Monthly Archives: November 2014

Atherton Baptist Homes Celebrates 100 Years


By Dennis McFadden, former CEO, Atherton Baptist Homes

For most of its 100 year storied existence, Atherton Baptist Homes has been an Alhambra institution with senior living and superior care for all levels of retirement ranging from independent, to assisted, to skilled nursing and rehabilitative care.

A century ago, Hannah Atherton Baldwin brought a proposal to the Southern California Baptist Convention that they construct a home for retired ministers and missionaries and the “lay” community.  She sweetened her suggestion with a large incentive, a $40,000 donation, equivalent to a $1 million gift today!

The first location in Burbank proved unsuitable and Atherton moved to its present home just off Atlantic Blvd. in Alhambra in the 1920s with the purchase of 1.7 acres.  Before long the campus was expanding with cottages and apartments.

“Since then, we have grown from less than two acres to almost fifteen by purchasing existing properties and renovating or rebuilding houses one at a time,” said President and CEO the Reverend Craig Statton.

During its first 50 years, residents mostly came from the ranks of retired ministers and missionaries in Southern California.  Since then the community has opened its doors to lay people, expanding its reach and welcome considerably.

As Alhambra’s ethnic composition has changed, becoming more Asian and Hispanic, Atherton was quick to embrace the changes in the surrounding community. Today the Atherton team serves an increasingly diverse population with employees and residents originally hailing from such distant places as China, Japan, Central America, and the Philippines.  While services are provided in English, one visiting the campus today can hear echoes of Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, and Tagalog.  Those coming to the campus for the first time often comment on happy diversity of ethnicities, still relatively uncommon for communities such as Atherton.

The stories of the lives of residents are as diverse as their cultures.  One resident was a former optics engineer who founded a Pasadena tech company.  NASA tapped his organization to provide software to help fix the Hubble telescope after its initial launch.  Ministers living at Atherton have served as seminary presidents and tenured professors, one recently publishing his 18th book.  Missionaries have served around the globe, one located a mere 10 miles from the demilitarized zone, helping children in a Korean orphanage.  Another was a former diplomat, one of the initial architects of the Peace Corps, member of the NSA, and advisor to five U.S. Presidents.

The continuing care retirement community model offers residents who are at least 60 years of age options for varieties of living situations in independent, assisted, and skilled nursing care on a single convenient campus.  Atherton even pioneered a social model for those experiencing early to mid-stage dementia, providing a home-like setting with 24 hour/day caregiving as an alternative to the more institutional feel of skilled nursing.

Atherton boasts core competencies in customizable options, residential choices, quality staff, diverse activities, and making it all available with the warm and inviting ambiance of a tree-lined neighborhood.  Residents enjoy the warmly inclusive environment, commitment to shared core values, commitment to continuous improvement in technology, infrastructure, and development, and a commitment to helping each resident maintain the highest degree of community participation and interaction.

Throughout the year, Atherton residents participate in numerous volunteer programs, including local churches, reading programs with local elementary school children, and offering developmentally delayed high school students an opportunity to interact with seniors.  Another highlight of the community features off campus trips and outings, including Hawaii and Alaska cruises, and international trips to places such as Ireland, Israel, and the Greek Islands hosted annually for the residents.

For many years, Atherton has featured seminars for the community on various aspects of aging from financial issues to health related concerns.  Alhambra residents often express appreciation for the annual Fall Festival, the last one taking place in October, where visitors were delighted by ethnic foods, a petting zoo, games for children, tours of the grounds, live entertainment, train rides, and a silent auction.

“With different backgrounds, faiths, and cultures, Atherton is a community founded to help make the most of the best years of our residents’ lives,” Statton observed.

Atherton Baptist Homes is located at 214 S. Atlantic Blvd., Alhambra.  To learn more, visit them online at

Signal Hill’s App Breaks New Ground with Old Stories

sr-facebookContact: Mallory Flynn, Signal Hill

Senior Correspondent, a mobile application that revolutionizes how people document, share and learn from the stories of older adults, is now available for Android devices on Google Play.

The groundbreaking social media app, developed by mature marketing experts Signal Hill, provides a “seasoned view of the world” by combining the reporting of older journalists with crowdsourced first-person stories documented by users of all ages. The app includes content from residents of LeadingAge members Pilgrim Place of Claremont, Calif., The Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix, and ABHOW of Pleasanton, Calif.

“We believe that people seek the perspective that comes with age,” says founder and CEO Daniel Pryfogle. “Amid the constant buzz of 24-7 news, people are hungry for the long view, which means context, history and insight born of experience.”

A first in citizen journalism, Senior Correspondent offers a unique social storytelling experience that enlists users in creating a fuller picture of current issues, historic moments and life experiences.

The app enables users to explore news and opinion from older adults, take on assignments to enrich reporting, and publish stories using the photography, video and audio tools of a mobile device. Senior Correspondent curates user contributions on its award-winning website,

App users can also follow their favorite correspondents, search topics by popular tags, and peruse the day’s headlines from Senior Correspondents across the globe.

“People will find a variety of ways to use the app, including photojournalism and documentary work, oral histories and memoir writing,” Pryfogle says. “As for coverage of current events, we believe the app will help users contribute to reporting that clarifies rather than confuses the news of the day.”

Senior living communities will find special uses for the app, including documenting the stories of residents, engaging residents in “hyperlocal reporting,” and creating intergenerational media projects, Pryfogle says.

“Storytelling is a key practice in the leading senior living communities,” he adds. “The Senior Correspondent app facilitates the documenting and sharing of stories in ways that provide significant benefits in terms of resident well-being, team member-resident connections, and marketing.”

The free app is available now on Google Play.The app will be released soon at the iOS App Store.


Mount Miguel Covenant Village Announces Newest Addition to Staff




CONTACT: Lyne Brownwood, Sales Director,, 619-931-1174

MMCV_AshleyGonzalesSPRING VALLEY, Calif., November 7, 2014 — Recently, Mount Miguel Covenant Village, a faith-based, not-for-profit, continuing care retirement community administered by Covenant Retirement Communities, welcomed La Mesa resident Ashley Gonzales to the role of Director of Assisted Living.

“We are pleased to have such an exceptional senior living professional join our Covenant Retirement Communities family,” states Thad Rothrock, executive director at Mount Miguel Covenant Village. “We look forward to utilizing her talents and skills to enhance Mount Miguel Covenant Village’s services for our residents and greater San Diego area.”

As the Director of Assisted Living, Gonzales is responsible for directing the daily operations and census in Mount Miguel Covenant Village’s Assisted Living neighborhood. This involves the coordination of admissions and discharges as well as maintaining communication with the interdisciplinary team and the Health Care Administrator to ensure resident care and services are met.

Gonzales will also oversee new resident move-ins and orientation, and supervise operational functions and services including nursing, dining, housekeeping, activities and maintenance. She will also act as the senior living community’s liaison communicating with physicians, family and the healthcare center regarding the changing condition of any resident.

Previously, Gonzales was employed at Fallbrook Hospital Skilled Nursing Facility as a registered nurse.

Gonzales is a graduate of Roseman University of Health Sciences in Henderson, Nev. where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

For more information about Miguel Covenant Village, please visit

Valle Verde in Santa Barbara Celebrates Community Expansion

VV_reopening_223Contact: Dani Row, GlynnDevins, Public Relations

SANTA BARBARA, California – Valle Verde recently completed construction on a $30 million community transformation of the Santa Barbara senior living community, and on Monday, November 10, Valle Verde will be celebrating with residents, family, staff and local dignitaries.

The day’s events will include a presentation by Valle Verde leaders and ABHOW CEO and President Dave Ferguson, tours of the community, and food and beverages prepared by Valle Verde’s chef Jacob Reimer.

“Trends in senior living are always changing, and as a community and throughout the ABHOW organization, we’re committed to providing services, amenities, lifestyle and care options that fit the needs of our residents and their families,” said Melissa Honig, executive director at Valle Verde.

Construction began in November 2012 and will now offer 40 additional single-story residences, a renovated theater, convenience store, multipurpose art room, and meditation room. The community has also renovated its card room, wellness clinic and fitness center, and will offer a new styling salon and library.

Outdoor amenities include a bocce ball court, putting green, events plaza, and poolside café.

Media is welcome to attend the events at Valle Verde, located at 900 Calle de los Amigos in Santa Barbara, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

To learn more about Valle Verde visit: