Residents Marilou and Peggy are Two Peas in a Pod at Vista del Monte

"Peggy is a carnivore and I'm closer to a vegetarian," quipped resident Marilou Shiells when explaining the only significant issue on which she and longtime friend Peggy Stivers differ. "We only disagree at the dinner table. Other than that, we're two peas in a pod." Pals, amigos, confidants, chums, bosom buddies: no matter what you call them, Peggy and Marilou certainly fit the bill. Marilou has lived at Vista for 17 years and Peggy for eight. Peggy first met Marilou during a tour of V…

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Come On In, the Water’s Fine! Vista’s Remodeled Indoor Pool is a Big Hit with Residents

Whether it's swimming, aquatic exercises, physical therapy or a friendly but spirited game of volleyball, Vista del Monte residents give the community's newly remodeled in-door pool an A+ rating. "I think it's the classiest pool in all of Santa Barbara," said resident Bill Boyd, who can be found enjoying water exercises on Tuesdays and Thursdays. "It's a tremendous asset for this community. It's one of the main reasons my wife and I moved in." The 16.5 X 8 meter indoor pool is consist…

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Alexa, What Time is My Exercise Class?

Vista del Monte resident Len Hoffman likes to shop online. But instead of using his keyboard and mouse to navigate to merchant websites on his laptop, he asks Alexa for help. "Alexa, go to Costco dot com," he says, and when Alexa instantly takes him to that destination, he politely replies ... "Thank you Alexa!" "It's just so convenient," Len said. "I have a lot of fun with it." Resident Marilou Shiells' favorite feature is used when she is ready for bed. Instead of turning the bedroom l…

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Summer House Residents Connect Through Drum Circle

Standing in a patio full of expressive faces, Vista del Monte Fitness & Aquatics Specialist Karen Rojas holds up a green drum shaped like a wineglass. "This one's called a djembe," she says. "It's from Ghana." The 10 or so residents live at Summer House at Vista del Monte, the retirement community's memory care neighborhood. "Give it a try," Karen said, placing a two-foot-tall drum beside a resident named Betsy, encouraging her to play. "How about Jingle Bells," Betsy called, t…

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Front Porch Chaplains Help Residents Explore the Many Facets of Spirituality

Samuel Schaar had not planned to be a chaplain. Prior to joining the team at Sunny View in Cupertino as the director of spiritual life, he served as a pastor in a local Methodist congregation. "I had served as a chaplain for one year in a hospital," he said. "I cherished the experience of that year, because it was a tremendous season of growth and learning for me. My time spent as a chaplain in this community has continued that learning journey and I have come to love the role more and more." …

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Have a Tech Problem You Need Help With at Vista del Monte? Who You Gonna Call? … Ellin Ostler

Self-taught tech wizard helps fellow residents navigate technology When Vista del Monte resident Joe Conway purchased a new laptop, he had trouble syncing his email to his cell phone. He also had an external hard drive that failed and needed to be restored. When he had problems with technology in the past, Joe would often seek help from sources outside of Vista. "I really didn't know who to trust and I found the people I hoped would help me found little success," said the retired teac…

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Demystifying Resident Contracts

For people who are considering moving to a community, many of the benefits are obvious: a beautiful location, friendly neighbors, great amenities, and supportive staff. But moving to a senior community is a big decision, and one that can raise many questions - especially when it comes to signing a contract or resident agreement. The resident agreement may seem imposing at first, but it also holds the answers to many questions prospective residents may have, such as: What's included and n…

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Dining Room and Pool Renovations Underway at Vista del Monte

As Vista del Monte looks toward the future, two major projects are underway at the community that will enhance the resident experience - the refurbishment of the indoor pool and the expansion of the dining room. "We're responding to our growing resident population and their needs and desires," said Executive Director Douglas Tucker. "These renovations will help meet those expectations." The 1,800 square-foot expansion to the dining room includes a new grand entrance, indoor-outdoor p…

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Whether it’s a 10-Speed or Three-Wheeler, Dawn Petersen Loves to be in the Driver’s Seat

"It's not the destination, it's the journey." That line popularized by author Ralph Waldo Emerson rings true with Vista del Monte resident Dawn Petersen, whose "journey" began almost 50 years ago on two wheels and with a dream to see the country. "In the summer of 1972 when I was in college, my boyfriend at the time, Steve, convinced me to take a cross-country trip with him on our 10-speed bikes," Dawn remembers. "I did not realize it at the time but after that trip, cycling was not just…

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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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