LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: What Will Happen to Keiro?

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Dear Editor,

For the past nine years my 96-year-old father has been a resident of the Keiro Intermediate Care Facility (ICF). Dad was originally diagnosed with the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease so he could no longer care for himself living alone. A solution needed to be found immediately for skilled care and most fortunately he was admitted to Keiro ICF, which has proven to be a positive turning point in his life.

Dad has flourished, both mentally and physically, under the excellent care and environment of Keiro ICF. The effects of his dementia have been slowed and he is now enjoying a very happy and fulfilling life.

This past week I received very shocking and disturbing news, that Keiro is looking to sell its facilities and that there are already interested parties. How could this happen so quickly without first informing Keiro resident family members like me? How long has this idea of a proposed sale been in the works?

Did the CEO/CAO or Board of Directors of Keiro act surreptitiously by not divulging information to resident families of their intention to pursue the possibility of selling Keiro? I was out of the country for the month of September and became ill when I returned home, and during that time I did not receive any announcement by mail or email saying there was a meeting to discuss the future of Keiro.

Shouldn’t the board and CEO/CAO be held accountable for such decisions made without first informing the residents and residents’ family members of their intentions since it affects the lives of many people?

In an Oct. 20, 2013 Rafu Shimpo newspaper article, it mentions Keiro is turning its attention towards IHA (Institute for Healthy Aging). Will IHA offer tangible hands-on, 24/7 health care services like Keiro ICF for people like my dad? Or, are they hoping that by providing community education, this will somehow supplant the need for facilities like Keiro and enable me to “learn” how to care for my dad as well as the trained professionals at Keiro?

What will happen to Keiro’s Endowment Fund whose funds have been actively solicited for? I believe that fund was created in hopes of ensuring Keiro’s future. Can’t those funds now be used to help keep Keiro ICF continue its excellent care for seniors?

It’s with deep concern that I write this letter in hopes my questions will be raised and answered and that Keiro will not be sold but continue to exist as a vital, important and necessary institution in the Japanese American community helping our beloved seniors like my dad and will hopefully be there for me when the time comes.

My wife and I have included Keiro as one of the beneficiaries of our estate because of the excellent care they have given my father, but with these latest disappointing revelations, we will most certainly remove Keiro from our will should they be sold or no longer be the first-rate facility we’ve come to know.

Dick Sakahara

The Keiro Intermediate Care Facility in Boyle Heights. (Rafu Shimpo photo)

The Keiro Intermediate Care Facility in Boyle Heights. (Rafu Shimpo photo)

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  1. I am in total agreement with Dick Sakahara as my Mom was also in Keiro ICF for 9 1/2 years and was recently moved to Keiro Nursing Home since her health has declined. I am constantly reminded of my gratitude to the founders of Keiro, who had a vision for the aging Japanese seniors who needed health care in an environment such as Keiro, catering to their specific needs!

    I have visited many other Assisted Living facilities that have beautiful facilities and grounds, but do not have the caring and supporting staff that meets the special needs of the aging Japanese e.g., language, food, etc.

    I, too, am concerned about all the residents…Isn’t there another solution to keep Keiro operating as it is now?

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