Los Angeles Jewish Home's Blog

G•Z Residents Delight in Specialty Dessert Centerpieces

G•Z Residents Delight in Specialty  Dessert CenterpiecesThe Los Angeles Jewish Home takes great pride in the unique dining experience we provide for our residents. With beautiful table settings, individualized pre-ordered dishes, and courses served one by one, resident dining at the Jewish Home is comparable to the experience one would have in a fine restaurant. Providing the same exceptional dining experience to those with Alzheimer's disease and age-related dementia can be especially challenging. Goldenberg•Ziman Special Care Center clinical manager Anne LaClair explains, "The Jewish Home staff is constantly striving to improve the living situations of all our residents. While going through the various stages of Alzheimer's and dementia, the way in which seniors smell, taste, and recognize food can significantly change. Because of this, some of the biggest challenges we face are poor appetite and weight loss."

To address this challenge, department leaders strategized best practices for the nourishment of our residents. It was then they realized there was a simple solution to the dilemma they faced: edible centerpieces. EV administrator Douglas Tucker speaks fondly of the inspired moment. "One day we were brain storming and all of a sudden a light bulb went off. By adding appetizing edible centerpieces to each table we could accomplish two goals: we enhance our restaurant-style dining experience while inspiring residents to get excited about food."

Pleased with the new menu additions, activities team leader Amanda Powell remarked, "It's great residents have the option to choose from fresh Challah, mouth-watering cupcakes, attractive fruit arrangements, and a striking assortment of colorful Jell-O flowers each week." She explains, "We rotate these pieces of edible artwork in order to provide our residents with the constant visual stimulation they need to catch their attention and whet their appetites. So far, we are happy with the reception the new centerpieces have received and look forward to adding more out-of-the-ordinary desserts to our menu."

Celebration of Life: Reflections 2014—Save the Date!

Celebration of Life: Reflections 2014 Save the DateCelebration of Life: Reflections 2014, the Jewish Home's annual gala and premier fundraising event, will be held on Sunday, October 26, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. In the Jewish tradition of honoring our seniors, Reflections brings the community together for a special dinner and tribute to the spirit of philanthropy that makes the Home's life-enhancing programs possible.  

This year we will honor three amazing women - Eunice David, Barbara Miller-Fox Abramoff, and Edna Weiss — with the prestigious Eshet Chayil award. With their longtime support of the Jewish Home and dedication to community service and philanthropy, they are truly Women of Valor.

Co-chairs for Celebration of Life: Reflections 2014 are Earl Greinetz, Marilyn and Monty Hall, and Diane Morton. Grammy Award-winning vocalist Steve Tyrell will provide the musical magic for the evening.

This year's Gala honors these women's contributions and achievements, and the jewel-like tone of our graphic captures the brilliance and sparkle they bring to our community. Through their efforts, the Home's dynamic programs and services continue to thrive. Like a precious stone, every facet of the Eshet Chayil reflects a vibrant, glowing light that helps sustain the Home and all those who depend on it.

The evening will begin with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and will feature the premiere of this year's Jewish Home video. The film will look at the accomplishments and expansion of the Home's services and feature a special look at the Home through the eyes of residents and staff.

To register online or to place an ad in the Celebration of Life: Reflections 2014 Tribute Journal, please click here. For more information about Reflections, please contact Corey Slavin at (818) 774-3031 or Corey.Slavin@jha.org.

Yoga on the Terrace

Yoga on the TerraceOn the morning of Thursday, June 19th, residents of the JEKMC were invited to participate in a session of yoga designed to enhance the body, mind, and spirit.

This incredibly popular program is offered on the Geri & Richard Brawerman Terrace in the late spring and early summer — the best time to take advantage of the San Fernando Valley's most agreeable weather. For these sessions, yoga instructor Karima William brings her standard yoga class outdoors with a few modifications for the Home's senior population. She explains, "Because I am working with the elderly, it's very important to monitor my students and their activity outdoors. I make sure to keep everyone covered with wide brimmed hats, seat people in the shade when it's possible, and have plenty of cold water on hand." 

During the lesson, residents were instructed to carefully roll their shoulders, move their arms in pendulum-like motions, pick up their knees one at a time, alternate between long and short breaths, kick their legs up, move their legs from side to side, and hold the chair while moving their torsos in a circle. Throughout the class, Karima urged participants to follow the rhythm of the music, count along, and feel invigorated.

Karima states one of her biggest objectives is to help students engage their core muscles. "It's very important to make sure seniors keep this part of their body strong. When the elderly are distracted while walking, entering into a hazardous situation, or moving from a sitting position to a standing position, it is easy for them to lose balance and fall. With a stronger core, seniors may be able to avoid these dangerous situations and prevent fall-related injuries." 

Like most yogis, Karima urges her students to focus on their breathing while they partake in the various exercises. "I like to have the students emphasize their exhales during deep breathing. They can do this by making a loud whooshing noise as they push the air out of their nose or mouth. These calming techniques can bring more oxygen into their brains and bodies. With some work, seniors can achieve increased levels of energy and mental clarity; in addition, practicing these methods is an easy way to reverse the effects of stress while regulating blood pressure." With so many benefits to these controlled breathing techniques, it's quite possibly the most effective exercise of the class.

Karima has been teaching yoga at the Jewish Home for the past eight years. The health-conscious instructor also has a background in aerobics, kickboxing, and personal training. She teaches yoga twice a week at JEKMC on Mondays and Fridays. Karima enjoys teaching yoga to seniors because she wants them to stay motivated and healthy. "I teach our residents exercises that will improve blood circulation as well as exercises to strengthen their cores and lower backs, the parts of the bodies most effected by excessive sitting. I also run the fitness center here at JEKMC. I love motivating residents to come and exercise. All of the staff members here want the residents to be healthy and happy. I'm glad I can help with that."

Bill Belzberg Memorial Longest Day of Golf

Bill Belzberg Memorial Longest Day of GolfThe Los Angeles Jewish Home's annual fundraising event, "The Longest Day of Golf," took place on Monday, July 7th at the Woodland Hills Country Club. At this, the event's 17th year, six golfers, Ron Altman Esq., Leon Blankstein, Aric Browne, Mark Hamermesh, Jason Perel, and event chair Dr. Michael Persky, participated in the sunrise to sundown golfing marathon.

The generous gentlemen who participated in the beloved annual event started raising funds long before the actual event. In the months prior, participants asked friends, family members, and acquaintances to pledge a donation to the Jewish Home in exchange for their promise to participate in the golfing event. With the six golfers completing almost 500 holes and raising $91,000 to date, the 17th annual "Longest Day of Golf" was an incredible success.

This year, "The Longest Day of Golf" was renamed "The Bill Belzberg Memorial Longest Day of Golf Benefitting the Los Angeles Jewish Home" to honor philanthropist and longtime supporter of the Home, Bill Belzberg. Bill and his wife, Barbara, have been integrally involved in various Jewish Home events in the past including "The Longest Day of Golf."

Developer and supporter, Bill Belzberg was known as the founder of two major lending companies and a leader within several Jewish organizations around the world. Bill was truly a captain of industry and a distinguished philanthropist. The Los Angeles Jewish Home is happy to recognize the contributions Bill has made within our community through the renaming of our celebrated annual event.

If you would like to learn more about the "Bill Belzberg Memorial Longest Day of Golf benefiting the Los Angeles Jewish Home," please contact Denise Horowitz at (818)774-3324 or Denise.Horowitz@jha.org.

Walk of Ages XV: Are You Ready?

Walk of Ages XV: Are You ReadyAre you ready to have a great time walking or running to raise funds for the Los Angeles Jewish Home? In its fifteenth year, the Home's Walk of Ages is making a new start! We're moving the date from chilly December to temperate September. We can't guarantee the weather will be perfect on the 14th, but we're pretty confident it won't be 30 degrees! And our location has changed, too: the 5K (3.1 mile) race will take place in Woodley Park in Van Nuys, where we are looking forward to welcoming even more of the community to our annual event. Also new this year is a 1K Kids' Dash and children's entertainer Robb Zelonky, better known as Robbo.

Each year the Walk of Ages is attended by hundreds of Home supporters of all ages. There are families and friends of our residents, donors, employees and their friends and families, babies in carriages and dogs on leashes. Some run, some jog, some walk … or do their own special combination. The goal is simple: cross the finish line and have fun doing it!

Registration fees for individuals are $35 for adults (13-79), $18 for children (0-12), and free for super seniors (80+). Teams of 10 or more are encouraged to raise or donate $1,000 per team, in addition to individual registration fees. Pre-race registration is open until Friday, September 12th at 1:00 PM. After deadline, all participants must register at the event.

There will be lots of free food and great giveaway items. So lace up your running or walking shoes, sneakers or tennis shoes, and come on out and have a great time for a great cause! Our residents will really appreciate it!

For more information about the Jewish Home's Walk of Ages XV, please visit our website at www.walkofages.kintera.org or contact Denise Horowitz at (818) 774-3324 or Denise.Horowitz@jha.org.

See you at the Walk of Ages in Woodley Park on September 14th!