Taking care of your Loved One Is What We Do BEST!

It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Lakeside, CA

Home Care Lakeside, CA

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Lakeside Historical Society gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Lakeside, CA is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Lakeside, CA

location Service Areas

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“Hi, my name is Janett .. Working at Always Best Care has been the best experience of my life, from the day I went to apply for the job as a caregiver I felt very humbled. Im happy working at ABC and I hope to continue working for many years.. "❤️"”

Chapis V.

“I'm a caregiver with Always Best Care. I've work for the agency since early April 2023. My experience has been fun, challenging at times but very rewarding. My clients are very nice. It is a great place to work. Management and administration are very communicative and attentive. They always address any concerns I have whether it is schedule issue, a client issue, or a special request. I love working for ABC. I highly recommend our company for any prospective or experienced caregivers. ????”

Robert T.

“My name is Haley Maddox and I’ve been with Always Best Care for a few months now and I would just like to say I absolutely LOVE and appreciate the company because they are always willing to work with you and your schedule to fit your personal life as well. Not only that but they make sure you know it’s ok to report any and every kind of complications at work and they always encourage you to ask questions and I like that a lot because not many jobs give you that comfortable feeling that YOU matter too. Thank you to ALWAYS BEST CARE for taking great care of not just their clients but their employees as well!❤️”

Haley L.

“So grateful to be apart of this wonderful community of people, it is such a great company! My clients treat me as I am their family and I truly take great pride in being able to care for them.”

Midori G.

“Have really enjoyed working for Always Best Care !”

Angelica L.

“Chelsea from the day she manager has been sweet and wonderful, making sure my schedule which is very complicated was met. She is a blessing to me”

Gloria B.

“This is Gloria Brown and Ive been with always best care for some years. Its always been a great company to work for, but it even got better when Chelsea became the manager. With my super busy schedule she's alway been able to accommodate me, witch is not easy. It has been a blessing having her in my life. I've never worked for a company that shows appreciation and rewards us often. It feels wonderful to be appreciated. Thank you.”

Willie B.

“Always Best Care has been and continues to be a great working environment. The flexibility in my schedule has made it one of the most beneficial advantages working here. I have had the pleasure to have such great clients that have been very compatible both ways. Overall working at Always Best Care is and continues to be a great, flexible, compatible, understanding environment. Thank you Always Best Care”

A Q.

“Aida Gomez is truly an Angel in disguise She is patient with me & attend to all my needs as a caregiver.. Her appearance & personality is awesome!!????. Am very pleased with Aida. I love her flexibility.”

Martha C.

“For me it is a honor to be part of this company called ALWAYS BEST CARE . From the first moment they always treated me with great respect , always worried about what I need . For me , my clients are part of my family, they are people who needs heard,respected and loved♥️I feel very blessed to be their caregiver ????.. Thank you very much for allowing me to be part of your beautiful company ????”

leticia O.

“I have a great experience, flexible hours, great place to work.”

Ofelia C.

“This is a great place to work, great environment there is very nice staff a job you can call home and care about are clients.”

Janet M.

“Always best care provides an excellent service as a caregiver. They care about the staff and the patient needs. The Leadership team are very compassion because they have a good level of communication and it also wants to do the right things.”

Lorena D.

“Ophelia Carter is the best thing that ever happened to Bobby Wigley. She has a lot of patience and she is so good for him. She manages to do everything in a timely manner for him. She's amazing. I don't know how much money she makes but she deserves more. Thank you”

Darlene W.

“Hello ???????? there this is Leonardo Martínez I’m one of the formal Care givers associates for Always best Care I would like to thanks not only always best care in general for the amazing management but specially to my manager the best and most caring manager I have ever had ever, specially when it comes to work and making things work for everyone, awesome communication stills and training, always showing the best guidance for work,making me learn something new I can apply for work, honestly couldn’t be more great full and satisfied for chelsy Boscarino being by manages. God bless sincerely.”

Leonardo M.

“I am getting the best quality of care”

Marilyn V.

“Always Best Care Senior Services meets each of their client's needs regardless of the intensity of the illness. Health and safety are #1 with this agency without question as to the complexity or time frame. They are committed for the duration. Customer service is not a lost cause. The staff will go beyond its means to comply to request.”

Bennie S.

“From the start everyone (I've interacted with) has been awesome. You can tell they really care and so do their jobs well. From Chelsea in admin to Steven the phone nurse and especially Martesha Dad's caregiver. They make taking care of my father so much easier than it would be if I were on my own. I appreciate all of you and all you do. Thank you.”

Dawn W.

“Honestly this is a great company to work for. The owners really care about what they do and it's really refreshing for a change. It's been a blessing to be apart of the family. I look forward to continue my journey with them and helping seniors in our community!”

Shepherd B.

“Just wanted you to know that we moved Beth into Pacific Pointe last weekend. All is going well and I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to show me this place.”

Jill K.

“Ethan Kim was extremely helpful in assisting us set up in home care support. His staff was very friendly and made my mother comfortable. Ethan was always available to answer questions and was quick to provide substitute support when needed. Would highly recommend this company for senior care.”

Kathy C.

“Ethan Kim of Always Best Senior Services helped me find a place for my husband to recuperate after surgery for a broken femur and extensive surgery. He took me to see three places. I was able to choose one and I am very happy with my choice. I know I wouldn’t be able to accomplish this on my own. Very grateful for his service.”

Connie G.

“Outstanding service taking care of my Dad. The CNA assigned was awesome and we felt great knowing that she was there throughout the day. She was attentive, caring and genuine. I would highly recommend their services. You will not be disappointed.”

Steve P.

“Ethan did an excellent job finding placement for my father within tight time parameters. The home care facility Ethan helped us to find has turned out to be the best thing that could have happened for all of us. They have my father rehabilitated with their extra attention and care to the point where he can even walk again.”

Heather R.

“Ethan is a hard-working, honest man who will do everything in his power to get the right service you need.”

Sora K.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Lakeside, CA?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Lakeside, CA

Types of Elderly Care in Lakeside, CA

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Lakeside, CA
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Lakeside, CA
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Lindo Lake County Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Lakeside, CA
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Lakeside or visit Historic Flume Trailhead, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Lakeside, CA

Benefits of Home Care in Lakeside, CA

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Lakeside, CA, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Lakeside, CA

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your CA's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Lakeside, CA

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Lakeside, CA understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Lakeside, CA

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Lakeside, CA

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Baum's Residential Facility
  • Lakeside Special Care Center
  • Chaparral Rose II
  • Lakeside Manor - Memory and Dementia Care Assisted Living
  • Island Grove Guest Home II
  • Sunshine Care Home
Home Care Lakeside, CA

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Lakeside, CA

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Lakeside, CA 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Lakeside, CA

Latest News in Lakeside, CA

A Vast Lake Has Captivated California Where Farms Stood a Year Ago

Tulare Lake re-emerged after intense storms battered the state this winter, and will likely remain in the Central Valley for months — and maybe years — to come.By Shawn HublerPhotographs by Mark AbramsonReporting from the shoreline of Tulare Lake in CaliforniaJune 25, 2023Sign up for Your Places: Extreme Weather. Get notified about extreme weather before it happens with custom alerts for places in the U.S. you ...

Tulare Lake re-emerged after intense storms battered the state this winter, and will likely remain in the Central Valley for months — and maybe years — to come.

By Shawn Hubler

Photographs by Mark Abramson

Reporting from the shoreline of Tulare Lake in California

June 25, 2023

Sign up for Your Places: Extreme Weather. Get notified about extreme weather before it happens with custom alerts for places in the U.S. you choose.

It sounds like the sea and approaches the size of Lake Tahoe. Its wind-driven waves are unexpectedly silky and warm. Tulare Lake seems to go on forever on the immense brown and green flat of California’s Central Valley, shimmering like a great blue mirage.

Three months have passed since the lake, which dates to the Ice Age, re-emerged in the basin that once held the largest body of freshwater west of the Mississippi River. Dammed dry by humans, it has periodically attempted a comeback, though rarely with the force seen after this winter’s storms.

First a trickle, then a flood, the water that coursed into the lake bed over a handful of months swallowed one of the nation’s largest and most valuable stretches of cropland in about the time it takes to grow a tomato. Thirty square miles, then 50. Then 100. Then more.

Flooding data via Floodbase, U.S. Census Bureau, USACE

Leanne Abraham

Now, at the onset of summer, Tulare Lake sits at about 168 square miles, trapped by thousands of acres of clay soil and the lack of a natural outlet, so big that it is best tracked by satellites. Caused initially by climate-amplified sheets of rain over the riversheds coursing through the Sierra Nevada, it is being fed by the melting snowpack that piled up in the mountains to near-record levels.

Detours and roadblocks bedeck its shores. Chemicals, manure and diesel pollute it. Palm trees and power poles poke from its surface. Day brings dragonflies. Dusk brings mosquitoes. Flocks of birds are settling in — swallows, wrens, ducks, egrets, chattering red-winged blackbirds.

Algae bobs on the waves; underneath, on the tomato and cotton fields that make up most of the lake bottom, abandoned cars rust and catfish lurk.

“I’ve never seen something of this magnitude,” Jeffrey Coughlin, an airboat pilot, said on a recent weekday, threading his bayou-style craft across the debris-filled water. “The devastation that’s affected some of these poor people, farms, homes.”

State water engineers have used virtually every trick in California’s considerable playbook to preserve as much of that water as possible and divert it elsewhere. Models suggest the lake’s growth has finally topped out.

But the phenomenon that remains is promising to be a formidable long-term guest in California farm country. Mr. Coughlin, who normally works in the San Francisco Bay about 230 miles northwest, has been ferrying crews from the Pacific Gas and Electric Co., which has been painstakingly removing sunken electrical transformers from the lake bed. With him on a recent day was a member of the Kings County Sheriff’s Office, which, because of Tulare Lake’s resurrection, is buying its own airboat.

“It’s a lot bigger than I anticipated,” marveled Sgt. Nate Ferrier, who, like most people in the region, had not yet ventured much beyond the shoreline. Like most law enforcement, he has spent the past several months telling the public to stay off the lake and respect the “Do Not Enter” warnings.

Most have obeyed, he said, but it isn’t easy. Tulare Lake has been a hazard and, for many farmers, an economic disaster, Sgt. Ferrier said. But in some respects, he added, it also is “freaking cool.”

Tulare Lake selfies have become a genre, for instance — couples watching the sun set, adventurous souls wading out into the toxic water. Some have tried driving through it, only to end up swimming to shore or having to be rescued. A pair of journalists recently kayaked across to see if they could paddle their way from Bakersfield to the San Francisco Bay.

Some 2.5 million acre-feet of snow water remains frozen and ready to melt into the Kern, Tule, Kaweah and Kings rivers, which feed the basin. The size of the lake depends on how fast the snowmelt races down and how much can be channeled somewhere else.

Water is already being captured by reservoirs before it reaches the lake bed. Some is being siphoned off to irrigate farms and orchards. Some is being moved to spots where it can percolate into the ground, gradually replenishing groundwater that was depleted in recent years by drought and excessive pumping. Some evaporates.

And, for the first time since 2006, tens of thousands of acre feet of water from the Kern River have been diverted via a canal to the California Aqueduct to buttress water supplies for Los Angeles and other cities.

Fortunately, the Tulare Lake area isn’t heavily populated. Most of the land in the lake bed is agricultural and owned by huge farming operations. The biggest community in the immediate basin, Corcoran, has worked with county, state and federal agencies to shore up surrounding levees that protect its population of about 22,500. In late May, state officials said that Corcoran and two smaller communities, Allensworth and Alpaugh, appeared to be out of harm’s way.

Now comes the hard part: History and science suggest it will take two years, and maybe longer, for the lake to fully recede. Current efforts have helped, but meteorologists say the coming winter could be wet again.

The Corcoran city manager, Greg Gatzka, said that the area’s large farms have so far avoided significant layoffs by offering employees work in less impacted parts of their operations and that the local schools offered remote instruction to the few students whose families had to relocate.

The local economy, he said, diversified after 1983, when the lake made another major appearance. The loss then in jobs and population helped prompt the construction of California State Prison, Corcoran, which opened in 1988.

Some issues have not worked themselves out: Disputes have arisen about the order in which land has been allowed to flood and whether some farms put their financial interests ahead of community safety. There have been second thoughts, too, about the damage that might have been avoided had large agricultural landowners been more receptive to partnering with the state and local governments on flood control.

But authorities say the situation has turned a corner: Tulare Lake is now officially whatever a giant prehistoric lake becomes after the chaos that unleashed it.

“It is settling in to a longer duration event,” said Brian Ferguson, a spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. “What you see there is going to be a fact of life for some time to come.”

Mark Abramson contributed reporting.

Shawn Hubler is a national correspondent based in California. Before joining The Times in 2020 she spent nearly two decades covering the state for The Los Angeles Times as a roving reporter, columnist and magazine writer, and shared three Pulitzer Prizes won by the paper's Metro staff. More about Shawn Hubler

A version of this article appears in print on June 28, 2023, Section A, Page 12 of the New York edition with the headline: Last Year, It Was Farmland. Now, It’s a Vast Lake.. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Satellite images show California’s ‘ghost lake’ reappearing after sodden winter

New satellite images released from Nasa this week showcase the dramatic reappearance of California’s Tulare Lake after water swallowed swaths of land across the state’s agricultural center that had long been dry.Taken between the start of February and the end of April and colored artificially to help distinguish the water from vegetation and bare ground, the images highlight the scale of the transformation across the region still grappling with the aftermath of this winter’s heavy rains and snow.This isn&rsquo...

New satellite images released from Nasa this week showcase the dramatic reappearance of California’s Tulare Lake after water swallowed swaths of land across the state’s agricultural center that had long been dry.

Taken between the start of February and the end of April and colored artificially to help distinguish the water from vegetation and bare ground, the images highlight the scale of the transformation across the region still grappling with the aftermath of this winter’s heavy rains and snow.

This isn’t the first time the “ghost lake” has caused widespread flooding, but the onslaught of weather whiplash wreaked havoc on residents, agricultural workers and farms – and it’s far from finished.

Tucked against the Sierra Nevada’s white-capped peaks, the region will have to reckon with surges of snowmelt filling its waterways as the weather warms. On Thursday, the snowpack in the southern Sierra was 436% of normal for this time of year, according to California’s department of water resources (DWR).

“This year’s massive snowpack is posing continued flood risks in the San Joaquin Valley,” said the DWR director, Karla Nemeth, in a written statement, noting the bittersweet outcome of very wet winter after years of drought.

The snowpack will lead to sustained high flows across the San Joaquin and Tulare basins over several months, Nemeth said.

Widespread damage has already been done. The rapidly rising waters forced evacuations across the region in early spring, as communities rushed to higher ground. In Tulare county – one of the world’s largest milk-producing regions – thousands of cows were lost to the floods, while roughly 75,000 had to be trailered to safety. Growers were washed out of key crops and workers lost out on jobs across the waterlogged valley.

Decades have passed since Tulare – once the largest body of fresh water in the west – served as a vibrant wetland sprawling across nearly 800 sq miles. Carved up with canals and cleared for the cropland and livestock pastures in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the basin now spans across multiple counties and is home to roughly 4 million Californians.

About half a dozen towns remain at risk from flooding, including Corcoran, where city officials are rushing to raise a sinking levee before the waters rise further. Stretching across 14.5 miles, the levee protects against flood waters up to 188ft. In March, Tulare Lake levels crept close, rising to 178ft.

“The Corcoran community only has a small window of time and dry conditions before the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range snowmelt runoff converges with existing floodwaters in the Tulare Lake, and against the Corcoran Levee,” emergency officials warned in a press release in April, noting that requests for state and federal funding had been made.

Snowmelt is “projected to increase the Tulare Lake water to a dangerously high level that significantly intensifies the risk of overflow and erosion on the Corcoran Levee”, they added.

Nasa’s satellite images show areas where water managers have already redirected flows, filling ponds that will allow the water to seep underground and feed depleted aquifers. The DWR has initiated emergency work to pump high river flows away from the floodplain and into these recharge basins. Over the next four months, the plan could capture more than 55,000 acre-feet of water, according to the agency. (One acre-foot represents the amount of water needed to cover a football field a foot deep.)

But along with bolstering the levees and other protections, some have advocated for a more permanent return of the lake, stewarded as an environmental resource.

Others are also pushing for more water to be diverted into the historic lakebed ahead of the snowmelt, arguing that flooding the basin will alleviate overflows upstream and protect those who call the area home.

“This year will result in record high amounts of water entering the Central Valley between Fresno and Bakersfield,” resident Martin Chavez wrote in both English and Spanish on an online petition signed by hundreds. “Communities on the front line will first face the danger of this statewide issue, as the water is directed downstream out of stressed reservoirs.”

California’s ‘phantom lake’ returns with a vengeance, unearthing an ugly history of water

A winter of epic snow and rain had brought California’s “phantom lake” back to life — and threatened towns and farms in the process.Once the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River, Tulare Lake was largely drained in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as the rivers that fed it were dammed and diverted for agriculture.This month, ...

A winter of epic snow and rain had brought California’s “phantom lake” back to life — and threatened towns and farms in the process.

Once the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River, Tulare Lake was largely drained in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as the rivers that fed it were dammed and diverted for agriculture.

This month, after powerful storms, rivers that dwindled during the drought are swollen with runoff from heavy rains and snow, and are flowing full from the Sierra Nevada into the valley, spilling from canals and broken levees into fields.

Here is a history of Tulare Lake from the pages of The Times.

What is the history?

This is not the first time Tulare Lake has reemerged. It also happened in 1997, another epic rain year. But officials say it was 1983 when the lake last reached a high point, amid heavy rain and snow runoff that submerged about 82,000 acres.

“Every 15 years or so, in the wake of a record winter storm or heavy spring snowmelt, the dams and ditches cannot contain the rivers. When that happens, the great inland sea, at least a hint of it anyway, rouses from its slumber,” Mark Arax wrote in The Times that year.

Climate & Environment

March 24, 2023

Arax described the history this way:

Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, this basin has a strange, slightly menacing feel, wet or dry. While it qualifies as desert, averaging less than 10 inches of rain a year, it also happens to sit at the foot of one of the nation’s most generous watersheds, the Sierra Nevada snowpack.

Before agriculture subdued the mountain rivers, much of the southern San Joaquin Valley was transformed each spring into marsh teeming with tule elk and antelope, honkers, and gray and Canada geese. No land sat lower than this basin, the terminus of the Tule, Kaweah, Kings and Kern rivers.

Feb. 13, 1997

The shallow lake that sprang from their waters — dubbed La Laguna de los Tulares by Spanish explorers — covered more than 1,200 square miles, bigger than the Great Salt Lake. On rafts and canoes made from the thick tule reeds, Yokut hunters fished for salmon, perch and sturgeon while the women waded far into the waters to dig for clams and mussels.

So bountiful was the harvest that white settlers named the area Mussel Slough, and commercial fishermen in the 1870s plied the lake in schooners and steamers and caught terrapin turtles served as delicacies in San Francisco restaurants.

Visitors never forgot the roar of the big birds alighting.

“An immense body of wild geese whose wings and cries as they moved from place to place caused this kind of roaring noise,” wrote Charles Nordhoff, a New York journalist who penned one of the first travel books about California in 1873. “A noise like the rush of a distant railroad train.”

In 1880, in the name of reclamation, the state Legislature allowed newcomers to buy marshland for $2.50 an acre, $2 of which would be refunded if they helped construct a levee system. This touched off a decades-long stampede of “sandlappers,” the derisive name given farmers who cultivated swampland.

Tulare Lake may have continued to turn up blue on most maps but it was pretty much a mirage.

Arax wrote more about Tulare Lake.

What is happening now?

As The Times’ Ian James and Susanne Rust reported, Tulare Lake’s sudden reemergence has fueled conflict in one of California’s richest agricultural centers, as the spreading waters swallow fields and orchards and encroach on low-lying towns.

In a region where the major agricultural landowners have a history of water disputes, the floods streaming into Tulare Lake Basin have reignited some long-standing tensions and brought accusations of foul play and mismanagement.

March 18, 2023

Residents in rural towns such as Alpaugh and Allensworth fear their homes won’t be prioritized for protection from the rising waters. And as the water has overwhelmed canals, tensions have flared over where the floods should be directed, and which farmland should go under first.

The view of native Californians

In satellite images of the San Joaquin Valley, the footprint of the old lake bed stands out as a darker, grayish area in the patches of farmland. In the days before the damming of rivers, the lake could stretch for 790 square miles, four times the size of Lake Tahoe, with depths of 30 feet.

Before white settlers arrived in the Central Valley in the 1800s, Tulare Lake was the center of life for the Native Yokut people who lived by its shores and along the rivers. Then farmers began diverting water and claiming land in the lake bottom.

More than a century later, members of the Santa Rosa Rancheria of the Tachi Yokut Tribe live near what was once the lake’s north shore. The tribe’s leaders have agreed to diversions that will channel some of the floodwaters onto their lands, easing pressure on the system while helping to recharge groundwater.


Feb. 20, 2023

The lake’s rise is “just a very small reminder of what was once here,” said Leo Sisco, the tribe’s chairman.

The phantom lake, which the tribe calls Pa’ashi, remains central to its spiritual beliefs. Its traditional songs include passages that say when the water rises, “that’s the lake telling us, ‘OK, it’s time for you guys to get out of here now,’ ” said Robert Jeff, the tribe’s vice chairman.

“So that’s when our people would pack up,” Jeff said, “and we’d head to the mountains, to our other villages, until the water receded.”

Jester Tiongco Takes Over as Lakeside Postmaster

Manages USPS Retail & Delivery Services for Lakeside, Barona CommunitiesLAKESIDE – Jester Tiongco was recently named the Postmaster of the Lakeside Post Office.He replaces former Lakeside Postmaster Charles Bernardo, who transferred to another facility.As Lakeside Postmaster, Tiongco supervises 38 employees and oversees retail services at the Lakeside Post Office and the daily distribution of mail on 21 delivery routes and to 2,100 PO Boxes at his facility.Tiongco is an ...

Manages USPS Retail & Delivery Services for Lakeside, Barona Communities

LAKESIDE – Jester Tiongco was recently named the Postmaster of the Lakeside Post Office.

He replaces former Lakeside Postmaster Charles Bernardo, who transferred to another facility.

As Lakeside Postmaster, Tiongco supervises 38 employees and oversees retail services at the Lakeside Post Office and the daily distribution of mail on 21 delivery routes and to 2,100 PO Boxes at his facility.

Tiongco is an eight-year postal employee who began his career as a mail carrier and most recently served as the officer in charge of the Eastlake Post Office.

I’m honored and thankful for this great opportunity,” said Tiongco. “It’s a tremendous privilege to step into this position. I hope to continue the Postal Service’s legacy of outstanding customer service, to foster teamwork and communication, and to contribute to the overall success of the organization.

“As outlined in USPS’s Delivering for America plan, we are modernizing and continually adapting to the changing needs of our customers. Our customers are priority one, whether they’re located in the biggest cities or smaller communities such as Lakeside.

“I want to express my gratitude to my manager Justine Valadez and my colleague Enrique Jean. I’m blessed to have these two mentors to have guided me on the right path and to have given me so much support during my postal career. I’m also grateful to the leadership team at the USPS San Diego District office for believing in me and giving me this opportunity.”

Tiongco was born in the Philippines, raised in San Diego and currently resides in Chula Vista. He is a graduate of Southwest High School and Coleman University, where he earned a certificate in network security.

Tiongco’s hobbies include outdoor activities such as basketball, camping, hiking, mountain bike riding and volunteering his time at the school his son, Jacob, attends.

The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products, and services to fund its operations

Note to media: A high-resolution JPEG image of Jester Tiongco is available upon request. Please submit your request to [email protected]


Exploring San Diego: Lakeside remains an escape from downtown

LAKESIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — Lakeside began as a destination town for San Diegans and has continued to be that escape.Located about 21 miles east of downtown San Diego, Lakeside is an easy trip through Central San Diego down Interstate 8. The city is prime as an escape from the hustle of the Gaslamp District, something many San Diegans took advantage of in the city's early days.It's four lakes make Lakeside perfect for outdoor recreation, including boating and fishing, camping, and hiking.Part of that outdoor heritage...

LAKESIDE, Calif. (KGTV) — Lakeside began as a destination town for San Diegans and has continued to be that escape.

Located about 21 miles east of downtown San Diego, Lakeside is an easy trip through Central San Diego down Interstate 8. The city is prime as an escape from the hustle of the Gaslamp District, something many San Diegans took advantage of in the city's early days.

It's four lakes make Lakeside perfect for outdoor recreation, including boating and fishing, camping, and hiking.

Part of that outdoor heritage is the Lakeside Rodeo and equestrian activities. Lakeside is full of farms, ranches, and dairies and home to the second largest Western parade in the state.

And of course, for those looking for a little fun, Lakeside is home to Borona Casino and Resort.

Brief history...

Lakeside wasn't a "place to live" until about 1886, when the El Cajon Valley Land Company began promoting the town. Even still, there were few residents and homes in the area.

As small businesses cropped up through the late 1800s, and San Diego's population skyrocketed between 1886 and 1887, Lakeside became known as a resort town. The railroad line into Lakeside became the most traveled in the county — before the railroad, daily stages took four hours between San Diego and Lakeside.

But as time went on, Lakeside became less of a resort destination and more of a small town in its own right. By 1937, one man remarked in the Lakeside Farmer that the region looked very different from 1898, "with its paved highway and autos standing on both sides ... there was lots of business in the old days."

Things to do...

Lakeside Rodeo: The first organized rodeo was held in Lakeside in 1920 and remained a big part of the town's history and annual calendar. The rodeo today celebrates the sport's history in Lakeside while providing not only rodeo events, but hosting numerous other community events, concerts, and fundraisers.

Lake Jennings: A trip to Lake Jennings gives families the ability to camp, hike, boat, and fish in a scenic areas like Cloister Cove, Siesta Point, Hermit Cove, and Eagle Point. Families may also catch a glimpse of the abundance of wildlife surrounding the lake.

Borona Cultural Center & Museum: A dose of history awaits at the Borona Cultural Center & Museum, where guests learn about Native American culture and history in San Diego County. The center includes more than 3,000 artifacts, photographic displays, and archives among its treasures — some pieces dating back as far as 10,000 years.

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