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Jul 18
Volunteer luncheon 2014

Volunteer Recognition Luncheon 2014

The Los Angeles Jewish Home’s annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon was held on May 27th and May 28th on both Eisenberg and Grancell Village Campuses. Attendees enjoyed a delightful lunch catered by our very own dietary department as well as an exciting performance by entertainment extraordinaires Wendy and Rik. The dazzling duo performed classic songs from the Beatles, Barbara Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Carole King, Sonny and Cher, and Neil Diamond.Over 350 community and resident volunteers were honored for their contributions to the Jewish Home community. One volunteer in particular was honored for her extraordinary dedication to giving back to the Home and its residents. The special honoree, Susan Fien, was presented with the Howard Kayton Memorial Volunteer Service Award. The beautiful crystal statuette featured the Jewish Home logo and a quote from Sukkah 496: “The whole value of a good deed lies in the kindness that inspires it.” Many members of the Home’s administration were present. CEO-President Molly Forrest, chief operating officer Larissa Stepanians, senior vice president Ira Schreck, EV administrator Douglas Tucker, JEKMC administrator Ilana Grossman, and Taper administrator Kathleen Kennings-Glass were just a few of the staff members who gave thanks.Expressing appreciation for the volunteers, Molly Forrest noted “When I hear you have collectively completed more than 50,000 hours of volunteering, it must have been a miracle. You all are definitely following the 5th commandment of honoring thy father and mother.”Similarly, RCFE activities director Caryl Geiger offered an earnest thank you. “Our community is run so smoothly because of you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for all that you do.”Administrator Ashley Teal commented on the importance of volunteers at the Home. “From the time spent showing movies daily, to the hours of manning the Nosh Box, you’re making a giant contribution to the Home. The small ways you give back to your community are actually the pillars that make it work. We couldn’t do it without you!”The Home’s beloved Rabbi Elman then described his admiration for the volunteers. “Because I’m going to be retiring this year, a lot of people have been asking me what I plan on doing when I retire. The answer I give them is: ‘I don’t know.’ But there really is one thing I do know. I look around at this room and take each and every one of you as inspiration. Instead of living a lazy life, you stand on your feet and live a life of giving. You make the Home a better place. So I know that when I retire I will do my best to be like all of you. Thank you for all that you do and as the old saying goes, ‘Give and you will receive.’”Please click here to view photos from the 2014 Volunteer Recognition Luncheon.For more information on volunteer opportunities at the Jewish Home, please contact director of volunteer services Stacy Orbach at (818) 757-4442 or, or visit our website at
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Jul 11
Seminars inform and stimulate 2

Seminars Inform And Stimulate

There’s a new activity being offered to seniors living in residential care (RCFE) at the Jewish Home’s Eisenberg Village (EV) Campus. Now, in addition to painting, drama, choir, bingo, and a wide variety of discussion groups and other activities, a monthly educational seminar is available. The seminars focus on topics that are important to seniors. “Our goal is to provide an opportunity for our residents to learn from staff they are familiar with as well as speakers from the community,” said RCFE administrator Ashley Teal. “With their input, we created a list of meaningful topics, such as medication protocol, fraud prevention and reducing the risk of falls.” To date, the seminars have been well received, with attendees asking questions and sharing experiences. The topic for the most recent seminar was reducing the risk of falls. Everyone knows a fall is something that can happen to anybody at any time: we trip over a loose rug; we fall out of bed; sometimes we stand up too quickly, get dizzy and fall. But do you know the underlying reasons? Presented by EV’s director of rehabilitation, Deborah Crea, MS, PT, the seminar focused on three main causes of falls: balance, posture, and walking speed.“Our ability to balance is based on three sensory systems: vision, vestibular, or inner ear anatomy, and somatosensory, which is the ability to orient yourself using your joints, muscles, and senses,” explained Deborah. The systems can be affected by many things, including aging, a history of falls, medications, gait, neurological status, use of assistive devices, foot function, cardiovascular status, a fear of falling, vision, incontinence, joint function and pain.“For posture, the ideal is simple: head up, shoulders back, abdominals tight, and glutes tucked in,” Deborah said. If you’ve ever tried to walk while balancing a book on your head, you get the idea! This struck home with some of the residents, as they talked about the posture challenges presented by using a walker and the importance of having the device at the correct height.Last, but certainly not least, is walking speed. This is currently a hot topic in the field of physical therapy. “We are now looking at walking speed as a reflection of various underlying physiological processes,” Deborah continued. “Knowing how much time it takes for someone to walk ten feet can help us predict falls.” Walking speed tells the therapist where someone is in their overall conditioning, cardiovascular health, and ability to participate in activities. For someone being discharged from a hospital, it assists in the determination of appropriate level of care, such as assisted living or skilled nursing.After a fall, physical therapy is needed to help regain or improve overall physical status and reduce the risk of future falls. Balance can be improved by exercises, such as standing with your eyes closed, walking on uneven surfaces, standing on foam, and developing ankle/hip/stepping strategies. Other balance exercises include T’ai chi, yoga, and general strengthening exercises. Specialized testing can determine or rule out vestibular issues.After physical therapy, the goal is to maintain that newly gained physical status, and hopefully continue to build upon it. “At the EV rehab center, our goal is for physical therapy clients to complete their prescribed therapy and then incorporate exercise into their lifestyle,” said Deborah.As you can see, the seminars are comprehensive and meant to enhance the knowledge someone may already have about a particular subject. “We hope to stimulate the cognitive function of our residents in an atmosphere that requires them to listen, think, problem solve, and ask questions,” Ashley explained.“These seminars show the Jewish Home’s concern for our residents and allows us to share our own personal experiences,” said Robert Lehman, a resident at Eisenberg Village and currently serving as Resident Council President. “The fall risk reduction seminar offered good tips on measures we can all take to be safe.”One of the next seminars will focus on another resident-recommended topic of significant importance: cognitive impairment as we age and how we can lessen those effects. It’s sure to be thought provoking and stimulate a great deal of conversation!
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Jul 3
Training session ca initiative 1

Training Session on California Initiative

The way we access healthcare in the United States is changing rapidly. For seniors, their families, and medical providers, these changes can be challenging to understand. On Wednesday, June 18th, the Los Angeles Jewish Home hosted a training session to help geriatric social workers and nursing home administrators gain insight into California's Coordinated Care Initiative, or CCI. The initiative is being implemented across the state to integrate medical, behavioral and long-term care services for individuals who receive both Medicare and Medi-Cal, known as dual eligibles, and those with Medi-Cal only. The training session was opened by the Jewish Home's CEO-President Molly Forrest, who welcomed the attendees and spoke briefly about the Home and the impact of healthcare reform on seniors. Denny Chan, staff attorney for the National Senior Citizens Law Center, provided an overview of CCI. He reviewed the major changes brought about by the initiative, with the major difference being the integration of Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits into one managed care plan. "Most dual eligibles will have the option to join Cal MediConnect, which currently is offered through five managed care plans in Los Angeles County," he explained. When a person with dual eligibility receives notification that they must make a choice, they have three options: Opt-in (choose a Cal MediConnect plan)Opt-out (choose an alternative, such as a PACE program)Do nothing, which means the individual will be passively enrolled into a Cal MediConnect plan as chosen by the State. PACE, one of the alternatives to Cal MediConnect, is currently available at the Jewish Home's Grancell Village Campus. The Brandman Centers for Senior Care (BCSC) is a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE. The program offers adult day healthcare, including medical care, activities, physical therapy, meals, transportation and other personal services to seniors who are eligible for admission to a nursing home but have elected to remain safely in their own homes. Mari Abrams, director of marketing for BCSC, spoke about PACE and the benefits of participation.The training session came to an end with a lively question and answer session. What could be a difficult and dry subject was made understandable and even enjoyable by the speakers and their presentations.For more information about the Brandman Centers for Senior Care, please visit their website at
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