Wesley Palms Celebrates 60 Years as the Jewel of Pacific Beach

A message from Executive Director Ben Geske

Happy anniversary Wesley Palms! I think of Wesley Palms as the jewel of Pacific Beach. Tucked on the hillside of iconic Mt. Soledad overlooking Mission Bay and the Pacific, our main building, complete with signature chevron contour and classic midcentury modern architecture, has stood as a beacon for 60 years, predating the surrounding residential neighborhood.

Wesley Palms grew out of a vision that charted a new course in senior living. Until the late1950s, attitudes about senior care were limited to nursing homes and convalescent hospitals. Innovators began to imagine a new concept for more active, communal retirement living that is celebrated daily at Wesley Palms.

For decades, its cottages that dotted the campus, paid tribute to bungalows found at many Southern California beach communities. During its earliest days, Wesley Palms provided basic services to residents, but as the community evolved, those basics turned into a community that now offers gracious living with modern-day amenities.

Between 2015 and 2020 the campus was completely remodeled. Our main building underwent several renovations including a new library, indoor-outdoor dining room, new fitness center, lap pool and hydrotherapy pool.  All of the original cottages were replaced with midcentury modern-inspired Patio Homes that were carefully built around many of Wesley’s existing mature trees. These extraordinary residences feature sleek mosaic glass, cathedral ceilings, full, designer kitchens and large windows that celebrate nature by bathing each home with natural light, bringing the outdoors in.  Much of the campus landscape was replaced with drought-tolerant, environmentally friendly plants and shrubs.

As the result of the campus renovation, the community has won several awards, including those from the National Association of Home Builders and American Builders and Contractors Association. Wesley Palms has also won several “Best of San Diego” polls from readers of the San Diego Tribune.

Inspired renovation did not end with our Patio Homes. Over the years, Wesley Palms has also introduced innovative amenities and services such as Summer House, our unique memory care neighborhood that offers technology-enhanced personal care for residents with Alzheimer’s and related dementias in a protected and comfortable environment. Truly Yours is our brand of assisted living and personal services that bring assistance to residents’ homes if needed.

But to me, Wesley Palms is much more than first-class amenities and beautiful landscape. Like any true community, the residents are our greatest gift. Their energy and friendliness are what our community is all about. My goal since becoming executive director in 2007, and one that I pass on to our staff, is to make each resident feel special because this is their home. We do so by trying to create an environment of purpose, belonging, security, continuity, fulfilment and significance. We are truly a culture of people who care about one another.

Residents often tell me they wish they had moved here sooner. They enjoy learning new things by getting involved in the dozens of social, educational and well-being opportunities here. If anyone has a special hobby or passion, they are encouraged to continue it here. It may inspire other residents to join them. Wesley Palms has always been a great place to live and develop and maintain vital social connections.

Here’s to another 60 years and more of inspired senior living at Wesley Palms!