Step Into Westmont Living®:

Bits and Bytes e-newsletter from Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Chico State


We have some exciting news to share with you! Last July, Ann Nikolai became the program director for Professional & Continuing Education (PCE), using 75% of her time overseeing all of PCE’s other programs, and dedicating 25% of her time directly to OLLI. Now, it is time for change again. Starting this July, Ann will dedicate all of her work time to PCE.


With this shift in Ann’s responsibilities, we are pleased to introduce you to OLLI’s new program director Andrew Lavin, pictured with his wife Kellie Marie and their son Wesley. OLLI reports to PCE, so Andrew and Ann will continue to collaborate. “Andrew’s breadth of experience is a perfect fit for OLLI,” Ann said, “and I can’t wait to introduce him to our special community of learners.”

new program director
As the program director, Andrew will head up OLLI’s strategic direction, program development, fundraising, and marketing. He will oversee our volunteers and get to know members. “I am excited about OLLI because I’ve always been a bit of a dabbler, wanting to explore widely rather than specialize in one thing,” Andrew said. “I also truly believe that life should be about making ourselves well-rounded and well-connected people and OLLI fulfills both of those functions. I look forward to using my gifts of creativity, media production and design, and nurturing people’s diverse strengths in this role as we build the next phase of OLLI.”

Andrew was most recently a grant manager at CalRecycle. Before that, he taught at Butte College, Feather River College, and Chico State. He has a BA from Chico State, an MA from San José State University, and a PhD from UCLA. He wrote Thinking Well: A Logic and Critical Thinking Textbook released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license, and hosted and produced Reductio, a podcast about philosophy, ideas, and understanding.

Be sure to say hi when you see Andrew around and give him a warm welcome to OLLI!

Save the Date

Join us for a Goodbye Ann and Welcome Andrew Drop-In Reception on June 26, 3-4:30pm, in Bradley 2 at The Social Chico.



More than 80 people have enrolled in Jay Sherwin’s class Danger, Suspense, and Deception: The Best of Alfred Hitchcock. Jay, pictured, has taught this and another Hitchcock class to 24 OLLI programs nationwide, with more scheduled in the fall. “I have been watching, studying and enjoying Hitchcock films for fifty years, since I was a child, and I remain fascinated by his life and his work,” Jay said. “When I moved to San Francisco in 2007, I created a walking tour of Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco.”


Jay led the tour for nine years, meeting thousands of Hitchcock fans from around the world. “When I left California, I was very sad to give up the tour, but then I realized that I didn’t have to!” He converted it to a virtual tour and begin offering it online to OLLI programs all over the country, including OLLI at Chico State.

“It was hard to choose just of few of Hitchcock’s best films,” Jay said of his spring class, “but I did, and I had a wonderful time developing the class content.” Jay chose four classic Hitchcock themes – themes he explored throughout his career – and he’ll be discussing two films each week that share a common theme.

“What I love most is sharing my Hitchcock obsession with others, including casual fans and serious students,” Jay said. “It’s great to introduce the films to people who haven’t seen them, and it’s great fun to discuss them with other longtime fans who appreciate them as much as I do.”

Register now for Danger, Suspense, and Deception: The Best of Alfred Hitchcock and experience Jay’s appreciation for yourself.

Jay’s class is just one of our OLLI USA classes starting this month. Some of the other classes will give you a chance to learn about paper, take a tai chi class, or catch up on AI news.



Brian Mullins, pictured, attended the OLLI Art Gallery opening reception on April 28 after a 15-year absence from OLLI. “As I got more active in cycling, I had less time for OLLI,” Brian explained. Brian and his wife Deborah spend six month a year in Chico, and lately he’s been missing the social connections and learning opportunities OLLI offers. At the gallery event, he ran into people he’d known when he was last an OLLI member, including Maureen Fredrickson, with whom he was a teacher at Chico Junior High School.


“It’s all coming back to me,” Brian said. “What I loved most about OLLI 15 years ago was the easy ways in which to connect with people.”

More than 50 people attended the gallery opening in Bradley 2 at The Social Chico. The artwork, 60 pieces by OLLI members, will be on display through the end of the term.



OLLI members get a special discounted lunch price at The Social Chico’s main cafeteria when you buy a 10-meal card from the cashier for $81.19. Single meals for everyone, including OLLI members, are $13.52.

The OLLI lunch hour, 11:30am-12:30pm, Monday-Friday is a great opportunity to spend time with other members and get something to eat between classes without having to go anywhere. And these prices still beat most downtown eateries!


The Social Chico’s cafeteria will be open through May 24. They will then be closed during the summer. Café 1400 in the Bradley 2 lobby will be open all summer serving Starbucks drinks and grab-and-go food items.

Debit/credit cards only. The Social Chico cannot accept cash.




With more than 130 members enrolled in his fall and winter classes on memory and aging, Westmont Living, Inc. (The Terraces of Chico) Senior Executive Director Cliff Keene has touched on a subject many of us can relate to. In his “Where Are My Keys?” class, Cliff discussed signs of normal brain aging, with examples like harder to recall names and slower to find words. He also shared symptoms of abnormal brain aging, like getting lost in familiar places, frequently repeating questions, and odd or inappropriate behavior. In addition to fielding questions, Cliff also talked about contributing factors, as well as resources for support.

Cliff’s long career in and commitment to older adult care makes OLLI’s partnership with The Terraces of Chico, pictured, a natural fit. For more than a decade, The Terraces has hosted OLLI classes, from opera, dance, and film classes to foreign languages and tai chi. These classes are also open to residents at The Terraces, creating a win-win arrangement for OLLI and for the facility. OLLI Program Director Ann Nikolai and Cliff both served together on the Chico State Interdisciplinary Center on Aging (ICOA) where Ann first met Cliff and discovered his deep commitment to older adults. “Cliff always made himself available as a resource to campus and the wider community to address issues affecting older adults, like health care, physical aging, financial security, and loneliness,” Ann said.


Now in his third year as The Terraces Executive Director, Cliff has had an opportunity to experience the OLLI presence at the facility. Becoming an OLLI sponsor last year seemed like a natural next step. As Cliff explained it, “It is great to have OLLI classes at the Terraces. There is such good energy when ongoing learning with seniors is happening here. It inspires our own residents to get involved with a topic that interests them as well.” OLLI members also love the classroom setting on the shores of California Park Lake.


Longtime OLLI instructor and volunteer leader Sydney Wilde has been a Terraces resident since 2022. “When my husband died two years ago, I already knew The Terraces was where I needed to be,” Sydney said. “The space is bright and airy, the apartments are comfortable, food is good, and there are more activities than any one person could possibly attend.” Shortly after Sydney moved in, she assumed the role of president of The Terraces Residents’ Council, a position formerly held by another OLLI member, Louise Cummins, who relocated to Washington State a year ago. In addition to her leadership role at The Terraces, Sydney has also continued teaching for OLLI online and, as of the new winter term, in person. “The in-person class is comprised 50/50 OLLI members and Terraces residents,” Sydney said.


OLLI partnerships on campus and in the community enrich programming by expanding knowledge networks and resources. For OLLI, this sponsorship also provides a financial boost that is contributing to OLLI’s post-pandemic recovery. But Cliff will tell you the partnership with OLLI is an excellent way to facilitate learning through classroom opportunities at The Social Chico and at The Terraces. “It is a pleasure to work with the OLLI program,” Cliff said. “I am happy to support the philosophy that learning should never end. I am also pleased to offer some topics that empower people as they age. There is not a better adage than ‘knowledge is power’ to adopt during the senior years of life.”

The Terraces popular Concert By The Lake series is May 18 and June 15 on the lawn at The Lodge. Music starts at 5:30. Bring chair or picnic blanket. Food, wine, and water provided.


Save the date for our Spring Community Speaker Series on Wednesday, May 22, 3-4pm. Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) President and CEO Seana O’Shaughnessy, pictured, will join us to talk about CHIP’s work.


Founded in 1973 as a partnership between Chico State and the City of Chico, CHIP serves Butte, Glenn, Tehama, Shasta, Sutter, Yuba, and Colusa Counties by assisting low-income and rural disadvantaged residents, seniors, and others who lack the financial resources or knowledge to improve or provide adequately for their housing. Seana embarked on her journey with CHIP three months after the Camp Fire. “I grew up in Paradise, so it means a lot to me to come full circle and be a part of this crucial recovery work,” she said.


Learn more about CHIP’s recovery efforts and the communities and people served at this event.

Free and open to the public!

A hybrid event – join us in Bradley 2 at The Social Chico or on Zoom. Check the OLLI website the day of the event for the Zoom link.




Joan O’Brien has been an OLLI member since she retired in 2017. She and her husband Shawn relocated to Chico in 2005 from San Diego, where she taught severely disabled preschoolers. Shawn took a job with Butte County Public Works and Joan worked in Yuba City for Sutter County Superintendent of Schools. “I jumped right into OLLI classes after I retired,” Joan said. “The vast array of classes now available both in person and online are amazing.”


Joan enjoys outdoor hikes and bird watching, as well as historic tours. She says she also gets a lot out of the financial classes for women. She particularly appreciates having access to classes from other OLLI programs such Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Arizona. The OLLI staff got to know Joan better when she started volunteering in the office. “I volunteer for all sorts of reasons,” she said. “I really like to help others who need it, to give me something meaningful to do, and to meet other people who share a common interest.”

Pictured: Joan’s daughters Katie and Siobhan, Joan, and Shawn, plus dog Fergus, at the 2023 Run for Food event.



Tropical Costa Rica, Winter ’25

Experience the paradise of lush forests and stunning waterfalls, rumbling volcanoes and endless coastlines in Costa Rica. Take in tranquil views of Arenal Volcano, visit the Cano Negro nature preserve, experience the Monteverde Cloud Forest’s lush canopy, and relax on sandy beaches. Your 9 days and 13 meals will be guided by seasoned tour guides from Collette.

Tropical Costa Rica

Exploring Greece and Its Islands, Spring ’25

Discover the magnificent ruins of ancient Greece and bask in the brilliance of the Mediterranean. This comprehensive journey explores Greece’s most important ancient monuments with ample time to explore on your own. Your 16 days and 25 meals will be guided by seasoned tour guides from Collette.

View the Exploring Greece and Its Islands full itinerary (pdf) and book now for discounted rates.

Exploring Greece and Its Islands

Memorials of World War II, Fall ’24

Retrace the D-Day preparation efforts and path this October. Join the OLLI members who have already signed up for this exciting tour! Book your trip and view the Memorials of WWII full itinerary (pdf).




OLLI instructor and local humorist Eric Miller will be the featured presenter at the Chico Friends of the Library Annual Meeting. Free and open to the public!

May 21, 6:30pm

Chico Library Conference Room, 1108 Sherman Avenue, Chico (map)





Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month began as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week in 1979 and has been an official heritage month since 1990. The month includes the heritage of Americans from a wide variety of national backgrounds.

A variety of US federal government agencies and organizations offer ways to learn about the heritage and contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. This May, spend some time learning and exploring their heritage.




May 22

May 27

June 19

June 26

June 28

Spring Community Speaker Series

Memorial Day (No Classes, OLLI Closed)

Juneteenth (No Classes, OLLI Closed)

Goodbye Ann, Welcome Andrew Reception

Last Day of Spring Classes


Navigating Visitation Policies: Staying Connected


In Paso Robles, California, The Oaks at Paso Robles understands the importance of maintaining connections between seniors and their loved ones, especially in assisted living communities. As the world continues to navigate challenging times, visitation policies have become crucial to ensuring the safety and well-being of residents and their families. In this blog post, we delve into the intricacies of visitation policies, exploring ways seniors can stay connected with their loved ones while adhering to necessary guidelines.


Understanding Visitation Policies

Visitation policies are essential guidelines assisted living facilities establish to regulate the frequency and manner in which visitors interact with residents. These policies often undergo revisions to adapt to changing circumstances, such as public health concerns or facility-specific needs. At The Oaks at Paso Robles, our visitation policies prioritize the safety and comfort of our residents while promoting meaningful connections with their families.


Balancing Safety and Connection

The implementation of visitation policies aims to strike a delicate balance between ensuring the safety of residents and facilitating meaningful social interactions. During uncertain times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, stringent safety protocols may restrict in-person visits to minimize the risk of transmission. However, technology has emerged as a valuable tool to bridge the gap, enabling virtual visits through video calls or messaging.


Embracing Technology for Virtual Visits

At The Oaks at Paso Robles, we recognize the importance of leveraging technology to facilitate virtual visits for our residents and their families. Through user-friendly platforms and accessible devices, seniors can engage in face-to-face conversations, share moments, and stay connected with their loved ones regardless of physical distance. Virtual visits offer a convenient and safe alternative, fostering emotional support and enhancing overall well-being.

Virtual Visits

Virtual Visits

Personalized Visit Arrangements

While virtual visits offer convenience, we understand that nothing quite compares to in-person interactions. That’s why The Oaks at Paso Robles strives to accommodate personalized visit arrangements whenever feasible. By scheduling designated visitation hours and implementing safety measures such as health screenings and mask mandates, we create a secure environment for meaningful face-to-face encounters between residents and their families.


Enhancing Communication Channels

Effective communication is vital to maintaining strong connections between seniors and their loved ones. In addition to virtual visits and in-person interactions, The Oaks at Paso Robles facilitates communication through various channels, including phone calls, emails, and newsletters. These channels are valuable resources for sharing updates, conveying important information, and fostering community among residents and their families.


Adapting to Evolving Guidelines

As public health guidelines evolve, so do visitation policies at The Oaks at Paso Robles. We remain vigilant in monitoring developments and adjusting our protocols accordingly to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents and staff members. By staying informed and adaptable, we can continue to provide exceptional care while promoting meaningful connections in our community.


Embracing Family-Centered Care

At The Oaks at Paso Robles, we embrace a family-centered approach to care, recognizing the integral role that loved ones play in the well-being of our residents. Our visitation policies reflect this commitment by prioritizing family involvement and engagement opportunities. Whether through virtual visits, in-person interactions, or other communication channels, we strive to foster a supportive network that extends beyond the confines of our facility.


Promoting Emotional Well-Being

Maintaining connections with family and friends is essential for promoting the emotional well-being of seniors in assisted living communities. Research has shown that social isolation and loneliness can have detrimental effects on physical and mental health, particularly among older adults. By facilitating regular interactions and visitations, The Oaks at Paso Robles aims to mitigate feelings of loneliness and enhance our residents’ overall quality of life.


Educating Residents and Families

In addition to implementing visitation policies, education is crucial in ensuring compliance and understanding among residents and their families. At The Oaks at Paso Robles, we provide comprehensive information and guidance regarding our visitation protocols, including updates on any changes or revisions. By empowering residents and families with knowledge, we promote transparency and foster a sense of trust within our community.


Supporting Special Circumstances

We understand that certain circumstances may necessitate flexibility and accommodation within our visitation policies. Whether due to medical needs, end-of-life care, or other exceptional situations, The Oaks at Paso Robles remains committed to supporting our residents and their families every step of the way. Our compassionate staff members work closely with families to address individual needs and ensure that appropriate arrangements are made to facilitate meaningful connections.


Encouraging Feedback and Collaboration

Feedback from residents, families, and staff members shapes our visitation policies and practices. At The Oaks at Paso Robles, we encourage open communication and collaboration to improve the quality of our services and experiences continuously. By actively seeking input and feedback, we demonstrate our commitment to listening and responding to the needs of our community.


Empowering Residents’ Voices

Central to our approach is empowering residents to voice their preferences and desires regarding visitation and social engagement. At The Oaks at Paso Robles, we honor residents’ autonomy and respect their choices. Whether they prefer frequent visits from family members or cherish quiet moments of solitude, we strive to create an environment that honors individual preferences and promotes residents’ well-being.

Join our community

As we navigate visitation policies at The Oaks at Paso Robles, our dedication to fostering meaningful connections remains unwavering. Through innovative approaches, personalized care, and ongoing communication, we strive to create an environment where residents feel supported, connected, and valued. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our visitation policies, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 805-835-4251. We’re here to help you and your loved ones every step of the way.


Services and Amenities in Independent Living

When considering a transition to independent living, the services and amenities available can significantly impact your quality of life. Westmont of Milpitas, nestled in the heart of Milpitas, CA, stands as a beacon of excellence. Our community is designed with your independence and lifestyle preferences in mind, offering a rich tapestry of services and amenities that cater to every aspect of daily living.


Unparalleled Services Enhancing Daily Life

Personalized Care and Support

At Westmont of Milpitas, we understand that each resident is unique, with their own set of preferences, needs, and aspirations. Our personalized care approach ensures you receive the support you need to maintain your independence, dignity, and personal freedom.


Culinary Delights for Every Palate

Dining is more than just a necessity; it’s an experience. Our culinary team takes pride in preparing nutritious, gourmet meals that cater to diverse dietary needs and preferences, ensuring every meal is an opportunity for social interaction and culinary enjoyment.


Amenities That Enrich Your Lifestyle

Engaging in Social and Recreational Activities

Life at Westmont of Milpitas is vibrant and engaging, with a calendar full of social, educational, and recreational activities. From art classes and fitness sessions to social gatherings and cultural outings, there’s always something to enrich your day.

Engaging in Social and Recreational Activities

Engaging in Social and Recreational Activities

Fitness and Wellness Programs

Staying active is key to maintaining health and independence. Our fitness and wellness programs cater to all levels of ability and interest, promoting physical health, mental well-being, and social connectivity.


Safe and Secure Living Environment

Your safety and security are our top priorities. Westmont of Milpitas has state-of-the-art safety features and a 24/7 security system, ensuring you and your loved ones peace of mind.


Comfort and Convenience at Your Fingertips

Maintenance-Free Living

Embrace a lifestyle where your comfort and convenience are paramount. Our dedicated team handles all maintenance and housekeeping, freeing you to enjoy your interests and passions without home upkeep.


Transportation Services

Independence means having the freedom to go where you want when you like. Our transportation services provide easy access to local attractions, shopping, and medical appointments, ensuring you remain connected to the broader community.


Luxurious Accommodations

At Westmont of Milpitas, we have designed your home to offer comfort, privacy, and elegance. You can personalize your space with various floor plans and modern amenities to reflect your taste and style.


A Community That Cares for Your Well-Being

Holistic Health Services

At Westmont of Milpitas, we believe in a holistic approach to health that encompasses physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Our on-site health services and partnerships with local healthcare providers ensure that you have comprehensive support tailored to your personal health needs.


Lifelong Learning Opportunities

The pursuit of knowledge and personal growth doesn’t stop at any age. We offer a variety of lifelong learning opportunities, including lectures, workshops, and classes on a wide range of topics, from technology to literature, fostering intellectual engagement and personal growth.


Beautiful Outdoor Spaces

Our beautifully landscaped grounds and outdoor spaces provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation, socialization, and enjoying the beauty of nature. Whether taking a leisurely walk, gardening, or enjoying the sunshine, our outdoor amenities enhance your daily living experience.


Connectivity and Technology

Staying Connected with Loved Ones

In today’s digital age, staying connected with family and friends is more important than ever. Westmont of Milpitas offers high-speed internet access and technology support to help you keep in touch with your loved ones, no matter where they are.


Smart Living

Our community embraces the convenience of modern technology. From smart home features in each residence to easy-to-use online platforms for communicating with staff and accessing services, we make technology work for you, enhancing your independence and quality of life.


Tailored to Your Interests and Passions

Arts and Culture

Embrace your creative side with our arts and cultural offerings. Participate in art classes, attend performances, or join a book club. At Westmont of Milpitas, we encourage you to explore your passions and discover new interests.


Community Volunteering

Giving back is a powerful way to find purpose and connect with others. We offer various volunteering opportunities, allowing you to make a meaningful impact on the community and beyond.


Explore Independent Living Excellence at Westmont of Milpitas – Call Now!

Choosing the right independent living community is about finding a place that feels like home—where services and amenities meet your needs and enhance your lifestyle. Westmont of Milpitas is committed to providing an environment that fosters independence, well-being, and joy.

If you’re exploring independent living options and wish to learn more about how Westmont of Milpitas can cater to your lifestyle, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to answer your questions and help you discover the vibrant, fulfilling life that awaits you in our community. Call us today at 408-770-9575 to start your journey toward an enriched and independent lifestyle.


The Oaks at Nipomo Celebrates Fifth Anniversary with a Gala

Westmont Living is happy to announce that The Oaks at Nipomo has been serving area seniors for five years. Residents, families and staff celebrated this auspicious occasion with a black tie-style event called A Night at the Gala. The festively decorated community was filled with love and laughter as attendees shared delicious food and drank while listening to local entertainment. The event was open to the community and there were many first-time guests. According to Executive Director Ron Freeman, “Everyone enjoyed a Taste of Westmont and the staff really outdid themselves in making this a special event. Special thanks go to Community Relations Director Debra Benitez for chairing this event and, of course, to Chef Ryan, who made a sumptuous feast for all.” Pictured in the photo (left-right) is Lifestyle Assistant Neeta Khare and Marjorie and John Oliver. The Oaks at Nipomo is open for daily tours. If you want to know more, please call 805-723-5206 or visit

Honoring Veterans at Westmont of Cypress

The eighteen veterans along with their families were treated to a special honor at Westmont of Cypress and it wasn’t on a national holiday. That didn’t stop the Westmont of Cypress staff from asking Chaplain Doreen Matsumoto, who conducts a weekly bible study, if she could coordinate a special commemoration for the residents who were veterans. Matsumoto is a member of the American Veterans Assistance Group who coordinated this with Quilts of Valor. According to the Quilts of Valor website, their quilts are to be awarded to a service member or veteran who has been touched by war to thank them for their service and sacrifice in serving our nation. On each of the quilts there is a number along with the names and location of all individuals that worked on the quilt. Each Westmont of Cypress veteran who received a quilt was wrapped with love by having the quilt placed over them at the time of presentation. The event was a rousing success. Members of Cottonwood Church in Los Alamitos provided refreshments. A big bonus is that our program was highlighted the winter issue of the American Veterans Assistance Group Magazine. We love our veterans!

California Bloomin’ Beauties!

As spring paints the landscape in vibrant hues, California bursts into a breathtaking showcase of colorful blooms. From majestic wildflowers to delicate blossoms, the Golden State’s diverse flora comes alive during this enchanting season. For seniors residing at our Westmont Living communities, we embarked on outings to witness California’s spring blooms. It was an invigorating and enriching experience. These outings offer not only a chance to marvel at nature’s beauty but also an opportunity to connect with fellow residents and create lasting memories.



Hug a Nurse – It’s National Nurses Week

National Nurses Week started in 1954 by the American Nurses Association, which was started to celebrate nurses who work in all different settings from schools to hospitals to traveling around the world in order to provide care. Sixty-nine years later we are still honoring those who choose to care for others.

“Nurses Week means that it’s a time when all nurses are recognized and honored for their dedication to the health and wellness of people. Nursing is being selfless, they make sure that their patients, or residents are the priority while ensuring they are treated with kindness, compassion, and dignity,” said Theresa Egurrola, R.N. and regional care director for Westmont Living communities in Central California.

The 2023 Nurses Week theme “Nurses Make a Difference: Anytime, Anywhere – Always” honors the unwavering commitment of DHA nurses to their patients and the value they provide to the unified healthcare team in accomplishing their medical readiness mission.

If you see a nurse this week, take a moment to thank them for their service. And, if they are agreeable…give them a hug!


Volunteers to celebrate Earth Day with Goleta cleanup

Goleta will celebrate Earth Day on Saturday with an effort to beautify the city.

Volunteers are welcome to the Beautify Goleta cleanup, set for 9 to 11 a.m. at three of the city’s open spaces: Stow Grove Park, Lake Los Carneros and Ellwood Bluffs.

As a thank you, each volunteer will receive a colorful Beautify Goleta T-shirt and a reusable plastic free Goleta cutlery set (while supplies last). To sign up, go to



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