A resident found that happiness, community and cheer helped him settle into San Francisco senior living.

A few close calls with falls and a growing concern that he was becoming too heavy a burden on his wife led Jack Nerney to his doctor, who suggested he look into a Bay Area assisted living community, AlmaVia of San Francisco.

Jack, an ex-Marine and San Francisco native, had worked for the city for 38 years. After he retired from his job in public administration, and stopped driving, he would get around by walking. Eventually, he found it harder and harder to walk, and began losing his balance.

Now that he’s at AlmaVia of San Francisco, with the support of caregivers to help prevent a fall, Jack feels secure enough to practice using a walker. “It’s better for me to be here,” he says.

Settling Into San Francisco Senior Living
It took Jack a little time to feel at home in his new community. “I came out here in February 2015, and wasn’t too happy for the first week or two,” says Jack. He decided to get out and go to dinner where he could meet other residents. “Ever since then, I’ve loved everything,” he says. “You’re either gonna be happy or sad, and I decided to be happy.”

Jack found that spending time socializing with other residents helped him start to adjust and enjoy his new home. It helps that Jack’s wife Kathleen visits every day, and his three children and six grandchildren stop by frequently to see him.

Now that he’s settled, Jack enjoys all of the activities AlmaVia has to offer. “My favorite are the quizzes, everybody competing with each other,” he says. “It keeps our minds young.” The community shows movies every night, but the 86-year-old prefers to read, and will often sit outside and bask in the sun in the mornings, book in hand. He’s also learned to love his naps, drifting off as he reads. “You feel like a new man after you nap,” he says.

Jack has had no problem making friends at AlmaVia and getting into a regular routine. The secret to his success? Cheerfulness. “All you have to do is be cheerful,” he says. He takes the time to sit down and chat with fellow residents, adding a positive note to their day. “I know most of their names,” he says.

At AlmaVia, Jack now feels secure enough to get out and about without the fear of falling. “I just sat around the house for so many years,” he says. Now he participates in events and makes time to see people and stay active with his walker. “I’m happy here. They treat me like a million bucks.”