The retirement-home dilemma | July 23, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Cover Story - July 23, 2010

The retirement-home dilemma

When it comes to one's golden years, plan now for the future, experts say

by Susan Kostal

Miriam Angus, 92, has lived at Channing House, a senior living center in Palo Alto, for nearly 20 years. When she moved in, the former bookkeeper was 73 and very active, driving the state to visit her children and grandchildren and taking advantage of all Palo Alto had to offer. An extrovert, she participated in many activities and was known for hosting cheery happy hours.

This story contains 2022 words.

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Freelance writer Susan Kostal can be e-mailed at


Posted by YIMBY, a resident of University South
on Jul 23, 2010 at 6:25 pm

YIMBY is a registered user.

I am reminded of the senior housing that was to accompany the family housing on 800 block of Alma - the Eden Housing non-profit development - the senior housing was dropped after neighbors and our Planning & Transportation Commission raised objection.

As a result, this line in the article continues to remain true about availability of options for the less-than-wealthy:

"Palo Alto is home to more than a half dozen senior living communities. Some are nonprofits; others are run by religious organizations. Still others are part of large corporate chains, such as Sunrise and Vi (formerly known as Classic Residence by Hyatt). Most include a range of services, from recreational programs for those living independently to various levels of health care for people in assisted-living and skilled-nursing units.

Some homes, but not all, provide care for those with Alzheimer's. Few, however, are designed for low-income seniors, and most facilities have waiting lists (see PDF)."

Posted by concerned, a resident of Community Center
on Jul 24, 2010 at 11:40 am

Thank you for this excellent, well-written article containing valuable information. There is much more to be said on this topic - I encourage more exploration.

Posted by Howard, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Marianne, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm

I dread the thought of having a room-mate. I love my privacy, and yet I know I'm not one of the rich who can afford the upper-end care offered by the facilities described.

Why is there opposition to incorporating senior living facilities into other housing developments?

Posted by BP No, not that BP, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 26, 2010 at 9:53 am

I find it quite interesting that Howard's comment was withdrawn by the Online staff. I think many people feel as he does about growing older. It is not a pleasant prospect, contemplating becoming part of the problem of what to do with all us old people.

Posted by Very expensive, a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 26, 2010 at 10:52 am

Wow!! I know where I'll be living when I'm old in my own home because I certainly won't be able to afford Channing House or Lytton Gardens. A neighbor of mine in South Palo Alto has recently gone into a home in San Jose, even then her daughters will have to rent her house out to pay the bills.

Posted by Mary Minkus, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 26, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Your article on retirement living alternatives was excellent, and thorough, but for a very big omission of one attractive option: aging in place. Many people prefer to remain in their own homes, and this alternative provides the kind of assistance which makes that workable for many people. Avenidas Village has been in existence since October 1, 2007, offering information and assistance to members to enable them to find the help they may need periodically in order to stay at home, and the cost of this one-phone-call for all services costs about $100.00 per month, instead of the thousands payable to your listed options. My husband and I have been members since the beginning and have found invaluable, trustworthy vendors, from computer technology to home health care. More importantly, the staff knows the members, making their response personal.

Posted by WOW, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 26, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Only in PA do you need to hit the lottery to be able to afford a retirement home!

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