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The Paper - Escondido San Marcos North County
  Cover Story June 10th, 2010     
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coverA Retirement Community Is Often Not All That Retiring

by lyle e davis

A lot of us have given thought to retirement and what we’re going to do once we retire.

The residents over at Silvergate Retirement Residences don’t seem to have much of a problem deciding on what to do to keep life fun and interesting.

Just recently, for example, 73 passengers and 18 staff members from both Silvergate San Marcos and Silvergate Fallbrook boarded the Golden Princess for a cruise to Alaska! There was a combination of guests, residents, and visitors, as the cruise was open to the community. The oldest passenger was 94, the youngest 67. The youngest person was 28, a staff member.

Some guests brought sons/daughters along for a grand Mother’s Day celebration on May 9th.

This was the 5th Annual Cruise offered by Silvergate. It sold out in three days. It used to take two months to book. Residents now know that these adventures are fun and they need to book early.

This was a five night cruise, departing from Los Angeles; Silvergate knows how to do this right. They made it so easy. They picked up passengers at their homes, handled their luggage door to door, handled the tickets, boarding passes, everything. They had a lovely charter bus ride to Los Angeles and then found that everyone had ocean view balconies.

The cruise departed LA for Catalina but due to high gale force winds and swells, they bypassed Catalina and continued north to San Francisco. While enjoying two days at sea, they enjoyed the casino on board, as well as bingo, karaoke, charades, and plenty of rest and relaxation in addition to a lovely private cocktail party hosted by the owners David and Mary Ann Petree. The passengers would meet for dinner with 10 tables set up for the group. They would enjoy wine with dinner and visit . . .but would have a table scramble every night ensuring all passengers got to meet all of the other passengers. The social network was alive!
Upon their arrival in San Francisco, they enjoyed great, clear weather, blue skies, calm seas. They spent all day in San Francisco, then sailed for one day to Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

After lots of sightseeing, lots of fine food, lots of rest and relaxation, they departed from Vancouver, flying home to LA where, once again, the charter buses met them, handled luggage, and drove them to their homes.

Left to Right: (staff) Dorothy Pratt (Administrator Silvergate Fallbrook), Lynne Leonard, Brandie Lopez, Ashlee Salsbury, & Pam Rundle

Many thank you letters are still arriving at the Silvergate offices for this tremendous adventure.

For all of the above, including gratuities, the shuttle buses, luggage, everything, the cost was just $1165 per person.

Retirement living, particularly in Southern California, offers a rather pleasant way to live out one’s golden years.

Having had two parents, both of whom were in a retirement community, we were able to observe the professional care profession for retired persons and became familiar with the terms independent living, assisted living, as well as Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care.

I could not help but notice that this industry, of necessity, attracts those management and staff members who are caring and compassionate. It is built-in. It was clear to me that everyone I met that cared for my parents had those qualities.

Mom suffered from Alzheimer’s and, fortunately, passed away after about four months. (Those who have had Alzheimer’s in their families will understand that statement. Those who don’t, probably won’t.) She required Assisted Living accommodations while dad, though he lived with her, was sound of mind and could be accommodated under Independent Living, which is what happened after mom passed away.

As in our Florida retirement community, the residents get to know and become part of the greater retirement community family. So it is with Silvergate Retirement Residences. Not only do the residents get to know the Activities Director, the medical staff, the administrative personnel . . . but the kitchen and wait staff as well. Lifelong friendships are built within these communities.


Even though mom and dad have passed on, we still maintain contact with several of the staff from Calusa Harbour Retirement Community in Fort Myers, Florida. One young lady, in particular, Brittani, was a waitress in the restaurant. I complimented her on her beautiful smile one day while having lunch with dad. We struck up a conversation and became great friends. She and dad became pals with Brittani often dropping by my dad’s studio apartment to make sure he was doing okay.

Later, when dad decided he wanted to return to his own home, Brittani would still drop by the house to visit. This was not her duty . . . it was her caring for another human being. That this human being happened to be my dad gave me a great deal of pleasure, as well as it did to dad. He looked forward to Brittani’s visits.

Dad is gone now, but Brittani still writes me, sending me photos of her cute little son.

Those are the kind of relationships you build within a retirement community.

For the residents, there are so many options to explore. Silvergate, for example, offers many other outings, not just the aforementioned cruise. Residents can enjoy scenic drives, visits to museums, harbor cruises, visits to Del Mar for the races and the fair, wine tastings, and visits to lunch and dinner clubs.

Silvergate provides transport for its residents. You just might see the Silvergate bus at various casinos, sporting events, movie theatres, most any entertainment venue.

Another neat thing about Silvergate is that it is locally owned. The owners, the Petries, head up AmeriCare Health & Retirement, Inc., located in Solana Beach, California. Local ownership offers the personal involvement of senior management and ensures the highest standards in customer service and resident care. The company owns two retirement residences, one in San Marcos, one in Fallbrook.

For more information on Silvergate Retirement Residences you may call 760.744.4484, or go to their website at:

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