As the CEO of Ridgeview Assisted Living, I get asked a lot of questions about our community and about assisted living in general. By now, I hope you’ve scheduled your first visit. During your visit, you’ll get an opportunity to ask as many questions as you like—the more, the better! However, I thought I would take this chance to answer some of the most common questions we are asked:

Q: What kind of food will my parent get, and who cooks it?
A: We shop daily for fresh, wholesome food at local markets. The menus, which have an emphasis on home-cooked style, are overseen by dieticians and rotate often. Menus also take into account dietary restrictions. Meals are prepared by trained caregivers.

Q: What is my parent going to do all day?
A: Ridgeview maintains a structured activities calendar with activities in which all residents are encouraged to take part. We also try to honor special activity requests. The level of activity is dependent on the personal situation of the patient and their ability and desire to participate.

Q: What are the other residents like, and what do they do all day?
A: At Ridgeview, we have a diverse community of residents. We strive to pair residents with similar abilities, interests and backgrounds so they can spend time together and join in the activities they find most interesting, such as arts and crafts or sing-alongs.

Q: What are the rooms like?
A: The rooms at Ridgeview provide graceful living in a serene environment, but our residents are encouraged to outfit their room in a way that makes them feel most at home. In fact, bringing furniture, pictures or art and mementos from home can help make the transition to assisted living easier. When you schedule your visit, you’ll be able to tour the entire facility—including the rooms—in person.

Q: What level of care will my parent receive?
A: Since Ridgeview is an independent living community, versus a nursing home or medical facility, your parents can expect to receive care based on their own unique needs and abilities.

Q: Who is going to take care of my parent, and how are they trained?
A: Our trained caregivers and staff provide attention and care to residents based on their needs and abilities. Each member of our staff operates under state and medication assistance certification and they must measure up to our high standards.

I know you have many more questions. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 505-470-8096 so we can answer each one. You can also ask questions in person when you make an appointment to tour

Ridgeview. We’re here to help you in whichever way makes this process easier for you and your loved one.

I look forward to meeting you!


Carla Lee Martinez

Myths and Misconceptions


It’s me again, Carla Lee Martinez from Ridgeview Assisted Living. There are so many myths and misconceptions about senior care that I thought it would be worth talking through them with you. As someone who works in senior care, I’m there every day, and I see the reality of what a positive experience assisted living can be in senior’s life.

The following are five true things about senior care that debunk those myths and misconceptions:

1. Moving into assisted living doesn’t have to translate to a loss of independence. 

At Ridgeview, we believe our residents should enjoy independent living in an assisted living environment—we do everything we can to help our residents maintain their autonomy while providing help where and when they need it. That’s a huge departure from many assisted living facilities and one that I hope you’ll come witness in person.

2. Staying at home is actually more expensive.

Caring for a loved one at home can add up to more than you expect when it includes mortgage or rent, groceries, the cost of transportation and in-home help, never mind the cost of your time. In contrast, the above are included in the cost of assisted living, and often that cost is less than at-home care.

3. Expensive doesn’t always mean better.

In fact, I’ve found that being able to offer affordable assisted living care is one of our hallmarks at Ridgeview. Just because we’re affordable doesn’t mean we skimp on care—it’s the opposite in every way. We just don’t mark up our services like many more expensive facilities.

4. Assisted living chains don’t have a monopoly on care.  

At Ridgeview, we don’t have a corporate mouth to feed. Our focus is on individuals, and we maintain a low staff-to-resident ratio that you may not find in an assisted living facility that is part of a chain.

5. Moving into assisted living doesn’t signal the end.

If you want to see what real living is, visit our community at Ridgeview. Our residents live vibrant, active lives that represent their interests and personalities. Moving into assisted living is
another phase of life, not the end of a journey, and one we will help your loved one get the most out of.

I hope this helps set the record straight as far as myths and misconceptions about assisted living care. But an email is just an email in the end. That’s why we encourage you to come visit Ridgeview and see for yourself what life at our facility is like. Call 505-470-8096 schedule a visit today.


Carla Lee Martinez

Managing the Stress


Lots of people have stress in their lives, but I believe caregivers often endure some of the most. There’s the stress of the day-to-day caregiving and ensuring your parent or other loved one is getting what they need when they need it. Are they eating enough? Who’s going to keep an eye on them while you’re at work all day? Add to that trying to balance your time between taking care of them, taking care of your own children and spouse, managing your career and maintaining friendships—it’s almost impossible to find time for it all. And where’s your time? Who’s taking care of your needs?

I understand what you’re going through. At Ridgeview, we hear this time and again from caregivers who are struggling to care for their loved one and with the decision-making process of moving them to assisted living. To provide some guidance, we have a few suggestions for handling all that stress:

1. Take it one step at a time.

Choosing an assisted living facility is a multi-phased decision. You don’t have to decide today. Today, all you have to do is think about it. Maybe make an appointment or two. Each day is progress and eventually you’ll reach your goal and find a community that will meet all of your love one’s needs.

2. Insulate your loved one from the decision-making process.

You don’t need to involve your loved one in every detail of the decision-making process. All of the information may be overwhelming for them. Bring them in once you’ve decided on a few facilities to visit so they can tour them with you.

3. Focus on your loved one’s needs.

It helps to alleviate stress when you think of others instead of yourself. Focus on the criteria that will be meet your love one’s needs. Focusing on their needs will naturally guide you toward the best solution.

4. Seek and accept help.

As a caregiver, you might have inadvertently assumed the role of superhero. You’re doing it all, right? Holding down the fort, taking care of everything and everyone? The stress of going through this alone won’t help you make the best decision for your loved one, however. Seek help wherever you can get it. From case officers to referral agents to your next door neighbor who’s willing to watch your loved one while you take a nap, accept help wherever you can get it.

5. Listen to your instincts.

You know your loved better than anyone else. Listen to your instincts. Find some quiet alone time and just listen to what your heart is telling you to do. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Conversely, if a facility feels right, it might be the one. Chances are, your instincts are right on target when it comes to making the best decision. At Ridgeview Assisted Living, we’re here to help you through this challenging and often emotional process. We’d love be part of the solution to finding skilled care in a home-like environment for your senior loved one. Call anytime at
505-470-8096 to speak with us, ask us any questions you may have, and schedule a tour of the facility.


Carla Lee Martinez

Key Questions You Need to Ask


I hope you found the information in my last email, “ Knowing When It’s Time for Assisted Living” , helpful. I also hope that by now you’ve called and scheduled your first visit at Ridgeview.

There is a lot more to Ridgeview than just scenic views, landscaped grounds and home-like accommodations. It’s just possible that your visit here will provide some relief when you see there’s a place for your loved one, and it’s here at Ridgeview.

I also hope that you’re visiting more than one facility, and that you visit all of them—including ours—twice. Obviously, the first time will be scheduled, but make your second visit more impromptu. That way, you’ll get a better feel for the place on a regular day, not just when they’re expecting visitors.

To help you make the most out of your visits, I’ve compiled a list of key questions to ask so you get the answers you need:

What is the food like?

Food is nature’s medicine, and your loved one will thrive when presented with healthy, home-cooked meals like the ones we prepare every day at Ridgeview. We’re lucky enough to have wholesome, local food sources and dietician-planned meals prepared by our staff. Be sure to inquire about the food at any facility you visit to ensure its quality, taste and nutritional value is up to your loved one’s standards.

Your loved one may have special dietary needs due to medication interaction, allergies or simply preferred tastes. Make sure the facility can accommodate these culinary preferences, as we do at Ridgeview.

What is the staff like?

Your investment in assisted living care for your loved one is only as good as the qualifications, skills and experience of the staff. It’s within your rights to ask about the specific education and certification of the staff members who may be interacting with or caring for your senior loved one. Ask about their length of employment with the facility. Speak to at least one manager or administrator and at least one regular staff member. Look for rapport, friendliness, professionalism and proficiency.

What activities are available? 

Seniors enjoy being active, and staying engaged will help them maintain their health and mental well-being. At Ridgeview, we provide a variety of both structured and unstructured activities for
all our residents to enjoy at their leisure. Find out about the available activities at any facility to which you pay a visit. Is the equipment in good shape? Are there enough activity supplies to go around, or might some residents be excluded? Activity options should include physical, mental and passive enjoyment.

What kind of medical access is available?

Your loved one will likely require some kind of medical care while they are at the assisted living facility. How close is the nearest hospital? Is there ambulatory service? Is dental care available? Do doctors and/or nurses come to the facility? How often do they visit? What’s the protocol when they arrive? Are mobile x-rays available? Don’t assume that all facilities provide access to quality medical care.

What are the other residents like?

The facility should be able to offer you a general resident profile, but try to speak with a few residents. This will enable to you see if the other residents would make suitable social companions for your loved one and help you get a feel for the facility through their eyes. At Ridgeway, we strive to ensure good personality matches for all new residents because we understand the importance of community and a feeling of belonging.

What are the facilities like?

You’ll likely get a full tour when you visit a facility, but feel free to ask about specifics, including:

·How is laundry handled?
·Are linens provided?
·Is there WiFi?
·What’s the cleaning schedule?
·Who is responsible for the cleaning?
·How is the temperature inside rooms controlled?
·What are the grounds like?
·What is the surrounding area like?Is it safe?

Be sure to ask about the kind of security that is in place, especially if your loved one suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Exactly what care is provided?

Facilities offer different levels of care, so before you make any decision, ask lots of questions regarding exactly the type of care provided. Specifically, you might be interested in:

·Prescription medicine disbursement
·Over-the-counter medicine availability
·Massage treatments
·Beauty treatments (hair styling, makeup, shaves, manicures)
·Feeding assistance
·Bathing assistance
·Physical therapy

Here at Ridgeway, we’re happiest when prospective family members ask lots of questions. The way we see it, the more informed you are, the better fit you can ensure for your loved one. We want you and your elderly loved one to be happy about your decision to join our family at Ridgeway Assisted Living. Please call 505-470-8096 to schedule your first visit so we can get started!


Carla Lee Martinez

Knowing When It’s Time


It seems like one of the most difficult parts about being a caregiver for an older loved one is knowing when it’s time to move them into an assisted living care facility. Many caregivers feel guilty, as though they’re giving up. In reality, making the choice to move a loved one to an assisted care facility is often one of the most caring decisions you can make.

Time and again we have family members tell us that, had they known how much better things would be for their loved one at Ridgeview, they wouldn’t have felt so guilty about even considering the move.

Knowing when your loved one needs more care can be difficult, however. Thankfully, there are definitive signs to let you know that it might be time to move your loved one to an assisted care facility. Some of the signs include:

Wandering– Alzheimer’s and dementia patients are at increased risk for this behavior that presents as wandering away from the home with no warning. Unfortunately, many patients become disoriented and find it hard or impossible to make their way back home.

Sundowning– This is a phenomenon where a dementia or Alzheimer’s patient becomes inconsolably agitated near the end of the day. The behavior may be upsetting, especially for younger children who can’t understand why their normally docile and loving grandparent is upset.

Intensified Care Needs– When your loved one’s care needs begin to consume your time, it’s a sign that you yourself need help. This is often a sensitive issue, especially with family members who feel deeply responsible for the love, care and safety of their senior relative. However, this level of care can become overwhelming. When the caregiver is overburdened, relationships and lives on all sides can suffer.

Increased Frequency of Accidents – Do you find that your loved one has more home accidents than before? Is the smoke alarm going off daily because the toast is burning? Do you find food that requires refrigeration inside cupboards? Is your loved one having trouble getting in and out of the shower, or have they fallen while alone at home?

Remember, most people who reside at our assisted living community at Ridgeview were not “assigned” by doctors. Typically, a devoted family member such as yourself contacted us to ask our opinion about their loved one. Even over the phone, we can help you decide whether an initial assessment of your love one’s needs makes sense. We’re more than happy to talk with you and discuss your current situation.

At Ridgeview, we are experienced with issues involving seniors, including those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s, and we would love to help you find the best solution to meet your love one’s needs. Call us today at 505-470-8096.

Carla Lee Martinez

Understanding What You Need


When you are faced with a variety of options for your elderly loved one, determining the kind of facility in which to place them can be a challenge. These days, there are many types of facilities, including independent living, assisted living, directed living, memory care and more. Since these facilities each offer different levels of care, the type of facility you choose will ultimately depend on your loved one’s mental, emotional and physical state now and in the foreseeable future.

In this stage of evaluation, there are specific points you should consider. Some of them will weigh more heavily on your decision while others might be considered less consequential. Here are the points to consider:

Medical Issues What are your loved one’s medical issues? Do they require certain procedures at regular intervals? Do their medical issues pose a threat to their safety or the safety of those around them? Will their medical issues progress or stay the same over time? For answers to these questions, your physician may be the best source of guidance. At Ridgeview Assisted Living, our staff works closely with physicians to ensure care is in accordance with physician recommendations.

Emotional State Many of our residents at Ridgeview are fiercely independent yet happy to have care and assistance when they need it. How does your loved one view assisted living? Would they prefer the solitude found in one of our independent accommodations, or would a roommate help them stave off loneliness? Would your loved one appreciate opportunities to interact with their peers? It’s important to consider your loved one’s lifestyle and temperament when deciding upon an assisted living community.

Special Considerations Everyone has a special hobby or interest that deserves special consideration when looking at assisted living facilities. At Ridgeway Assisted Living, we treat our residents as individuals with lives and interests all their own, and we strive to accommodate all needs. Does your loved one favor certain activities? Activities might include painting, weaving, sewing, or bird watching. Perhaps your loved one needs daily time alone each morning to mediate in beautiful surroundings. Everyone is different and everyone deserves a chance to pursue their passions at any age.

Proximity Moving a loved one to a care facility shouldn’t mean you can’t see them again. It’s important to consider the convenience of the travel distance between the facility and your home. Regular visits from family, grandchildren especially, can greatly enhance your loved one’s experience at the care facility you choose. The easier it is to get to the facility, the more often family members are likely to visit.

Hopefully the above considerations will help you better evaluate the care facilities you are reviewing for your loved one. We hope that Ridgeview is one that you will think about visiting. Call 505-470-8096 today to schedule a day and time that’s most convenient for you. We look forward to meeting with you.


Carla Lee Martinez


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