Thanksgiving Day Tips for Seniors and their Families

Thanksgiving is a great occasion to get together with family members, young and old. It’s one of the most enjoyable holidays of the year, but it can also bring its share of challenges. With some advance planning, it can be a very special time for you and your elderly loved ones.

Holidays and other events that change the daily routine may be tiring for your loved one, so make sure he or she has a little extra help. You may want to arrange for a caregiver to help your loved one get dressed and ready in the morning and put him or her at ease.

Here are some tips for hosting a safe and comfortable senior-friendly gathering:

Remove any hazards that could lead to trips and falls before your loved one arrives, and make sure the bathroom is easily accessible. Walkers and canes can make getting up and down from the dinner table difficult, but seating your loved one at the end of the table should give him or her plenty of room.

Take steps to ensure safe cooking, such as doubling up on disposable aluminum pans to minimize dripping turkey juices, which can cause an oven fire. Home cooking fires are actually three times more common on Thanksgiving than the typical day, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

Be sure to connect with your loved one and include him or her in the activities and conversation. During the meal, try to bridge generation gaps by asking each other to share something, such as their proudest moment, the first president they remember, or a famous person who made the biggest impression.

Give thanks. This holiday is a time to consider the things you appreciate in life. Gratitude can have a positive impact on your health and that of your loved ones. Although it may be challenging, it’s important to find things to be grateful for and people to be grateful towards. Studies have shown that gratitude can relieve depression, lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep.

For more information contact Andrea Campisi, Director of Marketing, (924) 964-2062.

How Family and Social Connections Keep Seniors Healthy

As the poet Maya Angelou said: “Family isn’t always blood, it’s the people in your life who want you in theirs: the ones who accept you for who you are, the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.”

Research has shown that social connection improves physical health and can have powerful effects on mental and emotional well-being. Social engagement is an essential component of successful aging. Strong social connection can strengthen the immune system, help recovery from disease, and increase longevity. Although older age may bring changes to functional ability and to social relationships, it’s also true that social relationships can help improve functional ability and well-being.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Low levels of social connection are associated with declines in self-esteem and physical and psychological health. The U.S. surgeon general says isolation is a bigger American health problem than cancer or heart disease.

Friendships become more important as we age. So, it’s important to maintain social ties, which can provide a sense of value and identity. Moving into an assisted living community is an ideal way to maintain social connections and your health. A well-run community will organize programs for its residents and hold social events and group activities that reinforce social ties. Programs can include physical fitness, movement, drawing and art, music, lectures, outings, and accessibility to technology so that you can stay connected. And in some communities like The Reutlinger, a spiritual leader.

So, make social engagement a priority in your life. Whether you are living at home or in an assisted living community. Try to build and maintain your social network, participate in activities, and make an effort to connect with others every day. You’ll be glad you did, and so will your friends and family.

For more information on assisted living, contact Andrea Campisi, Director of Marketing, The Reutlinger Community, at (924) 964-2062.


Tips for Touring an Assisted Living Facility

National Assisted Living Week, September 10-16, celebrates caregivers and individuals served in assisted living. It’s a special opportunity for residents, their loved ones, staff, volunteers, and surrounding communities to honor caregivers for their commitment and learn more about this sector of long-term care.

Assisted living communities provide social support and convenience services in a life-enhancing environment. National Assisted Living Week is the perfect time to recognize the role of caregivers in delivering high-quality, individual care to each resident. We hope this occasion will encourage members of the public to tour an assisted living community and witness this devotion first-hand.

Here are some tips for touring an assisted living facility to see if it’s the right fit for you or a loved one:

  1. First impressions count. Make sure the facility is clean and well-lit. Do you feel at ease?
  2. Look for safety features like grab bars and nonslip flooring materials, especially in the bathrooms.
  3. Pay special attention to the resident living spaces to see if comfort and personal needs are met. Find out how often housekeeping services are offered.
  4. Watch for red flags. Observe the interaction between staff members and residents. Is it cheerful and respectful?
  5. Stay for a meal. Check the menu and dining options. Are the residents enjoying the food?
  6. Take a look at the activity calendar and observe group activities and social events. Are they well attended?
  7. Investigate outdoor areas. Are the grounds well-maintained, secure and accessible and conducive for outdoor activities?

For more information call Andrea Campisi, Director of Marketing, at (925) 964-2062.

Corner View: January 2017

Greetings and Happy New Year!

As we enter 2017, I am pleased to report that The Reutlinger Community has received a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) license from the State of California. Although we have always accommodated and met the needs of our residents who needed to age in place, this licensure is a formal stamp of approval on our community.
To be defined as a CCRC, a senior living community must offer independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing home care all on one campus.

I want to thank the staff for their assistance in obtaining our CCRC license. If you have any questions, please contact us.
As for 2017, I made a list of wishes for The Reutlinger and want to share it with you.

• Happy, joyful residents and staff
• Greater resident, family and employee satisfaction
• Continued 5-Star surveys in Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing
• Progress expanding The Reutlinger Community presence along the 680 corridor and in Oakland and Berkeley
• A dining services program that exceeds expectations in variety, preparation, taste and service.

Most of all, I wish for respect, understanding and appreciation of our elders as they age. May their twilight years be filled with peace and joy.
Happy New Year!


Jay Zimmer, CEO

The Corner View: November 2016

In our Fall 2016 newsletter, we introduced Unidine as our new food services provider as of October 2016. The selection of Unidine supports our mission of bringing the best of senior living to our residents knowing that dining is one of the most important factors to their health and wellness.

So far, our residents are very pleased with the seasonal and regional menu they are providing. There is a carving station for open-faced sandwiches, a hydration station of naturally flavored waters, and of course excellent cuisine at all meals.

I would like to introduce to three members of the Unidine team; and, urge you to inquire about any special needs. Please note that Nicole Moore, a registered dietician, will be available to the entire community.



Director of Dinning Services – Jeanette Choate

Jeanette Choate is a Director of Dining Services with Unidine Corporation. In this role, she leads the culinary and service team at Reutlinger to provide and exceed our residents’ expectations in menu creativity, service excellence and the dining experience. Jeanette is no stranger to setting goals to achieve strategic partnerships and excellence in customer satisfaction, having spent close to 30 years as a manager and director. Throughout her career she has worked for Guckenheimer, Compass Group and Unidine Corporation.

In her personal life Jeanette spends her time with her husband of 35 years, two daughters and 8 grandchildren (seven boys and 1 princess!). She thrives on cooking, hiking, camping and boating.

Executive Chef – John (Jake) Zetner

Jake Zentner grew up in a family where the focus was on “beef, it’s what’s for dinner”, after all his great grandfather owned and operated family-style steakhouses in Texas. From Jake’s roots he ate and cooked his way up through high school taking part-time jobs at the local valley  food restaurants. After completing his academic education Jake followed the passion he knew was in his heart and enrolled at the prestigious Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. As a full-time student, Jake held various culinary and public health positions. Inspired by the lack of healthy options in the food service industry, he continued into the nutrition program and graduated with a bachelors in Culinary Nutrition. Upon completing his degree Jake began a career as personal chef and cooked for notable celebrities such as Candace Bergen, former Rhode Island Senator Myrth York, and businessman Thomas James Perkins.

Jake enjoyed 12 years on the East Coast; however, the cold winter weather made him long for the mild California weather.  Last year’s Eastern winter storms convinced Jake to move back to California to pursue his culinary/nutrition career on the West Coast.  Jake currently is a resident of Orinda.  On his days off, you can find Jake cruising Highway 1 looking for the next great eatery or cooking for his future wife. Jake recently joined Unidine is very excited that his passion for nutrition and cooking goes so well with Unidine’s company mission of providing “made from scratch cooking” to the residents.

Register Dietician – Nicole Moore

Nicole Moore is a recent Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) graduate and transplant from Portland, OR. Prior to pursuing her dietetic Internship at OHSU, Nicole received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nutrition from California State University, Chico. Nicole’s interests in nutrition include, Motivational Interviewing, nutrition support, research and quality improvement and malnutrition.

For fun, Nicole enjoys traveling and exploring, trying new cuisines, crafting, and watching HGTV’s House Hunters. Nicole is very passionate about all things nutrition and is especially excited to serve the residents of The Reutlinger community.

Nicole will be available to the entire community to help and answer questions regarding dietary needs.

I am very excited to have this team who will ensure that every meal is an experience to be savored.



Jay Zimmer, CEO