On one of the final sunny days of fall, more than 20 seniors relaxed in a courtyard surrounded by flowers, grass and a high bubbling fountain — all while taking in classic drinks and a live jazz band that harkened back to an era worth remembering.
The new Oakmont Senior Living site in Roseville says “living” is the operative word in its title: The family-owned business is looking to combine the lively energy of a resort with the warm vibrations of a home for residents as they glide through their golden years.
Oakmont’s new stately facility on Secret Ravine Parkway opened just over a month ago. Prospective residents walking through the doors were greeted by fresh bouquets of flowers, a cozy café and clean, fashionable spaces.
“I think when families first come in to look around, they like that we have the feel of a large, custom home,” said Crystal Dillard, senior marketing director. “The building has a wide-open concept with bright, natural light. It feels comfy. I think residents realize that Bill and Cindy (Gallahar) pay close attention to all of the details, and they don’t cut any corners.”
The Gallahar family has been searching for innovations within the senior living industry since 1997. The recent unveiling of their Roseville site shows just how far they’ve come in merging daily comfort with function and necessity. In addition to its refined central courtyard, Oakmont of Roseville also boasts a meditative library; multiple fitness centers for working out, Yoga and Tai Chi; a beauty and barber shop for hairstyling, massages, facials and old-fashioned shaves; a rehab room for strength training, flexibility and conditioning; and a full-on movie theater, complete with a big screen, cushioned chairs and portraits of Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn.
The building also has a long, private dining room that opens onto its courtyard for residents having private celebrations or get-togethers. Two residents who recently utilized the space for a party were Robert and Celeste Loebs, who celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary there.
“It was very nice, and (Oakmont) did a wonderful job,” Celeste Loebs recalled. “We had our family here, and the staff was extremely accommodating. We had recently moved in, and they presented us with champagne and wine — so, we felt very welcome here.”
On an average night, residents converge on Oakmont’s sit-down restaurant. The executive chef behind the pans and flames is Rina Younan, who recently won a national cooking competition on Food Network’s television show “Chef Wanted.” Younan told the Press Tribune she likes the communal environment the restaurant enjoys, especially in the sense that she’s never seen a resident sitting alone at a table.
“People gather around and enjoy each other’s company,” Younan said. “That’s turned out to be something I like about it, though what originally interested me is that the place is geared toward the culinary arts. I have a passion for cooking fresh and from-scratch items, and creating menus around healthy food, and Oakmont has that same passion. I came from the world of fine dining, but it really hasn’t been a change.”
Younan added, “I think our residents appreciate what we do, and that they can order the kind of food they deserve.”
Courtney Siegel, Oakmont of Roseville’s executive director, is also glad to see how sociable incoming residents have been. Oakmont offers an evening happy hour every Friday, and Siegel and her employees like watching residents swirl drinks, chat and unwind.
“It’s very generational to have cocktails before dinner,” Siegel observed. “It’s the same kind of vibe we see at the dinners, where it becomes an event where everyone is having a nice conversation.”
While Oakmont often has an easygoing, even festive, setting, Siegel and her team concentrate hard on keeping quality of life high in the second wing of the building, which is devoted to memory-impaired residents. That section has its own specialized dining and activity programs, along with an aviary and its own gathering areas and picturesque outdoor courtyard. Oakmont’s staff has worked with residents and their families to create intricate, hand-crafted shadow boxes outside of each resident’s room, filled with personal crafts and photos meant to work as memory beacons.
“A lot of our residents aren’t just thinking about today when they move in — they are looking out toward the future,” Siegel observed. “I think they’re picking us because we have assisted living, memory care, diabetic services and nurses working on-site.”
Oakmont’s Roseville location includes a doctor’s office, a nurse’s office and an on-site lab for blood work. These medical spots have a warm, earthy tone, continuing to showcase the same high ceilings and crown molding residents find in their spacious apartments and common areas. Siegel said the Gallahars’ philosophy is for the residents to feel like every corner of the site is an extended part of their personal house.
“Oakmont is their true home,” Siegel said. “We know we come to work in their home, and we want the atmosphere to be more than family-like — we want it to stir energy and exuberance for life.”