Fairhaven Blog

Things of interest around Fairhaven.

Creative Visions

Charity Gallardo - Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Over thirty attendees joined us July 25th for the quarterly gathering of professionals who are “looking to exceed their own expectations of what is possible.” Our guests come mostly from senior care and senior related industries. They enjoy the opportunity to network, have lunch and learn at Creative Visions.

Past speakers include Ariel Hubbard of the California Academy for the Healing Arts who helped us to “Formulate our Vision of the New Year”, Barbara Walling from UCI who discussed the “10 Fingers of Innovation”, and July’s guest speaker, Nick Kopinga, a Senior Account Manager at HKA Marketing Communications who showed us how Social Media can be used to increase your company’s visibility and promote brand awareness through blogging, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

“Creative Visions” is a group dedicated to promoting the development of the individual for the betterment of the self and ultimately the improvement of the community through education, self examination and thoughtful reflection. Organized by representatives from Vitas Innovative Healthcare, the Alzheimer’s Association, Salas Homecare and Fairhaven Memorial Park, Creative Visions gathers four times a year at Fairhaven Memorial Park’s Gallery.

The next luncheon will be on Thursday, October 31 at 11:00. We look forward to you joining us!

Graciela Pulido Honored as the July Recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award

Charity Gallardo - Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Graciela Pulido, resident assistant at Rancho Santa Margarita’s Park Terrace senior living facility, is our July recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award.

Family has always been the most important part of Graciela’s life. The Columbian-born mother of two values every minute spent with her loved ones and extends considerable kindness to everyone fortunate enough to be part of her family. However, the Rancho Santa Margarita resident’s family circle goes far beyond her blood relatives and encompasses the many special seniors she cares for at Rancho Santa Margarita’s Park Terrace senior living facility.

As a resident assistant, Graciela cares for a group of 10-15 residents each day, attending to any and all needs that arise from the time they awake in the morning to when they retire at the end of the day. Her job is to help them live their daily lives in the most comfortable and healthy way possible.

While Graciela’s shift ends when the residents’ day is over, her passion for caring is a 24-hour job. “As a caregiver my job is not just to care ‘for’ them, but also to care ‘about’ them,” says Graciela. “They are always on my mind, even when I am not at work.”

This depth of caring is demonstrated every day when she arrives for work with what her colleagues say is a “smile on her face and a bounce in her stride.”

“Graciela shows us that the true essence of caring is not demonstrated through one’s actions alone, but also through their spirit,” says Marla Noel, President of Fairhaven. “She demonstrates the joy and fulfillment that is found in being a caregiver.”

According to Graciela, caring begins with understanding. “It’s about knowing what a person needs by putting yourself in their shoes. Once you understand them, you can truly help them.”

Graciela will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet in the fall at Fairhaven’s Mission Viejo location. The banquet honors a year’s worth of achievements among the local community. Additionally, Fairhaven will make a donation to Vida Abundante Church in her honor.

For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email.

Fairhaven Named Employer of the Year

Charity Gallardo - Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fairhaven is honored to have been recognized as the Employer of the Year by the Orange County Adult Achievement Center (OCAAC). Mike Galliano of OCAAC presented Fairhaven’s Grounds Manager Jay Rodriguez and President Marla Noel with the award, and Jay said a brief word of thanks to the group of over 200 clients, staff and supporters of OCAAC.

Following our presentation, the President of the Board, Bill Harris and a representative from Senator Huff's office presented Joyce Hearn, the OCAAC CEO with an award of Outstanding Achievement. We have known Joyce for a several decades and have immense respect for her dynamic energy and driving resourcefulness in helping this group of individuals who need assistance so desperately. Thank you to everyone at OCAAC, a truly amazing organization.

June Care Award Recipient Pursued Career in Physical Therapy Following a Personal Battle with Cancer

Charity Gallardo - Thursday, June 27, 2013

Jose Hidalgo, Staffing Coordinator at Santa Ana’s Western Medical Center, is our June recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award.

At age 17, Jose found himself entrenched in a two-year battle with abdominal cancer. As he faced the pain and uncertainty of extensive chemotherapy treatments and invasive surgery, he found comfort and strength in the team of dedicated caregivers who surrounded him each day. “They made me feel like part of the family,” he says.

It was here in this time of great adversity that the Fullerton Native decided to pursue a career in the medical field, where he could return the favor. Now 29, Jose is preparing to embark on the next phase of his inspiring journey; a doctoral program in physical therapy.

“Jose’s story is one of passion, selflessness and dedication,” said Marla Noel, president of Fairhaven. “He teaches us that caring for others has the power to change the course of someone’s life.”

The son of Guatemalan immigrants, Jose always understood the importance of seizing opportunity, serving as a role model for his younger sisters and willingly embracing the challenge of balancing work and school. He would become the first member of his family to graduate college, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology from Cal State Fullerton.

A seminal moment in his education occurred when he worked at the University’s Center for Successful Aging. “It was like a gym for the elderly, helping to restore them through rehabilitation and exercise,” Jose says. “This helped me realize my passion for serving the elderly population.” As a result, Jose hopes to pursue a career in assisting the elderly with their physical therapy needs as he embarks on his doctoral study.

As he endures the arduous process of applying to graduate school, Jose serves as the staffing coordinator for the night shift at Western Medical Center, where he assesses the needs of the patient population and ensures that the floor is appropriately staffed with nurses. He also is involved in decedent affairs, engaging with staff and families during the difficult time of a patient’s passing.

If you ask Jose what caring means to him, he always goes back the harrowing two years he spent in the hospital, overwhelmed by the care of others. “Caring is treating a total stranger like family,” he says. “It’s one thing when medicine can help someone heal, but it’s truly inspiring when a caregiver can make someone feel better. It’s the human component of the healing process.”

Jose will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet in the fall at Fairhaven’s Mission Viejo location. The banquet honors a year’s worth of achievements among the local community. Additionally, Fairhaven will make a donation to Manos International, an organization dedicated to educating children in impoverished areas throughout the world.

For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email.

Cheryl Wieland Honored With Care Award For Senior Advocacy

Charity Gallardo - Friday, May 24, 2013

Cheryl Wieland, Case Management Coordinator at Age Well Senior Services, is our May recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award.

For the past 17 years, the Laguna Hills resident has been an advocate for seniors all across South Orange County. While their needs vary widely from home to home, Cheryl’s unwavering commitment to helping them achieve and maintain a healthy and comfortable lifestyle is an inspiration to seniors, colleagues and the many communities she serves.

“Cheryl is leading the charge to ensure that Orange County seniors are well cared for regardless of condition or economic status,” said Marla Noel, president of Fairhaven. “In an era where so many vital programs are being cut, her courage and tenacity is essential to caring for our growing senior population.”

As Case Management Coordinator, Wieland’s job is to ensure that seniors are aligned with the proper resources to sustain a healthy and productive lifestyle in the home. Her responsibilities include making in-home visits, providing educational tools and resources, coordinating meal programs and helping to ensure seniors receive necessary medical attention. Wieland is also involved in writing grants to help local seniors receive important resources such as scooters and ramps to improve their quality of life. According to Wieland, this all boils down to one word: advocacy

“In everything I do, my primary goal is to always be an advocate for seniors,” says Wieland “If something is not right, I do my best to correct it, while also reaching out to other community resources and agencies to encourage them to be advocates as well.”

Wieland immigrated to the United States from Canada in 1984 with extensive experience as a Registered Nurse. After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, a colleague recommended she apply for a position at Age Well. “As a nurse, I had worked quite a bit with the senior community but never exclusively,” says Wieland. “But once I started, I realized I found my niche.”  This was in 1996 and Wieland has been a proud member of the Age Well team ever since.

Today, Wieland remains thankful for both her career and the many gifts she gains from serving the senior population. “They teach me so much about wisdom, perseverance and integrity,” she says. “Their knowledge and enthusiasm is what keeps me going.”

In 2013, the biggest challenge is to maintain this high level of outreach amid drastic budget cuts, which have affected everything from transportation and adult day care to nutrition programs. Wieland remains determined to persevere on the strength of her convictions and the support of her colleagues. “Age Well is like a family,” she says. “We always help each other no matter what the circumstances. We can do it!”

She will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet in the fall at Fairhaven’s Mission Viejo location. For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email.

April’s Care Award Recipient Works To Enrich The Lives Of Seniors

Charity Gallardo - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Martha Meyer, Life Enrichment Director at Del Obispo Terrace Senior Living is our April recipient of Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award.

Martha Meyer’s path to working with seniors was an unexpected one. The San Clemente resident spent 23 years as a restaurant executive before owning a successful women’s fashion boutique in Laguna Beach. In 2000, she and her husband moved to a community with a large elderly population. “I always loved helping the people in the neighborhood,” she recalls. “I would help them with their gardening, pick up their groceries, take them to lunch and organize little get-togethers.”

When Meyer sold the boutique and was considering her next move, a friend told her about a job opening at Del Obispo Terrace Senior Living. “I never really considered it as a career but realized it would give me an opportunity to do something truly meaningful,” she says. This leap of faith proved to be the best move yet, both for her and the 70-plus residents at Del Obispo Terrace.

“Martha’s success as a manager, entrepreneur and community leader helped her to create a one-of-a-kind experience for Del Obispo Terrace’s residents,” said Marla Noel, president of Fairhaven. “Her ability to infuse fun, education and community service into their daily lives is reflective of her unbridled enthusiasm and caring spirit.”

Since taking over as Del Obispo Terrace’s Life Enrichment Director, Meyer has built one of the region’s most unique and extensive social programs, centered on what she calls the “Three E’s:” Engage, Enrich, Empower. She oversees a staggering 190 activities each month, including a Sunshine Club, poetry club, beach exercise program, technology education classes, drama program and even a monthly comedy club, where residents try their hand at stand-up comedy. “You’ll laugh until you cry,” she says.

One of Meyer’s most notable contributions has been the establishment of an extensive community outreach program, where residents have participated in service projects with the Dana Point/San Clemente Animal Shelter, Toys for Tots, The San Diego Zoo’s Adopt a Panda Bear program and The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. “Our residents are always looking for an opportunity to give back,” said Meyer. “This program enables them to be part of something special and affirms their important role in the community.”

With so many responsibilities, Meyer draws her seemingly limitless energy and enthusiasm from what she calls her “adopted family,” the residents of Del Obispo Terrace. “They’ve given me so much more than I have given them,” said Meyer. “The many life lessons they have taught me and their generosity inspires me to reach new heights every day. They are the ones who should win an award.”

Meyer will be honored at Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Awards banquet in the fall at Fairhaven’s Mission Viejo location. The banquet honors a year’s worth of achievements among the local community. Additionally, Fairhaven will make a donation to the American Cancer Society on behalf of Meyer. For more information and to nominate a deserving candidate, click here or send us an email.

Hippity Hoppity, Easter’s on its Way…

Charity Gallardo - Monday, March 11, 2013

Fairhaven Memorial Park will host its 19th annual Easter Sunrise Service, “Everlasting Grace” at 6 a.m. on Sunday, March 31, 2013 in front of the Historic Mausoleum.

Our featured guest speaker, representing the CBMC, is Dan Campbell, who will deliver a message of “Everlasting Grace”. Also participating will be Reverend Chris Singer from St. John Lutheran Church of Orange who will share the message of Easter and Pastor Rick McGee, who will give the Invocation and Benediction.

Set against the backdrop of our newly renovated Historic Mausoleum within Fairhaven’s beautiful park-like setting, the Sunrise Service will be an hour of celebration. The event features music by The Praise Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Helen Weed and comprised of talented instrumentalists from all over Southern California, The Celebration Choir, made up of members from the Calvary Church Choir of Santa Ana and The Orange County Community Praise Choir of Southern California, under the direction Harden Walker. The service will also feature an unforgettable dramatic production and a White Dove release.

Gates open at 5:30 am and transportation is available from the parking area to the service venue. The Service is from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 am. Refreshments will be served and there will be a special visit from the Easter Bunny.

Come join us on this glorious morning to experience the grace that is Easter!



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