Fiesta 2021!

Our residents celebrated “Old Spanish Days” Fiesta at the beginning of August, as is Santa Barbara’s tradition!

It started with a craft; making tissue paper flowers. These traditional beauties turned out big and bold this year (see photo)!

The celebration continued with a Mexican-style lunch, served outside. Our chefs whipped up scrumptious chicken enchiladas with all the fixings, and creamy flan for dessert!

We enjoyed this meal in the good company of fellow residents, in the beauty of nature! Looking forward to next year already!

Independence Day BBQ!

Our residents had a fantastic time celebrating Independence Day in one of our beautiful courtyards! Hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, watermelon- the works! And topped off with ice cream bars for dessert. We could not have asked for lovelier weather, either! Here are some photos from this delightful event.

Wood Glen Hall History 101

Want a slice of Santa Barbara history? Just take a look at Wood Glen Hall!

Here is the story of this wonderful place, as told by Kellam de Forest:

The story of Wood Glen Hall can be traced back to the vision of Mrs. Aileen Barnes Wood and her husband Adrian (Buddy) Wood.

After the end of World War II, the need to provide for the growing population of senior citizens became evident. Having the elderly live with their children and grandchildren was becoming less feasible as the children moved away to obtain employment. Housing for seniors had, became more expensive.  At a national conference on the problems of the aging, in 1951, the late California governor Earl Warren stated that the goal was “to see that our senior citizens may live through their later years in dignity, security and usefulness.”

Responding to this call, the Woods spent three years studying ways they might help.  They decided after consulting with gerontologists to establish a new type of facility here in Santa Barbara where able-bodied seniors could reside comfortably at reasonable cost.  Preference would be given to Santa Barbara County residents “forced by circumstances to live in homes of children or grandchildren.” It would be non-sectarian and with no nursing care provided. 

By April 1955 a suitable site was found at the intersection of Alamar and Foothill Road.  Mr. Wood purchased the five acres out of his own pocket for $36,000.  The not for profit Wood Glen Corporation was not incorporated until November.  The property had been part of Willowbrook Farm, a dairy farm that extended from Alamar to Laurel Canyon Road and north into the mountains.  The farm dates back to before 1924.  Milk, butter and eggs were purchased directly from the Joe Corberlti family, owners of the farm.  It ceased operation during Word War II. The huge cow barn and milking sheds were landmarks on Foothill Road until their demolition. 

In September of 1955 a San Francisco architectural firm, Stone, Mulloy, Marraccini, and Paterson, which specialized in hospitals was retained to design a building containing thirty single rooms and ten doubles.  Plans for the one story Spanish Revival with modern touches went to the Planning Commission in April 15, 1956.  Construction commenced in September.  The facility was completed by October 1957. 

Features included shade trees, badminton court shuffleboard and a horseshoe court. A wood working shop and arts and crafts room were included. The official dedication was November 3, 1957.

Fifty residents could be housed.  There were 10 double rooms with full baths and 30 single rooms with half baths with bathing facilities close by. /there was a large dinning room that doubled as an entertainment hall.  There even was a small stage at the north end. The residents were not charged rent, but only for the cost of operation, maintenance and food, which was estimated to be from $150 to $175 a month.

Changes have occurred since 1957.  Twenty-three rooms were added to the north end of the facility in 1961.  Half baths were converted to full baths with the addition of shower stalls. The biggest change was the gradual evolution from residential to assisted living.  By the late 1970s it was becoming apparent that the institutionalized setting of nursing homes was no longer acceptable for most aging seniors and their families. As advances in medicine and introduction of the wheeled walker allowed seniors to age in place, many were balking at the idea of being placed in a nursing home.

Wood Glen Hall after nearly 64 years continues to reflect the vision of its founders Aileen and Adrian Wood in providing “elderly men and women with an ideal, non-institutional home at minimum cost.”  Its founders were on the forefront of carrying out Governor Warren’s goals for senior citizens both locally and in the state.

Summertime….We Couldn’t Wait!

The Root Beer Float is undeniably an American summertime tradition. It’s not officially summer yet, but here at Wood Glen Hall we were anxious to get outside and enjoy this classic beverage. Thankfully, we Santa Barbarans have the luxury of enjoying sunny days nearly year-round!

Classic Car Parade

Members of the Antique Automobile Club of America and Santa Barbara Cars & Coffee brought antique and classic cars to Wood Glen Hall in celebration of Father’s Day weekend. Our residents enjoyed looking at the cars from many different eras, including a military Command Car that was reportedly built for General George Patton.

Bountiful Birthdays!

Each month, we designate one special Sunday meal to celebrate all of our residents who have birthdays during that month. It’s a great chance for residents to get to know one another better, while enjoying a nice meal including sparkling cider and birthday cake.

Valentine’s Day Tea!

Our residents enjoyed sipping herbal and Earl Grey teas from unique, fine china cups, alongside tea sandwiches and heart-shaped cookies. And of course there was chocolate…what would Valentine’s Day be without it? We even had a surprise visit from kind neighbors who just wanted to share the love (and cards with candy) on this special day!

Toy Train Show

Trains trigger many memories!

Members of the Coast Toy Train Club devoted hours to setting up an intricate display of toy trains for our residents’ enjoyment! The trains exhibited included models of various gauges and ages. We got to see the trains in action, running through villages of tiny, realistic buildings.

The members also gave a presentation explaining each train in the display. Our residents shared their own interesting personal experiences riding trains or about family members who worked on the railroad.

Preparing for Assisted-Living

Tips on Preparing for Long-Term Care in an Assisted-Living or Nursing Home

None of us like to think about the possibility of not being able to live on our own someday. But almost 70 percent of us will need some level of long-term care in our golden years, and making preparations before you actually need it can help you navigate the process more smoothly if that day comes.

A well-dressed elderly woman with gray hair

Premiums for long-term care have shot up 44.5 percent in recent years, and while Medicare is invaluable for many seniors, it won’t help much if you or a loved one needs to live in an assisted-living or nursing home. Here are some tips for planning and paying for this type of long-term care.

Establish your decision making, and stay open to change with your needs.

One of the first things you should do is get your advanced care wishes in order. Establishing an advanced directive and power of attorney are paramount in ensuring your safety and well-being, as they will appoint someone you trust to make medical and financial decisions in the case that you cannot. These documents are often confused with—but are different from—a living will. A living will is also an essential legal document, and it deals with desired quality life, approved treatments, and other medical matters. An advanced directive and power of attorney can never contradict your living will; rather, they are in place to fill in any gaps not covered by the living will. All of these documents should be reviewed frequently and kept up to date.

None of us can predict the future, which is why it’s important for us to stay open-minded when it comes to our options. The better prepared you are for different long-term care options, the more flexibility you will have in your golden years. Maybe you’ll age in place in the home you made all your family memories in. Maybe you’ll only need minimal home care to achieve a top-notch quality of life. Or maybe you’ll begin your retirement years in your home and eventually need to bring in home health aides, then move to a retirement community, then to a nursing home. Thorough plans and an open mind will better your chances of enjoying life—however it progresses.

Along with getting your affairs in order, it’s important to know how you’re going to pay for an assisted-living or nursing home if the day comes. There are a number of ways to save and pay for care over time, such as LTC insurance, a retirement fund, a health savings account, personal savings, etc. But if you’re a little late to the game or find yourself in a tough situation, you may need to look at other options:

Consider a reverse mortgage or selling your life insurance.

A reverse mortgage is basically a loan through which you receive a monthly payment based on a percentage of home equity you’ve accumulated, rather than paying a monthly mortgage. You must be a homeowner 62 or older to qualify, and your home must meet FHA property standards and flood requirements, among other factors. Even though it can get you cash for long-term care, do your research and weigh the pros and cons before diving into a reverse mortgage.

Another viable option for getting cash for long-term care is to “surrender” your life insurance policy—or in other words, sell it for a cash payout, which essentially means you are relinquishing ownership and death benefits to your insurance provider. Typically, your provider will cut you a check for the full amount of cash you’ve accumulated. However, you want to be careful if you plan on using Medicaid for long-term care, because your cash payout from your life insurance can count as an asset, which would affect your Medicaid eligibility.

Starting to plan now for possible long-term care in the future can end up saving you and your family a lot of money and stress. Establish your living will, advanced directive, and power of attorney. Plan thoughtfully and stay open-minded as you age. Look into ways to start saving now for long-term care, and if you need immediate cash, consider a reverse mortgage or selling your life insurance.

Written by Hazel Bridges

We invite you to see why Wood Glen Hall is so special.
Contact us today to schedule a visit.