SSI "Friendly Community."
Pet Friendly Community."
Ages 60+ (unless granted an exception)
I am a case manager for a person in residence. I'm at the facility regularly as it is close by my home. The "positives" I have seen through a very critical eye (!) are extremely great and the "negatives" I have found are relatively minor if I am looking at a long-term picture for "my person."
If you want me to give you one word that describes this place it would have to be "heart."
Within the "class" of SSI facilities that accept low-income people, I would give this place very high marks! It's an older building that seems well maintained. Just needs a modernizing face lift.
Staff here care and take very good care of people here on the side I am familiar with, which is the "come and go" side vs. memory care. I am not familiar with the memory care side, other than to say that in the seven years that Park Ventura has been around, there seems to not be any major issues with either side. Residents consider the staff their family, or friends, as many have been "abandoned" by family and friends on the outside world.
On Property Amenities: Daily movies, library, billiards, tv lounge, BINGO, gym, Activities Director, Cathy, always creates a good time for anyone wanting to come "play" or "work out." Underground parking - free. There is also a salon for haircuts, barbering, manicures, etc. (AND- you can also go off property nearby for these services.)
Off property: They offer trips. Local walking or short bus distance: Library, new Westfield Mall, many coffee places, Brothers BBQ just across the side street, Denny's restaurant, several drug stores, Trader Joe's, banks (Wells Fargo, Chase, CitiBank). It's on a bus line - stops are about a block away. Everything is "flat level" walking or rolling distance around here.
Rooms: Vary in quality at this time, subject to upgrades. Residents can decorate as they wish, working with the Administrator. Rooms usually have a balcony or patio. Some people have roommates (cheaper) and others have private rooms. Each room has its own shower-stall bathroom. Room-size is about 10' x 30'. As you enter, the sliding closet doors are on the "entrance hallway." No cooking in the room, but you can bring in a small fridge.
Medications: Everything is handled through the Meds Room - even if you just want to keep aspirin, etc., on you, you have to get special permission.
Meals: Many people stay because the food is very good here. Three meals a day: 7am, noon, and 4:30, then an evening snack at 7pm. Ice cream nights are Mon. and Fri. My person is putting on pounds here as there seems to always be plenty of food!
Visiting Docs, Psychiatrist, etc. Whoever you want coming in would have a "contract" with the facility allowing for them to treat on property. Residents can see whoever they want. Suggest "shopping around" if you don't have your personal favorite now, vs. settling for who the facility may refer as a default. Not that the defaults are bad or good, just that you have "options."
Easily within a mile or two, Park Ventura can give you or your person a ride to medical, dental, podiatry, audiologist, psychiatrist, chiropractic, and even surgical consults. Closest major hospital would probably be Northridge (Dignity Healthcare).
Phones, TV, Internet: Residents can have a landline, or cell. TV is Time Warner, or Direct TV. Internet would be through Time Warner, ATT (which personally I do not recommend ATT for anyone on Ventura Blvd as service seems to be inconsistent) or use your hotspot on your cell smart phone. The facility does not have an add-on for Internet and there are presently no Internet common usage area.
This is definitely a come-and-go place for the open unlocked side. People here still live very active lives, as much as possible.
What I haven't seen - "this is good news":
"Carelessness" - I have NOT seen any slip ups here. The place is very clean! I have not seen any weird stuff sitting around in odd places to trip over, etc. The place is picked up and well looked after. Compared to where my person lived before (more expensive), this place is a real gem!
"Grumblers" - If you visit a few assisted living places, you will find "the grumblers"...the people that no matter what they are committed to being victims and unhappy. I've met only two at PV and they moved out. Most people here are VERY happy.
Recommendation: Where ever you go, or you put your person - please keep involved, or keep your family and friends involved. No matter how great the place, it is always better to have a Healthcare Directive and Power of Attorney for Healthcare in place. You never know when you will need it. Medications can interfere with focused sound judgement. It's always better, I think, to have "checks and balances" - have someone trained on "what you want," and "how to enforce your wishes" in case you need it.
Some things to consider....
While the care team side seems great to certainly satisfactory, the Admin side is "overwhelmed" and "congested." The focal point is the front desk sign in area and seems to be a magnet for "everyone." The front desk person is juggling calls, intercom, inbound / outbound visitors, medical professionals, residents wanting mail or banking, asking questions, staff: med room and maintenance, housekeeping and aides... The Administrator is off-property at other meetings often until late morning. If you or your person are "high needs," this may be something to think about. If you or your person have the random question here or there and are only signing in or out, or checking on mail this "congestion" will probably easily be taken in stride. For me, as a case manager, I try to time my needs and calls after 2pm, as much as possible, and find it is just way easier to get more done faster.
Slow: Communications can be slow unless you are a bit of a "squeaky wheel." But PLEASE be kind - they all seem to be doing the very best they can most days - and smiling through the craziness.
Bottom line: At this point, I don't need to be in assisted living. But if I did, I would apply here. I really like Park Ventura. And probably most important, from even all the digging and poking around I have done on and off property, I can tell you I really trust the staff here, especially Amanda, the Asst Administrator, Lupe (amazing Lupe on front desk in the mornings), Jorde, and Jessica in the Meds Room. Amanda runs a tight ship from what I can see. Staff respects her, and being around this place is like watching a "symphony in action" playing in "Allegretto." (various "performers" coming in and out with immediate requests and needing fast results)