Vista del Monte’s Caring Companions Provide Peer Support for Residents

The coronavirus pandemic has stirred a variety of emotions and feelings within everyone. Frustration, sadness, anxiety and stress are just a few. For older adults, these feelings may be magnified. That's where a sympathetic ear, or a friendly face may go a long way. Whether an older adult is experiencing isolation, coping with illness or loss, or just needs to be heard by a good listener, peer counseling provides a safe way to clarify feelings, thoughts, and concerns. At Vista del Mon…

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Opposites Attract at Vista del Monte

Friends Ed and Gary Find Much in Common Despite Differences After first meeting residents Ed Grat and Gary Janka, you may not think the two would have much in common. Ed loves the theatre and Gary prefers quiet meditation. Gary is a Buddhist minister and Ed was raised Catholic. Gary has lived at Vista del Monte for a little over a year as opposed to Ed's 13 years at Vista. But a funny thing happened when the two met at Vista after Gary moved in - they became fast friends and have not …

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Run Helga, Run!

Vista del Monte resident has laced up her running shoes for five decades During her time as a competitive runner, Vista del Monte resident Helga Carden estimates she has amassed about 25 trophies and medals. For anyone who has competed in this exhilarating sport throughout his or her life, that number of awards would be considered quite an accomplishment. That rings even more true for Helga, since she did not start running competitively until age 55. Anyone--at any age or stage of lif…

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How Are You Caring For Your Inner Eco-System?

I first heard the term “eco-system” in the mid 1980s from a friend who was completing an internship at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory near Crested Butte, Colorado. Every day she painstakingly counted specific tiny organisms within a certain square yard on a mountainside. As a biologist, she understood the significance of the organisms she counted and how they interacted with all other nearby organisms. The interaction reflected the health and well-being of the environment …

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Mateo’s Best Stitch is Making Masks

Mateo Gavilanes spent more than two decades perfecting his skills as a tailor in Mexico. But when an opportunity to come to the United States presented itself almost 20 years ago, he decided to make the move. He has been a maintenance technician at Vista del Monte ever since, with only limited opportunities to practice his former trade. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year, this big-hearted man with extraordinary skills took the initiative and sewed more than 700 cloth masks …

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Memory Care Residences are Ready for Move-in at Summer House

"An exceptional memory care community is designed to provide peace of mind for families and caregivers, but more importantly to enhance the quality of life for those with Alzheimer's and dementia," says Doug Tucker, Vista del Monte's executive director. "All too often, families wait until there is a true need to find a qualified memory care community." Doug is referring to Summer House, the newly opened memory care community on the Vista del Monte campus. This unique memory support "neig…

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Just What the Doctor Ordered

Pioneering physician, veteran, family man, detective novel enthusiast, 60-year Santa Barbara resident and amateur astronomer all describe Vista del Monte resident Dr. Dean Vogel. "I have a full life — a somewhat exciting life — and I'm looking forward to experiencing new things at Vista del Monte," Dr.  Vogel said. Dr. Vogel was born in a small town in Indiana but moved to southern California when his brother received a basketball scholarship to play at USC. After gra…

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Residents Have a Blast at SpaceX Tour

Recently, Vista del Monte residents were excited to go on an exclusive tour of one of Southern California's leading aerospace companies and manufacturers, Space Exploration Technologies Corp, more commonly known as SpaceX. A Southern California company that began as a start-up, SpaceX is a leading name in reusable rockets and manufacturing. So it was no surprise that when Vista del Monte Executive Director Doug Tucker accompanied residents and others to the Hawthorne headquarters, the launch…

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Expressing Gratitude Each Day for Working and Living at Vista del Monte

We talk about gratitude a lot here at Vista del Monte, Front Porch's retirement community in Santa Barbara. Not only because it has been proven to benefit one’s mental health, but also because we, as staff, get to experience it every day. As Vista del Monte’s chaplain, I have the unique pleasure of getting to know the spiritual side of residents. Staff here work hard to be helpful. Beyond our prior education and training, we bring our whole selves to the job. We get to know and u…

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