Residents John and Helen Engstrom are hard-pressed to describe a typical day at The Samarkand. That’s because every day is filled with enriching opportunities they might not find elsewhere.

The variety of campus activities means there is something for everyone.

“We are always busy,” Helen says. “There is always something going on. The day really gets away from you here.”

John serves on various committees, including the Good Neighbor Fund and the Financial Advisory Committee. Helen works on the Amazing Grays Committee and Food Committee, and makes time for the Book Club, art classes and weekly bridge games. They both exercise in the fitness center, and Helen walks daily.

Off-Campus Opportunities

The Engstroms’ calendar is chock-full of off-campus activities. John belongs to the local Rotary Club. Once a week they volunteer at the nearby elementary school. Helen works with second-graders, and John works with the third grade.

The couple eagerly embrace the kinds of opportunities available in steeped-in-the-arts Santa Barbara. They drive to the symphony, a movie or a restaurant for a bite to eat. Every so often they hop on The Samarkand bus and join fellow residents for an evening of dinner and theater.

Still, they always make time for family. One daughter lives in nearby Montecito, and the grandchildren love to visit.

“We eat in the coffee shop and our granddaughter sings for everyone,” Helen says with a chuckle. 

Continuum of Care

Social opportunities are a nice touch, but the community’s continuum of care is a must.

“It’s the No. 1 reason we moved here,” John says. 

The timing of their move couldn’t have been better. After knee surgery at a local hospital, Helen returned to The Samarkand’s skilled nursing center for two weeks of rehabilitation.

“It was convenient having her on campus,” John says. “I could walk 500 feet from our unit and be there. And friends could stop by for visits.”

Best of all, John says, the continuum of care means their children never have to worry.

“The Samarkand is a gift to our children,” he says. “Continuing care gives them — and us — peace of mind.”

— Pamela Bigelow is marketing director for The Samarkand.