Taking A Pro-Active Role In Your Health Care

Aileen Brazeau, san clemente villas , taking charge of your own healht care

Keep Moving

I see too many men and women who become very passive about their health care. They have a pain, and they go to see their physician and ask for a pill. I believe there are better ways to manage health care and pills should be a remedy of last resort.

If you are stiff and sore, use some natural oils and a rice pack to relieve the pain. And then move! The more sedentary you become, the more stiff and sore you will be when you finally move. If it hurts too much to go for a long walk, then take a series of short walks. Put some great music on and dance for 10 minutes. Then sit down and gently stretch.

Get a massage as often as you can afford to. If you find the right massage therapist, he or she can help you to relax those tense muscles,and break up those calcium deposits that can cause pressure and pain. Eat less sugar and wheat, both of which can cause inflammation, which in turns can be the cause of pain.

Meditation is a wonderful way to move pain away from your body. Don’t forget to stretch either. Stretching can help ease the tension which builds up in your muscles when you have been in the same position for a long time.

What else can you do? US NEWS article has some good information for us:

  • “Prepare for a doctor visit. “Write down symptoms you’re having, how long you’ve had them, what makes them better, what remedies you’ve tried,” Vij suggests. That will help the doctor make a better diagnosis.
  • Bring your medications to the doctor. “Don’t just bring me a list. I need to see the bottles and have you tell me what you’re taking and when,” Vij explains. “And don’t forget to bring supplements. Sometimes they can interact with medications.”
  • Ask questions and share concerns. “Sometimes people are intimidated,” Vij says. “But be upfront with what you’re worried about. Maybe there’s something confusing about a treatment plan. Or maybe you want a certain test. Don’t be afraid to ask.”
  • Develop a relationship with your doctor. “You have to tell your doctor what makes life worth living for you,” Perskin points out. “It helps the doctor understand the kind of advice you need to make a decision about your treatment.”

It’s good to have a physician you are comfortable with, but remember, ultimately your health care is in your hands. You have to take an active role in decisions about your health.

Aileen Brazeau

Aileen Brazeau, social, charity, community,

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Advice To Help Us Stay Healthy As We get Older

Living well, Aileen Brazeau, San Clemente Villas, Brazeau Farms, business owner, community personI love to be active and every chance I get to be out in the fresh air, I take it. How about you? Are you staying active, or are you falling into the trap of becoming more sedentary?

I think the advent of binge watching certain television shows has certainly made it more tempting to just sit in front of the flat screen with a bowl of popcorn. And while that’s perfectly okay to do once in a while, it’s NOT okay to do all of the time.

WebMD says:https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/features/power-play By Stephanie Watson

” Who doesn’t wish for a fountain of youth? Magical youth-restoring springs exist only in legend, but science does point to a few simple, healthy habitsthat can help extend your life.

Heather Whitson, MD, associate professor of medicine (geriatrics) at Duke University School of Medicine, shares the most effective tips.

Don’t Slow Down

Exercise and physical activity is where the strongest evidence lies, not just for reducing mortality, but also for across-the-board health benefits,” Whitson says. She ticks off exercise’s advantages: fewer heart risks, improved sleep and memory, less depression and pain, better bone strength, and fewer falls.

What kind of fitness is best? “If you’re only able to do one kind of exercise, aerobic exercise is what you want to do,” she says.

Do anything that sounds like fun. In other words, walk briskly, ride a stationary bike, or take a dance class. Even better, alternate aerobics with strength and flexibility training for a well-rounded program.

Go Mediterranean

With its emphasis on fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest ways in the world to eat. Plus, it’s delicious, so you’ll want to stick with it.

The Mediterranean diet has been linked to better heart health and greater longevity. Whitson recommends it to her patients.”

I work with a trainer a few times a week and in the past I have belonged to a walking club or two. I just make it a priority in my life to be outside and active. Another peice of good advice is to stay social. Keep in touch with old friends, join clubs and take classes where you have the chance to meet new friends. And have friends who are both younger and older than you. Age has little to do with whom you find interesting and fun to be around.

Aileen BrazeauAileen Brazeau, social, charity, community,



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Special Activities at San Clemente Villas

entertainment and fitness at the San Clemente Villas, Aileen Brazeau co-owner of the san clemente Villas

Susie Vanderlip and  myself.  — what a fun morning with her Dance SOS Dance Crew to entertain our residents. so energizing and fun! — at San Clemente Villas by the Sea. Taken from their website:

“SOS Dance Crew is a group of seniors from 60 to 90 years old with amazing spunk, energy, enthusiasm and love of life that share the joy of dance and  FLASH MOBS in the most unexpected and amusing places! Our first FLASH MOB was at a Starbucks, sharing what SOS thinks is the perfect theme song for both Starbucks and the Dance Crew: “That’s the Way (I Like It)!”

Since then, we have performed Flash Mobs at the Aquarium of the Pacific, Irvine Global Village Festival, Albertson’s Grocery Store (garnering 140,000 views on Facebook!) and auditioned for the 2016 Season of America’s Got talent.  We also present high-energy 30 to 45-minute dance programs at senior/assisted living facilities to entertain and uplift the infirm elderly.

SOS Dance Crew was founded by Director and Zumba Gold Instructor, Susie Vanderlip from a class at Custom Bodies Fitness in Irvine, CA.  The SOS Dance Crew is a family of culturally diverse seniors (African-American, Caucasian, Chinese, East Indian,  Japanese, Pilipino, Taiwanese, Latin, and more). We continue to rehearse and hold Zumba Gold class every Tuesday and Thursday mornings 10:30am – 11:30am at Pacific Dance in Irvine, CA. Come join us!

SOS Dance Crew believes that “EVERY BODY can DANCE!” And wish to inspire everyone of all ages to get up off the couch and MOVE!
Do it for your health. Do it for FUN!  Do it to EMBRACE LIFE!”

Myself, and the residents at San Clemente Villas throughly enjoyed their fitness dance routine. It just goes to show that you are never too old to have fun, to dance, and to exercise. These people were of all different ages, men an women. They had a ball and infused us with their enthusiasm!! It was wonderful.


Aileen Brazeau

San clemente Business woman, Senior assisted living

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Animal Therapy

Aileen Brazeau of San Clemente VillasIf you look back to December, you will see that I posted some photos of horses, bunnies and such visiting our residents and staff here at our San Clemente Villas. I often have days when Therapy Dogs, or other therapy animals come to visit. [Read more…]

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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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Eating Well for Good Health

Guest Blog today by Valentina Boonstra of Valhealing.com.CNA, Personal Trainer and Licensed Massage Therapist

foods for healthy bones, strong bodies

Fad diets are everywhere and it seems like new ones pop up every day!! What should you do about your own dietary needs?  Will you try a low carb diet, or perhaps a low fat, high protein diet?  How about going Gluten and wheat free or Vegan. Oh and then there is the Paleo diet.

I am not one to jump into fad diets, but I have been having some issues with my stomach, so I decided to try going wheat free. Even though I grew up on my Mother’s delicious homemade bread and could hardly believe it was bad for me, I must tell you, one can’t argue with results. This first week I lost weight and my heartburn disappeared. I started to breathe more freely and felt like my lung condition was easing up.

At first I thought maybe I was experiencing a placebo effect but as soon as I gave in and ate some bread again the symptoms returned. So I am setting goals to eat way more fresh veggies and fruit and resist bread 90% of the time.

This experience did cause me to stop and think as to why it never seemed to bother me as a child to eat bread. By doing some research on my own, I figured out that the trouble with wheat these days is that it has been genetically altered to yield more crops. Our body doesn’t respond well to this genome of wheat and our population of obese people has now skyrocketed!  Obesity is at an all time high, and our children are overweight, suffering from diabetes and asthma at an alarming rate. If you look at most quick foods or processed food they are mostly some arrangement of bread and cheese.

So now I am following the advice which many nutritional experts espouse. The trick is to shop the walls and eat whole foods for good health and digestion. Choose a balance of proteins and good carbohydrates, eat more veggies and fruits than meats. Keep cheese as a sometimes thing and most of all get plenty of fresh water, fresh air and exercise.

Valentina  for

Aileen Brazeau

co-owner of San Clemente Villas, San Clemente, Ca


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Tips for Staying Healthy

exercise such as a 30 minute walkI live a life that is full. I run a business, I hold functions for the Chamber of Commerce and to support local charities. I am married and have extended family, and attend networking events in order to meet new people and get to know other local business people. My days are busy.

Because I own one of the premier Assisted Living Facilities here in South Orange County, I know firsthand that keeping healthy is important. It’s vital to living the life I want to live, and it’s even more important in the grand scheme of things. People who are inactive, don’t eat well and are sedentary may still live a long life, but it won’t be a life they will enjoy. It will be a life filled with aches and pains, pills, operations and doctor’s visits.

So what do I do, that YOU can do to invest in maintain my health?


The absolute minimum amount of exercise we should do each week is 30 minutes of exercise, 3 to 4 or more times a week. For most people, who are also trying to maintain a healthy weight, this is not enough. I think 30 minutes a day is more likely to be the minimum. You don’t have to make each workout strenuous, take a brisk walk with a friend. Go for an after dinner bike ride while it’s still light in the evenings. Put on VH1 and dance like nobody’s watching.

 Get Sleep !

You notice that I did not put this as the number one option. Some people get stressed, and when they are stressed they eat more refined sugar and have a more difficult time sleeping. So for me, it’s exercise first and many times exercise will help you be less stressed and being less stressed will aid in sleeping better.

Eat Better !

Not all of us want to become vegetarians or vegans, even if we know a plant based diet is the one most likely to help you live a long and healthy life. But it never killed anyone to cut back a bit on the amount of meat you put on your dinner plate, carving out a bigger space for fresh veggies. Instead of giving in to the donuts in the coffee room, bring an apple, a banana, a Fiber One bar with you and snack on that instead. If you can’t drink coffee without the sugar, cut back gradually. And for goodness sakes, just leave sugary soda drinks or once in a great while. If you have to drink fruit juices then cut it with water and lots of ice.

Keep Hydrated

Water, green tea, lemon and cucumber infused water, do whatever you can to stay hydrated. It has been proven that water will help keep your joints lubricated. It will help your skin look better and your body needs it to stay alive. You can live without some things, but not without water.

Staying healthy and fit is the only way in which I, Aileen Brazeau, can keep up with all of my obligations and stay strong. Don’t try to build Rome in a day, as they say. Cut yourself some slack, but do something every day. Even if you can only walk for short 10 minute walks here and there. Every minute you spend in physical activity adds health and vitality to your life.

Aileen Brazeau

San Clemente, Ca

charities, chamber of commerce san clemente, boys and girls club supporter in san clemente, alzheimers charity supporter, san clemente, irvine, dana point, san juan capistrano, south ornage county ca




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Better Than a Pity Party – Fighting the Blues!

Guest Post By Karen Watson for

Aileen Brazeau

Aileen Brazeau, the blues and seniors

 Life – it’s full of ups and downs. If you’re like me, sometimes you’re up, and sometimes you feel like you’ve hit the bottom of the barrel. Family troubles, money problems, too much to do with not enough get up and go – these are just some little hitches in life that send me straight to a pity party. Then I remember who I came from.

My Grandmother raised 12 children nearly single handedly. She lived in the middle of nowhere in a rented house with a man who was twice her age and rarely worked. Even with her limited resources, she managed to raise them all to adulthood. Oh, they didn’t have a good lunch to take with them to school, but dinner was ready as soon as they walked through the door. She raised a garden, chickens and pigs. She took in other people’s laundry to make a little extra. I can just imagine how hard it must have been just to keep up with her own laundry. This was before washing machines and dryers, unless you count the big kettle and the clothes line. She is who I came from. I have nothing but blessings to count.

My mother is a remarkable woman. Sometimes I wonder if I was really an adopted child. Her strength, even at 77 years old is nothing short of amazing. She’s seen hard times. She had her own worries and health problems. Yet she always finds a way to see the bright side of life. Her number one “go to” remedy for the blues is to work it out. Pray about, keep busy, put on some good music, read the scriptures, clean the kitchen, work in the garden – whatever is wrong, work can help. God will do the rest. That’s what she’s taught me, not in words but in deeds.

I have to remind myself that I came from these two strong women who faced much more in life than I can even imagine. I cannot shame them. While work is a good way to fight the blues, I also find that talking it out can also help. Somehow when you share your fears, the burden becomes lighter. Somebody cares.

Getting the blues means I need to change something. My focus is off. I’m looking at the glass half full when I need to be counting all my blessings and remembering how wonderful my life really is. I remind my self that I can make the choice to be happy, or to stay in a sad place. It’s easy to let the blues take over without really noticing.  Especially in fall when the days are getting shorter, I find a greater need for getting out in the sun. Lately I’ve been walking and it really helps me feel better all day. I made the choice to try and push the blues away with exercise. But what works for me, might not work for you. But doing something is better than giving up!

Volunteering is always something that helps me, and has been found to help others as well. Doing for others takes the focus off ourselves. If I can make someone’s day a little better, then I forget about my own problems and their joy becomes my own. I also remind myself to look up. It’s just a simple thing, but it is proven to ease depression. Looking up at the sky or a beautiful tree, the sunset, or sunrise, can bring a calm and peace. Watching clouds or listening to the night birds sing are all ways that make me feel good inside and reminds me that beauty truly does surround me – always.

Often when we’re blue it’s hard to think of what might help. So, here’s a list of suggestions that just might make you feel a little better and lighter in heart.

  1. Take a walk.
  2. List things that you are grateful for.
  3. Listen to beautiful music.
  4. Groom your pet.
  5. Blow bubbles with your grandkids.
  6. Go for an ice cream (It can cure anything, right?)
  7. Visit a shut in.
  8. Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
  9. Clean your closet – or in my case – the pantry.
  10. Go to church, or just sing your favorite hymn.
  11. Make a list of all your accomplishments.
  12. Bake some chocolate chip cookies and knock on an old friend’s door!! 

If you’re feeling blue, think about what might be causing you to feel that way. Do your best to get enough sleep, eat good meals, and get out for walks every day. If your blues last more than a few weeks, see a professional. Even my mother had therapy after her car accident. It helped her tremendously. Whatever you do, don’t try to hide how you are feeling, if you can’t chase those blues away, you might need a little help. There is no need to be in pain, and absolutely no need to be ashamed!!


for Aileen Brazeau







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Memory and Seniors

Are you worried about your family member’s memory problems? Its only natural. They forget to take their meds, or mistake the date of an appointment, and you start to think, oh oh. But it doesn’t have to be all bad news.

If you want to know what the future holds for your aging parents and grandparents, come and visit us at San Clemente Villas. Yes, some of our people have memory issues, those who are more severely afflicted with Dementia or Alzheimers  issues reside in our Alzheimer’s wing, the West Indies.

Memory Issues in Seniors For the most part,our people are active, sharp-witted, fun to be around, and other than forgetting a few of the same things we all forget, like where I put my cell phone or my car keys, and oh yeah, there are my glasses, on top of my head, they are just fine. If the issue becomes more serious we have exercises, memory games and physicians who can help them.

The funny thing about aging is this. Unless you over 50 yourself, you might not understand this right away, so read carefully. Other than a few aches and pains that weren’t there a year ago, we don’t feel any older than you do. If you meet an older person who isn’t  acting his or her age,  it’s because people who are older don’t necessarily  feel old.

Age and physical signs of aging don’t always mean our insides and attitudes are reflective of our state of youthfulness. Most older people  just plain old forget that they are supposed to be “old”. It’s not like we are trying to be younger, well okay, some of us do try way to hard to be younger, it’s just that until we look in the mirror and see the wrinkles, we have forgotten that we are now “old”.

With lots of engaging and entertaining activities, some of those memory issues can be remedied.

Aileen Brazeau

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Holiday Time Brings It’s Own Challenges

Don's 100th Birthday 2When you are getting ready to celebrate for the holidays, there are special considerations for dealing with elderly family members. If your loved ones are beginning to experience memory loss, if they have recently lost a loved one, the Holidays can be a challenge for them. It is something we face here at the Villas every year. We have found that it is best to not try too hard to cheer them up. Let them have their quiet moments, But it’s also important to gently nudge them into participating in at least some of the Christmas traditions and activities.

Sometimes the best thing for them is children. Or story telling. Instead of hustle and bustle, try to make time to just sit quietly and listen while they tell you about some of their favorite Christmases past. Bring out some special photos from the past and start a story, but if they can’t bring up a memory, don’t pressure them, that will simply make things worse.

I ran across this post in Seniors Living that mirrored many of my experiences dealing with seniors here at the villas, and in my own life. Be gentle, be considerate, and be thoughtful. Someday you are going to be their age if you get lucky to live long enough, treat them the way you would like to be treated. Take a look at this excerpt:

  1. Plan ahead. If older family members tire easily or are vulnerable to over-stimulation, limit the number of activities they are involved in or the length of time they are included. The noise and confusion of a large family gathering can lead to irritability or exhaustion, so schedule time for a nap, if necessary, and consider designating a “quiet room” where an older person can take a break. “Assign someone to be the day’s companion to the older person, to make sure the individual is comfortable,” says Daniel Sewell, M.D., director of the Senior Behavior Health Unit at the UCSD Medical Center, who adds that these guidelines work well for young children as well as adults with mental, emotional and physical health issues. 
  2. Eliminate obstacles. If a holiday get-together is held in the home of an older person with memory impairment or behavioral problems, don’t rearrange the furniture. This could be a source of confusion and anxiety. If the gathering is in a place unfamiliar to an older person, remove slippery throw rugs and other items that could present barriers to someone with balance problems or who has difficulty walking.”
  3. http://seniorliving.about.com/od/grandparents/a/happy_holidays.htm

This is all helpful information, and I invite you to head over to this site to read the rest of their post. But most of all simply remember this: Cherish the time you spend with your Mom, Dad, Grandma, Auntie, Grandpa or Uncle. Treat them with love and respect, and most of the time that will make a better holiday for all of you.

Merry Christmas..

Aileen Brazeau



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