Monday, October 24, 2011


ESKATON LAUNCHES ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORK. Nearly 100 Eskaton residents are wired into the organization’s new social networking site. The complimentary “eLiving” online platform allows these early adopters to connect with one another and with family members, as well as post profiles and photos, keep track of medications, and access the community’s dining and activity calendars.

The resident portal both responds to the social interests of Eskaton’s increasingly computer-savvy population and anticipates the inherent efficiencies that digital communication brings to older adult communities. The eLiving network is slated this coming year to connect all 2,700 residents of Eskaton’s 30 communities. Click to learn more:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


A “PUPPET MASTER” GETS EXPOSED. Something like 10,000 aging services professionals from across the globe are gathering in Washington, D.C. this week at LeadingAge’s annual conference. For about five minutes Monday morning, October 17, I, Stuart Greenbaum, will be the center of attention. The recipient of the international organization’s annual Public Trust Award.

This exposure, though much appreciated, is a bit conflicting. The very nature of public relations is to influence from behind the scenes -- in an egotistical sense, like the Wizard of Oz or a puppet master, anonymously pulling strings to create a new reality. The objective being to (subliminally) offer an attitude-adjusting, behavior changing experience. Drawing attention to the presenter is counterintuitive.

That said, it is personally rewarding and great for the public relations profession to be recognized for such contributions.

No doubt the pervasive misapprehensions about the aging process and specifically support services for older adults create an ongoing challenge for all public relations, advertising and marketing professionals. In fact providers probably apply as much time and resources to public education as to promoting competitive advantages.

To help advance public confidence LeadingAge directs a number of high-profile campaigns and recognizes the efforts of its members by sponsoring the annual Public Trust Award. On behalf of all public relations professions, it is enough just to be recognized. Now, pull the curtain closed. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


OH YEAH FOR OHYE! Minoru Ohye is one of those rare individuals who you either like or you haven’t yet had the pleasure to meet. His network of good friends includes dozens of fellow residents of Eskaton Wilson Manor, a West Sacramento affordable apartment community, and a hundred or so fellow veterans at the local VFW where he volunteers regularly.

The 85-year-old Ohye is also a former WWII POW, the result of which separated him from his only brother more than 60 years ago.

Call it Karma, but that historic injustice is about to be rectified.

Eskaton’s Thrill of a Lifetime Initiative “found” his brother in Japan and then reunited the siblings by mail. Now with the support of more than a hundred generous donors, including California State Assembly Member Mariko Yamada, funds have been raised to send Ohye to Japan to reunite in person with his long-lost brother.

The intercontinental reunion is scheduled for later this year.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


NEW ESKATON “BUDDIES” CONNECT. Along with the new school year this September comes the much-anticipated launch of another Eskaton Kids Connection. Sixteen classrooms of elementary and secondary schoolchildren are being introduced to their new “buddies” in a dozen different Eskaton communities. In just its third year, this signature piece of Eskaton’s Intergenerational Initiative has quintupled in size – now boasting more than 500 inter-age friendships, with plans to continue growing as fast as its youthful participants.

While the structured part of the gatherings -- reading and writing exercises, arts and crafts, singing and lunching together -- fill most of the day, the real highlights come as the buddies get to know one-another, and figuratively and literally break down pre-conceived barriers.

This year’s older adult involvement is more inclusive than ever, with residents from Eskaton’s independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, affordable apartments, even memory care.

Random comments overheard:

While admiring Eskaton’s outside patio, one student offered “This is a very nice place, huh, I wish I could live here.” To which his friend, also a budding sales and marketing director, added, “This is the best day ever, I love it here.”

When asked by her older buddy about siblings, the younger buddy responded “Sometimes I pretend my dog is my brother.”

And most poignant of all, an Eskaton resident and former elementary school teacher, asked staff at the end of the visit “What are we going to do with the kids?” -- wanting reassurance that the children would be picked up safely.