The Coast News Group
Carlsbad Cities Community San Marcos

Senior Savers’ aims to make life for elderly easier

Above: “Senior Savers” co-hosts Bryan Devore and Jamie Shapiro. Courtesy photo

SAN MARCOS — Seniors on fixed incomes face numerous challenges, such as access to affordable health care.

A new facility in the city through the Gary and Mary West Foundation will provide access to affordable health care and meals. The couple founded the West Corporation, a billion-dollar telecoms company, and is now focused on the care and well-being of seniors.

On May 13, the Gary and Mary West PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) facility at 1706 Descanso Ave., also hosted a special screening of the TV program “Senior Savers,” hosted by Carlsbad realtor Bryan Devore and Jamie Shapiro, who owns Silver Linings Transitions, a senior move management company.

The PACE center is expected to open in the fall, according to West Health Community Outreach Manager Mary Jurgensen.

Devore showcased one Oceanside couple, Eve and George Heyman, making the transition from their longtime home to either assisted living or a new home.

“They were very good sports,” Devore said. “We had a lot filming and re-filming, but they are just a great couple.”

Devore and Shapiro spent nearly one year producing the 30-minute TV program, which is expected to air on KVWN Channel 4 in June. The show covers the decision of the Heymans opting to move into a new home in Temecula to be closer to their son and grandchildren.

The couple spent 28 years in a two-story home in Oceanside, but as they grew older, falls and other hazards became a pressing concern. So, the couple decided to air their process with Devore and Shapiro.

They visited two assisted living facilities, one in Carlsbad and one in San Marcos, but also had Devore look at several homes, including in Temecula. In the end, Temecula won out, but Devore and Shapiro also provided upgrades to the home to make it more senior-friendly.

Those included solar panels, a walk-in shower, grab bars, ramps, removal of rugs and other floor material to prevent trips and they also moved the couple in. A discount on the solar panels allowed the Heymans to afford the home after their Oceanside residence sold for a little less than they were hoping, Devore said.

“No matter what situation a senior may be in, there are solutions for them,” he added. “There are so many resources available that people shouldn’t feel like they are along and trapped. We can help guide them for whatever services they need.”

The couple said their decision was difficult, but knew being close to family was the right move. The assisted facilities, they said on the show, were full of amenities and everything a senior needs to thrive.

“Senior Savers” focuses on senior issues and showcasing resources for seniors looking to move into an assisted facility or downsize.

Shapiro said another point of the show is to start conversations with seniors scared to admit they’re aging and the younger generation to bridge those gaps.

“They don’t want to admit they need help or ask for anything and they sort of suffer in silence,” she added. “Our society doesn’t value aging. We because we don’t value aging, then people can’t share what’s happening to them and their bodies. If we were like other societies … maybe everybody wouldn’t feel like they would have to suffer in silence.”

Devore and Shapiro will also screen “Senior Savers” at the Carlsbad Senior Center this summer.