Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Retirement facility features deluxe country living

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GARY AND SHERRY Hulbert stand in the kitchen in Hulbert Ranch, their new assisted living facility on Shadowhawk Drive in Shingle Springs. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

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From page B1 | March 01, 2013 | Leave Comment

A new spa-like retirement facility is now open in Shingle Springs that promises to be a home away from home for those wanting to retire in luxury.

Located on 150 acres of rolling green hills dotted with oaks and a meandering stream, the Hulbert Ranch Assisted Living facility is the brainchild of ranch owners, Gary and Sherry Hulbert.

Helping them manage the facility is Cindy Powell who has worked in assisted care facilities for over 10 years.

Gary, who is a retired engineer and a contractor, built the facility and said it was designed with mobility in mind with extra wide doorways and hallways and an expansive balcony to take in the stunning scenery.

High ceilings and abundant windows throughout the center create an open and airy atmosphere combined with living facilities that offer privacy as well as access to the common areas.

Individual suites at the facility range in size from 400 to 800 square feet and include a bedroom, sitting room, kitchenette with a sink, refrigerator and microwave, private bathroom and two exits. One exit leads into the main living area and the other to the outside balcony with views of the surrounding hillsides and the Sierra Nevada.

Because of the limited size of the facility, they feel they can give each resident more individual attention. So, for example, the doors of clients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can be wired so staff are alerted when they leave their suites to go outside.

When it comes to meals, residents have several options, including making quickie meals in their rooms, cooking in a spacious full-sized kitchen, or having gourmet meals prepared for them by the staff. Housekeeping and laundry services are also available.

Plenty of opportunities exist for keeping residents busy including paved paths for walking and wildlife viewing. For example, during certain times of the year, a fenced section of the property is rented for cattle grazing.

“My mother is happy when the cows arrive,” he said. ”My parents really love this place. They connect with the land.”

Gary said they also tried their hand at having a pond but the critters got most of the fingerlings. So they gave up on that idea. But they do have a rather nice waterfall near the front of the facility.

Off to one side of the residential facility is a heated indoor lap pool for water aerobics and individual swimming.

A fenced court for playing basketball or pickelball is adjacent to the pool and is lit for nighttime playing. Below it is a raised bed garden for those wanting to grow their own vegetables or flowers.

Gary said videos are available for those who prefer to exercise indoors. All the TVs in the suites are hooked up to an internal network that includes a library of educational videos and movies. For those who want to do genealogy work or surf the net, off the main kitchen is a family history center with six DSL lines and wireless hubs so residents can stay in touch with family and friends.

The Hulberts said their six-bed facility actually only has four suites available since he and Sherry plan to live in one and Gary’s parents will live in another.

Gary said his parents helped him design the facility and one of the last things he and his father did — his father is also an engineer — was put cabinets in all the rooms.

The Hulberts said they had many reasons for opening the center. One had to do with what to do with the ranch once they retired. Whether they should move to someplace smaller or open it up.

Having lived there for 12 years and being the place where their first grandchild was born, they had a deep emotional attachment to the ranch.

One of the Hulbert’s four children and his family also live on the property in an 1897 farm house that Gary refurbished.

However, there were other personal reasons over and above their attachment to the property for opening an assisted living center. Gary commented that he had been volunteering in his church and with other groups for decades. In the last few years he had worked, in particular, with seniors and had had to bury many of his friends.

“One of the things I saw was people who didn’t have much dignity in their last few years,” said Gary. “This place would allow people to have that dignity as they age and become more dependent. We have many brilliant friends and family. You see them more diminished and you recognize the respect they should have and don’t get.”

“Dignity and having things to do besides sitting in front of a TV as someone’s capacity starts to be more limited,” added Sherry. ”The ideal candidate for our facility is someone who still enjoys getting up and walking around but in the future will suffer from a diminished capacity. Our motto is accommodate people as they change.”

“This facility offers people a choice of where they live before they are forced to move, ” said Gary. “The children of seniors often have to make these decision,” he said. “But it’s better if the person makes his own decision.

“We feel this place is unique and blessed,” said Gary. “And we are looking for people who will love it as much as we do.”

For more information or a tour, contact the Hulberts or Powell at 530-677-8796, email them at cindy@hulbertbrothers.com or go to their Website hulbertranch.com to learn more about the facility.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

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