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Senior Living Scoop: August 2023

Get the scoop on senior living and happenings at Arete Living! The Scoop is released the first Tuesday of each month by Arete Living, proudly managing Avamere Communities, The Stafford, and Ovation.

Get this month's scoop below!


Featured Message: Avamere at Oak Park Earns Deficiency-Free State Survey

Congratulations to our Avamere at Oak Park team for earning a deficiency-free survey!

The survey is an on-site inspection conducted by the Department of Human Services based on guidelines outlined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It examines resident quality of care and quality of life, dietary services, fire safety, and environmental services. The examination includes interviews with residents, residents’ family members, and employees.

Avamere at Oak Park’s Executive Director Debbie Vick shared that believing in their systems, following through, and working together towards the same outcomes contributed to earning a top score.

“It truly takes a team to run a building,” Debbie stated. “I thank my team every day for what they do.”


Senior Living Scoop

Here’s your senior living knowledge scoop of the month!

Retirement is a time to savor life’s joys, and managing finances wisely is crucial to make the most of your retirement. Here are five budgeting tips to help retirees achieve financial peace of mind while enjoying their well-deserved retirement years.


Chelsea Crouch Named Part of 30 Under 35

At just 30 years old, Chelsea Crouch has already made a significant impact on the senior living industry in Wenatchee Valley. As the Business Office Manager at Avamere at Wenatchee, her dedication and passion for geriatric care have not only earned her recognition as one of the 30 under 35 by Wenatchee World Business but also makes her a valuable advocate for the community she serves.

Get to know Chelsea and how she earned this incredible recognition.


The Stafford Earns Hosts Summer Parties on the Patio

The Stafford, boutique retirement living in Lake Oswego, Oregon, is hosting Parties on the Patio through the summer! Their past events include a Dixieland Trio featuring Milneburg Jazz Band, Summer Grooves with the Karen Carpenter Tribute Band, and they have two exciting events coming up in August!

Southern Nights

August 10, 2023 from 5:30-7 p.m.

Join The Stafford for a country night on the patio featuring Wayne Richards and Southern Nights! Enjoy a chef-prepared meal to the sounds of country music.

Hawaiian Night

August 24, 2023 from 5:30-7 p.m.

Enjoy a night on The Stafford’s patio featuring Dom Franco and fire dancers! A chef-prepared meal will be served.

See all details on Facebook by clicking below. RSVP today to enjoy these summer Parties on the Patio!


Ovation Sienna Hills Hosts Pool Party

Residents, employees, and friends of Ovation Sienna Hills enjoyed a summer pool party! Complete with a BBQ, live music, outdoor games, swimming, and a 360 photo booth, the party was a massive success.

This event on Friday, July 14 was inspired by our three sales team members, Hector Torres, Jaden AhQuin, and Kolter Thode. About 150 people attended this summertime activity at Ovation.

Check out these fun highlights from the summer pool party!


Joy St. Claire Retires After 15 Years

By Mary Kleffner, Director of Sales and Outreach, Avamere at Newberg

Ask anybody who works with Joy St. Claire and without hesitation, they’ll tell you she is the best – and that they never want to let her go!

Which makes it even harder to say goodbye.

After a stellar 15 years with Avamere at Newberg, Joy has decided to toss in the chef’s hat and cook for her precious grandkids instead.

Read the full article on Avamere at Newberg’s blog!


What's Happening in Our Communities

Here's what's happening in our senior living communities!

Avamere at Newberg residents got creative! Check out their beautiful flower artwork.

Avamere at Sherwood's Executive Director Jennifer Scruggs and Director of Sales and Outreach Deb Burns had fun at the Robinhood Festival!

Avamere at Cascadia Village residents had fun at Timberline Lodge!

Stafford resident Dale Cleland put on a private clarinet concert for fellow residents.

Congrats to Jayde Thomas and Gold Talley for being our Avamere at Bethany Employees of the Month!


Life Enhanced Spotlight

By Beth VanElswyk, Director of Sales and Outreach, Suzanne Elise

Rick Clark has been with Suzanne Elise for over 11 years, starting as a dietary aide and now an amazing Cook!

Rick is someone you can count on to show up and go above and beyond to ensure our community members are fed well. From salmon to pasta, soups, and tasty desserts, Rick is someone that quietly works behind the scenes but has a huge impact of positivity on our community. He is an all-around cool dude!


Pets of Arete Living

Hi, I’m Laika!

Pet parent: Kristina Hampton, Business Office Manager, Avamere at Sherwood

I adopted 18-month-old Laika in May 2016 from a shelter in Vancouver. She is part Australian cattle dog and who knows what else.

"Princess" captured my heart from her photo posted on Petfinder. I had been searching for a bigger dog to add to our family, and I just couldn't get her out of my mind. I waited two WHOLE weeks before I finally had to go meet her. The staff set us up in a room and brought her in. It was definitely love at first lick! She immediately ran up and gave me kisses and then bestowed the same on the rest of my family. There was no way I was leaving that day without her.

My family and I are all geeks, so she was named after Laika, the Soviet dog who went into space on Sputnik 2 in 1957. The name means barker, and is apt for my girl. She has been the best dog since the day I brought her home. Laika has seen me through some really tough times in my life and been by my side through a lot of ups and downs over the past seven years.

You may see her in my office in Sherwood if you come visit. She is such a good girl and will just lay in my doorway to greet staff, residents, and families who come by.

Hello, I’m Flynn!

Pet parent: Jenny Gooldy, Life Enrichment Director

Our resident favorite's visitor Flynn decided to take a break after visiting Avamere at Seaside’s memory care neighborhood. When he is not playing fetch, supervising Bingo, and his personal favorite activity of going door to door for pats and hugs, Flynn loves to go to the beach and check out all the adventures to be had.

Flynn is a 10-year-old Irish Setter and has travelled with his owner to visit many assisted living and memory care communities over the years. He loves belly rubs and getting a "puppicino" as a treat for a good day's work.

Hey, We’re Sparkles and Precious!

Sparkles, a dachshund, is our newest pet resident at Suzanne Elise that loves our Director of Sales and Outreach Beth VanElswyk and enjoys bringing smiles to residents.

Precious in puzzletown has been a long-standing member of our welcome committee!

We also have local deer that love to visit us.

My name is Maggie!

Pet parent: Trina Fox, Executive Director, The Arbor at Avamere Court

Trina loves to bring in her dog Maggie to spend time with residents at The Arbor at Avamere Court in Keizer, Oregon. They all love it when Maggie is here! Maggie is also a very good sales dog with our Director of Sales and Outreach Elisabeth Gifford – she seals the deal!


Livia's Parent Corner

Jennifer Gooldy, Life Enrichment Director, Avamere at Seaside

What brings me joy? As a mom I am so blessed to be able, when life is busy, to know that I get to see my son Damien not just at home but at work as well. I love that we can bring our teamwork from home to Avamere.

Damien grew up seeing me at work and realized he wanted to be part of the Avamere family too. He jumped in and has flourished in the job which makes me so proud of the young man he is. It motivates me as well. To have this in common just brings us closer together all the time.

Kellee Duffy, Life Enrichment Director, Avamere at Bethany Arbor

My wife Michelle and I met as co-workers in 2009 in Richland, Washington. We married in 2013 in our backyard with close friends and family, when same sex marriage finally became legal. We are very proud to be the eighth couple to receive our marriage license in Washington State.

We moved to Oregon in 2017 to help open an assisted living and memory care community. I originally started in the senior living communities as a cook. I have 30+ years' experience cooking in restaurants and senior communities (filling everyone with nourishment is one of my love languages). I decided to step from behind the scenes and work side by side with residents and their family members, to shower them with all the love, patience, kindness, and compassion. It was a very nice change that was much needed for our family.

Our 17-year-old son is active in baseball, and we all enjoy fishing and family time together. We also enjoy serving our community. During the year we collect blankets, warm clothing, non-perishable food, tarps, and anything else we think might help the hardship of our local homeless population and distribute these in the colder months. Our family is completed with a 19-year-old cat named Jack and our two dogs, Pitbull lab mixes 10-year-old father Hobbs and his 8-year-old daughter Daisy.


What We're Celebrating in August

Here's what we're honoring and celebrating this month. Follow Arete Living on social media to see how we're recognizing these moments!

Purple Heart Day, August 7

On Purple Heart Day, we remember and honor the men and women who bravely represented our country. Those decorated with the Purple Heart have greatly sacrificed themselves while in the line of duty, often resulting in wounds or the ultimate sacrifice of life. We honor our brave veterans!

Senior Citizens Day, August 21

We love to celebrate our residents, and Senior Citizens Day is another reason to honor them and the good they bring to this world. Take a moment to discover or share one of their stories today!


Share Your Experience

Your experience matters! Review on Arete Living or any of our communities online. Search your local senior living community on Google or review Arete Living using the links below.


Find Senior Living Near You

Arete Living manages 26 senior living communities. Find a place for you or your loved one to call home!

You could be featured in The Scoop! Share your furry friends, show off your family, recognize an employee, share good news, and more! Email

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