Hesperia's largest senior living facility is under new management.
The 62,000-square-foot Foremost Health Care was purchased for $6.2 million in May, after the retirement of previous owner Leonard Crites.
"It was a dream of my husband," Niru Vangala said. Her husband, Venkat Vangala, is a urologist in Apple Valley. He and his wife previously tried to buy the facility several years ago. "He deals with a lot of older people and their families."
Foremost Health Care is a 96-bed assisted facility, with an additional 67 independent living apartments on the campus.
Senior living facilities are a growth industry: "As the Baby Boomers get to that age, the need will be more," Niru Vangala said.
Changes are already taking place in the first four weeks since the purchase.
"We're raising the bar," marketing director Jim Shibun said. "Before, we were a Super 8 (Motel), but now, we're going to be the Ritz-Carlton."
The facility will be adding shuttle service to Las Vegas, Stateline and elsewhere. Closer to home, they have proposed building a golf cart path to connect Foremost to the Hesperia Golf & Country Club a few blocks away. They are also considering adding adult daycare facilities for seniors who live off-site in the area.
They also are in the process of improving the Terrace Room banquet facility, making it more attractive to businesses by adding an improved audio-visual system, high-speed Internet access and more. The activities room has been redecorated and more stimulating, physical activities have been added. Private facilities for couples and family visits have also been carved out, and the ability for residents to use Skype and other Internet communication tools have been added to public spaces at the facility.
"They're going to get a good night's sleep because they know Mom and Dad will be getting good care," administrator Elizabeth H. Colón said. "We're guests in their home and we treat it that way."
All of this, representatives say, will be done without raising the prices for residents.
"We think raising the rates would defeat the purpose," Shibun said.
Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at Beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.