to do things together.  They also hold social events on a regular basis. Older adults can also try some of the restaurants that won in the 2017Antioch People’s Awards after a night of bingo. Consider China City for Chinese or go to Celia’s for Mexican. The object is get out more often, meet people and do things together whether it is a haircut at Reign Salon or a massage at Relaxing Station.

Lifestyle changes, brain exercises and socialization are activities that older adults can easily do to improve memory. Enhanced memory also improves the quality of life, something every senior cherishes as the journey continues.

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Senior Walk for Alzheimer’s Awareness Month at Somersville Towne Center Friday morning, Nov 3.

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Hosted by Antioch Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock

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