Your selection of an assisted living facility should involve both tours of the places you are considering and extensive conversations with those running the facility. Comparing different facilities to one another can seem overwhelming. Use the checklist of questions below to help you notice important details that can reveal the true quality of a facility and aid you in the selection process. Note that if you are evaluating assisted living facilities on behalf of a loved one, you should try to involve them in the process and get as much of a sense of their desires as possible. He or she is the one who will actually be living in the facility, and his or her comfort, happiness, and satisfaction is the most important outcome. In General
  • What is your gut feeling about the assisted living facility both at the beginning and end of your visit?
  • Do the current residents seem happy and satisfied?
  • If you are able to talk with residents or their families about their experience, what do they say?
  • What do you learn when you research reviews and other information about the facility online?
  • Is the facility clean and free of odors?
  • Is the temperature appropriate?
  • Does the environment feel attractive and comfortable?
  • How many units are in the facility?
  • Does the assisted living facility offer private or shared rooms, or a mix?
  • What common areas are available?
  • Will any features of the community pose a problem for your condition?
  • Are the rooms large enough to meet your needs comfortably?
  • What are residents allowed to bring with them when they move in?
  • What are residents allowed or not allowed to do within their own rooms?
Nature and Quality of Care and Services
  • Does each resident have a written care plan? How often is it reviewed and revised?
  • Who is involved when assessing the resident’s needs? How much say does the resident have?
  • How does the assisted living facility adapt as the resident’s needs change?
  • What services does the facility offer and how often are they provided?
  • Is staff available to assist the residents 24 hour per day?
  • Are special care units available, for example for dementia patients?
  • How often are meals served, what times, and where?
  • How much variety is there in the menu?
  • Does the kitchen accommodate special needs and requests?
  • Is the facility well lit and does it have clear signage?
  • Are there call buttons in the rooms?
  • Are there safety locks on the windows and doors?
  • Are there handrails in the bathrooms and elsewhere in the facility?
  • Is the carpet firm to assist with walking, and are there non-slip materials on the floor?
  • Is there an emergency generator or another plan in place for power outages?
  • What do the assisted living facility’s fire safety and security systems consist of?
  • What is the plan if a resident wanders off?
  • What is the plan for a resident’s medical emergency?
  • What is the hiring process for new employees? Is there a background check?
  • What are the policies about elder abuse and neglect?
  • Would you or your loved one get along with the assisted living facility’s current residents?
  • How does the staff treat you?
  • How does the staff interact with the current residents? Do they seem to have a good relationship with them and know their names?
  • How do staff members treat each other?
  • Are residents chatting with one another during meals?
  • What organized activities are on the schedule? What activities do you notice taking place? Are they well-attended?
  • Are residents encouraged to attend activities?
  • How much interaction do residents have with the outside community?
Fees and Policies
  • Are you allowed to examine a contract? Does it clearly lay out all services, fees, and policies?
  • How much is the entrance fee and security deposit? Is the deposit refundable?
  • What is the monthly fee?
  • Is long-term care insurance accepted?
  • How does the assisted living facility bill for services?
  • What is the policy on late payments?
  • How are rate increases handled?
  • What if the resident runs out of money?
  • What are the rules for when residents must leave the facility? What are the most common reasons why residents leave?
  • How are refunds and transfers handled?
When beginning the process of choosing a senior living arrangement for yourself or a loved one, the many different types of senior care facilities can be overwhelming. What exactly do all these different terms mean? Which one is best for your situation? Below is an explanation of the difference among several types of senior care. Independent Living This arrangement is made up of individual homes or apartments for seniors who are basically self-sufficient, especially when it comes to their personal care. Seniors who are a fit for independent living can dress and bathe themselves and are still enjoying an active lifestyle. Residents have the option of cooking on their own and keeping their own car, though often meals and transportation to places like shopping centers, local parks, or the movies is provided. The key benefits of this type of senior care are extra security and emergency alert systems to bring help quickly (giving seniors and their families peace of mind), no need to worry about home maintenance tasks like mowing the lawn or cleaning the gutters, and a community with plentiful activities so that seniors need not fear being isolated or lonely. Independent living campuses often feature some kind of clubhouse, social center, and/or community dining. Some may even have pools or spas. The environment is designed to be friendlier to seniors than regular housing: for example, doors are wider, floors have non-slip surfaces, and stairs are kept to a minimum. One downfall to this arrangement is that seniors may be paying for more than they need. It’s more cost effective for them to live in a regular residence if they don’t want the extras that independent living communities provide and they already have an active social life and healthy network of support. Assisted Living These facilities allow seniors to maintain some independence and privacy while still getting help with daily needs. Seniors who need assistance with getting dressed, bathing, or remembering to take their medications are a good fit for this option. These facilities are designed for help to be very easily accessible at any hour of the day or night. In the past, seniors who needed this level of care could only choose between relying on family or a hired caregiver for intensive help or moving into a nursing home. Today assisted living has stepped in to fill the gap for seniors who have trouble with daily activities but do not need constant medical supervision. Assisted living is often cheaper than receiving the same level of care at home. The facilities can range from apartments or rooms to specially converted homes. The environment is inviting and comfortable with couches and well-decorated rooms, and sometimes features like gardens or fireplaces. Some if not all of the meals are prepared for the residents with attention to their dietary needs and preferences, and are served in the facility’s dining room. The staff will also provide social activities and foster a community. The relationships seniors can develop here among others who are their own age is one of the biggest benefits of this type of senior care. They are freed from daily worries and difficult tasks and can now simply enjoy their time. The facility will transport residents to medical appointments off-site and employ nurses to make sure the residents are getting the care they need. However, they usually do not have medical staff on duty at all hours nor are they supervised by a physician. Seniors who need a higher level of care would be better served by a nursing home. Excellent assisted living facilities know that independence and freedom are important to seniors, and try to maximize their residents’ ability to do things on their own as much as possible. The care should be personalized to your particular situation and take into account what you are still able to do and your own desires about your quality of life. Nursing Homes Nursing homes provide full-time medical care, and can only accept residents who have been referred to this type of facility by a physician. Seniors and their families can know that here medical help is immediately available with a nurse on staff round-the-clock and a doctor supervising the care plan. Nursing homes are in some ways similar to assisted living facilities in that they help seniors with their daily routines and provide meals and activities. The difference is that due to the medical needs of the residents they can feel more like a hospital than a home. Some find this environment unpleasant, and the mental toll can lead to additional health problems. At some nursing homes, receiving adequate care can be difficult, and the senior’s family needs to be highly involved to insure that their loved one is not neglected or mistreated. For most, the best choice is to avoid nursing homes until they become necessary, especially since the intensive care they provide makes them the most expensive type of senior care. It’s important that you choose a type of senior care that meets your medical and daily needs while not overspending for services you are unlikely to use.   Do you still have questions about the different options? The staff at Raya’s Paradise can help you determine if our assisted living facilities would be a good match for you or your loved one.
Several blogs and news outlets, including the LA Times took interest in and covered our proposal for Sierra Bonita: Follow the links below to read these articles at their sources: Curbed LA: Senior Living Facility On Sierra Bonita Still Breathing Curbed LA: No Mega Senior Living for Sierra Bonita Melrose Village Blog: Mega Senior Living Facility Turned Down Melrose Village Blog: Residents Concerned About Zoning Variance for Proposed Nursing Home Melrose Village Blog: Proposed Facility on Sierra Bonita Draws Controversy
Story by John North, KABC WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KABC) — They are fathers, mothers, grandparents and even great-grandparents, and they need 24-hour care. But people living in a Hollywood neighborhood just off trendy Melrose Avenue say they already have too many elderly-care facilities. And now they’re fighting back. Rose Katz turned 92 years old Monday. The kitchen table is filled with the desserts she will share with the other residents and staff. She lives in a home for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in West Hollywood. It is a care home run by the same people who were turned down by the city of Los Angeles. They were denied a permit to build on Sierra Bonita Avenue. The builders, Raya’s Paradise, are appealing the denial. “They need special care that they can’t get on their own and that’s what’s being provided here,” said Robert Cherno, a land-use consultant. “It’s a homelike setting rather than an institution, and it’s the ideal setting according to several studies that have been done.” The West Hollywood home has been there 20 years and houses 30 elderly people. Sarah Rinde would be a neighbor of the proposed new home in Los Angeles. Her concern is a new facility would alter the character of the neighborhood. The builder, Raya’s Paradise, would construct a new facility. But they say it would maintain the local architecture. “I know that they need help too, it’s just, I love architecture. I see both sides,” said Rinde. It is not easy finding affordable residential care for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. The city of Los Angeles has never before had an appeal such as the one filed because of the denial. Attempts to reach L.A. City Councilman Ed Reyes for comment on the denial have been unsuccessful. The appeal goes before the city council in two weeks. As the population grows older the question of where they are going to live becomes more critical. See the story on KABC’s website HERE. (Copyright ©2012 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)
From CBN TV: Researchers say the ketones found in coconut oil have slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in some people and may actually prevent it. Click here to read the article and download information.   Transcript:
Can Coconut Oil Be the Answer?Lori Johnson: Steve Newports Alzheimer’s disease has slowed considerably. Some of his symptoms even reversed thanks to an unlikely treatment prescribed by his wife, Doctor Mary Newport a physician who runs a neonatology ward at a Tampa, Florida hospital. She became determined to help her husband after he failed the so called Alzheimer’s clock test.Doctor Mary Newport: He drew a few little circles and several numbers just in a very random pattern, didn’t really look anything like a clock and the Doctor pulled me aside and she said, “You know he’s actually on the verge of severe Alzheimer’s at this point, he’s beyond moderate”. So that was very, very devastating news. Lori Johnson: Doctor Newport began learning everything she could about her husbands disease. Doctor Mary Newport: It appears to be a type of diabetes of the brain. It’s a process that starts to happen at least 10 or 20 years before you start having symptoms and it’s very similar to type 1 or type 2 diabetes in that you develop a problem with insulin. Lori Johnson: In this case, insulin problems prevent brains cells from excepting glucose, their primary fuel. Without it the cells eventually die, but there is an alternative fuel, key tones which the cells easily except. Key tones are metabolized in the liver after you eat medium chain triglycerides, which are found in coconut oil. So Doctor Newport added coconut oil to Steve’s diet. Just two weeks later he took the clock test again and as you can see demonstrated stunning improvement. Doctor Mary Newport: I thought at the time was it just good luck? Was it a lot of prayer? Was it the coconut oil? And I thought well, we’re going to keep the coconut oil going. Lori Johnson: Then, 3 weeks later he took the clock test for a third time, and continued to get better and it wasn’t just intellectually, he also improved emotionally and physically. Doctor Mary Newport: He was not able to run, he was able to run again or he couldn’t read for about a year and a half but after somewhere around 2 or 3 months he was able to read. Instead of being very sluggish, not talking very much in the morning, he would come out with energy and talkative and joking and he could find his water and utensils. Lori Johnson: Doctor Newport documented Steve’s success in a book called, Alzheimer’s Disease: What if there was a Cure? She received this stake of thank you letters from other people who’s loved ones Alzheimer’s was helped after they followed Steve’s diet. While coconut oil is encouraging, there’s actually something much more powerful. A team of biochemists lead by Professor Kieran Clarke at England’s Oxford University have developed a key tone, Ester, that packs a punch ten times great than coconut oil. Kieran Clarke: It reaches quite considerably higher levels and you can get whatever levels you want depending on how much you drink. Lori Johnson: The problem is, they need millions of dollars to mass produce it. Kieran Clarke: Very expensive and so we can’t make very much of it ourselves and what we would like is funding so that we can actually scale up and make it but of course there is no real profit in manufacturing stuff like that. Lori Johnson: So until a high potency key tone, Ester, is available to the general public coconut oil is still a good key tone source. Just make sure it’s pure, non hydrogenated. Avoid any hydrogenated oil, which is the same thing as dangerous trans fat. Many people avoid coconut oil because they think it’s bad for them, but it’s actually very healthy. Dr. Beverly Teter is a researcher at the University of Maryland who specializes in dietary fats. She says years ago coconut oil was criticized for raising cholesterol, but scientists have since learned there are two kinds of cholesterol. Low density lipoprotein, the bad kind and High density lipoprotein which is very good for you and is the kind that coconut oil raises. Doctor Beverly Teter: So they put out the message that it increases the serum cholesterol but the truth of the matter was helping to profile of the serum cholesterol. That never has been corrected in the public press and I think that’s the reason people have the misconceptions about it. Lori Johnson: So, not only does coconut oil improve your cholesterol levels, Doctor Teter says the way it helps the brains of some Alzheimer’s patients can be extended to people with Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Epilepsy, Dementia, even Schizophrenia and Autism and one more thing, coconut oil is a natural antibiotic that also helps kill viruses like Human immunodeficiency virus and Herpes viruses. Doctor Beverly Teter: The coconut oil tends to keep the bacteria down so that if you’re assaulted with a virus, you’re immune system can concentrate on the virus. It doesn’t have to concentrate on 27 other bacteria that you may have been exposed to that day. Lori Johnson: So consider coconut oil to improve your over all health and perhaps even go so far as to stave off life threatening diseases. Lori Johnson, CBS News
Happy New Years from all of us at Raya’s Paradise Board & Care facilities. Raya’s Paradise in implementing a new medication management system that will provide a safer and more accurate medication distribution. In addition, we will also increase the activities level for our residents which will include outings.
Our LA home for aging 20th anniversary. We are celebrating our 20th anniversary of helping our elderly residents who suffer from dementia. We were established in 1991 by Raya Gamburd who is a Registered Nurse in the field of geriatrics for over 25 years. Our five locations have served well over 400 elderly residents in these two decades.