Sunday, April 22 , 2018, 8:12 am | Fair 52º

Your Health
A Noozhawk partnership with Cottage Health

There Are Many Reasons to Call The Samarkand Home

For Helen and John Engstrom, the continuum of care is No. 1

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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.


Special Reports

Heroin Rising
<p>Lizette Correa shares a moment with her 9-month-old daughter, Layla, outside their Goleta home. Correa is about to graduate from Project Recovery, a program of the Santa Barbara Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse, and is determined to overcome her heroin addiction — for herself and for her daughter. “I look at her and I think ‘I need to be here for her and I need to show her an example, I don’t want her to see me and learn about drugs’,” she says.</p>

In Struggle to Get Clean, and Stay That Way, Young Mother Battles Heroin Addiction

Santa Barbara County sounds alarm as opiate drug use escalates, spreads into mainstream population
Safety Net Series
<p>Charles Condelos, a retired banker, regularly goes to the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics for his primary care and to renew his prescription for back pain medication. He says Dr. Charles Fenzi, who was treating him that day at the Westside Clinic, and Dr. Susan Lawton are some of the best people he’s ever met.</p>

Safety Net: Patchwork of Clinics Struggles to Keep Santa Barbara County Healthy

Clinics that take all comers a lifeline for low-income patients, with new health-care law about to feed even more into overburdened system. First in a series
Prescription for Abuse
<p>American Medical Response emergency medical technicians arrive at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with little time to spare for victims of prescription drug overdoses.</p>

Quiet Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse Taking a Toll on Santa Barbara County

Evidence of addiction shows an alarming escalation, Noozhawk finds in Prescription for Abuse special report
Mental Health
<p>Rich Detty and his late wife knew something was wrong with their son, Cliff, but were repeatedly stymied in their attempts to get him help from the mental health system. Cliff Detty, 46, died in April while in restraints at Santa Barbara County’s Psychiatric Health Facility.</p>

While Son Struggled with Mental Illness, Father Fought His Own Battle

Cliff Detty's death reveals scope, limitations of seemingly impenetrable mental health system. First in a series