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Home&Real Estate Home Front by Carol Blitzer or seniors who want to “love where you live,” Avenidas is offering its sixth annual housing conference on that theme on Saturday, March 23, at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto. More than 200 are expected to attend. Participants may choose one of three tracks: for people who have decided to sell their homes and move; for homeowners who want to stay in their homes; and for those who want to explore all their options. Each track offers three workshops aimed at the targeted population. Peggy Simon and Kaye Sharbrough will be co-leading a workshop for those who just want to know what’s out there. Called “Basic Training for Savvy Explorers,” their segment will cover the concepts of aging in place, independent living, continuing care retirement communities and assisted living. Simon, an information and assistance specialist in social work services at Avenidas, Palo Alto’s senior center and a co-sponsor of the event, describes her role as consulting with families to let them know what resources are out there. She visits and observes local places, but makes no recommendations. Sharbrough, a former teacher and now senior housing referral specialist, operates Senior Seasons, which works with families to make decisions about senior housing. Through her agency, she constantly updates Avenidas’ “Where to Live: A Housing Guide for Older Adults” so she knows the latest rates as well as reputations and care levels. “Every time one of us goes in and has an interaction, we make notes,” Sharbrough said. They then use that data to help families make decisions. Sometimes a family needs more flexibility, she said, and she’ll know the policies on everything from memory issues to smoking or whether or not they can keep their pets. F DESIGN TRENDS ... A free workshop on “Trends in Design and Remodeling” will be held at the Harrell Remodeling Design Center, 1954 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 23. A light meal will be served. Information: or 650230-2900 BACKYARD COMPOST ... A master composter will lead a free “Backyard Compost Workshop” from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at Common Ground, 599 College Ave., Palo Alto. A partnership between Common Ground and the City of Palo Alto Zero Waste, the workshop aims to show people how to turn food and yard waste into a soil amendment or mulch that will help suppress weeds, protect the soil and conserve water. Information: 650-493-6072 or SOAP-MAKING ... Ilona Loeber, who teaches arts and crafts classes for adults and children, will offer a workshop on “Cold Process Soap-Making” from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, at the FabMo workshop center, 2423 Old Middlefield Way, Suite F, Mountain View. The class is limited to 15 people who must be 18 or older. Expect to go home with a complete bar of soap that will need to cure for two to five weeks, then cut. Cost is $25. Information: SEASONAL CAMELLIAS ... Horticulturist Elaine Sedlack, who has been developing and caring for the Asian camellia collection at the U.C. Botanical Garden since 1984, will present a slide program for the San Francisco Peninsula Camellia Society at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 25. The program will deal with change over the seasons and will include rhododendrons as well. The group meets at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1435 Madison Ave., Redwood City. Information: FREE ENERGY AUDIT ... Acterra offers a free service, Green@Home HouseCalls, where trained volunteers will visit your home and perform an energy assessment. The visit includes installing a retractable clothesline, three compact fluorescent bulbs and three low-flow faucet aerators and one showerhead; making suggestions for reducing phantom power usage; and adjusting water-heater and refrigerator temperatures. Information: N Veronica Weber Send notices of news and events related to real estate, interior design, home improvement and gardening to Home Front, Palo Alto Weekly, P.O. Box 1610, Palo Alto, CA 94302, or email cblitzer@paweekly. com. Deadline is one week before publication. One of the tools she uses is a workbook that the family fills out, allowing for a “neutral discussion ... that really helps facilitate a conversation,” she said. The workbook has a checklist including the possible advantages of a senior community. Items on the list range from freedom from responsibilities and chores related to maintaining a home and garden and being closer to family members to avoiding the sense of isolation and loneliness that can lead to depression and illness. Under location, the booklet lets people check that they’d like to be close to children/family, public transportation, church, doctors or parks and paths. Sharbrough started her agency when her own mother was planning to move from Southern California to this area. She quickly discovered how challenging it was to get up-to-date information on senior housing. Sharbrough sees this workshop as a quick survey course, an overview of senior housing, from size of facility (the “f” word in senior housing — the preferred word is “community,” she said) to pricing on buy-ins or rentals. “We talk about traditional senior housing, the village concept, co-housing,” Simon added. “We can pool our resources as we age,” she said, explaining that the original Beacon Hill Village, which served as a model for Avenidas Village, was a manageable, small geographic area where seniors could share laundry, cooking or rides to medical appointments. Avenidas Village extends from Redwood City to Los Altos, she added. “Avenidas is a great resource for housing and seniors,” Simon said. “The conference is one tool we have to let the community know about housing options.” Another workshop in the “exploring options” track concerns “Financial Planning for CCRCs,” where Esther Szabo, of KK Wealth Advisors will talk about affordable options. A quick rule of thumb for determining affordability, Sharbrough said, is people should have 1.5 to 2 times the entry fee in assets as OPEN HOME GUIDE 62 Also online at well as 1.5 to 2 times the monthly fee in income. The one area of senior housing that is not covered in the conference is subsidized housing, Simon said, but periodic events are offered at Avenidas dealing with low-income housing. The conference is co-sponsored by Nancy Goldcamp, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker, Palo Alto, and the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center. N Associate Editor Carol Blitzer can be emailed at cblitzer@ (continued on page 43) Where to live? Seniors face choices of staying where they are or finding a new community Kaye Sharbrough, left, a senior housing referral specialist with Senior Seasons, and Peggy Simon, an information and assistance specialist, social work services, with Avenidas, will be speaking at the senior housing conference on March 23. 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Palo Alto Weekly 03.22.2013 - Section 2

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