Community Voices

Update: 104-year-old successfully placed in a board & care

Avis Curriston

Avis Curriston and her son Kevin

Unable to keep Avis Curriston at Sunnycrest Senior Living, due to an overnight increase in her Service Care Level going from $500 a month to $2200, her family looked at renting another apartment in their complex, and providing the care themselves. But Arnel Property Management at Cinnamon Ridge would not consider the incomes of her son and his partner, because they already were on another lease. Avis and her daughter’s incomes were just social security, and not enough income to qualify. The management asked for a guarantor on the lease with a monthly income of 5 times the rent, or $12,000.

Heather Yost, former Executive Director of Sunnycrest, (who left a year ago), saw the January 1st article in the Fullerton Observer – “104-year-old assisted living resident given the heave-ho.” She called Avis’s son to ask if there was anything she could do, if the family had the resources they needed.

The former Marketing Director at Sunnycrest, Ryan Ziegenbusch, who also left, has been running a referral service for seniors looking for facilities and board and cares. He made a couple of phone calls, called in a favor, and found her a lovely board in care in Yorba Linda.

It’s a newly-refinished private home near the Nixon Library. It sparkles, and is airy and spotlessly clean! There is a house manager and live-in caregiver with nursing training. They welcomed her on Sunday, January 14 with breakfast when she arrived at 10am. Acacia Hospice had a hospital bed waiting for Avis, and their duty nurse visited her the afternoon of her arrival. Avis’s furniture was moved out of Sunnycrest a couple of days later and with her deceased husband’s chest of drawers is now in her room with her.

Ryan Ziegenbusch says that with rising costs, inflation, and the COVID pandemic mostly behind us, upmarket property management groups running assisted livings in Southern California are taking another look at their revenue streams. Stephanie Bates, resident manager at Arnel’s Cinnamon Ridge said much the same thing.

The California COVID Rent Relief program helped some, (including Avis Curriston), weather the pandemic when their income sources were affected, but now property companies were starting to evict tenants who paid up past-due rental amounts, but couldn’t keep current, not having found new income sources. It’s particularly a problem for the vulnerable elderly. Getting those that qualify into Medi-Cal paid skilled nursing facilities takes time, which many do not have. Families now are increasingly put to their own devices to find homes for their aging parents.

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