By Erin Donoho for the Roseville Press Tribune
With over 30 locations and 50 programs, Eskaton’s influence spreads across the entire Northern California area, reaching seniors in all situations. From the beginning its mission has been to improve the lives of seniors through health care, housing, and social services, and it continues to do this today.
Eskaton is unique for a retirement program in that it is a non-profit. Most retirement programs are not, according to Lola Rain, Director of Digital Media for Eskaton.
Eskaton Village Roseville, one of three Eskaton facilities in Roseville, offers independent and assisted living as well as memory care, reflecting the recent research and emphasis upon Alzheimer’s and dementia in the elderly. There are social activities “every single day” here, according to Rain. “We have art classes…computer classes…games [and] reading clubs.” Rain said. “It’s very much activity-driven.”
This goes for the other Eskaton locations too, of course. But one woman’s presence at the Roseville location makes it unique: Doris Herrilson, the first resident to move into the facility when it opened in 2008, greets each new resident and tells them about what Eskaton offers. She is currently about to hold an “orientation” – one of these one-on-one meetings—for the hundredth move in.
A recent Harvard study shows that not only are people living longer, they’re living longer and healthier. The study, which was just released by the National Bureau of Economic Research in June, compared statistics from 1992 and 2008, and found that life expectancy has increased by 1.3 years, while life with disability has decreased by 0.5 years. “Morbidity,” the study found, “is being compressed into the years just before death.”
But this doesn’t mean organizations like Eskaton are in danger of becoming obsolete. Rather, by offering in-home services, as well as social services both for retirement communities and for people living in their own homes, Eskaton will only continue to help seniors live active, full lives to the very end.
“The Telephone Reassurance Program is for seniors living in their own homes. It is run by volunteers, some of whom have been volunteering for fifteen or twenty years. They make calls to seniors once a week, once a day or whatever the senior desires. These calls may be “anything from a nice… conversation, to just a check in,” said Rain.
Transportation Plus, another social services program, provides transportation for low-income seniors to grocery stores and other places. The cost for each senior is five dollars, with the rest of the costs being paid for by Eskaton Foundation, which fundraises for the organization.
Rain regularly visits all the facilities. “It’s all about the people,” she said. “The residents…just make our day better. Everybody cares. You’re happy to come to work.”
For more information about Eskaton Village Roseville, click here.