Part 1: Dr. Jacqueline DuPont. Residential / Assisted Living Care for Seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. When is the time right?

It Starts at the Top

Our capable and compassionate care starts from the top! Dr. Jacqueline Dupont, who founded Irvine Cottages in 1996, is a gerontologist with over 20 years of experience in the field of aging and Alzheimer’s care. She is often at your loved one’s cottage making sure all is going smoothly for our residents. Her knowledge, commitment, caring, and compassion are extraordinary, and these qualities are reflected in our entire staff.

28th Annual Southern California Alzheimer’s Disease Research Conference

Learn the latest in dementia care and research, right here in Orange County!

Join UCI MIND and Alzheimer’s Orange County for our highly acclaimed 28th Annual Southern California Alzheimer’s Disease Research Conference. A roster of internationally known researchers will delve into six “Elephant-in-the-Room” sensitive subjects in dementia care.

The conference will shed light on the real challenges faced by those living with Alzheimer’s disease in an effort to reduce stigma and facilitate conversation among patients, families, and healthcare providers.

Friday, September 22, 2017
7:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Irvine Marriott Hotel
18000 Von Karman Ave,
Irvine, CA 92612

Read more about the conference here.

Schedule of Services for Nicole Ledina

Nicole Ledinas, Irvine CottagesNicole LeDina brought such kindness and compassion to our residents with memory loss at Irvine cottages. We met Nicole at UCI when she played for Aileen Sherman who was battling cancer and met her in hospital. Aileen was also an angel.

Aileen asked Nicole to play for our residents and Nicole was thrilled to do it.

Thank you Nicole for all the kindness you showed to those less fortunate than yourself!

Our prayers are with her family. You will be missed.

Schedule of services:

1) July 6th & 7th(Thursday & Friday): 5pm-9pm Visitation at OConner Mortuary at 25301 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

2) July 8th(Saturday): 10am-11am – Mass at St. John Neumann Catholic Church at 5101 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA 92604
Reception immediately following at St. John Neumann Catholic Church Parish Hall

There is a fund raising going on set up by Nicole’s friends. You can go to and search for Nicole Ledina. Any help you can share is greatly appreciated. Click on this link to know more about Nicole:

The Sigma Chi Fraternity Names a Female Sweetheart scholarship after Jacqueline Lehn DuPont

Now the whole country of Sigma Chi’s can nominate their chapter sweetheart for a University scholarship.

Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, 89-91 International Sweetheart of Sigma Chi filled her International sweetheart term from 1989 to 1991 with numerous hours of community service for the Sigma Chi fraternity. Raising toys for disabled children, derby days fundraising and supporting older adults in nursing homes was her passion and still is her passion.

Jacqueline Lehn DuPont is a CEO of a Irvine Cottages memory care, Assured in Home care and Executive of Vista Gardens. Serving older adults daily is an honor. She is also pleased to be associated with such an amazing Fraternity that gives back to our nation is so many wonderful ways.

Alzheimer’s Orange County’s 19th Annual ‘Care Support Cure’ Gala
Raises $387,822

Alzheimer’s Orange County (AOC), Orange County’s leading provider of Alzheimer’s and dementia support services, held its 19th annual gala on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the Pelican Hill Golf Pavilion. The gala, themed “Care Support Cure” —a summary of AOC’s three critical mission points—drew a crowd of nearly 300 of AOC’s most ardent supporters, and raised a record-breaking $387,822 for the organization.

Planning for this year’s gala was led by event chairs Dave and Eydie MacInnis, Marc Carlson and Dr. Jacque Lehn DuPont. These individuals have chaired Alzheimer’s Orange County’s gala in the past, and have each given to the organization in other significant capacities. Dr. Jacque Lehn DuPont, for example, sits on Alzheimer’s Orange County’s board of directors, and has dedicated 20 years of service to the organization.

Read the full article below.

Benefit: UCI Mind Gala is “A December to Remember”

The 7th Annual fundraising gala for Alzheimer’s research at UCI MIND, the Institute for Memory Impairment and Neurologic Disorders, was held at the festively decorated Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach on Dec. 3.

The gala raised $375,000 to support basic science research at the Institute.

Read the full article here.

7th UCI MIND Gala


Join us for the 7th UCI MIND Gala, A December to Remember, on December 3rd at the Balboa Bay Resort. It will be an evening of fine dining, silent and live auction and dancing to the Big Band 2000. We are honoring some pretty amazing people and we would love to have you join us. Thank you!

A family member of a cottage resident has donated $10,000 in Jacque Lehn DuPont’s name!

For ticket information, go to:

Field of Dreams
For A Cancer Free World
Tribute to Aileen Sherman

Field of Dreams

On July 9, 2016, the Concern Foundation of Cancer Research held their 42nd Block Party. A tribute to Aileen Sherman was included as part of the program.

Download the full program PDF here. Below is a slideshow of photos from the event.

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Dupont Carlson to Receive 2015 Senior Care Hero
Humanitarian Award

Senior Care Hero Award Jacqueline_Dupont-V6-073115_500

Congratulations to our Founder and CEO, Dr. Jacqueline Dupont, who will receive the 2015 Senior Care Hero Humanitarian Award at The Senior Care Hero Awards celebration on Saturday, October 17th at 6:00pm at the Grove in Anaheim.

Susan Papiri, Senior Director for SeniorServ, explained that in honor of the 5th anniversary of the Senior Care Hero Awards, they created a new award that reflects overall why they originally began the awards. The Humanitarian Award is given to honor a person, group of people or organization that have gone “above and beyond” furthering the cause of humanitarianism in regard to seniors. “We couldn’t think of a better person to be the inaugural honoree than Jacqueline,” Papiri stated. We totally agree!

SeniorServ is dedicated to meeting the needs of older adults in central and north Orange County. Their senior programs include Meals on Wheels, Adult Day services, Care Circles, Senior Lunch Program, Friendly Visitor Program, Case Management and Home Services.

For more information or to purchase tickets for The Senior Care Hero Awards, please click here.



Creating Hope, Creating Memories

Original article appeared in the Orange County Business Journal, April 11, 2016

Marc Carlson, Dr. Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, Jim McAleer, Eydie MacInnis and Dave MacInnis

Marc Carlson, Dr. Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, Jim McAleer, Eydie MacInnis and Dave MacInnis

Farmers & Merchants Trust Co, Sycamore Chiropractic, Caring Companions of Home, KPMG, United Healthcare and First American Trust were among the sponsors of the Broadway Memories-themed Alzheimer’s Orange County’s 18th Annual Creating Hope Gala. The event, presented by the Argyle Family Foundation took place March 18th at AC Irvine.

The gala was attended by 350 supporters and raised 380,000. All funds raised will be used in Orange County, where they will go toward care and support services for the 84,000 Orange County residents affected by Alzheimer’s.



17 Year Old Inventor

By Steve Moran

Original article appears on the Senior Housing Forum


I can tell you that probably the most exciting accomplishment I had at age 17 was managing to get to all my classes on time in high school . . . and even that was a challenge at times. Not so for Kenneth Shinozuka, creator of SafeWander, the world’s first wearable sensor that sends an alert to a caregiver’s mobile device when a loved one or a patient gets up from a bed or chair, even if the caregiver is far away.

I arrived to the Aging 2.0 Age Tech Expo a bit late and there was all this buzz about a great presentation by this amazing 17 year old. I was not happy I missed it. I tracked him down to ask him if he would tell me his story. It is pretty cool.

A Grandchild’s Love

My initial curiosity stemmed in discovering what led Kenneth to creating such a product in the first place . . . especially at such a young age.

“Growing up in a family of three generations I was always very close to my grandfather. When I was four years old he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Over the years his condition got worse and worse. The scariest part was that he frequently wandered out of bed at night. I remember one time when I was six years old he was found wandering aimlessly on the highway.” Kenneth explained.

Talk About Scary

“Yeah, very scary.” Kenneth agreed, “We didn’t find out about it until he showed up at our front door with a policeman at his side. It really hit home that this wandering could pose a huge risk to his safety.

When my parents and I moved to New York City my aunt became my grandfather’s only caregiver. So she had to stay awake all night to keep an eye on him and even then often failed to catch him leaving the bed. Around that time I was 14 years old and just learning about the tremendous amount of stress that she was experiencing as well as the fact that my grandfather’s safety was often in jeopardy.

I just decided that I had to take the problem into my own hands. So one night I had returned to my grandfather’s home for a Thanksgiving break and as he was stepping out of the bed I sort of saw the solution to the problem. I thought why don’t I put a pressure sensor under the heel of my grandfather’s foot and as soon as he steps out of the bed and onto the floor the pressure sensor would detect an increase in pressure and then send an alert to a caregiver’s smartphone.

That was the initial idea and then after going through several different challenges, like making the sensor, designing a circuit, I was finally able to come up with two prototypes that I tested on my grandfather for 12 months. After testing it on more people I realized that there was a need to create a non-sock solution. So over the past year I’ve been working on a sensor that’s attached to a patient’s clothes.”

Smart Detection

One of the concerns that people have with thois kind of motion sensor is that you have this potential of ending up with a whole bunch of notifications where they’re not really getting out of bed. So particularly if somebody just rolls over or is restless in bed, how does SafeWander avoid that?

“One of the benefits of this device is that it’s accurate in detecting wandering. It only detects changes in body position when a patient starts to rise out of the bed. So if they’re just tossing and turning in bed then an alert won’t be sent out to caregivers. One of the big problem with sensors is alarm fatigue. So caregivers would hear an alarm but think it’s probably a false alarm so they decide not even to look at the person and that can oftentimes result in endangering the person’s safety. So having a device that has very few false alarms hopefully, like SafeWander, is something that could be very beneficial.”

The beneficial implications for this type of product are significant. I am thinking this is only the beginning for young Mr. Shinozuka. With great minds like his at the helm of future progress in our industry, I foresee great things on the horizon. Keep an eye on this one folks . . . he is going places!

To learn more about SafeWander and hear more from Kenneth Shiozuka, be sure to listen to the rest of the podcast here.



Former Intern Featured in Ad During the Oscars


Kenneth Shinozuka, one of our former interns, was featured in an ad during the Oscars! The ad can be viewed here.



Lehn DuPont Continues Advocacy for Video Camera Monitoring

Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, Founder and CEO of Irvine Cottages, was a pioneer in creating video camera monitoring in assisted living facilities in 1996. This news article from February 3, 2015 updates efforts being made by Lehn DuPontand others to have the Department of Social Services approve camera monitoring programs in California.

The following is an excerpt of Dr. Lehn DuPont’s comments from the article:

Gerontologist Jacqueline Lehn DuPont insisted it has helped protect residents at a home she runs in Orange County.

“Oh, it does work,” Lehn DuPont said. “I mean, I don’t know what I would do without them.”

Irvine Cottages is believed to be the only facility in the state where cameras have been allowed in the rooms. They were installed more than 15 years ago as a pilot program.

“Falls occur most often in the room,” Lehn DuPont said. “Abuse occurs most often in the room. Many things occur in the bedroom that don’t occur in the hallway, so that’s why it’s critical.”

She has found it has protected the caregivers, too.

“Caregivers often get accused of incidents that aren’t their fault,” DuPont said. “For example, an older adult with delirium might say, ‘I was raped last night.'”



OC Goodwill Celebrates 90th Anniversary with a Gala

Mike Love and Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys, and Actor-Musician John Stamos with Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, Event Co-chairperson

Mike Love and Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys, and Actor-Musician John Stamos with Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, Event Co-chairperson

Orange County Goodwill held its Inaugural Gala in November 2014 to mark its 90th anniversary in Orange County. Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, CEO of Irvine Cottages, was a Co-Chairperson of the event. Entertainment was a full-length concert by The Beach Boys, including original members, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston. Actor John Stamos was the guest musician on drums, guitar and vocals. He’s been playing concerts with The Beach Boys for many years. The delightful, beach-themed evening was held at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott in Dana Point.

Three key programs will benefit from funds raised through the Goodwill Gala – Enduring Independence, a veteran’s advocacy program that helps young veterans find employment and transition into civilian life; The Goodwill Fitness Center, Orange County’s only completely accessible fitness center designed specifically for people living with physical disabilities or chronic illness; and Goodwill’s Assistive Technology Exchange Center (ATEC), a program that helps children and adults living with disabilities reach maximum potential via specialized services and equipment.



Dr. Jacqueline Dupont Featured in the 2015 Annual Report from the Ayala School of Biological Sciences, UC Irvine

Dr. Jacqueline Dupont Featured in the 2015 Annual Report from the Ayala School of Biological Sciences, UC Irvine

Dr. Jacqueline Lehn DuPont Featured in the 2015 Annual Report from the Ayala School of Biological Sciences, UC Irvine

On Monday, June 16, traditional commencement was held for students of the Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences. This marked the first time that an Ayala School Commencement was celebrated under its new name, Katherine Hills ’83, chair of the Ayala School Alumni Club served as the Alumni Mace Marshall. Dr. Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Dupont Residential Care, Inc. and new member of the Dean’s Leadership Council was the commencement speaker. Dr. Lehn DuPont presented a moving address describing how she discovered a love of serving others, encouraging the graduates to make their professional and personal lives more meaningful by volunteering and having an impact on their local communities. In all, there were 878 members of Ayala School’s Class of 2014, including 822 bachelor’s degrees, 21 master’s degrees and 35 doctorates.



Supercentenarian Marks 110 Years With an Unbroken Funny Bone

Irvine resident Sally Mitchell celebrates her 110th birthday. (Susan Hoffman / Daily Pilot)

Irvine resident Sally Mitchell celebrates her 110th birthday. (Susan Hoffman / Daily Pilot)

By Susan Hoffman

November 27, 2014

Sally Mitchell is a supercentenarian. Her superpowers include the ability to remember when the modern zipper was introduced, when the Titanic sank and when the Lindbergh baby was kidnapped. The 110-year-old Irvine resident’s eyes are sharp, as is her sense of humor.

When she was recently honored with a city proclamation and a tribute by Irvine City Councilwoman Beth Krom, Mitchell said: “I don’t have anything to give you.”

Mitchell was born in 1904, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began work on the Panama Canal, the ice cream cone was invented and the New York City subway opened.

This year she joins the ranks of the supercentenarians, those who have reached the age of 110. Daughter Suzanne Becker says Mitchell owes her longevity to the ability to keep stress in check, regular exercise and, of course, good genes. Most of her siblings lived into their 90s, and her baby sister, 94-year-old Maxine Baker, attended Mitchell’s birthday party this week.

Mitchell, one of six children, grew up on a farm in Pentwater, Mich., and moved to California when she was in her 20s. She and her husband, Howard Mitchell, met while they were both working at AT&T, and she became a full-time homemaker after they were married.

The couple settled in San Marino and would eventually move to Newport Beach, where they lived for more than 40 years.

When Howard Mitchell died after 60 years of marriage, Sally moved in with her daughter in Irvine and then relocated to a Turtle Rock assisted living home. In addition to her daughter, she has three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Becker said that her mother’s eyesight is better than her own, “and the only problem is a loss of hearing from one ear.” With her sense of humor intact, even her hearing loss has contributed to funny moments.

Becker told of the time she was explaining the elastic straps on her shoes when her mom said, “What? They were made in Alaska?” Another time Becker was telling her about their gracious hosts on a visit to a small village in Hungary who delivered a tray of aperitifs before serving lunch, and Mitchell said, “What? They brought you a pair of teeth?”

According to Robert Young, senior database administrator for the Gerontology Research Group, “Reaching age 110 is, in longevity terms, like making the major leagues.” The group’s records indicate that Mitchell may be the oldest person in Orange County.

Susan Hoffman writes for Times Community News.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times



Marcia C. Smith: Once in a lifetime

Sally Mitchell is the center of attention while music therapy volunteer Lauren Lugo sings old-time tunes. Administrator Gina Zion is at left, and caregiver Zelenia Tabora is in back. by Mindy Schauer, Staff Photographer

Sally Mitchell is the center of attention while music therapy volunteer Lauren Lugo sings old-time tunes. Administrator Gina Zion is at left, and caregiver Zelenia Tabora is in back. by Mindy Schauer, Staff Photographer

By Marcia C. Smith, Staff Columnist, Orange County Register, Nov. 23, 2014

IRVINE – Her delicate hands rested in her lap, her dainty fingers tapping to the softly sung melody of “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Sally Mitchell closed her eyes and leaned back in her favorite blue La-Z-Boy recliner in the common room of her assisted-living home, Irvine Cottages.

On this recent morning, like every morning of her remarkably long life, she didn’t leave her bedroom until she looked pretty, proper and presentable.

Her shoulder-length silver hair was done in gentle curls. She wore a black sequined sweater, slacks and knit booties. A white pearl necklace hung over her heart.

She wore bright red lipstick that outlined the faintest of tight smiles, one that still – still! – hints at a hidden joy as she lets herself get carried away in the music.

On Tuesday, Selma “Sally” (Hurthle) Mitchell will turn 110 years old.

She has outlived her best friends, her husband of 67 years, three of four siblings. She has lived through the Great Depression, both World Wars, 19 U.S. presidencies and more than a century of social and technological change.

She has seen Halley’s Comet – twice – the first in 1910, at age 6, while sitting in the back of a hay wagon on her family’s Michigan farm, and the second in 1986. She remembers the sinking of the Titanic and still ranks one invention as better than all others.

“I’ll never forget the day my family got a telephone,” she said.

Her secret to longevity isn’t so secret. She tells everyone who asks: “I have tried to plan my life in such a way that I didn’t create needless stress.”

Mitchell always finds something to interest her and has become expert at letting disappointment and negative thoughts quickly go.

She embraces many simple pleasures: reading the newspaper every morning, enjoying flowers, feeling sunshine, sharing a smile and conversation, looking through family albums, joking with her hospice caregivers, wearing a fancy blouse, sitting in her cozy chair and listening to music.

She’s prepared to be serenaded with “Happy Birthday” on Tuesday for living so long.

Experts estimate that one in 5 million Americans lives to be 110. There are only 75 people living in America who have passed the supercentenarian age of 110 years, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

The oldest living American is Gertrude Weaver of Arkansas, who turned 116 on July 4.

“My birthday is Tuesday,” Mitchell said with a grin.

For this feat, the staff at Irvine Cottages treats her like a princess. Lauren Lugo, the volunteer music therapist who sings to Mitchell every week, gently placed a silver plastic tiara on Mitchell’s head last Tuesday morning. Mitchell has worn it since.

“Sally is a treasure for how she has lived such a long and happy life,” said gerontologist Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, the CEO and founder of Irvine Cottages Memory Care.

“She’s extraordinary. She’s my movie star.”

Mitchell’s voice tires after a few sentences. Her hearing is fading, though it’s better in her left ear. She listens closely and saves her speech by giving the most concise of answers to almost any question.

Can you tell me about your life?

“It’s long,” she said.

Do you remember the stock market crash and the Great Depression?

“I try not to think about it,” she said.

World War II?


She’d prefer to engage in playful morning banter with caregiver Ojie Umali, coaxing him into trading coyote howls and doggie barks.

“We have a little play,” said Umali. “She has quite a sense of humor and likes to make people around her smile.”

Her memory fades in and out, but photos and familiar people bring everything back into focus. Her daughter, Suzanne Becker, 76, of Irvine visits several times a week to bring her a fresh-cut rose from her garden and connect the dots.

“At almost 110, you’d expect some things to go,” said Becker, Mitchell’s only child. “Even though the body is weaker, she needs a wheelchair to get around and she doesn’t always remember whether she had one child or two, she is still here and can be just as quick and sharp as ever.”

Last week, Mitchell noticed that her daughter got new glasses. “They’re nice,” said Mitchell, who hasn’t needed any of her own.

Selma Lenore Hurthle was born Nov. 25, 1904, in Pentwater, Mich, the first of two daughters among four children.

She grew up on a farm without electricity or indoor plumbing. She traveled using horse and buggy.

She played the piano, sang in an elementary school quartet and performed at church fairs and socials.

Curious about the world, she left agrarian life for college, the Ferris Institute (now Ferris State University) in Big Rapids, Mich., to study the secretarial arts. Few women – 8 percent – pursued higher education then.

In 1922, the Hurthles sold their farm and moved to San Marino to nurse her brother, who had been injured in World War I. Sally took the El Capitan passenger train to get there. She still remembers her first whiff of California: the oranges from the station’s surrounding groves.

She went to work as a secretary for AT&T to “make my fortune,” said Becker, repeating one of her mother’s familiar embellishments.

There would be no millionaire fortune needed for a woman who has always considered herself fortunate.

Sally met AT&T salesman Howard Mitchell. He drove a Model A Ford from New York to marry her, as she liked to say, “in 1933, the year the zipper was invented.”

The couple moved to Fullerton, where Howard worked as an AT&T regional manager. Sally became a homemaker and raised Becker, cooking, sewing and making clothes for her daughter and her dolls.

“She always made a beautiful home for us,” Becker recalled. “She also dressed up every day. She cared about her appearance and knew my father loved to see her in beautiful high heels.”

In 1963, when Howard retired with a gold watch, the Mitchells moved to Newport Beach. The couple stayed active in civic groups.

They read the paper every morning over breakfast. Sally painted with watercolors.

At St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Howard became an usher, Sally a member of the flower guild.

Becker praised her parents’ marriage, saying, “I never heard them raise their voices or say an unkind word to each other.”

The Mitchells were married 67 years. Howard died in 2000 at the age of 97. Sally lived in Newport Beach until 2004, then lived with Becker until 2011 before moving into Irvine Cottages.

“I’d remember nights when my mother and her sister (Maxine, 97, of San Juan Capistrano) would stay up all night laughing and talking so loud, making no sense because Maxine has Alzheimer’s,” Becker said. “They were having a lively party!”

Speaking of “live,” Mitchell, a few years ago, had to prove she was indeed Selma Leonore Hurthle Mitchell to continue receiving Social Security checks.

Becker remembered how her mother told the agent that she had forgotten some key dates to verify her identity.

“I have to forget. It’s been a long time, and I’ve had to make room for the new stuff,” Mitchell said.

Like her upcoming 110th birthday.

The home is already decorated with “Happy Birthday” posters bearing her photo, the walls festooned with balloons and streamers. The cake and “110” candle has been ordered, and the music – Mitchell’s favorite – is scheduled to be performed with piano, guitar and harp.

Becker and Maxine will be there for the Tuesday celebration. It’s bound to be a once-in-a-very-long-lifetime event.

Contact the writer:



Super Sally Turns 110 Years Old!

L to R: Daughter Suzanne, Sally Mitchell, Great-grandson Fisher, Granddaughter-in-law Allison

L to R: Daughter Suzanne, Sally Mitchell, Great-grandson Fisher, Granddaughter-in-law Allison

Local Irvine resident Sally Mitchell will be turning 110 years old later this month. The soon-to-be supercentenarian – an individual who has reached their 110th birthday – currently resides at Irvine Cottages, an assisted-living facility that specializes in providing memory care.

At the age of 110, Sally has retained a high quality of life. For perspective, Mrs. Mitchell has lived through nineteen presidencies – from President Theodore Roosevelt to the current Obama administration. She has seen the United States fight through both World Wars, survive the Great Depression, and enter into the modern technological age.

Selma “Sally” Mitchell was born on November 25, 1904 – the same year as the third Olympic Games in St. Louis. She grew up on a farm in Pentwater, Michigan with her four siblings. After high school, Sally attended the Ferris Institute – today known as Ferris State University – at a time when less than 8 percent of women sought higher education in the United States.

After earning her business degree, Sally moved to California in 1922 to care for her brother who suffered an injury in World War I. She came to the Golden State by way of the El Capitan passenger train, and she cites waking up to the smell of orange trees as one of her favorite memories.

Sally secured a job with AT&T as a secretarial assistant. This job would prove to be more than just a paycheck, as it brought Howard Mitchell into her life, who would become her husband of sixty-seven years. Howard and Sally had one child, Suzanne, and the family settled in San Marino, California.

The length of Sally’s life is astonishing, considering that gerontology researchers have currently verified only seventy-five individuals who have reached the age of 110 in the world (Gerontology Research Group). Even more astounding is the fact that Sally shows no sign of dementia or other memory-related illnesses. Dr. Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, gerontologist and founder of Irvine Cottages, describes Sally’s mental health as extraordinary for her age. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, age is the most significant risk factor for dementia. Individuals 85 years or older have a 50 percent chance of developing the mental disease – and the risk factor increases every year.

Sally’s sole child, Suzanne, attributes her mother’s longevity to living a stress-free lifestyle. Suzanne describes her mother as “more of a reactor than an actor,” meaning that Sally has chosen to never stress about things outside of her control. Sally’s aversion to stress has preserved her physical and mental wellbeing for over a century.

Sally turns 110 on Tuesday, November 25.

Written by Charlie Crane, 2014 Irvine Cottages Summer Intern and current Sophomore at USC



Irvine Cottages Featured on NBC Nightly News Show

The story below originally aired on the NBC Nightly News and was published on on September 14, 2014. The original can be viewed by clicking here.

IRVINE, Calif. — Reclined in a plush red chair by a sunny window, Ida Mitchell taps her black slippers to the rhythm of the guitar and nods in time with the music. Next to her in the living room, half a dozen residents delicately clap their age-worn hands and sing along to “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad.” Ida will tell you with a smile about her love for bridge and for riding horses. She might tell you more than once.

Ida, 88, is a resident of Irvine Cottages, an assisted living facility in Irvine, California. Those living here suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. And while they enjoy the guitar playing and sing-alongs, there is an extra something special in store for them today.

Kenneth Shinozuka will soon start the eleventh grade. He’s a Boy Scout and a lover of the outdoors, and he wants to someday cure Alzheimer’s Disease.

Shinozuka, 15, crosses the cheerily decorated room with its floral paintings and karaoke station, and greets Ida with a handshake and polite salutations. Then, he gets down to business.

“I made this sock that lets Conrad know when you walk off your chair or out of bed, and lets him know if you need help,” Shinozuka says, referring to Ida’s nurse.

“Oh really?” Ida asks. “That’s pretty clever.”

“Thank you,” he says, in his characteristic politeness. “So we’re going to put the sock on you know, if that’s okay.” Delicately, he kneels down and slides a blue gingham sock equipped with a sensor on Ida’s right foot.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, of the estimated five million Americans with the disease, about 60 percent of them wander — and often become dangerously lost — as a result.

Shinozuka has invented a pressure sensor that when worn on the bottom of the foot or with a sock detects an increase in pressure and wirelessly sends an alert to a caregiver’s smartphone. Not only did Shinozuka come up with the gadget from scratch and teach himself how to make it, but he’s also beta testing it on patients like Ida this summer.

The CEO and founder of Irvine Cottages, gerontologist Jacqueline Lehn DuPont recalls the day earlier this summer when the eager 15-year-old called her saying he wanted to help her patients.

“I just couldn’t believe that anyone so young could achieve so much,” says Lehn DuPont. “I thought he was a college student!”
Shinozuka gets that a lot.

He’s matter-of-fact as he reviews his device with Dr. Lehn DuPont. “Pressure is applied, the alert is sounded,” says Shinozuka, squeezing the white, lima-bean sized sensor and triggering a musical chime on the iPhone in his other hand.

“Oh good. I like the alert. It’s much less obnoxious than the other alarms we use. They scare the residents down the hall,” says Lehn DuPont. In Irvine Cottages and in assisted living facilities across the country, many of the sensors used to detect when seniors have fallen or left an area have burdensome wires that must be clipped to clothing and loud alarms that frighten patients. Shinozuka’s device instead directly alerts the caregiver via a wireless signal.
That idea came from personal experience.

“My grandfather has lost the capability to eat by himself, to walk by himself, definitely to write and read. He can barely speak anymore. So it’s very hard,” says Shinozuka. “It’s also very hard for my aunt, his primary caregiver, since she’s the one who has to take care of him all the time.”

Shinozuka’s grandfather, Deming, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when Shinozuka was four years old and he regularly wanders out of bed at night. In the first six months Shinozuka attached his device, called the “Safe Wander,” to his grandfather’s sock, it detected all of Deming’s 437 known cases of wandering out of bed with no false alarms.

His mother, Maria Feng, remembers that breakthrough. “We were so proud, and we also felt the power of the invention. The power of the technology. It was such a great moment.”

Now, Shinozuka hopes to bring that “moment” to more families. “I hope that my device will ultimately reach out to the tens of millions of wandering patients around the world and also relieve the burdens on their caregivers,” he said.

His innovation has already won him a $50,000 prize and “Science in Action” award from Scientific American Magazine.
He will also compete in the Google Science Fair in September in California. But he’s looking farther into the future than that: he hopes to be a neuroscientist and specialize in engineering and computer science.

“I’d like to solve some of the mysteries of the brain, and invent tools to ultimately, I think, cure Alzheimer’s and other mental conditions that our aging population suffers from,” says Shinozuka.

By Chiara Sottile, Associate Producer at “Nightly News with Brian Williams.”

The NBC Nightly News team with Joe Fryer, Jacqueline Lehn DuPont and Kenneth Shinozuka filming the story at Irvine Cottages

The NBC Nightly News team with Joe Fryer, Jacqueline Lehn DuPont and Kenneth Shinozuka filming the story at Irvine Cottages



Dupont Addresses 2014 Graduates of UCI School of Biological Sciences

Dr. Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, Founder and CEO of Irvine Cottages, was the Commencement Speaker for the U.C. Irvine Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences graduation held on campus at the Bren Center on June 16, 2014. The audience of 6,500 included 1,500 graduates, their families, friends and distinguished faculty members from U.C. Irvine. Forty-two percent of the graduates were the first in their families to attend college.

Lehn DuPont’s speech included three major life lessons she learned on her road to success:

  1. Be a change maker. Be driven and detailed. Have the best manners in the room, and do not be on time . . . be early.
  2. It’s not all about you. Volunteer, give of your time and your heart to others not as fortunate as you. When you volunteer, you meet the best, brightest, and kindest people.
  3. Be humble. Be kind to others and treat everyone with dignity and respect.

Her full speech can be viewed below. Or you may read her speech by clicking here.


Megan House Wins 2014 Dupont JSerra Humanitarian Award

JSerra H.S. Senior, Megan House, Award Recipient

JSerra H.S. Senior, Megan House, Award Recipient

We are very pleased to announce Megan House, a Senior Center on the JSerra Catholic High School team, is the Student-Athlete recipient of the Dr. Jacqueline Lehn DuPont Humanitarian Award for the academic year 2013-2014 in recognition of her community service.

The Girl’s Basketball Program at JSerra Catholic High school emphasizes spiritual growth and development, academic and athletic excellence, along with sportsmanship. Their goal is to provide students opportunities to work in a team environment and test their physical and mental skills in a competitive arena. In dong so, student-athletes learn life-skills and are prepared for life on a spiritual, emotional and physical level. The team visits Irvine Cottages year-round bringing joy to our residents!

The award reads: “Humanitarian service is an integral part of the educational experience. To honor outstanding contributions and commitment to public service, and to encourage future ventures that address social needs within the community.”

Congratulations on your accomplishment, Megan!



Jacqueline Lehn DuPont Honored at 2014 Alzheimer’s Association “Creating Hope” Gala

Eydie and Dave MacInnis, Gala Co-chairs, Honoree Jacqueline Dupont, Jim McAleer, President & CEO of Alzheimer's Association Orange County (l to r)

Eydie and Dave MacInnis, Gala Co-chairs, Honoree Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, Jim McAleer, President & CEO of Alzheimer’s Association Orange County (l to r)

Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, founder of Irvine Cottages and Assured In-Home Care, was a 2014 Alzheimer’s Association Orange County Honoree for her continued work and advocacy on behalf older adults and the Alzheimer’s community. The “Creating Hope” Gala was held on March 1, 2014, at The Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

In addition to beautiful decor and delicious food, attendees were treated to an energetic live performance by American Idol Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks.

The wildly successful event raised over $525,000. Alzheimer’s is the fourth leading cause of death in Orange County, and sixth nationwide. The Alzheimer’s Association is the primary resource for families battling this disease with free services, including a 24/7 Helpline, support groups, research trials and educational materials. Proceeds from the Gala will go toward treatment, research and will enable AAOC to continue to provide its services at no cost.

Marc Carlson, Taylor Hicks, Jacqueline Dupont (l to r)

Marc Carlson, Taylor Hicks, Jacqueline Lehn DuPont(l to r)



Aileen Sherman Receives the Alzheimer’s Association
2013 Visionary Women Award

Honoree Aileen Sherman with husband, Neil

Honoree Aileen Sherman with husband, Neil

Congratulations to Aileen Sherman, our Family Services Director, for being honored as a 2013 Visionary Woman by the Alzheimer’s Association in the Administrative Professional category. This honor is for those who have served as models of commitment to compassionate care, which Aileen has done for Irvine Cottages for 17 years! The award states, “Aileen’s sensitivity, empathy and ability to instill a sense of hope distinguishes her and inspires others.” The Awards Luncheon took place on June 14th at the beautiful Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado Canyon. Click here to read the Orange County Register article about the event.

Our Staff Celebrating Visionary Award Honoree, Aileen Sherman

Our Staff Celebrating Visionary Award Honoree, Aileen Sherman



Corinne Bogle wins 2012-2013 Dr. Jacqueline Lehn DuPont Humanitarian Award

We are very happy to announce Corinne Bogle, a Junior Guard on the JSerra Catholic High School team, is the Student-Athlete recipient of the Dr. Jacqueline Lehn DuPont Humanitarian Award for the academic year 2012-2013.

The Girl’s Basketball Program at JSerra Catholic High school emphasizes spiritual growth and development, academic and athletic excellence, along with sportsmanship. Their goal is to provide students opportunities to work in a team environment and test their physical and mental skills in a competitive arena. In dong so, student-athletes learn life-skills and are prepared for life on a spiritual, emotional and physical level.

The award reads: “Humanitarian service is an integral part of the educational experience. To honor outstanding contributions and commitment to public service, and to encourage future ventures that address social needs within the community.”

Congratulations on this accomplishment, Corinne!



Noel de Guzman Receives the Alzheimer’s Association’s Professional Caregiver Award 2012

We are very proud to announce that Noel de Guzman, Caregiver at Irvine Cottage #8, received the Professional Caregiver Award at the Alzheimer’s Association’s 6th Annual Visionary Women’s Caregiver Luncheon, on September 28, 2012.

This award honors individuals who have served as models of commitment to compassionate care. Their sensitivity, empathy and ability to instill a sense of hope distinguishes them and inspires others. Noel’s hard work and dedication are greatly appreciated by our residents, their families and the entire staff of Irvine Cottages! In his acceptance speech, Noel shared this award with his wife and partner in caregiving, Generosa. Thank you for all you both do!!


Noel (right) and Generosa de Guzman at the Alzheimer’s Association 6th Annual Visionary Women’s Caregiver Luncheon, September 28, 2012

Ever since Irvine Cottages opened their doors and accepted residents in September 1996, the news media has reported multiple times about the wonderful care Irvine Cottages offers ~ from media outlets such as The Orange County Register, CNN, Dateline, CNBC, Fox, Orange Coast Magazine, Time Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

One note-worthy news story focused on the owner, Jacqueline Lehn DuPont, and her fight to protect older adults with dementia by implementing her full-spectrum Camera Monitoring project.

This important eldercare program was objected to and rejected by some. Dr. Lehn DuPont, along with families from the Cottages, fought all the way to Sacramento to receive permission — a long fight that took from 1996 to 2000. In the end, and with much public support, the Cottages were allowed to have cameras in all rooms. At Irvine Cottages they espouse to protect their seniors from abuse and theft. Falls can be detected, as well as lost items found by reviewing the videotapes. Families give consent in writing for their loved ones to receive 24 hour camera monitoring, and also have the option to turn the cameras off at any time — although no one in 16 years has ever requested it.

Monitoring the cameras also protects the staff from false accusations, and is used for reinforcing training techniques taught. Many caregivers do not want to work for Irvine Cottages when they find out there are cameras recording them. Dr. Lehn DuPont then questions, “What do they have to hide?” Every employee must give their consent to be monitored 24 hours a day. The staff actually loves the cameras due to the protection they’re afforded, and the added benefit of allowing the administrative staff to see their great caregiving actions!

Currently all of the Cottages have camera monitoring systems. It is a win-win situation for everyone! No other eldercare facility in the United States has a camera system such as ours.

Please feel free to read the News Articles Page (link below) about Irvine Cottages. The recent items focus on the exceptional care and concern for older adults throughout the greater Orange County community, as well as those residing at the Cottages.

News Articles — Visit our News Articles Page

Current Newsletters — Visit our Newsletters Page