Making Moments Count

Every day when I go to work at our San Clemente Villas I have the great fortune to interact with people from all walks of life. Men and women who have served in the armed forces, who have owned businesses both big and small. Some have raised families, others have made their careers a priority, but all of them have one thing in common. They have memories of a life well lived. [Read more…]

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Kindness

When you own and operate an assisted living home, you see lovely people every day. The residents who live here, our staff, the family and friends who stop by for a visit. We often arrange for local groups to come in and share with our people. Sometimes it’s people with sweet dogs, other times it’s children on Halloween, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is the joy that we get out of these events.

The smiles on everyone’s faces are just a joy to see. The simple act of petting an animal, or sharing an experience with a child can brighten up anyone’s day. I came across this saying on Pinterest  and it reminded me that kindness and patients are two of the best gifts we can share with each other. I try my best to be kind to everyone, and most of the time I am successful, but not always.

Here is my thought to share today:

Aileen Brazeau

aileen brazeau san clemente, charity, functions

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Support for Military Families

My husband, Paul, and I honor all of those who serve our country with no distinctions. But we must admit that we have an extra special place in our hearts for the Marines and their families who live just the other side of our beautiful San Clemente.

We invite the Marines and Navy personnel over  for all manner of special events that we host here at the San Clemente Villas, and we participate and sponsor fund raisers for our Marine families, with our own hospital facing closure issues, we are so pleased to see this happening for our Camp Pendleton families: 

“PENDLETON OPENS LODGING FOR HOSPITAL

Military families who have a loved one receiving treatment at Camp Pendleton’s Naval Hospital have a new place to stay at no cost with the opening of the first Fisher House on base.

United Health Foundation provided a $2.65 million grant to fully fund construction. The eight-suite, 8,000-plus-square-foot home is expected to serve more than 280 families and provide nearly 3,000 nights of lodging annually, saving families more than $360,000 a year in lodging. The house is by the Naval Hospital and has an ocean view.

United Health Foundation, through its Caregiver Support Program, will make child care available to military families staying at the Camp Pendleton Fisher House. The Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton serves more than 70,000 active-duty and veteran members of the military and their families.”

From the OC Register

A sincere thank you to all of those at United Health Foundation for putting this project together to help the men and women and families of those  who serve our country.

Supporting families, supprting Camp Pendleton Marines and Navy, Charities, Sponsor, giving, Aileen Brazeau in ActionAileen Brazeau

 

 

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The Refreshing Beauty of Nature

The older I get, the more I’m drawn to the natural world. The sight of a bird in flight or the trees budding out in the spring just seemed to refresh something deep inside of me. If you’re like me, sometimes our lives just get so busy that we forget to connect to the beauty of an ordinary day. I try my best to make a point of looking for the wonders that are just outside my window, but sometimes I forget to give myself the time to appreciate all that nature has to hold.

The beauty of nature

Our elders need this connection. How many of your older loved ones enjoy feeding the wild birds or making sure the bird bath is filled. For those elders who have lost some of their mobility or are suffering from an illness, it’s harder to get out and be “refreshed.”

A friend of mine helped take care of his ailing grandmother. She was bedfast and couldn’t get outside where she loved to garden and watch the birds. He’s a thoughtful soul and bought her a new feeder for the birds that he placed just outside her bedroom window. She found immense pleasure in watching each little bird come right to her window. 

Perhaps more than anything, the feeling of the mist coming off the ocean makes me stop and behold how the beauty of this world is so amazing. I was born near it, so perhaps I have a special connection to it. But I really think most people find peace and wonder at the ocean’s side. 

I have special memories of the Pacific Ocean.  When I was very young, my parents would take me down to beaches near our Southern California home so I could look for shells and feel the sand beneath my feet. Back then, it wasn’t easy to get down to the beach. Many times my daddy would carry me down the narrow winding trails that came down from the jagged cliffs. 

I know you all have your own special memories of the ocean and other natural wonders. If you are a care giver, then I encourage you to make time for these natural connections. Find ways of sharing nature with your older loved one. You both will be refreshed and we all deal better with life’s ups and downs when we feed our souls.

 

Tips on Ways to Share Nature with Your Older Loved One –

  1. Take a trip to a botanical garden
  2. Place a bird feeder outside of the kitchen window
  3. Plan a picnic at a favorite park
  4. Have lunch at an outdoor restaurant
  5. Give them a photo album of family outdoor vacations
  6. Fill a pot with butterfly and humming bird favorites for their patio
  7. While visiting, go for a walk
  8. Bring them a bouquet of their favorite flowers
  9. Get a large print of one of their favorite outdoor places
  10. Take them on a boat tour of a harbor or lake

 By Karen Everett Watson – Gerontologist

 

 

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Charity Events in the O.C

Quoted from the OCSocial Scene:

“September 25, 2014

Mercy House’s 22nd Annual Golf Tournament

On Thursday, September 25th, 2014, Mercy House will be hosting their 22ndAnnual Golf Tournament at the Coyote Hills Country Club in Fullerton. This annual event will include a raffle, food, games, and a fun-filled day of golfing. The funds raised from this year’s golf tournament will help Mercy House continue their work for the thousands of individuals they serve each year in their mission to end homelessness.

Tournament Highlights Include:

  • 10:00am Registration/ Morning Putting Contest
  • 11:00am Carl’s Jr. Star Lunch Truck
  • 12:30pm Tee Off! Shotgun Start, Course Contests
  • 5:15pm After Party; Dinner, Awards Ceremony, Raffle Opportunities

*Price is $215 per person or $800 for a foursome.

To register securely online visit http://mercyhousegolf.tk/

For more information, please visit www.mercyhouse.net  ”

It would be nice to end homelessness wouldn’t it?

Aileen Brazeau

www.sanclementevillas.com

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Fall Fashion

Elle Magazine has some great posts about style and fashion. There are other great style magazines in print and on-line, but Elle seems to have more sense of the styles and fashions a “normal” business woman would actually wear. Some of the clothes I see in print and digital magazines could be viewed as works of contemporary art, but they certainly look like they would be either uncomfortable or at the very least, impractical to actually wear.

I was just looking at their site today and I found a post about fashionable dresses, with pockets!! Any man reading this would say, “what’s the big deal?, doesn’t everything you wear have pockets?”, and if you ask most women for an answer they would tell you, no, not everything has pockets. In fact, even most women’s dress slacks don’t have them. For years now we women have sacrificed the pockets in order to make our hips look slimmer. But I still love pockets. 

Take a look at this slideshow and tell me what you think: Elle Fashion, Dresses with Pockets

 

Aileen Brazeau

 

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Staying Hydrated

remember to drink your waterDon’t forget to drink your water !!

As an active woman who spends time out of doors, I can tell you first hand that protecting your skin and staying hydrated are two very important factors for maintaining health, and for looking good. I see attractive men and women whose faces are so lined and furrowed one can’t tell if they are smiling or frowning. I know, everyone will have some wrinkles as they age, but it’s the people who obviously don’t take proper care of their skin that worry me.

Living here in South Orange County Coastal area, the air almost has some moisture in it, but we have plenty of sunshine as well, so even though the atmosphere is not as dry  here as it is further inland, you still need to keep a water bottle with you and sip on it all day. It doesn’t hurt to have a little spritzer bottle of purified water to spray on your face and neck as well.

The American Heart Association has a great post hydration:

“..Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles remove waste so that they can work efficiently.

“If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard,” said John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician with Lowcountry Spine & Sport in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and an American Heart Association volunteer.

Dehydration can be a serious condition that can lead to problems ranging from swollen feet or a headache to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.

How much water do you need?
What does being well hydrated mean? The amount of water a person needs depends on climatic conditions, clothing worn and exercise intensity and duration, Batson said.

A person who perspires heavily will need to drink more than someone who doesn’t. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may also mean you need to drink more to avoid over-taxing the heart or other organs.  People with cystic fibrosis have high concentrations of sodium in their sweat and also need to use caution to avoid dehydration. And some medications can act as diuretics, causing the body to lose more fluid.”

Lack of hydration is a serious issue. Especially in very active people. Just this past year I have heard about two friends of friends who had to be admitted to the hospital with severe dizziness and nausea. They had been so busy running from one appointment to another they had neglected to drink enough water. So please, drink at least 5 or 6 glasses of water a day.

And for the women, the more water you drink, the softer and more smooth your skin will look and feel…

 

Excerpt  taken from: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/Staying-Hydrated—Staying-Healthy_UCM_441180_Article.jsp

 

 

 

remember to drink your water

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Assisted Living?

 

 

 

New Years Eve 13 3When our loved one begin to falter, it is a difficult time. We go from being the child, turning to our parents for advice and support, to becoming the caregivers. The transition is difficult and requires great patience on both sides. It is easy to become worried and a little frustrated with our parents or loved ones, because they are not always willing to admit there is a problem.

As the co-owner of San Clemente Villas, I know one thing for certain, it is much easier to help parents move to an assisted living facility before they actually need one. When they can participate in the journey to a new way of life, when they say to you, I am tired of taking care of this house and yard, then working together to choose just the right place is a happy time.

If your parents are in their late 70’s and still doing well, that’s a good time to have a casual chat about the future and what they want to do should their health begin to fail. You can help them begin to clear out their homes, to give away or sell items they no longer feel they need. Once they are already in poor mental or physical health it can become more difficult.

Sometimes people confuse Assisted Living with Nursing homes and they get put off by the idea.Nursing homes are an entirely different type of facility.  At San Clemente Villas we have a variety of lovely apartment style accommodations. We have something fun going on all the time, and if you can, try to book a tour with your loved ones on a day when we have music or dancing. Almost everyone’s mood is brightened by music, and they will see the other folks who live here having a good time and relating to one another.

Assisted Living means just that, we assist, not dictate. Our people are free to choose what they would like to do each day. They can dine in the large dining room with all of their friends, or choose to have a light lunch or dinner from our soup and sandwich bar. They can play cards with a friend or two, attend an exercise class, or just take a day off. Walk in the garden, read a book, watch a movie and have the day to themselves. We welcome family members any time. On any given day you will see Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren running through our halls!!

Unlike living alone, they can choose to be surrounded by other active seniors, and have a staff of caring people help them when they need it, and leave them be when they don’t. I have personally seen men and women come alive again once they move here. They enjoy life more when there are other people around and fun things to do. I think that goes for all of us, doesn’t it?

Assisted Living can be a very good choice for someone you love.

Aileen Brazeau

senior care, assisted living San Clemente, Orange County assisted living

 

 

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Having Fun At San Clemente Villas

Aileen Brazeau supports her community Assisted Living is where people go to sit on the porch and wait until it’s all over. Not at  San Clemente Villas. Each day is a gift and we treat it as such. We always have something fun and exciting going on and with each change of season, each Holiday,  I hold a special event for my residents and I always invite their families and the entire community of San Clemente to share the fun with us.
In April we had a photo day for all of our residents with the Easter Bunny. Everyone, including our staff, had a great time. And we all enjoyed seeing the new Easter outfits everyone chose for the occasion.
For me, Easter means many things, but it also means spring is here. The bright vibrant colors of the flowers that bloom, the smells of  gardenia, lily and jasmine.  The new fashions for spring and summer. It is a celebration of the renewal of life. Even here, in sunny South Orange County we all love when the weather gets warmer, the ocean breezes start to cool us in the afternoon and morning mists roll through early in the morning as I walk along the beach.
San Clemente Villas Fun,
Aileen Brazeau
Co-Owner San Clemente Villas
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Caregivers, Use Positive Encouraging Words

Another great story by my friend  Karen Everett Watson  – Gerontologist

 

“There’s a lot of negativity in this old world. It’s easy for that negativity to make its way into our homes. It’s hard to turn on the TV or read the news without becoming discouraged about our health, our finances, or world affairs.  But our homes should be a refuge from negativity. Home should be where each person is safe from harm – both physical and psychological.

Negativity is contagious, but so are happy thoughts and a positive attitude. When we take on the role of caregivers, our attitudes and behaviors have a huge impact on those around us. We are powerful, even though we often don’t feel that way. Keeping a good attitude and choosing to look at the positive aspects of our lives and of those we are caring for, is so important to our own good health, but also to them.

Attitude is important to our healthWhen my kids were young, I slid into the dark side on a regular basis. I found myself screaming a lot in an effort to get my children to conform to my will. I often thought to myself, “These kids are out of control.” In reality, I was the one who was more to blame. One day, after yelling at my youngest son, I saw a look that seemed familiar to me. It was my son’s face filled with discouragement. Then I remembered when my own mother would raise her voice and how it made me feel. I vowed on that day to leave yelling and negativity behind. Now you know, it wasn’t quite that easy. There were many days where I had to take a long walk just to keep the frustration at bay. It took time, but gradually, I did get control over my negative emotions. Our home became a much nicer place and my children began to treat each other better. As my daughter now tells her own sons, I learned to tell myself, “Use your words but don’t yell! It’s not what you say, but how you say it!”

Our elderly loved ones are often hurting – both physically and mentally. They can no longer do all the things they love and ailments are Some times you have to take chargetrying to endure. Some older people become quite jaded and often respond with frustration. We can make it worse, or we can try to make it better. Sometimes it’s best to just walk away and give them some time to think it out on their own. Sometimes we just have to offer them a “detour” and change the subject. I know that isn’t always possible, but it can work many times. Other times, we probably should just let them have their way.

We all need to remember that our own parents put up with us while we were children. They weren’t perfect disciplinarians, but they did their best. Now it’s time for us to give them our best. Parenting our parents is not a job for sissies. I know that for me, I stayed in the role of child, even though I was an adult, long into my 40’s. It took my father’s serious illness to wake me up to do what was needed even when he didn’t like it.  My Dad refused to listen to my mother and go to the doctor even when he no longer stand.  I did not argue or fight, but I did put on my best most authorative demeanor and very clearly tried just to state what had to be done for his own good. I was so surprised when he backed down so easily. I really believe he knew I had dug in my heels and would help him in spite of himself. I was very careful to speak kindly, but firmly.

So give yourself a positive attitude for just one day and see how it changes the way you feel and affects your loved one. Kindness is always the best policy. Remember, what goes around, comes around. Our own children are watching how we interact with our elders. Let’s set a good example that will bless us in the future!”

I love Karen’s stories, and how well I, as the co-owner of an Assisted Living home for seniors,can always be reminded to take a little extra time out of my day for doing something extra for those I care about.

Aileen Brazeau

San Clemente Villas, luxury assisted living, San Clemente Ca, member of the Chamber of Commerce, supporter of the Shea Riding Center, Boys and Girls Club, Alzheimer’s Association

 

 

 

 

 

 

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