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

Regency has become my home

My wife and I, both in our eighties, had been living very active lives in Santa Barbara, California for 50 years. We began having health issues about seven years ago. I had neuropathy and she contracted Parkinson's Disease, which progressed rapidly.

After being her primary caregiver for a few years, we came to the realization that I was unable to provide the increasing amount of care that she required. We decided to weigh our options to find a solution that would work for both of us.

One option was to remain in our home and retain caregivers on a part-time basis or hire a full-time, live-in nurse. We concluded that neither of these choices would be feasible. Our home and our budget were both too small to accommodate a resident nurse. We were already stretched thin financially using part-time help which, while helpful early on, was inadequate to address her increasing needs.

Another option was to check out assisted living facilities where she would have professional care.

Facilities in Santa Barbara were prohibitively expensive and many required an up-front buy-in of (conditionally refundable) hundreds of thousands of dollars. We felt it was more important to be near our daughter than to stay in Santa Barbara, where we had lived for 50 years.

Fortunately for us, our daughter lived in Fallbrook and had occasion to investigate some of the local facilities when her in-laws moved from the east coast to Fallbrook a few years ago and required assisted living. After visiting some of the local facilities, she felt that Regency Fallbrook was the best option for them, so they moved in.

Over the years, my wife and I would visit our daughter who would usually invite them over for dinner during our visit. Over time and many conversations, they related how satisfied they were at Regency. They had made friends, participated in the activities which interested them, and seemed satisfied with the care, food and the menu of activities available to the residents.

On the next visit to our daughter, she arranged for us to visit some of the assisted living places in Fallbrook, including Regency. We both felt more comfortable at Regency. While some of the places seemed a bit overwhelming and institutional, Regency had a smaller, more "homey," friendly feeling to us and it was doable for our budget as well.

To be absolutely certain that we were making the best decision on this important issue, we opted for a "respite" stay, living there for a week, allowing us to experience what life would be like on a permanent basis. After this "trial run," we felt that living at Regency was a good fit for us so we made our decision to move in.

Despite my wife's initial resistance to leaving our Santa Barbara home, we both readily adapted to life at Regency. The personable, friendly caregiving staff was competent and attentive to her needs on a timely basis.

Although her condition limited her ability to participate in many of the available activities, we were regulars at the daily sitting exercises as well as taking our meals in the dining room with the other residents. The medical techs made sure that she received her medication on schedule.

After several months during which the Parkinson's worsened, she moved into the Memory Care section which provided more intensive, round-the-clock care. They also had daily programs in which she participated and enjoyed. The open-door policy provided continuous monitoring by the staff.

The availability of Memory Care was a blessing for us. I maintained residence in the apartment we had previously shared and was able to spend time with her at all times, knowing that she was receiving the maximum care that she required.

After a year of living there, sadly, she passed away. Many of our friends in Santa Barbara began to ask me if I was going to return to our home there. Although I was physically able to take care of myself, should I choose to return, my response was...."Regency is my home now."

I was used to the lifestyle, the ambience, and had made friends with some of the residents. Knowing that good care would be available, should I someday require it, also factored into my decision to make Regency my permanent home.

I have appreciated and participated in many of the activities and outings available to residents. Outings to restaurants, shopping trips, special events at the excellent Fallbrook Library, local parades, nighttime bus trips to look at Christmas lights, etc.

The Activities staff has been very creative in planning activities and outings as well as in-house programs such as Painting Class, Gardening, Family Night Dinners, regular Bingo sessions, nightly movies, etc.

The staff is very responsive to the wishes of the residents. At our monthly Residents Meeting, requests for additional menu choices are relayed to the kitchen which always makes an effort to accommodate. At a recent meeting several residents expressed a need for help in learning/using their iPhones. A regular Tech Session was then added to the Monthly Activities Schedule to address that need.

Regency Fallbrook took very good care of my wife, for which I am very grateful. Now they are taking good care of me. Regency suits my lifestyle and truly is my home.

 

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