All posts by Integral Senior Living

How to celebrate Halloween safely this year

We’re so excited to put together Halloween-themed activities that will allow our residents to
get together in a safe way and give everyone a chance to enjoy some spooky fun this October.
Although this holiday will look different from how it has in the past, it is important to keep
creating memories.
Our Vibrant Life® team is dedicated to making sure all residents enjoy engaging and fun
activities. This is always a priority, but the pandemic has given us the opportunity to be even
more creative when planning activities.
We’ve put together a list of activities, decorations and recipes that you can do at home, while
your loved one completes these activities in their community. Be sure to Zoom or FaceTime
your loved ones, so you can show off all the fun!

  1. Decorate pumpkins. Carving is not the only way to create fun designs. We recommend
    buying paint or Sharpies to help you give your pumpkins that spooky feeling.
  2. Make sweet potato jack-o’-lanterns. A lot of the foods made or bought around
    Halloween can be unhealthy and full of sugar. Put together these sweet potato
    pumpkins for a healthy and easy snack!
  3. Host Halloween charades. Write down some Halloween-related nouns (ex. a spider,
    bobbing for apples, a witch) and have each person act one out.
  4. Have a costume or door-decorating contest. Have everyone vote on the best Halloween
    costume or apartment door – in some of our senior living communities, we will also go
    socially distanced trick-or-treating around the building!
  5. Make “Shrunken Heads in Cider.” Use this recipe from Martha Stewart to create a
    spooky punch for your family and loved ones!
  6. Create spiral ghosts. Cut white paper into a spiral to imitate a ghostly silhouette, then
    draw on eyes with a black Sharpie and hang them up to decorate your space!

“When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam, may luck be yours on Halloween.” – Unknown

Tips to keep life vibrant this fall

The start of September means the beginning of all things fall-themed – pumpkin spice lattes, fall decorations, bonfires, corn mazes and of course slightly cooler weather. 

We all know that autumn will look a little different this year, especially for our friends and families in our senior living communities; but that doesn’t mean that we can’t still make it fun. Our Vibrant Life® program makes it easy for residents to stay engaged, but we wanted to share some ideas for loved ones to join in on the fun. 

Here are just a few ideas for things you and your loved ones can do this season!

  • Decorate the outside of their window with leaves, pumpkins and messages telling them you love them. You can also send them a box of decorations they can use to decorate the inside of their apartment, or the outside of their door. 
  • Send a gift basket of fall-scented bath products or candles for your loved one to enjoy, or even just a nice card! 
  • Bring your loved one their favorite fall food. Whether it is pumpkin bread, butternut squash soup or candy corn, we know they would love a nice treat! Be sure to contact your executive director to inquire about COVID-19 visitation protocols.  
  • Surprise them with an autumn-themed Zoom call or drive-by, where all of their friends and family have gathered (in a safe way) to wish them a happy fall and remind them that you care. 
  • Send your loved one a fall-themed jigsaw puzzle or picture to paint for them to create and then display.

If you’d like more ideas on how to make those at our senior living communities feel loved, contact your community’s Vibrant Life® Director. They have continuously brought creative ideas to the table to help our residents stay safe and live vibrant lives. 

Integral Senior Living CEO interviewed in feature on Covid-19’s effect on senior living

By Chuck Sudo
Senior Housing News

When the novel coronavirus first swept the United States in late March and April, the pandemic raised fears about vulnerabilities for independent living, but this part of the senior housing continuum has so far proven resilient.

Sales and marketing teams have adapted to the new environment and tailored their marketing campaigns, striking a balance between the lifestyle independent living offers with the daily reality of the Covid-19 landscape, Integral Senior Living President and CEO Collette Gray told Senior Housing News.

“We’re not shying away from the fact that this is our reality right now,” she said.

Read more about how Integral Senior Living and other independent living communities are dealing with the pandemic at the link below.

Senior Housing News: Independent Living Proves Resilient to Covid-19 Pressures

Construction begins on assisted living, memory care community in Sparks, Nevada

Integral Senior Living (ISL), a premier senior living management company, has assumed management of a new assisted living and memory care community that will break ground on construction in early August.
“This milestone event marks the exciting start of construction on a new assisted living and memory care community in Sparks, Nevada,” said Justin Hobson, partner at Investcor Development. “Our dedicated team has designed a community that will provide residents with comfortable, stylish accommodations and spacious, inviting amenities both indoors and out.”
The community is being developed by Investcor Development, a privately owned real estate development company, in partnership with Bow River Capital and SMC Construction. The community, set to open in early 2022 within the Kiley Ranch Master Planned Community, will total 74,000 square feet and feature 90 units with 66 one- and two-bedroom assisted living and 24 memory care.
“Bow River Capital’s continued focus on senior housing is supported by our experience and past success in the area,” said Nicholas Koncilja, managing director at Bow River Capital. “We are excited to be partnering with ISL and Investcor Development on the new Kiley Ranch project.”
The community will be managed by ISL and have all the hallmarks of other ISL communities, including its Elevate® dining, Vibrant Life® and Generations Memory Care programs, in addition to its commitment to personalized, compassionate care.
“Breaking ground on this beautiful, new community is the result of hard work and determination by the ISL and Investcor Development teams,” said Collette Gray, ISL president and CEO. “We are proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and are excited to see this project come to life. We look forward to cultivating great relationships throughout the area while we work toward the opening date.”
Residents will enjoy several amenities designed to promote an engaging lifestyle, including restaurant-style dining, multiple courtyards, a fitness center, a putting green, a game room, a salon and media room, and so much more. The community also offers a variety of daily activities, scheduled local transportation, weekly housekeeping and a fully staffed kitchen providing three nutritious meals a day.
About Investcor Development
Founded in 2008, Investcor Development is a privately owned real estate development company located in Austin, Texas, that is dedicated to developing industry-leading real estate projects in high-growth markets. Investcor has successfully developed 19 projects with its primary focus being senior care, but also including multi-family, mixed-use, neighborhood retail and a lakefront custom home community. For more information on Investcor Development, visit its website.

About Integral Senior Living
Integral Senior Living (ISL), headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., manages a progressive selection of senior residences to meet the growing needs of today’s aging population. It manages independent, assisted living and memory care properties throughout 18 states. Ranked among the nation’s largest senior living providers, according to Senior Living Executive, ISL is founded on a care philosophy that fosters dignity and respect for residents and promotes their independence and individuality. The dedicated associates at each community are trained to maintain the highest standards of senior care services. For more information about ISL, visit Integral Senior Living’s website, blog and Facebook page.

About Bow River Capital
Founded in 2003, Bow River Capital is a private alternative asset management company based in Denver, Colorado, with Buyout, Real Estate, and Software Growth Equity platforms. The Bow River Capital platforms focus on the lower middle market across a geographic area referred to as Bow River’s Rodeo Region®, which encompasses the Rocky Mountains and surrounding states. Collectively, Bow River Capital has deployed capital into diverse industries, asset classes and across the capital structure.

Media coverage: Assisted living and memory care community begins construction in Sparks Assisted living and memory care community begins construction in Sparks

Living a Vibrant Life® While Staying Safe

As you all know, all of our communities have been taking extra precautions to ensure that COVID-19 does not enter our communities. While this does mean that we have put protocols into place such as social distancing and limiting visitors, it doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped having fun with our residents! 

Our Vibrant Life® program is meant to enhance and enrich our residents’ lives through seven core components: be inspired, be well, be challenged, be adventurous, be family, be social and be connected. Some of these components typically look a little different than they have in recent months, but we are proud of the work our associates are doing to help our residents live vibrant lives. 

Here are just a few of the things our wonderful communities have been up to while still following recommendations from the CDC and local health departments: 

  • Writing letters to their family members
  • Watching movies together and holding book clubs – sitting six feet apart, of course!
  • Playing bingo while maintaining social distancing (pictured)
  • Delivering delicious, home-style meals to residents in their apartments  
  • Enjoying happy hour – a glass of wine helps, right?

We’re lucky to have so many supportive families asking how they can keep in touch with their loved ones. We’ve been encouraging them to “visit” via FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, cards and letters. These items may seem small, but they mean the world to our residents!

We’d also like to thank our families who are doing their part to keep the virus out of our communities by not visiting their loved ones. We know this is really hard, but it’s what’s best for our residents.

Our amazing associates and residents are rolling with the punches as we all navigate through the uncertainty that has come along with COVID-19. We will continue to work together, as a family, to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents. Get the latest updates about COVID-19 here:

Opening a senior living facility during a pandemic

When it comes to opening a new senior living community amid the uncertainty of COVID-19, flexibility and web-based tours are a must, according to operators who have done so.

“We faced several new challenges with the pandemic that we hadn’t when opening other communities in our portfolio,” said Jeffery Smith, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Integral Senior Living. The operator has opened three new communities since the pandemic began, including a 62-unit luxury assisted living and memory care community this month in Knoxville, TN.

Read the full story from McKnight’s Senior Living: Operators combat the challenges of opening a senior living facility during pandemic

Phoenix couple married at Mariposa Point so grandmother could attend

Originally unable to attend her granddaughter’s wedding due to the ongoing pandemic, Joyce Flaherty had a front-row view thanks to her senior living community, Mariposa Point at Algodón Center.

The community arranged for the wedding ceremony of Jen Schroeder, Flaherty’s granddaughter, and Felipe Eniguez to be held in its scenic courtyard. Out of an abundance of caution for both the residents and wedding-goers, Flaherty was seated inside and took in the ceremony through glass windows.

“I should probably cry because it means just the world to me that my granddaughter is such a loving person marrying a really special gentleman,” said Flaherty. “And I know that they’re going to be happy.”

News coverage: Despite COVID-19, woman finds way to get grandma to her Phoenix wedding

AZFamily: Despite COVID-19, woman finds way to get grandma to her Phoenix wedding

Phoenix couple gets married at retirement center so grandmother could safely attend A Phoenix grandmother couldn’t attend her granddaughter’s wedding, so they came to her instead

Strategic Student & Senior Housing Trust Breaks Ground on Expansion of Senior Housing Community in Portland, Ore.

PORTLAND, Ore. – (Oct. 24, 2018) – Strategic Student & Senior Housing Trust, Inc. (SSSHT), a public, non-traded real estate investment trust sponsored by SmartStop Asset Management, LLC (SmartStop), announced today that SSSHT has broken ground on an expansion of Courtyard at Mt. Tabor, a continuum of care senior housing community in Portland, Oregon, that will add a free-standing, approximately 16,000-square-foot, 23-unit memory care building to the community.

Purchased by Strategic Student & Senior Housing Trust in August 2018, Courtyard at Mt. Tabor currently offers 286 units of independent living, assisted living and memory care.

“We are excited to break ground on this new project, which will not only expand the memory care services provided at Courtyard at Mt. Tabor, but is also expected to enhance the value of the investment for Strategic Student & Senior Housing Trust,” said John Strockis, chief investment officer. “The expansion also marks the first ground-breaking project for SmartStop Asset Management and its affiliates in the senior housing space, an emerging asset class that our firm first entered into in February 2018.”

SSSHT hosted a ground-breaking ceremony on October 22, which was attended by: R&H Construction, Ankrom Moisan Architects, Simon Investments, Integral Senior Living, Courtyard at Mt. Tabor, Oregon Health Care Association and Blueprint Healthcare Real Estate Advisors.

Located at 6125 and 6323 SE Division St., Courtyard at Mt. Tabor is currently 96 percent occupied and 100 percent private pay. Situated on 7.1 acres of land in the Mt. Tabor submarket of Portland, the community was constructed between 1992 and 2009.

Courtyard at Mt. Tabor is a full-service retirement community that offers extensive dining service options, wellness care and activities, transportation, personal care and support services, housekeeping, and a 24-hour front desk staff. The property received the Caring Stars award in 2015 and 2016, a program that honors the best senior living communities in the United States based on consumer reviews.

Integral Senior Living, a premier senior living operator that manages independent, assisted living and memory care properties throughout 18 states, manages the property on a day-to-day basis on behalf of SSSHT.

“We’re so proud of the work our team has done to make this addition to our dynamic community a reality,” said Collette Gray, CEO/COO for ISL. “With the building of additional memory care living accommodations, we strive to continue establishing great relationships in Portland and provide jobs in the area. We’re also excited to be able to expand our partnership with SmartStop.”

SSSHT owns a portfolio of four senior housing communities and two student housing communities acquired for an aggregate contract purchase price of approximately $275 million.

About Strategic Student & Senior Housing Trust, Inc. (SSSHT)

SSSHT is a public, non-traded REIT that focuses on the acquisition of income-producing, Class “A” student housing and senior housing communities. SSSHT owns two student housing properties and four senior housing properties. For more information regarding SSSHT, please visit

About SmartStop Asset Management, LLC (SmartStop)

SmartStop is a diversified real estate company focused on self storage, student housing and senior housing assets. The company has approximately $1.7 billion of real estate assets under management, including 124 self storage facilities located throughout the United States and Toronto, Canada, comprised of approximately 78,500 units and 9.1 million rentable square feet. SmartStop’s real estate portfolio also includes five student housing communities with approximately 2,800 beds and 1.1 million square feet of space, as well as four senior housing communities with approximately 650 beds and 500,000 rentable square feet of space. SmartStop is the sponsor of four public non-traded REITs: Strategic Storage Trust IV, Inc., Strategic Storage Trust II, Inc., and Strategic Storage Growth Trust, Inc., all focused on self storage assets, and Strategic Student & Senior Housing Trust, Inc., focused on student and senior housing assets. SmartStop is also a national sponsor of Section 1031 exchange offerings using the Delaware statutory trust structure. Additional information regarding SmartStop is available at and more information regarding SmartStop® Self Storage in the United States and Canada is available at

Knowing When To Make the Move to a Senior Living Community

The decision to move into a senior living community can be a difficult and, oftentimes, a stressful proposition. For many, the decision to become a resident, or to have a loved one move into a community, is an emotional experience that requires a delicate balance of compassion and resolve.

There are some signs that may help you make the decision for a loved one, including if they are having difficulty with basic tasks, are experiencing more frequent injuries – like increased episodes of falling – if they see significant weight loss, or if they seem to be leaning toward isolation and loneliness. These are just some signs, not all, and ultimately the decision to transition to a senior living community is based on a unique set of factors for each person.

If you’re still wondering whether senior living is right for you or a loved one, our ISL communities are here to help you every step of the way.

We encourage those who are just beginning the process of looking into senior living to take a tour and ask very specific questions about the community when they call or visit. We know it may feel overwhelming at first, but asking a lot of questions is the best way to figure out whether a community is right for you or your loved one.

Some sample questions include:

  • What type of care do you provide, such as Independent, Assisted Living and Memory Care?
  • What additional services are available if the needs of a resident change?
  • Are all services included in the monthly fee? If not, what and how much are additional services?
  • Do you have care staff around 24/7?
  • Do you have experience with Alzheimer’s? Parkinson’s? Diabetes? (or the specific diagnosis of you or your loved one)

For those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, the loved ones who are making the decision to move to a senior living community need to have the comfort and assurance that the community they are moving to is a place of personalized care and professional service. Having a highly trained staff is crucial.

Knowing when the time is right to make the transition is different for everyone. At ISL, we are always ready to help any family through this period, and each of our communities is designed to ensure an inspiring and fulfilling quality of life for our residents, no matter what level of care they need.

The associates at our ISL communities would love to answer all your questions. Gives us a call or come take a tour. We’ll give you all the time you need to see that our communities are a great place to call home! You can visit our Communities page to find the community closest to you.


CARLSBAD, Calif. (Sept. 4, 2018)Integral Senior Living (ISL), a premier senior living management company, has promoted Kristen Curran-Brookham to director of Resident Programming, a newly created corporate support position.

In her new role, Curran-Brookham will oversee the implementation of ISL’s signature programs, including Vibrant Life®, Elevate culinary and Generations memory care, in all communities.

“Kristen has been a valuable asset for us for years, and when ISL created this new position, it was an easy decision to charge her to fill it,” said Collette Valentine-Gray, Integral Senior Living’s CEO and COO. “Kristen’s experience in the field and her passion for quality care will ensure that all of our communities continue to be the premier communities they are today, while continuing to work toward ever-higher standards.”

Curran-Brookham has over 10 years of experience in the senior living community industry, and has been with ISL since 2012. Her previous roles at ISL include serving as executive director, regional director of Sales and Marketing, and regional director of Resident Care.

About Integral Senior Living

Integral Senior Living (ISL), headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., manages a progressive selection of senior residences to meet the growing needs of today’s aging population. It manages independent, assisted living and memory care properties throughout 18 states. Ranked among the nation’s largest senior living providers, according to Senior Living Executive, ISL is founded on a care philosophy that fosters dignity and respect for residents and promotes their independence and individuality. The dedicated associates at each community are trained to maintain the highest standards of senior care services. For more information about ISL, visit Integral Senior Living’s website, blog and Facebook page.