14 assisted living communities near Santa Rosa
Country Rose Assisted Living
Hanna House Ridley
Oakmont of Villa Capri
Oakmont of Varenna
Brookdale Paulin Creek
Sunrise Villa Santa Rosa
The Vineyard at Fountaingrove
Brookdale At Rohnert Park
Santa Rosa is the largest city on California’s North Coast, where it sits in an almost perfect intersection between San Francisco and Silicon Valley to the south, Sacramento and the Central Valley to the east and the wonders of the Napa Valley Wine Country all around it. Tourists flock to Santa Rosa all year round for wine tastings and visits to luxurious resorts. Seniors and their families visit too, especially when they are looking for a beautiful, picturesque place to settle into an assisted living community in California’s Redwood Empire.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted living is a common term for a type of residential long-term care that many seniors opt for when they need help with their bathing, dressing, meal preparation and other activities of daily living (ADLs). In an assisted living community, aging citizens and adults with mobility or other physical issues have help available 24/7, which lets them get through the day with a maximum of safety, independence and privacy.
Services Available in Assisted Living Communities in Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa’s assisted living communities look after their residents with a combination of helpful attention and respectful distance. Seniors in these communities can opt for private or semi-private rooms, full, partial or no participation in community activities, and close support from staff with their ADLs or very little. In California, assisted living staff is allowed to help with any reasonable ADLs, as well as to respond in case of an emergency, such as a fall or asthma attack. These are not medical providers, however, and staff at these facilities do not prescribe or administer medication, though almost all will help grind up pills or help their residents take medication that’s already been prescribed by a doctor, as well as over-the-counter meds like aspirin.
In addition to these personal duties, staff at a typical assisted living property clean residents’ rooms for them, prepare meals that can be served in either the common dining room or in residents’ own rooms, and supervise transportation to and from outside locations, such as medical offices and shopping centers. It’s also common for an assisted living community to arrange group events like music nights and movie events. One important service an assisted living community may provide is working with the resident, resident’s family, doctors and other involved parties to draft a personal care plan that helps track the resident’s health and well-being.
Getting Ready to Move to Assisted Living in Santa Rosa
It can take several months to make a smooth transition into assisted living in Santa Rosa, and you may have to complete several steps to prepare for the move. First, almost all aging citizens who choose assisted living as their care option have to undergo a medical examination in their own doctor’s office. This is typically a physical and mental health evaluation to make sure assisted living is the right choice, medically speaking, and that the senior’s health doesn’t call for more intensive care elsewhere.
The second step for most families is to begin finding storage for some of the larger personal belongings the senior they love owns. This is not necessarily a permanent step, but it’s generally good to put an old bed, couch and other bulky items in a safe place until you’re confident with your choice of community and you don’t plan to move again. Many communities also have limited space, so this is a good time to give away or sell items that just won’t fit in the new place.
Finally, most seniors and their families have to arrange their budgets to cover the costs of assisted living. This can actually be a positive step since assisted living is not necessarily going to be more expensive than the in-home care already being provided.
Costs Associated with Assisted Living in Santa Rosa
California can be a pricey state, and Santa Rosa is nestled in the heart of one of its most upscale regions. Living anywhere in the Wine Country costs more than in, for instance, the Sonora Desert, but some of the prices local assisted living communities charge can be surprisingly bearable.
According to the 2017 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, assisted living in Santa Rosa, CA, costs an average of $4,950 a month. This is quite high, relative to the $3,750 national median price, but in Santa Rosa’s tight real estate market, it’s a steal. For comparison, even a shared or semi-private room in a Santa Rosa skilled nursing facility can run to $8,785 a month, while private rooms at those same places routinely go as high as $9,977. Even in-home care, which sees a caregiver making regular house calls to a senior who lives independently, runs as high as $5,482 a month. These rates make assisted living in a shared senior community by far the most affordable common choice an aging citizen can make.
Assisted Living vs. Other Types of Senior Care
To people who are new to the world of residential senior care, assisted living can easily be mixed up with other types of community options. In California, aging citizens generally have a choice between four levels of live-in care facilities:
- Assisted living
- Skilled nursing/Post-acute rehab
- Memory care
- Hospice services/comfort care
Assisted living is a lot like living in your own apartment, or perhaps at camp, given how bucolic a lot of Santa Rosa’s communities are. Help is available on demand, but seniors in assisted living live more or less on their own, albeit in a larger community where they have a lot of friends and neighbors.
Adults who find themselves in skilled nursing or post-acute care are usually there because they have serious medical conditions that need supervision by a team of registered nurses and certified nurses’ aides. Many seniors spend a short time in skilled nursing for physical therapy after a fall, knee replacement or other physical ailment. Others are assigned on a more long-term basis to manage chronic health problems that go beyond assisted living staffs’ ability to help with.
Memory care is the most common approach to seniors with moderate to advanced Alzheimer’s disease or progressive dementia. Many California assisted living communities maintain memory care annexes nearby – or even on the same property – so seniors who progress to this option don’t have to leave home.
Finally, hospice facilities provide comfort care for people with end-stage illnesses. At the comfort care level, the emphasis is on pain management and spiritual care, rather than curative or rehabilitative care.
Helpful Apps and Websites for Assisted Living in Santa Rosa
Seniors who’ve just made the transition to assisted living in Santa Rosa can feel like they’ve been through a major life change, and that they could use some help to make things go a little easier. These local resources are available to aging citizens in Sonoma County, and they can help fill in the gaps in care that sometimes open up when you transition to an assisted living lifestyle.
The Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) helps seniors stay on top of their health and personal needs by connecting residents with registered nurses and social workers who specialize in the needs of aging citizens. Together, they can help you or the senior you love draft a personal care plan and monitor how well the plan is implemented by medical and assisted living staff, making recommendations for needed changes as they go.
The Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging operates an online senior services center, where local seniors can get information about political advocacy on their behalf, fall and injury prevention tips and help with advance care planning.
Sonoma County’s Senior Transportation Program offers free rides for local adults over 60 within its service area. Medical appointments are given priority, but seniors can call on the service for just about any kind of trip, such as shopping or running errands.
Resources for Caregivers in Santa Rosa
Caregivers are the special people in seniors’ lives, but sometimes they need help to stay effective. These resources provide training, respite and support for the people who look after Santa Rosa’s seniors.
The Sonoma County In-Home Senior Service Agency recruits, trains and pays many of the area’s caregivers, but it also offers support that goes beyond the initial intake. Caregivers on the site’s registry can use Agency resources to find continuing training classes, information about caregiver benefits and links out to community-based support programs.
The Redwood Caregiver Resource Center (RCRC) has been in operation since 1985 as part of a statewide network of 11 regional caregiver centers. The RCRC offers caregivers in Sonoma County access to training classes and workshops for first aid, fall prevention and dementia management. Their site also has links to caregiver-oriented publications, newsletters and other resources that can keep you in touch and on top of recent developments in the local caregiver community.
St. Joseph’s Hospital operates a Health Resource Center that looks after the needs of local caregivers with advice, peer-based support groups and a sizable directory of links to other local resources for caregivers.
Government Resources for Seniors in Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa is the major city in Sonoma County, and it’s one of the larger cities in the State of California. Both of these governments have programs and services for area seniors, which help close the gap between aging citizens’ needs and the services they may be getting on their own.
The State of California offers seniors a chance to find services, health care providers, caregivers and local advocates through its online senior portal. The site also runs a news and highlights feed, so it’s easy for seniors to stay on top of recent developments in Sacramento that affect their wellbeing.
The Sonoma County Department of Health and Human Services connects seniors with local agencies and other resources that can help, in the words of the Department’s website: “ensure the safety, independence and well-being of older adults, persons with disabilities, military veterans, their families and caregivers.”
Santa Rosa Demographics
Santa Rosa is a midsize city by California’s standards. This city of 175,000 people has spent much of the time since World War II growing, and many of the seniors in town have lived there all their lives. The city has about 25,000 residents over the age of 65. This is roughly 13.5 percent of the population, though that number is universally expected to rise as California’s population ages and more people of the baby boom generation start looking for nice places to settle down in.
Santa Rosa Weather
Few places in the world have a climate like California’s North Shore. In some spots, cool mist shrouds the mountainsides year-round, while in the small valleys days can get warm enough for shorts in November. Daily high temperatures in Santa Rosa average 71.3 degrees Fahrenheit, while lows average 46.9 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall can be spotty here, with wide swings that go according to California’s unpredictable droughts, but the average annual precipitation in Santa Rosa stands at 31 inches, which is about the same as San Antonio, TX.
Transportation in and Around Santa Rosa
It’s pretty easy to get around in Santa Rosa. The city is neatly intersected by two major arteries: the Pacific Coast Highway cuts straight through the middle of town and divides Santa Rosa into east and west sections, while the Luther Burbank Memorial Highway (State Route 12) does likewise for north and south sections. For those without a car, the Sonoma-Marin Area Rapid Transit (SMART) network operates four routes on non-holiday weekdays and keeps two of them (the north-south routes) open on weekends. The SMART network runs far enough south that connections can be made with the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, which can carry passengers as far south as Santa Cruz or as far inland as Contra Costa County, by the Sacramento River Delta.
SMART offers discounted rides to students and seniors, as well as for riders with disabilities. To get the discount rate, you must carry a valid Clipper card, which can be issued at SMART headquarters in downtown Santa Rosa.
Fun Facts About Santa Rosa
Hollywood loves Santa Rosa. For many decades, film crews have made the trip north on the Coast Highway to film in the area’s rugged hills and wide-open vineyards (and maybe to visit a local winery or seven before wrapping). Films shot here include: The Happy Land (1943); Shadow of a Doubt (1943); It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) Wired (1989); Cheaper by the Dozen (2003); and Paranormal Activity 3 (2011).
Santa Rosa loves Hollywood back. Film and television actress Rebecca De Mornay was born here, as was celebrity chef Guy Fieri.
Santa Rosa’s proximity to San Francisco and the state capital of Sacramento has given it upscale tastes in entertainment. The Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra is nearly a century old and currently performs in its cavernous new venue: Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. This auditorium, despite being built in the 21st century, uses the traditional "shoebox" design of 18th-century theaters to maximize acoustical performance.