By Erin Kelly-Allshouse
When people visit Áegis Living for the very first time, they discover joy and light. They get a warm greeting at the door, smell freshly baked bread or hear residents laughing. It’s a place of life, love and hope.
At Áegis Living of Aptos, the caring staff treats all people using the highest possible standards. For almost 20 years Aegis Living of Aptos has provided excellent care with an emphasis on health, quality of life, community and well-being. What makes Áegis different from other senior living options is its design, innovative operational concepts, and philosophies of care. Áegis communities are specifically designed to promote a vibrant lifestyle, with unparalleled amenities and services, as well as a “guest services” approach that ensures the needs of residents and their families are met.
As General Manager of Áegis in Aptos, Griselda Galvan, has been a dedicated employee of Áegis for nineteen years since immigrating to the United States from Argentina with her family. Galvan said she loves working for Áegis because as a company, they care deeply about the comfort and safety of the residents and families.
Áegis Living is a private, family-owned company founded in 1997 by Chairman and CEO Dwayne Clark. Clark’s mission was to redefine an industry that had great potential but was not meeting the highest standards. He studied business models from well-known companies known for world-class innovation.
Áegis Assisted Living communities are specially designed for seniors who need such services while Áegis Memory Care is designed with the goal to improve the quality of life and increase enjoyment for people living with memory loss. With Aegis’s nationally recognized Life’s Neighborhood™ program, residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia experience living free of stress in an environment focused on socialization and comfort in a safe and secure setting.
Áegis Aptos has a total of 88 apartments — according to Jennifer Andronico, Marketing Director for Aegis Living in Aptos – with 53 of them for Assisted Living. The other 35 are Life’s Neighborhood™ in two areas; 19 in Neighborhood 1 and 16 in Neighborhood 2.
“I always enjoy going into the Memory Care wing,” Clark said, “where our Alzheimer’s and dementia care residents live. It’s great to see how we are impacting the lives of residents afflicted with dementia. I think Áegis has been extremely creative in developing its innovative model with antique cars in courtyards and old time clotheslines out for residents to use. This makes things feel so much more like home and a lot less clinical.”
Clark has written books about his mom and her journey with Alzheimer’s, “My Mother, My Son” and “Saturdays with G.G.” He is married to his wife Terese, and they have two grown children, Adam and Ashley, who both work for Aegis Living.
Andronico attributes their success to the quality care given to residents 24/7 by the staff and through its extensive education and training providing employees with a comprehensive understanding of the sensitivities of aging as well as highly specialized dementia training.
“Our goal is to decrease stress and anxiety by recreating the family and comfort of the neighborhood of yesteryear,” Andronico said. “Whether chatting about their day, looking at old photos or strolling around the courtyard, our program helps build a strong bond between staff and residents.”
Each apartment has an emergency call button; Residents wear a pendant to summon for assistance at any time; Licensed nurse is available; Care managers available 24 hours a day to assist with bathing or dressing; Scheduled social events allow residents to socialize; Activities include exercise classes; Manicured gardens align walking paths and provide a place for residents to grow their own flowers; Shopping trips, card groups, game nights, movies, bingo; Dance troupes and musicians come to perform.
In such an environment friendships can blossom and comfort levels develop between neighbors while residents can maintain independence and stay active. It means looking beyond the frailty of the people, celebrating the full richness of their lives, and making their lives better.
Áegis Living is driven to show the world what senior housing can truly become, and to light the way for new attitudes about Assisted Living.
Áegis Living, 125 Heather Terrace, Aptos. Website: www.AegisLiving.com Call: 831-684-2700 for more information.