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Published by Staff On January 10, 2019 Author: By Eric Heinz Raya’s Paradise With assistance for hospice, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and independent living care, Raya’s Paradise plans to open its doors by 2020 after years of going through planning processes. Moti Gamburd, the CEO of Raya’s Paradise, said he acquired the land about five years ago but that it’s been a long process to get the project started. They had to go through San Clemente’s planning process as well as the California Coastal Commission for permitting. Raya’s was required by the commission to remove trees to make an ocean-view corridor for residents, as well as other mandates. He got the final approvals from the Coastal Commission last year. Raya’s Paradise will be located on the 100 block of Avenida Calafia, next to the San Clemente Inn. There will be 24-hour care and an assisted-living unit, providing independent living as well as end-of-life care. Gamburd said he was inspired by his mother, who immigrated to the U.S. from Russia and Israel, to enter the assisted-living industry. “In 1991, my mom, who is a nurse, came to the United States and took care of an old lady,” Gamburd said. “Because she has experience in the geriatric work, she said if I can take care of one lady, why can’t I take care of six ladies?” In California, one home can hold up to six people at one time who are not dependents of the title holder. “At that time, while I was in school, my father got very ill, and I kind of started to help her, and I started to fall in love with this field,” Gamburd said, adding that Raya’s has added six retirement-living facilities in California. Monica Westphaln, the COO of Raya’s, was working for a competitor in 2011 when Gamburd decided to try to join forces with her. “She kind of opened my eyes and showed me how much better it would be to build in a larger community,” Gamburd said. “Eventually, we landed on (San Clemente). We hired an architect from San Clemente.”

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Hospice is not a place. Hospice is a “concept of care” designed to provide comfort and support to patients and their families when a life-limiting illness no longer responds to cure-oriented treatments.1 The goal of hospice care is to provide patients with comfort and dignity at the end of life with a special emphasis on controlling pain and discomfort and managing symptoms. The focus is on compassionate caring not curing. Hospice care neither hastens nor prolongs life, but this specialized service has been shown to increase quality of life. Hospice is covered by Medicare and Medicaid and most private insurance companies to eligible patients referred by a physician. Hospice services include care by professionals and volunteers and medication, equipment, and medical supplies. Families have no out-of-pocket expenses other than the cost of room and board. The patient and family are at the center of hospice care. The hospice team works with the patient and family to develop a personalized plan of care that respects the individual’s end-of-life wishes. A multi-disciplinary team of physicians, nurses, home health aides, social workers, therapists, spiritual counselors, bereavement counselors, and volunteers provides expert and compassionate care that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Physicians and nurses are specially trained to address pain and manage symptoms. The team works closely with family members to provide feeding, bathing, turning, administering medications, and monitoring changes in a patient’s condition. Some hospice providers provide alternative therapies such as Pet Therapy or Music Therapy. Spiritual counselors, therapists, and social workers help patients and families with emotional and spiritual concerns and provide bereavement support to family members after a loved one has died. Most people choose hospice care in their own homes, but hospice care is also available in hospitals, nursing homes, and residential care communities for the elderly such as assisted living communities and board and care homes. In 2011, 66.0% of hospice patients received care in the place they call “home,” including private residences (41.5%), skilled nursing facilities (17.2%), and residential communities (7.3%).2 When hospice care is not an option at home, nursing homes, freestanding hospice facilities, and residential care communities like board and care homes are places for families to turn for short-term respite or longer term care at the end of life. The Board and Care model, which provides residential care for fewer residents in a private home, offers a home-away-from-home in an intimate environment that provides a home-like routine and a place for family to gather. Board and Care homes can offer temporary hospice to residents and families who request it. These homes typically work with a number of hospice organizations to provide families with choice for high quality care. The board and care staff coordinate care with the hospice staff and they may provide bedside comfort tailored to the resident’s needs and preferences, such as soft music, reading, and aromatherapy. “Choosing a hospice to care for yourself or a loved one in the final months or even days of life is an important and stressful process,” said J. Donald Schumacher NHPCO president and CEO. “Each hospice offers unique services and partners with specific community providers – so it’s important to contact the hospices in your area and ask them questions to find the one with the services and support that are right for you.”3 For additional information on hospice and how to select a quality hospice provider, families may turn to online resources found at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization ( and the Hospice Foundation of America ( References: 1Hospice Foundation of America. 2Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America. 2013 Edition. National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. 3Choosing a Quality Hospice. National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.   Trina Duke, Master of Science in Gerontology Concierge Gerontology Services
Our mother absolutly loved her time at Raya’s Paradise. The facility, staff and management were absolutly excellent in their care of our beloved Margerat .feels at home away from home. Our caring staff provides personalized attention to each resident including bathing, dressing, medication supervision, diabetes control, and incontinence management. W West Hollywood, California — 04-10-2018 — Raya’s Paradise was certified as a great workplace today by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work®. Raya’s Paradise earned this credential based on extensive ratings provided by its employees in anonymous surveys. A summary of these ratings can be found here. “We are thrilled to see the results of our efforts to maintain a great company culture,” said CEO Mot Gamburd. “We want our employees to be passionate about their work, represent our core values, and most importantly, feel fulfilled in their work with us and our clients.” “We applaud Raya’s Paradise for seeking certification and releasing its employees’ feedback,” said Kim Peters, Executive Vice President of Great Place to Work’s Certification Program. “These ratings measure its capacity to earn its own employees’ trust and create a great workplace – critical metrics that anyone considering working for or doing business with Raya’s Paradise should take into account as an indicator of high performance.” “According to our study, 92 percent of Raya’s Paradise employees say it is a great workplace,” says Sarah Lewis-Kulin, Vice President of Great Place to Work Certification & List Production. Raya’s Paradise employees completed 64 surveys, resulting in a 90 percent confidence level and a margin of error of ± 2.51. ### About Great Place to Work® Great Place to Work® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, including Best Workplaces lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures. In the United States, Great Place to Work® produces the annual Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list and a series of Great Place to Work® Best Workplaces lists including lists for Millennials, Women, Diversity, Small and Medium Companies and over a half dozen different industry lists.
A study in ‘The Gerontologist’ states that, “approximately one-third of 65-year-olds are single.” That’s a 50% increase since 1980 according to the U.S. Census. Aging with family and friends has been shown to result in improved health of seniors, including lower chances of cognitive impairment, and hospitalization. Research shows that socialization, companionship and hobby-building has great benefits for seniors: older adults who are surrounded by others are at a decreased risk of both cardiovascular and cognitive decline. For some seniors, moving into an Assisted Living Community is the first step they can take to help maintain or increase the quality of life as they grow older. In reputable communities, experts in the field of long-term care help coordinate between activities to create communities where older adults are able to create new memories with one another. Residents take on scheduled group hobbies such as yoga, cooking, and artistry while pursing passions both new and old. Assisted Living Communities can act as a hub for seniors to connect and make new friends. Our advice for making friends in a community? Participate and try out all the opportunities that are available. The goal is to foster an natural feeling of community with residents similar in age and circumstances.
Can the right foods reduce or even reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms? Certified Nutrition Specialist, Amy Berger thinks so. Berger believes that Alzheimer’s is caused by a glucose shortage in the brain, causing brain neurons to degenerate, and leading to the all-too-familiar Alzheimer’s symptoms like memory loss and behavioral changes. In her book, “The Alzheimer’s Antidote: Using a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet to Fight Alzheimer’s Disease, Memory Loss, and Cognitive Decline”, Berger presents a nutritional and lifestyle intervention approach she claims is designed to combat Alzheimer’s disease. Berger’s research suggests that an effective way to treat Alzheimer’s is through diet and lifestyle changes that improve energy generation in the brain and that a food-based solution to achieve measurable improvements is as simple as a low-carb, high-fat diet. At Raya’s Paradise, we are always looking to improve and enhance our residents’ lives. Our certified nutritionists design our healthy living menus so as to help minimize the “metabolic dysregulations” that contribute to Alzheimer’s symptoms. We serve three daily meals that are rich in healthy, unprocessed fats and include micronutrient packed vegetables – beneficial for a healthy life and proven through research to help reduce, and even prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms.
Dementias are degenerative disorders that develop primarily in the nervous system and selectively damage particular areas of the brain. Some dementias, like Alzheimer’s disease affect all areas of the brain simultaneously, while others, such as frontotemporal dementia, affect the parts of the brain involved in controlling one’s communications and emotions. Still others are caused by vascular disease, brain trauma, or chronic alcohol abuse (Korsakoff’s syndrome) By 2030, 20% of U.S. population will be older than 65 years of age – about 50 million people. Dementia affects 1% to 6% of those older than 65, and between 10% and 20% of those older than 80 years of age. In the next 30 years, estimated 10-20 million seniors in U.S. will have mild to severe forms of dementia. Seniors with history of moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) have a 2-3 times greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease – those with a severe TBI have a 4-5 times greater risk. Even healthy seniors are at risk for falls and head trauma, so any fall to the head, however minor, should be seen by a medical professional and documented. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 65% of all dementias. There is no direct diagnosis of Alzheimer’s – and while PET scans and other imaging techniques are being studied, none have yet been able to show the presence of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s onset often surprises families because vision, movement, and sensation remain untouched while a senior’s memories begin to slowly decrease. Recent memories are affected first, leading to “senior moments” that appear innocent because all other memories, including those from decades ago, remain intact. Eventually those remote memories begin to fade, and lastly the senior’s “crystallized” memories, such as family member’s names and faces, are compromised.   By David L. Raffle, PhD Clinical and Forensic Neuropsychologist
There are creative and effective ways to help an aging parent, family member or loved one who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia cope with the loss of their spouse, according to a new survey of aging experts released this week by the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM). Remembering that there are different stages and types of dementia, making sure the surviving spouse does not become socially isolated and not rushing other major changes in their lives are among the top expert recommendations. Americans are increasingly challenged by the need to communicate difficult information to aging family members with dementia. According to the National Institutes of Health as many as 5 million of the 43 million Americans age 65 and older may have Alzheimer’s disease and another 1.8 million people have some other form of dementia. And, according to the the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will escalate rapidly in coming years as baby boomers age. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease may nearly triple, from 5 million to as many as 16 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, slow or stop the disease. June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. NAPGCM is releasing the results of its latest survey to help American families facing one of the most difficult of these challenges. NAPGCM polled 288 professional geriatric care managers in Los Angeles, CA and across the country asking them to identify the most effective strategies for helping a loved one with dementia cope with the loss of their spouse. The top six strategies identified by the aging experts are: 1. Remember there are many different stages of dementia. Your loved one’s capacity for understanding, coping and grieving can be very different depending on their stage of dementia. (Identified by 96% of survey respondents) 2. If your loved one’s response to reminiscing about their spouse is positive, share old photos and memories. (88 %) 3. Make sure the surviving spouse is not socially isolated. Schedule visitors on a regular basis and help them keep up with any normal social routines they have. (85%) 4. Reassure them there are people who care about them and will care for them. (84%) 5. Don’t rush big changes. It may make sense for them at some point to move to a facility, or closer to family. But, if possible, give them time to adapt so there aren’t too many major life changes at once. (81%) 6. If they choose to be included in mourning rituals for their spouse, make sure there is someone overseeing this so if the situation becomes too stressful they can leave. (78%) “With the rising rates of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in our community, we often see families who face such challenging situations,” said Trina Duke, Gerontologist and Care Manager, Los Angeles, CA. “Our survey findings offer some sound expert advice for families.” The Alzheimer’s Association is a leading resource for families seeking information on the diagnosis, treatment, and stages of the disease. Their website provides information on living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, tips for caregivers, and financial and legal planning. Go to Help is only a phone call away on their 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900. Local chapters provide educational programs, community support groups, and creative workshops for persons with dementia and their caregivers. The Alzheimer’s Association California Southland Chapter assists people with Alzheimer’s and their families and educates the public about Alzheimer’s disease. The chapter offers a variety of diverse programs and services. It serves the diverse counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Inyo, Kings, Mono and Tulare.
“We’re so lucky.” I kept saying that to my sisters following my 90-year-old father’s passing in early 2013. I’m not sure they appreciated why I kept saying that. I said it because we were lucky he’d lived a great life. We were lucky to have had him so long, especially given my mother had died in 1988. We were lucky Dad had all his faculties to the end, even as his body disintegrated. Most of all, though, we were lucky he’d generated and executed a complete estate plan. Thanks to John Heebner’s sense of responsibility, the logistics, legalities and, above all, the grief of his daughters weren’t multiplied needlessly by a lack of foresight on the part of our parent. I knew where he kept the documents. He’d made sure to show me which file drawer they were in a few years prior to his death. He’d put together a trust to avoid probate. He’d also made it clear, as my mother had many years before, that he did not want extensive measures used to prolong his life. He had his Power of Attorney ready to go. He’d made his attorney the executor of his will so we girls wouldn’t argue over it. (Yes, we would have.) A friend of mine who’s an excellent Geriatric Care Manager knew a successful doctor who, in his mid-80s, had all his estate planning and paperwork done. It was found in his desk drawer following his death – all unsigned. His estate wound up in probate, of course, and the difficulty and pain were compounded because there had been two marriages, two sets of offspring – but nothing had been updated since the first marriage. My own estate planning attorney now has to struggle with the fact that there are now only two – count ‘em, two! – probate courts for the whole of Los Angeles County. When he needs to go to trial on behalf of a client, it’s now often an eight to ten month wait for a court date. Talk about prolonging the agony. My Dad had even cleared much of the superfluous stuff out of the house, something I often do on behalf of other families as a Senior Move Manager. But Dad had taken the time to do a lot of the decluttering so his daughters wouldn’t have to, although there was one thing John Heebner did hoard. Given that my father had been a very successful businessman in Buffalo and that he had an MBA from Harvard, I don’t suppose it’s really so great a surprise that he’d kept all his tax returns back to 1957. Given all he’d done for us, I couldn’t really begrudge him his collection of 1040s, even as I was lugging 256 pounds worth of them out of the house for shredding. After all, he’d made sure all the vital paper, all the documents we’d really need, were there waiting for us. If you don’t plan for a grand finale, you – and your family – can easily wind up with a tragic ending.   Marty Stevens-Heebner
Happy Earth Day!!! This afternoon the residents and staff of Raya’s Paradise Board & Care facility at 849 Gardner in West Hollywood will be celebrating Earth Day with the Hollywood Boys and Girls Club. The kids will be sharing fun stories and treats with the residents. Each of the kids will be taking home a plant from our herb garden to take to their own home to start their own sustainable herb garden.   Be sure to check out all of the fun photo’s on our Facebook page at!!!

Knowing when to hire a Caregiver and even more importantly choosing the right way to go about it can be a very challenging time. Perhaps you or a loved one simply need a ride to a doctor’s appointment or to a family function. Perhaps it has become time to consider full time help. Maybe you just need someone to come in one day a week to give you, the family Caregiver, a break. The first thing you want to consider is safety and security. You want a reputable in-home caregiving company like CARE Homecare who is licensed, bonded and insured who actually employs their Caregivers, screens them thoroughly and does full background checks on them. The right company will provide you with ongoing care management from an experienced management team who will come and provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your care needs and then based upon the findings find you the best possible team of Caregivers. This will ensure the best outcome for you or your loved one and will reduce the risk of having to “try” several different Caregivers before finding the right fit. Below is a brief description of some of the services you can expect to receive from a company like CARE Homecare. Medication Assistance Our caregivers can assist your loved one with making sure that they are taking their medicine correctly. They can also remind your loved one when it is time to take their medicine. So many medications have restrictions on when you can take them and remembering all of that information can be daunting. We are here to help. Meal Planning and Preparation Making sure that your loved one consumes nutritious meals that are prepared with an awareness of their dietary restrictions as well as their personal preferences is a priority for us. If your loved one is diabetic, has certain allergies or any other health restrictions, our caregivers can prepare meals designed with their specific dietary needs in mind. Alzheimer & Dementia Care professionals As experts in Alzheimer’s and dementia care, you can trust us to make your loved one’s life, and yours, much easier and more enjoyable. If your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, it can also take a tremendous toll on your own physical and emotional well-being. With assistance from a supportive team, you don’t have to go it alone. Social Engagement We believe that social interaction and stimulation keep the mind and heart happy. Active mental and social engagement is so important in keeping loneliness and depression at bay and making life more meaningful. That’s why our Caregivers are so attentive to the activities your loved one need to keep their minds sharp, have fun, and stay connected with friends, family, and community. Companionship Companionship provides a valuable social benefit by decreasing isolation and helping to reduce depression from being alone. A companion provides invaluable peace of mind to you and your loved one by offering a companion to accompany them along to many of the things in life they once were able to do independently. Activities at Home Our Caregivers will engage your loved one in daily conversation, art, music, reading, gardening, cooking, brain-stimulating activities and regular physical activity to help diminish the debilitating effects of dementia and depression. Games involving concentration and focus stimulate the brain cells to increase neural connections. Our Caregivers can build a stronger relationship while working on these meaningful projects together, which will in turn improve their quality of life. Exercise & Strengthening We want to help your loved one maintain their strength, endurance and balance so that they can stay in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible. Our Caregivers can help your loved one enjoy the benefits of increased balance, good circulation, walking ability, general mobility, strength and stamina through regular range of motion, stretching and balance exercises. By simply encouraging regular physical activity, our Caregivers can improve your loved one’s confidence, mood, sleep habits and independence. Transportation Assistance Our Caregivers are available to help your loved one take back some of their independence by providing safe and reliable transportation to wherever they wish to go. They can once again go shopping, to the salon, to a park, to visit friends to church or even community centers to participate in group activities. Often times, our Caregivers are able to connect seniors with others within the community and help them participate in community programs, classes, workshops and events where they can interact with others with whom they can relate. Light Housekeeping When your aging or disabled loved one lives in a clean and organized home, they enjoy greater feelings of wellbeing—and even good health. Keeping refrigerators and cupboards free of expired or spoiled foods can avert food-borne illnesses. To avoid fire hazards, stoves, toasters, ovens and other appliances must be regularly cleaned to avoid a build-up of grease, oils or crumbs. We make it possible for your aging parent or disabled family member to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with a clean and uncluttered home. For any additional questions you may have about hiring Caregivers or any other senior care provider options you want to learn about, please reach out to CARE Homecare’s Community Liaison, Jeromy Meyer, 24/7 at (323) 599-6056 or visit us online at [contact-form to=’’ subject=’Response to 4/16 blog post on RP web site’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]