BY Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Senior living and memory care centers are few and far between in the North Valley, so The Retreat at Alameda feels it’s filling a void.
“There’s nothing in the immediate area,” says Toni Grimm, sales director.
“It’s been a good opportunity. There are so many neighborhoods around here. There are adult children looking for assisted living or memory care for parents. Most our referrals are all from adult children. We usually have parents looking for themselves, but because technology has changed so much, they leave it up to their kids.
“They let kids do all the research, look at property online and get all the information.”
Owned by Astoria Health Care and managed by Paradigm Senior Living, the recently opened The Retreat at Alameda boasts 72 studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments in assisted living and 32 private care or shared two-bedroom apartments.
Grimm says her community is different from others. A “true” chef who attended culinary school prepares a wide variety of food for the residents.
“Everything he’s doing is scratch-based fresh food,” she says.
“They can still get a burger and fries for lunch, but others are amazing. He makes a chicken pot pie for dinner. Homemade soup every day. Today we have sausage and white bean soup. Yesterday was his own chili. He’s made French onion soup. He makes a new soup every day for lunch and dinner.
“That’s one of the things that sets us apart. We don’t use a lot of processed food. He’s using small vendors to get local ingredients.”
Technology is important to The Retreat at Alameda, too. In most communities, residents wear pendants around their neck to alert staff to come find them.
“With those types of pendants, if, say, Fred falls in the courtyard, the caregivers go to his apartment and, if he’s not there, they spend 20 minutes trying to figure out where he is.
“We have Blue Willow, which they wear on their wrist. It looks like a fit bit with a GPS trackable system in it. It’ll alert the staff immediately that he’s in the courtyard, not the apartment. It has a fall indicator in it. If Fred’s knocked unconscious, it alerts us.”
The other component of that, as with any technology, is the families can download the tracker in their phone and track where their parents are.
“They’ll be able to notice if mom and dad haven’t left the apartment in a few days,” Grimm says. “They can call and say, ‘Dad, you’ve been in your room all day,’ and give them an extra layer of protection.”
The newest building was constructed with the Reme Halo hospital-grade filtration system. It filters 99.9% of the bacteria and mold.
Besides three meals a day and snacks, The Retreat at Alameda offers a full activities calendar.
“I like to say our community is like a cruise ship on land,” Grimm says. “Obviously, we’re just opening and ramping up those activities. We will eventually have a full activity calendar. We’ll do events and excursions. Singers will come in and entertain. We’ll take residents on the bus to look at Christmas lights.
“We have all kinds of things that keep our residents engaged and to keep them active and healthy. Science proves that helps them live longer. Moving into a building like this, they’ll lead much more productive lives.”