Staying in paradise is possible with Lifelong Laguna

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Boomers don’t like to admit they’re getting older. Who does? But sooner or later, we realize that conversations in restaurants are harder to hear. Years of basketball or golf have done a number on our knees, making it more challenging to hike or bike. Doctor appointments proliferate: eyes, ears, heart, joints and teeth need more attention than ever before.

And eventually, horrors, we find that our loved ones are urging us to move to places that they believe are safer environments for us. We waver, understanding that we’ve relied too much on them for help.

Volunteer Robert Isaac (left), Charley the dog and Lifelong Laguna enrolled Ron Russell. Photo courtesy of Lifelong Laguna

We do not want to give up our pickleball bats or tennis racquets, sure. But most of all, we don’t want to leave our homes in paradise, aka Laguna Beach.

Susi Q’s Lifelong Laguna has developed to help locals continue living in their homes comfortably and safely for as long as possible and stay connected to the community. 

With that goal in mind, Rickie Redman, director of Lifelong Laguna/Aging in Place services for the Susi Q, will lead a workshop on “Staying in Paradise” on Tuesday, July 16, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Susi Q Center, 380 Third Street.

“We visit potential enrollees in their homes to assess how we can best help them. Sometimes we spot simple fixes for greater safety, such as making negotiating steep stairs a little easier, for example,” Redman said. “Planning early just makes sense, for your loved ones’ peace of mind as much as your own.”

Lifelong Laguna also links enrollees with organizations that address the social, mental, and physical challenges of aging.

“But Lifelong Laguna is so much more than that,” Redman emphasized. “Our volunteers help support partners and adult kids by assisting with simple tasks, like picking up medications, or alleviating loneliness by accompanying a Lifelong Laguna enrollee on a stroll to the beach.”

Lifelong Laguna enrollee Ron Russell can’t drive anymore because of his health. His biggest loss was being unable to take his dog to the park, where they both enjoyed being outdoors and socializing. Enter Robert Isaac. “Taking them to the dog park is so simple and it has had a huge impact on Ron. It was part of his routine, and now he’s getting it back,” said Issac.

Activities and programs at the Susi Q also help enrollees enjoy life to the fullest.

“Susi Q isn’t a silo for seniors. All ages are welcome to attend our events. It’s not the stodgy senior center of old,” Redman said. “We want our older population to continue to feel a part of our vibrant community.”

Attendees of the “Staying in Paradise” workshop will leave empowered with practical tools to enable them to stay in their homes for the long term. To attend the workshop, learn more about Susi Q’s aging in place program, or enroll in Lifelong Laguna, call Rickie Redman at 949-715-8107 or email her at [email protected].

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