The Coast News Group
Several of the residents of the Heritage Hills Senior Memory Care Community make and deliver lunch for 100 homeless people. Courtesy Photo.
Marketplace News

Seniors find the gift in giving back to community


OCEANSIDE — On the fourth Thursday of the month, you can find a group of about a dozen Oceanside residents making and delivering lunch for 100 homeless people. The gift of giving back is especially meaningful to this group, as they are residents of Heritage Hills Senior Memory Care Community. “It enriches the lives of our residents,” Nicole Lopez, Community Relations Director at the community said. “They enjoy working with the Bread of Life Rescue Mission, and it’s right in our own backyard here in Oceanside.”

Bayshire Senior Living is the parent company to Heritage Hills Memory Care, which specializes in caring for those with a memory diagnosis. “We are locally owned and operated,” Lopez said. “Our owners built these communities because of their own personal experiences with needing senior living for their loved ones. There aren’t too many places that provide the level of care that we do. Not only that, but we’re focused on creating aesthetically beautiful surroundings for our residents.”

One of the key goals of Heritage Hills Memory Care is to offer its residents full, dignified lives. The Bayshire Gives program gets their residents out into the community by allowing them to hand deliver meals. “A lot of our residents led really extraordinary lives,” Lopez said. “Whether an individual was a doctor, professional painter, worked for NASA, or had the most important job of all — raising a family — we want them to continue to live a meaningful and purposeful life.”

The Bread of Life Rescue Mission in Oceanside is a nonprofit group that helps feed, clothe, and shelter those in need. “They always need donations,” Lopez said. “This is something we are fortunate enough to be able to do and our owners stand by it 100 percent. Some of our residents were volunteers at Bread of Life prior to coming to Heritage Hills, so it’s a perfect fit.”

With the Bayshire Gives program, residents of the memory care community hand make lunches, assemble lunch boxes and deliver them. “They really enjoy the outing, and residents’ families are always welcome to join in,” Lopez said. “Everyone has a glow about them once we finish with our donation. It’s all about giving back to the local community while doing an activity that many residents enjoyed doing for their own families in their own homes. And preparing the food involves hand-eye coordination and skill which ultimately is great for brain health!”

Heritage Hills works closely with residents to find activities they will enjoy that also engage them physically, mentally and spiritually. “We offer activities seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” Lopez said. “Our residents are all in different stages with regard to their cognition, and we offer something for everyone.”

“We just introduced an aromatherapy program with essential oils, and it’s really helped our residents, especially at night,” Lopez said. “We are also big into pet therapy. We have mini horses coming next month for a visit, and we have a music therapist who is here once a week. Our chef also does cooking classes.”

Because some of their activities seem geared more toward the ladies, Heritage Hills came up with a few things just for the gentlemen. “We started a Bow Tie Social that we do every night,” Lopez said. “We have a room we call the ‘man cave’ where we watch sports every night. We have a male assistant there and the group plays chess. The gentlemen enjoy having their own space.”

Heritage Hills strives to get residents out and about as much as is appropriate for each individual.

“We go to local shopping centers and restaurants,” Lopez said. “We often do scenic drives and go down to the beach. There is a local ice cream shop in Vista that we frequent weekly.”

Heritage Hills is a special place, and not just for its residents. “I meet extraordinary people,” Lopez said. “I love nothing more than to hear their stories and what they have accomplished in their lives. You can never judge a book by its cover.”

To take a tour or learn more about Heritage Hills, call (760) 206-7930 or visit

The facility is located at 2108 El Camino Real in Oceanside.