Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Both residents and staff are at home at Silvergate

Silvergate Retirement Residence in Fallbrook is not only home to 114 seniors; it is also home for 106 employees.

The first location built by AmeriCare Health and Retirement Inc., the retirement home in Fallbrook opened its doors in 1990, and that is when Melinda Mastrangelo started working there. Today, she is supervisor of both the dining room and housekeeping.

"I've been here since the beginning and I love it," she said.

Patricia Martinez, executive director, worked as business office manager at the Silvergate San Marcos location for 10 years before moving out of state. After 10 months, she and her husband decided to move back to California. She was offered the administrator position at Silvergate in 2014.

"I felt so fortunate to be welcomed back with open arms," Martinez said.

Nurse Mia Pacia, director of resident care, worked at Silvergate San Marcos for eight years, when Martinez was there, before working at three different assisted living facilities over a six-month span.

"I realized Silvergate was a topnotch company and was happy to be called back," she said.

She started working at Silvergate Fallbrook six years ago as assistant director.

"I always say I believe integrity starts at the top, and we are locally owned. The owner (David Petree) invests in us, our community and our residence. He makes it a great place to work," Martinez said.

Mastrangelo said, "I go home and work. Here isn't work; here is home."

Of the more than 100 employees, 15 of them have been working for Silvergate for 10 years or longer. Many of the residents have lived there as long, at least one for 17 years. Martinez attributes the longevity of both to Petree.

"He does care what goes on and has direct contact with our residents and staff," she said.

In this home-like environment, several residents have passed the 100-year mark, the current oldest resident is 102. Because it is a residential care facility for seniors, residents have to be at least 60 years old, with few exceptions, when they move in.

Martinez said that a couple of employees recently retired after 19 years, and the company promotes from within. Pacia originally started as a medication tech, moving up to floor nurse and assistant director, before she became director of resident care.

No matter their position, the employees all feel like family, Martinez said. They are all close to the residents and care about people, making it a fun place to work.

Mastrangelo has young people working in the dining room.

"They are learning to be compassionate and caring," she said, even the boys. "I tell them to treat (the residents) like your grandparents."

Martinez pointed out that the residents get attached to those young people because they see them three times a day. The residents come first, with the staff and with the owner. They can all go directly to the top with their concerns and are listened to, she said.

Each of the three communities – the third Silvergate is in Rancho Bernardo – has a different flavor which changes with its population according to Martinez. They have input into the remodeling and upgrading of the facilities which is done regularly in an effort to make senior living at Silvergate the best in Fallbrook and North County.

"We take pride in our work and like supporting local businesses too," Martinez said.

That includes community nonprofits. Silvergate provided food for Fallbrook Senior Center's Volunteer Appreciation Lunch, Tuesday, Oct. 22. The residents also enjoy taking part in fundraising events benefiting nonprofits.

"It is most rewarding to see the residents happy and thriving," Martinez said.

"And see them blossom," Mastrangelo said.

Events for the residents, like monthly candlelight dinners and the end of summer barbecue, are fun for the employees too, adding to the family, home-like atmosphere.

To learn more about Silvergate Fallbrook, call (760) 728-8880 and arrange a tour or visit


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