Category Archives: Senior Living

“Giving Back”

Family Caregiver Resource Center
Catholic Charities/OASIS
by Connie De La Rosa

There are many ways of “Giving back” that makes a difference especially for those who are lonely during the fast approaching holiday season and daily basis with very little to no communication with family or friends. Family caregivers who do not live close by may feel some concern for their aging loved ones who live alone and who may have some limits on their mobility.

Programs for the elderly offer a variety of services at no cost but it is not possible without volunteers like Bruce Archer who is a retired Chef from the Santa Paula Senior Center and volunteers wherever help is needed. The “Friendly Visitor” program is one of many services offered in Ventura County for those elders who are lonely and just need someone to stop by and say hello, read the paper if they are having difficulty reading or just sit and play one of their favorite games.

Socialization is part of living a longer and happier life so if you know someone who can benefit from this program or would like to volunteer, please call the Family Caregiver Resource Center at 420-9608.

Understanding hospice and palliative care

Learn how hospice and palliative care support a person and their loved ones. Understand what transitions, challenges, and choices there are at the end of life. Identify when a person might be ready for palliative or hospice care.

Thursday, November 9, 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Fremont Junior High School Cafeteria, 1130 N. “M” St., Oxnard. Presented by Teri Helton, RN, MSN, FCN, and Program Manager for Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association. Ms. Helton is a hospice nurse faith community nurse, and educator.

For more information, please contact: Tri-County GLAD

644-6322 or

256-1053 (VP)

644-6323 (TTY)

Is it Medicare Or Medicaid?

by Essie L. Landry
Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Sierra West Area

A lot of people have a difficult time understanding the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Both programs begin with the letter “M.” They’re both health insurance programs run by the government. People often ask questions about what Medicare and Medicaid are, what services they cover, and who administers the programs.

Let’s start with Medicare. Medicare is the national healthcare program for those aged 65 or older and the disabled. You pay for some Medicare expenses by paying the Medicare tax while you work. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is the agency in charge of both Medicare and Medicaid, but you sign up for Medicare A (Hospital) and Medicare B (Medical) through Social Security.

You can apply for Medicare online from the convenience of your home at the link on our website: If you’re already receiving Social Security retirement benefits when you reach age 65 or are in the 25th month of receiving disability checks, we will enroll you automatically.

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (Prescription Drug) plans are available for purchase in the insurance marketplace. Social Security administers a program called Extra Help to help people with low income and low resources pay for premiums, co-pays, and co-insurance costs for Part D plans. You can find out more about Extra Help and file for it at Each year, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services publishes Medicare and You available online at their website at This publication is a user’s manual for Medicare.

Each state runs their own Medicaid program under guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Medicaid offers care for the most vulnerable among us. While it does not require paying taxes while working, it does have guidelines about how much income and resources you can have to qualify. Medicaid provides coverage for older people, people with disabilities, and some families with children. Each state has its own eligibility rules and decides which services to cover. The names of the Medicaid program may vary from state to state. You can read about each state’s Medicaid program at You can find each state’s Medicaid contact information at

Medicare and Medicaid are two of the major insurance programs that provide healthcare to the American public. Understanding each program, as well as how the two programs differ, can help you and those you care about find the right healthcare program.

Senior happenings in Ventura

Join the Ventura Council for Seniors (VCS) on the third Wednesday of each month from

9:30-11 am. The next VCS meeting will be held Wed., Nov. 15 at Ventura Adult Continuing Education (VACE), 5200 Valentine Rd., Ventura.

The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging (VCAAA) is a resource we encourage Ventura adults to utilize. The VCAAA, is an agency of the County of Ventura, and is the principal agency charged with the responsibility to promote and advocate for the needs of those 60 years of age and older in the county, providing leadership and promoting citizen involvement in the planning process as well as in the delivery of services. For more information visit the VCAAA website.

The Parks, Recreation & Community Partnerships Senior Lunch Program will be holding two Thanksgiving Café Celebrations.

Thanksgiving luncheons, with all the trimmings, will be served at both the Eastside Café (Silvercrest, 750 S. Petit Ave.) & Westside Café (Ventura Avenue Adult Center, 550 N. Ventura Ave.) on Thursday, November 16. Lunch will begin at 11:30 am with a traditional meal including pumpkin pie for dessert. Sam Hobel will provide musical entertainment to attendees at the Westside Café.

Both centers are currently taking required reservations for this event. There is a suggested donation for people 60+ years of $3.00 and a $6.75 fee for people under 60 years. There is a sign-up sheet at the front desk at the Westside Café. At the Eastside Café, registration is being taken by kitchen staff. Spaces are filling fast, so sign up today! For more information visit the Adult & Senior Services webpage.

Steve Spira recipient of Award for Outstanding Executive Director

Steve Spira came to Cypress Place with extensive hotel food and beverage management experience.

The California Assisted Living Association (CALA) is pleased to announce that Steve Spira with Cypress Place Senior Living, an Integral Senior Living community, has received the organization’s prestigious Outstanding Executive Director award at their Fall Conference & Trade Show in Rancho Mirage. CALA chooses recipients of these awards based on their commitment to providing outstanding, quality care and service to residents in the communities where they work. Spira received his award on November 6.

Spira came to Cypress Place with extensive hotel food and beverage management experience. His management skills, along with his focus on improving the customer experience through service, has gained him the respect of his team and the appreciation of residents and family members. Colleen Webb, Cypress Place’s business office director, says, “Through Steve’s leadership and teamwork style of management, we have grown closer and have become more effective as a team, all the while staying personally connected with residents and staff alike.”

Spira is skilled at hiring right-fit individuals and elevating them to positions where they can grow and maximize their talents. Residents say they feel protected, cared for, heard and understood by him. Given his accomplishments, he was promoted to Senior Executive Director, taking on responsibilities beyond his role at the community. Integral Senior Living’s Divisional Vice President of Operations, Jason Engelhorn, says, “Steve is extremely organized, creative, and a great spokesperson for his fellow executive directors.”

According to Spira, “When I started working with seniors I realized it was what I was supposed to be doing. It has brought such joy to my life. I get up each morning looking forward to everything about my work. Most of all I look forward to making a difference for all seniors that live at Cypress Place.”

With 625 provider members and growing, CALA is the only association solely representing the state’s Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, which encompass Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities. CALA provides leadership through advocacy efforts and education to support providers in their efforts to offer the highest quality programs and services to their residents.

Cypress Place Senior Living is a premiere senior community in Ventura County. The beautiful senior living campus features an Active Senior Living community and adjacent Assisted Living and Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care community connected by a lushly landscaped courtyard.

This safe, loving environment offers residents a continuum of care through life’s transitions. Amenities include three meals daily, weekly housekeeping, transportation, activities, utilities, as well as personal caregivers and laundry service in the Assisted Living and Memory Care communities.

Cypress Place Senior Living is located at 1200/1220 Cypress Point Lane. To learn more about Cypress Place Senior Living of Ventura, call 650-8000 or visit their web site at

City of Ventura Parks and Recreation offering Zumba Gold series

The City of Ventura Parks and Recreation is offering a Zumba Gold series at the Ventura Avenue Adult Center from 12:00-1:00pm every Monday and Wednesday until January 17, 2018.

Zumba Gold is perfect for all active adults, 50+, looking for a Zumba class at a lower-intensity level. This easy to follow class focuses on heart rate, balance, range of motion, and coordination. Come ready to sweat, leave feeling empowered, strong. Regain flexibility and strength while having fun learning a dance step or two!

For more information call (818) 515-8590. Sign up by Phone 658-4726 and request Zumba Gold-9614

Senior Profile – Jerry Mahoney

Patricia and Jerry have hiked to elevations of over 14,000 feet in the Andes.

by James Francis Gray

Jerry lived a storied life as a world traveler, businessman, explorer, military veteran and college graduate. Now in retirement, 70-year old Jerry is as busy as ever as a volunteer in Yosemite and teaching watercolor classes to seniors at the Ventura Marina Mobile Home Park on the shores of Pierpont Bay here in the city of Ventura.

He and his lovely wife, Patricia, entertain in a small local community band. Jerry plays ukulele and Patricia is the lead female singer. The band features pop tunes from the thirties to the present.

Apart from his varied accomplishments, he’s a lifelong surfer and participated in the California Street Surfing Championships in September, 2017. He placed 3rd in the Men’s Longboard Legends (age 70+) division. Way to go, Jerry.

After leaving the East Coast, Jerry landed in Redondo Beach where he started surfing in the late fifties. The Mahoney Clan dates back to old Ireland. Jerry originally hails from Boston, Massachusetts. He studied at the California Maritime Academy, traveling the world as a cadet in the US Merchant Marine at the early age of seventeen.

Jerry’s professional career turned to work on the high seas as a navigator and a cargo officer on commercial ships in the days of celestial navigation. This included banana ships from Central and South America, and ammunition ships to Viet Nam, during the war.

He owned a navigational instrument company on the US Gulf, making the only ship’s compass and became a certified compass adjuster in the USA.

Jerry’s many talents found him racing sailboats and working on tall ships, including ocean crossings all over the world. He later managed operations and business development on the US West Coast for some of the world’s largest steamship companies until his retirement in 2012.

He’s had a lifetime of hiking, backpacking, rock climbing and travel adventures, including jungles and mountains worldwide.

Jerry and his wife, Patricia, stayed at a biological research station in the Amazon basin of Ecuador, where they hiked to elevations of over 14,000 feet in the Andes.

They haven’t missed a beat in retirement with their music interests and his painting classes. Jerry has been a watercolor painter for more than twenty-five years and has many accolades. He has won several first and second place awards at shows in Ventura.

His paintings began selling at local Ventura and Carpentaria restaurants, art shows and galleries in 2016.

Jerry was honored, this past summer, as a co-featured artist at an art opening show at the, “Very Ventura Gift Shop & Gallery”, on Main Street in downtown Ventura. He’s a contributing artist there, too.

Jerry said, “I have traveled the world and now I’m forever grateful to live in Ventura with my wife, Patricia. Ventura offers an environment that showcases the ocean, open-air beauty and serenity that I try to capture in my paintings and accompanying my wife with our musical interests.”

Do you know a senior that should be featured in the Breeze Senior Profile? If so email us at for our consideration.

Treacy Villa Residential Care Facility helds open house honoring founder Mr. Patrick Treacy

Treacy Villa Residential Care Facility held an open house on Friday, November 3 in celebration of the memory care facility’s thirtieth anniversary and to honor its founder, Mr. Patrick Treacy, who was the Guest of Honor at the three-hour long party. A food buffet offered plenty to eat plus live entertainment was provided.

Treacy Villa Residential Care Facility has been serving Ventura County families since 1987 when Patrick Treacy first opened the doors to his 49-bed home. Treacy Villa has provided a secure environment for its residents since opening.

Mr. Treacy thanked his dedicated employees, friends, guest and resident’s family members for attending the celebration and for their years of support.

Treacy Villa is located at 3282 Loma Vista Road at Mills Road. Visit their web site for more information at, or phone 644-1292.

Giving a face to the homeless William Kimball – 1948 – 2017

Billy survived a lifetime of struggles.

William Michael Kimball, son of Eileen M Coogan Benesch and William Frances Kimball, was born in St. James Mercy Hospital in Hornell NY on January 10, 1948. He was pre-deceased by his brothers Mark Kimball, and maternal grandmother Lena Kinne, both of whom he adored, and loving brother Richard Benesch and nephew Christopher Boisvert. Bill had one son, Marc Christopher Kimball.

Billy was independent, determined and survived a lifetime of struggles, in the elements and oftentimes against all odds. He loved working, and followed the career of one of his favorite uncle’s, Uncle Carlyle, as a mason. He worked on the oil rigs in Texas and Louisiana, and was a commercial fisherman for years out of Los Angeles, and was passionate about fishing. Bill also worked in various seafood restaurants in LA.

As he aged, he missed fishing and loved and remained in the fishing community. He loved living in Louisiana and talked about returning. He barely survived Katrina with his longtime companion, Gail Blassingame. His passions were living outdoors. Always loved his dogs, yearned for family, and once stated he could never live in a ‘Box’.

He recently reflected how blessed he was that he was at a point where could be his own man. Living with nature, the animals no one telling him what he had to do and how he had to live, and that he was able to do so on his terms, but life became difficult alone. His health had failed in the past year, where he could no longer fish and lifestyle and movement became limited, but he made sure his dog Baby was protected and cared for, even hindering his own medical care by not leaving Baby. He appeared tough, argumentative, rough, but was probably most sensitive, craving love of family.

Not everyone is aware, but locating and/or being the “Next of Kin” is not as simple as one would think. Bill’s sister has been his most constant family contact for communication, physically, emotionally and frequently financially throughout his adult life. She has been his primary contact with hospitalization, medical care and the one with ongoing phone communication with him. She was the obvious one to be contacted for notification of death.

However, in the case of the homeless, once the Coroner-Investigator learns there is a wife or child, then legally the appropriate individual then becomes the new Next of Kin – and a search for those people is initiated. There is no timeframe for when that search ends, and the deceased remains cannot be buried or cremated until the identified Next of Kin are located.

In this case, it took 2 weeks to locate a son. It was a team effort and the family is most grateful to Waleed Kilany of the Ventura Coroner’s Office for his kindness and effort.

Cypress Place resident still a country girl at heart

Mary Edwards rides the mechanical bull at age 87. Yee-haw!

Cypress Place Senior Living memory care residents visited Prancer’s Pumpkin Village in Ventura on October 18 for pumpkin picking, hay rides, a petting zoo, and an exciting ride on a mechanical bull.

The seniors reside in the “Generations” Memory Care community at Cypress Place, a specially designed area for residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

One of the residents, 87-year-old Mary Edwards, grew up on a farm and loved all the animals in the petting zoo. She also quickly volunteered to ride the mechanical bull. Based on the smile on her face it was clear that while you can take the girl out of the country, you can’t take the country out of the girl.

In addition to offering an active, nurturing environment for residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, the senior community also offers an ongoing Alzheimer’s & Dementia Caregivers Support Group for family members. The support group meetings are held from 9:30a.m. to 11a.m. the first and third Wednesday of every month at Cypress Place Senior Living in Ventura.

The support group meetings are free and open to the public and are led by Norma Featherston, R.N., M.S., Gerontology. Featherston is a geriatric care consultant with New Hope Senior Services. She formerly worked for the Alzheimer’s Association. Seating for the support group is limited so please call to reserve a seat.

Cypress Place Senior Living is a premiere senior community in Ventura County. The beautiful senior living campus features an Active Senior Living community and adjacent Assisted Living and Alzheimer’s/Dementia Care community connected by a lushly landscaped courtyard.

This safe, loving environment offers residents a continuum of care through life’s transitions. Amenities include three meals daily, weekly housekeeping, transportation, activities, utilities, as well as personal caregivers and laundry service in the Assisted Living and Memory Care communities.

Cypress Place Senior Living is located at 1200 Cypress Point Lane in Ventura. For more information, please call 650-8000, or visit their web site at