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Griffin Living Builds Thriving Senior Communities

The conversation starts with a familiar but difficult topic: Where will my parents go when they need more help than they can get at home? Where will I go when I reach that point? In the past, senior housing has been a last resort—resisted until absolutely necessary. Griffin Living is changing the landscape of senior housing by providing places for seniors to thrive in some of their best years—places with luxurious amenities where residents want to live and their families want to visit.

In the place of dormitories and hospital-style rooms, Griffin Living builds state-of-the-art apartments with spacious bathrooms, living rooms, kitchens with modern appliances, and in-unit washers and dryers.

“Griffin Living starts with the customer and works backwards,” says Paul E. Griffin III, President and CEO of Griffin Living. Griffin Living has nine active projects across the country, including two local developments: Varenita Westlake and Varenita Simi Valley. Both include a mix of assisted-living and memory-care units.

As a fifth-generation real estate developer, Griffin has been in the business for three decades and developed $4 billion in projects. His senior living business has two components: developing and managing the communities and then providing care to residents.

“There is enormous unmet demand in the senior market,” emphasizes Griffin, adding that Baby Boomers are the biggest generation of aging Americans yet, with the oldest of them turning 75 this year.

“What is currently offered for them is not the level of quality that seniors want for themselves or that their loved ones want for them,” Griffin says. “Griffin Living is meeting those needs by developing senior housing with resort-style amenities and a range of onsite activities that encourage an active lifestyle.”

Location, Location, Location

For a senior living development to thrive, the area needs families with aging parents to be close by. These seniors and their middle-aged children usually live in highly developed areas, which are the hardest places to get new projects approved. That’s part of what makes Griffin Living unique.

“Griffin Living specializes in finding these locations, identifying suitable properties and working with local residents and stakeholders to solve all of the problems raised by development,” Griffin explains.

Griffin Living also gets projects approved where other developers can’t, like with Varenita Westlake. “We see the development through and solve new problems that arise,” Griffin says. “People trust us and welcome us back to their communities for further development.”

An Active Lifestyle

Griffin Living makes it a priority to create energy in their senior housing communities.

“We offer multiple activities going on in the building at any given time, which gives our residents an engaged and active lifestyle,” Griffin says.

Residents can do everything from fitness classes in state-of-the-art studios to watching cooking demonstrations, to listening to professional musicians or lectures. Visitors are always welcome to join. “Even if they do not participate in every event, being around activities happening is stimulating and social,” Griffin notes.

Residents especially love the dining options at Griffin Living.

“These are not dining commons, but restaurants with menus that vary every night. Residents eat whenever they want, at mealtimes in the dining room or any time at the bistro bar,” Griffin explains. “There are also themed dinners: one night there might be BBQ, the next wood-fired pizzas or carving stations. Sunday brunch with families is particularly popular, which features omelets and waffle stations.”

Safety During the Pandemic

As people continue to navigate their lives during today’s challenging and uncertain times, Griffin Living is following CDC guidelines, practicing social distancing and wearing masks.

Additionally, Griffin Living has invested $2 million per project to filter the air to N-95 mask standards. “These were underway before COVID-19, but we appreciate having them all the more now,” says Griffin, adding that there are four complete air changes in apartment units every hour, ensuring that the air in the whole building is fresh, all the time. 

In other safety measures, “we require everyone who enters the building to have a temperature check at contactless stations,” Griffin says. Also, “we have installed powerful UV lights to disinfect all high-touch surfaces.”

Offsetting Isolation

With folks living at senior communities more isolated than ever, Griffin Living helps residents cope by making activities available via CCTV so that they can still participate without coming in person.

“Family members are allowed to visit if they have been COVID tested and observing strict social distancing,” Griffin explains.

The staff at Griffin Living have also been observing social distancing and forgoing seeing their own extended families to minimize chances of exposure. “We appreciate the sacrifice they are making to keep our residents safe,” says Griffin.

Above all, “we believe that we are redefining the landscape of senior living,” Griffin adds. “Our communities are rooted in the honor and dignity of aging, and we prioritize features and amenities that cater to residents' independent, active and vibrant lifestyles.”

Varenita of Simi Valley is located at 3921 Cochran Street in Simi Valley; Varenita of Westlake is located at 95 Duesenberg Drive in Westlake Village. For more information about Griffin Living, call 818.965.7400 or visit GriffinLiving.com.

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