Santa Barbara- S County

Demand Grows for Senior Assisted-Living Residences

An estimated 10,000 Americans turning 65 everyday.

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A special birthday celebration in Santa Maria for Maria Garcia who turned 100 years young on Thursday.

The native of Jalisco, Mexico raised a family of seven children with her late husband.

"She was a hard worker, she was always busy at home", says Maria's daughter Martha Garcia who has cared for her mother for the past 22 years.

"I haven't been able to place her in a home because of that situation", Martha Garcia says of the lack of local affordable senior assisted care residential facilities, "I don't have the extra money to pay."

"Its an enormous issue right now", says Linda Gadbois, Program Director of the Wisdom Center adult daycare center in Santa Maria, " people are put in the position of having to take care of their parents because they cannot afford the higher end services that are available to those who can pay, so they are actually giving up income, in order to stay home and care for their parents."

A lack of senior assisted care residential facilities has become a worthwhile business investment.

A private equity firm from the Bay Area is looking to develop property behind the Vons grocery story in Nipomo amid the growing need for affordable, assisted care residential facilities for a growing elderly populationon the Central Coast.

Alamo-based Private Capital Investments wants to build a 96-bed assisted living care facility and 36-unit senior housing complex on the empty lots.

Front-line senior care providers like Linda Gadbois says its a drop in the bucket of what's really needed.

"We have a lot of individuals in this area who have marginal incomes", Gadbois says, "they don't have incomes that can even begin to meet the criteria for assisted living, board and care homes."

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