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Carmichael Attracts Seniors With Homes, Services

Atria El Camino Gardens is one of many options for seniors in Carmichael.

Editor's Note: This is part of an ongoing series looking at senior issues and residences in Carmichael.

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Linda Pitts was in an accident a few years back where she broke her foot and was finding it difficult to care for herself.

She visited , a senior residence on Garfield Avenue in Carmichael.

"It was the first place I saw and I fell in love," said Pitts, 55, who has lived at Atria in Carmichael for two years. "I chose it because it was near where I used to live in Sacramento."

Indeed, Pitts and thousands of seniors like her are setting down in Carmichael, attracted to the area's many senior residences as well as medical services.

Census figures from 2010 show Carmichael had a total population of 61,762. Of that amount, 28,944 were age 45 and over. In the 2000 Census, the total population was 49,742 with 20,798 residents 45+.

There are more than a dozen senior care facilities listed in Carmichael Patch's directory. Carmichael's reputation as being senior friendly is well deserved.

"People come here because they're close to family members, maybe a daughter lives in the area," said Pitts, who is the secretary of the resident council at Atria. "I love living here; there's a lot things to do... and I have physical therapy at Kaiser (Medical Center) and there's a bus that takes us to appoinments, grocery stores and shopping."

Atria in Carmichael has about 235 residents, said Susan Stangroom, Atria Senior Living's regional vice president. The facility is at about 88 percent of capacity but is up from 60 percent occupancy in recent years.

"Because of the size of El Camino, it's a little city unto itself," Stangroom said.

Like many senior residences in Carmichael, residents can choose a managed care program or an independent living one. Atria also offers a memory care program for those with dementia.

"Like any business, we have to constantly reevaluate our senior population and offer cognitive fitness to challenge their brains as well as an exercise program and nutrition and health education," Stangroom said. "Back when the economy was down, (finances) came up as a concern but it's not hitting seniors as much as their families."

Bill Green has lived at Atria for four years. He decided to move in after his wife passed away and he didn't want to live by himself or cook.

"We had lived in Citrus Heights and I liked this general area," Green, 88, said. "My daughter Carolyn Kuhn, who lives in Carmichael, and I looked at about a dozen places... but this seemed to be the best."

Green runs two music programs at Atria for fellow residents, playing CDs with big band music from the 1930's and 40's and classical music.

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Do you have a parent or grandparent at a senior residence in Carmichael? What is your experience?

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Concerned October 26, 2012 at 12:06 AM
w
Concerned October 26, 2012 at 12:08 AM
While the article sounds nice, my mom used to live at this particular community and our experience was not a positive one. While the employees worked hard and were friendly, the office manager was impossible to deal with. We moved her out when the person in charge was let go. The company cares about making money, not about the residents.

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