Thursday, August 30, 2012 | return to: supplement, readers' choice awards


Readers’ Choice: Seniors

by jon roisman

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Alzheimer’s Care

These winning Bay Area facilities specialize in providing sensitive care for their residents with memory-loss issues.

In San Francisco, Rhoda Goldman Plaza offers 37 rooms on a dedicated floor with a nurse trained in memory-loss issues. “The important thing is that our residents are treated respectfully without shame or judgment,” says executive director Susan Koster. Residents take part in daily programs to help stimulate their minds and express themselves. Live music, massage therapy and outings to the library and synagogue are staples at Rhoda Goldman Plaza.

AgeSong, with several Bay Area locations, including in the East Bay, has designed programs that help residents bring out their colorful lives. “We celebrate the individual here,” says Dinah Bailes, executive director. “We try to spotlight what they’ve done in their past.” Music, art classes and pet therapy are among the activities for residents, and the staff is trained to create and maintain a calm and soothing atmosphere. “We’re very sensitive to religious and cultural preferences,” Bailes adds. “We have over 16 spoken languages here.”

Cedar Creek Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care in Los Gatos has been offering top-of-the-line care for residents for 16 years. “We treat our residents with respect and dignity,” says administrator Debbie Cota. “We have stellar activities, from word finding and crossword puzzles to physical activities to keep them independent for as long as possible.” The facility is situated on an acre of land where organic vegetables are grown, with plenty of open spaces to create a peaceful outdoor environment.

For 10 years, WindChime of Marin Memory Care in Kentfield has been providing its residents with resources to get the most out of life. “We look at each person as an individual,” says executive director Rebecca Cockrill. She says WindChime is run according to the golden rule: “Is this how I would want someone to treat me?” The facility offers art projects and sewing classes, as well as a storytelling program that allows residents to create each part of the tale.


San Francisco

Rhoda Goldman Plaza

(415) 345-5060


East Bay

AgeSong  Communities

Various locations

(877) 243-7664

South Bay/Peninsula

Cedar Creek Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care

Los Gatos

(408) 356-5636

North Bay

WindChime of Marin

Memory Care


(415) 233-6809


In-Home Care

The Bay Area has plenty of programs to help seniors who want to continue to live independently, benefiting from the familiarity and comforts of home.

Jewish Family and Children’s Services’ Seniors at Home program, based in San Francisco and also serving the Peninsula and North Bay, is designed to help people age in place. “We want seniors to be in their comfort zone,” says Judy Lynch, executive director. “We address their spiritual, emotional and cultural needs.” Skilled caregivers help seniors with their nonmedical daily needs, whether it’s cooking a meal or helping them get in and out of the shower. “One of our successes is that we have a longstanding reputation in the community with a well-trained and professional staff,” Lynch says. Caregivers are available from two to 24 hours a day.

Since 1995, Senior Alternatives in Oakland has focused on providing long-term personalized care. Care-management specialists help to plan in-home living arrangements, assisting in creating an economic and social plan that enables clients to remain in their homes while still getting the care they need. Nonmedical caregivers also are available to help seniors with everyday tasks. Service also is available in San Francisco and Contra Costa counties. “A lot of our clients needed assistance in the home,” says James Merson, director of operations. “We’re dedicated to the people we help.”


San Francisco

JFCS Seniors at Home

(415) 449-3777 •


East Bay

Senior Alternatives


(510) 482-3379


Jewish Retirement Residence

Our Readers’ Choice winners for Jewish retirement residences show why they’re so popular in the Jewish community: kosher food, religious services and cultural events to keep residents connected to their roots.

Since its founding by Jewish community leaders in 2000, Rhoda Goldman Plaza in San Francisco has been a top-rated facility. It’s easy to see why. Political lectures, live music and art classes are regular activities. “It’s not just bingo every day,” says Susan Koster, executive director. Frequent outings and day trips round out the activities. Residents can go on outings to museums and theatrical performances or enjoy guided scenic tours. The 12-year-old facility serves kosher meals daily and provides multiple levels of assisted care, from help with bathing to transportation services for everyday needs.

For Jewish assisted living in the East Bay, the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living is “the only game in town,” says Janice Corran, executive director. The Danville residence has a full-time rabbi, a synagogue, an art studio, its own museum and many other activities and services for residents. It also offers memory care and assisted-living apartments, as well as a nursing facility.

Moldaw Family Residences, on Palo Alto’s Taube Koret Campus for Jewish Life, has prided itself on its unique facilities since opening in 2009. Offering fine dining, religious programming and multiple levels of care, Moldaw also enjoys the advantages of the adjacent Oshman Family JCC. The JCC’s fitness center, performing arts forum and cultural activities keep seniors active and connected to the larger community.


San Francisco

Rhoda Goldman Plaza

(415) 345-5060 •


East Bay

Reutlinger Community

for Jewish Living


(925) 648-2800 •


South Bay/Peninsula

Moldaw Family


Palo Alto

(650) 433-3629 •


Nonsectarian Retirement Residence

These award-winning retirement facilities help ease the transition to a senior residence, especially for those seeking community — and pleasure.

San Francisco Towers offers multiple levels of care for seniors to make sure their daily lives are as stress-free as possible. “We view this as the residents’ home for their lifetime,” says acting executive director Grant Edelstone. “They’re making a decision to live here, and we try to keep people living as independently for as long as possible.” Art classes, day trips around the city and lectures are just some of the activities available to residents, who provide input on the offerings.

AgeSong, which operates several Bay Area facilities, including in the East Bay, provides a lively community for residents. Educational programs, cultural seminars and transportation to art shows, shopping and picnics are standard amenities. Multiple dining halls specialize in a variety of diets, including Mediterranean. “We’re here to provide a great standard of care for our residents,” says Dinah Bailes, executive director.

Multiple dining options with an extensive wine list, an onsite salon and spa, and a variety of apartment choices make life a bit of an oasis at Vi in Palo Alto. Scheduled outings and social events create community and a full life. Housing units in the independent-living facility range from one- to three-bedroom apartments.


San Francisco

San Francisco Towers

(415) 776-0500


East Bay

AgeSong Communities

Various locations

(877) 243-7664


South Bay/Peninsula


Palo Alto

(888) 698-4476


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