Contributed photo – A support group gathers at an Oakmont of Fresno’s meeting room.
By Carole Grosch | Reporter
Newly opened in March 2015, Oakmont of Fresno was quick to offer the general public opportunities to view its upscale facility and attend informational heath care workshops.
Guest speakers came and educational presentations were given to those who wished to attend. Soon, the Diabetic and Alzheimer’s support groups were formed, both of which have been well received.
It’s not necessary to be a resident at Oakmont in order to take advantage of support groups or attend their events. This family-owned premier senior community, developed by Oakmont Senior Living, is “dedicated to hearing, understanding and responding to the needs of aging seniors.” It was with this philosophy the premier senior community, located in northwest Fresno, offers educational sessions and support groups.
Based on five-star consumer ratings and reviews, Oakmont of Fresno was rated Best Assisted Living in Fresno. The honor was given by the nation’s leading senior care websites, Caring.com and SeniorAdvisor.com. These awards honor service excellence in Assisted Living and Alzheimer’s Care.
“We saw a need within the community to help educate and support those citizens affected by these diseases,” said marketing coordinator Vanessa Lopez. “The majority of our other communities offer these support groups as part of our mission.”
The Alzheimer’s Support Group is led by social worker, Tony Onkka and Executive Director, Dr. Marcy Johnson who are with UCSF’s Alzheimer’s and Memory Center. Caregivers or family members are encouraged to bring their loved ones with them. They can participate in activities such as arts and crafts, trivia and musical entertainment. The guests are well received by the Memory Care Traditions residents, as they enjoy meeting and interacting with new people. Meanwhile, the caregiver will participate in the support group. The main focus of the discussions is ways of supporting and caring for their loved ones affected by the disease.
The group sessions are held every third Wednesday, from 1-2:30 p.m.
The Diabetic Support Group is led by the California Health Collaborative Diabetes Education Program Coordinator, Rosendo Iniguez.
“The Diabetic Support Group is interactive,” Lopez said. “For example, Rosendo shows the guests how to prepare healthier snacks that are diabetic friendly. He will also show the group how to do certain exercises from their seat and discusses the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle even if they are non-ambulatory.”
In past programs at Oakmont, Iniguez discussed diabetic nutrition, super foods that are health enhancers, while the chef presented a cooking demonstration and Rufi Alday discussed the importance of an active lifestyle. Delicious and diabetic-friendly snacks were available throughout the program.
Diabetic support groups are held the last Wednesday of every month, from 3-4:30 p.m.
The age range of both group participants is from 40 and up.
“Guests are very appreciative that these types of support groups are offered locally and led by professional experts,” added Lopez.
Along with the support groups, Oakmont has Art Hop the third Thursday of each month. Each Art Hop has a theme with complimentary delicious taste treats and beverages. For example, last month was “Casino Night” featuring thrilling casino-style gaming tables, a silent auction, performance by Jeremy “Elvis” Pearce and tasty hors d’oeuvres.
For a $15 donation, $500 in casino play was included. As always, the public was invited and proceeds went to benefit the 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Anyone interested in Oakmont’s support groups or learning opportunities and events can call (559) 277-5959 or visit oakmontoffresno.com.
Oakmont of Fresno is located at 5605 N. Gates Ave., Fresno 93722. Free valet service is available.