An aging population has created the need for more assisted living facilities in Santa Clarita, according to a local specialist. And, in particular, there is a need for luxury units which offer staff 24/7 – including full time nursing staff.

To meet the need, ground has now broken on Oakmont Senior Living, a new luxury retirement living community. The senior living complex also offers programs specifically aimed at helping people affected with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

A Santa Rosa-based, family-operated company, Oakmont Senior Living, has 19 other such properties throughout California. Founded by general contractor, William P. Gallaher, in the 1970s, the Gallaher family has built a total of 40 communities in the western United States.

The new Santa Clarita complex plans for 55 assisted living units, and 22 units dedicated to memory care, along Newhall Ranch Road near Rye Canyon Road.

Oakmont Senior Living selected Santa Clarita because the company felt the community’s senior population would benefit from a luxury retirement and memory care facility, said a media spokesperson for the company.

Santa Clarita hasn’t had a new assisted living home in 14 years and the Oakmont Senior Living facility will “raise the bar for everybody,” said Executive Director Margie Veis. A local SCV resident for 22 years, Veis opened and ran the senior/assisted living facility Summerhill Villa on Lyons Blvd. for 14 years, she said.

“I’m so excited to have the opportunity to open this community for the residents of Santa Clarita. I feel it’s a need that hasn’t been met at this level of luxury and excellence before,” Veis said. “And they have a beautiful memory care program specifically for those affected with dementia and Alzheimer’s.”

In a traditional senior community, residents usually have to request nursing care, said the spokesperson. What differentiates Oakmont Senior Living is that it’s an upscale community for vibrant active seniors that also offers wellness services by doctors who visit from the outside to provide services on a scheduled basis.

Oakmont amenities typically include onsite libraries, movie theater, beauty salon, wellness center, beauty salon, resident-maintained flower and vegetable gardens and walking trails. Resident packages include a gourmet dining program with three meals per day prepared by an executive chef and kitchen staff.

“We are so proud of our chefs,” said Crystal Robinson, regional vice president of sales and marketing for Oakmont Management Group.“They are indispensable to our communities, because our dining program is so key to the resort-style environment we provide our residents.”

Oakmont of Santa Clarita is currently in the process of identifying an executive chef for the community, and Veis is working on putting of a strong marketing team together, she said. Next she’ll begin hiring staff, she said.

“We’re excited to bring the Oakmont tradition of quality senior living to Santa Clarita,” Robinson said. “We feel that Oakmont of Santa Clarita will be a real asset to the community, and we know it will fill a need for the local senior population and their families.”

Residents have the choice of studio, one and two bedroom units ranging in size between 400 to 1,192 square feet. Lease prices will be available in May at the time Oakmont begins taking reservations in a temporary office to be set up onsite. The company hopes to have the facility open by November or by year-end, Veis said.

By Jana Adkins
SCVBJ Editor