Raya’s Paradise, a private residential care community for seniors, opened a new facility on July 25 at 846 N. Sierra Bonita Ave., in the Melrose area.
The new property is located at the site of a former single-family home that has been recreated with state-of-the art amenities to care for 11 people. The exterior was designed to fit in with the character of the surrounding community, in keeping with Raya’s Paradise’s approach to caring for people in home-like settings. It includes a communal living room, dining space, seven private rooms, two shared rooms with two beds, and a backyard where residents can gather with family and friends. The facility offers a caregiver to patient ratio of 3-to-1, and a staff that includes a nurse, chef, driver and activities coordinator. Raya’s Paradise serves people ages 65 and older and offers assisted living, memory care and hospice care. The new facility is one of six either currently existing or planned on Sierra Bonita Avenue and Gardner Street.
“The caregivers are really dedicated to providing one on one care,” said Monica Westphaln, chief operating officer for Raya’s Paradise. “It’s all types of care. We specialize in memory care (for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia). We have the ability to do advanced nursing care that you are not allowed to do in many other locations. There are many different levels of care depending on someone’s needs.”
The specialists at Raya’s Paradise oversee adherence to special diets, medication routines and transportation to doctor’s appointments. Twice-weekly activities include trips to museums, The Grove and recreational destinations. The project on Sierra Bonita had been in the works for nearly a decade.
“I am very excited that after 10 years of going through the process with the city that we are ready to open the doors,” said Moti Gamburd, CEO of Raya’s Paradise. “I am very excited to make a difference in the way we take care of the elderly. In the last 40 or 50 years, there has been one standard way of taking care of the elderly. I want it to be happy and cheerful. It’s the end of life, but I want to make it the best time for them, and that means good residences, good accommodations, good food, good activities, whatever they need.”
Westphaln said the new care facility on Sierra Bonita is a component of a larger plan to expand into neighboring residences. Raya’s Paradise currently also has an adjacent residence on Sierra Bonita Avenue that accommodates six people, and one on Gardner Street (the next road to the east) for 11 residents. Raya’s Paradise is also planning three additional facilities on adjacent properties on Gardner Street that, when completed in the next few years, will bring the number of people being cared for in a single area to 60. The homes will be served by adjacent open backyards.
Those sites will be added to other existing Raya’s Paradise properties on Gardner and Larrabee streets, and La Jolla Avenue serving 32 residents. Additionally, a 60-bed Raya’s Paradise care facility is currently under construction in San Clemente, with anticipated completion in 2020.
“[The properties] are just like a large community but in a residential setting, in a residential community. Everything like your home,” Gamburd added. “You’re not in an institution, not in a nursing home, it doesn’t even feel like you’re in assisted living. It’s like you live at home.”
The grand opening included tours and an introduction to the services provided, as well as meetings with staff and caregivers. Gamburd added that he is very proud of the new property and those that will be opening in the coming years.
“I am very excited,” he said. “We are doing a lot of good things.”
For information, visit rayasparadise.com.
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