Community group, Koreisha Senior Care & Advocacy will hold a demonstration on Friday, Feb. 24 at 1:00 pm in Little Tokyo to demand non-profit Keiro to release $70 million to build a new senior facility.
The demo will start at the north-west corner of Second Street and San Pedro Street, and proceed to the Pacific Commerce Bank building at the corner of Third Street and San Pedro Street. Keiro’s office is located at the Pacific Commerce Bank building.
Background Summary of Keiro Issue
(The following information provided by Koreisha Senior Care & Advocacy)
Keiro Senior Healthcare Facilities were started 55 years ago as a non-profit to provide culturally competent elder care to elderly Japanese Americans.
Founders of the Facilities were such famous and dedicated individuals as Fred Wada, George Aratani, Gongoro Nakamura, and Frank Omatsu.
Japanese speaking doctors, nurses, staff, and hundreds of volunteers provided culturally sensitive eldercare to approximately 600 residents.
Individual and corporate donations totaling $30 million were made with the understanding that culturally competent quality healthcare services for the elderly would be ensured.
The Keiro homes were treasured and cherished institution in the Japanese American community. “Keiro” literally translates to “Honoring the Aged” and many honorary guests, such as the Emperor of Japan and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, visited this iconic institution of the Japanese American community.
In 2014-2015, Keiro Board’s decision to sell the facilities to a for-profit Pacific Companies was met by strong objections from the public.
Requests to convene a public hearing and postpone the sale were made by 16 Congress members, the LA County Board of Supervisors, the California Assembly Asian/Pacific Caucus, and 17,000 community members.
Despite the community protest, the public hearing was waived and the Keiro Healthcare Facilities were sold to Pacifica Companies on February 2, 2016.
In the past one-year, many residents, staff and physicians of the facilities have filed complaints regarding the deteriorating post-sale conditions.
Currently, the concern of the community is to protect the Japanese American elders and the staff from degradation in patient care, from increases in rent and fees that the residents cannot afford, from a dire situation in 4 years when the conditions of the sale expire.
Some of the conditions set by the Attorney General’s office are that culturally competent services are to be maintained, to continue to accept MediCal for long-term care coverage and to control the rent.
The conditions will expire in 4 years, and what will happen to our elders?
Since Keiro was the only Japanese nursing home in this country, there is a strong likelihood of these non-English speaking Japanese residents to be referred out to a facility where they would not be able to communicate, abandoned or be left homeless in 4 years.
Koreisha Senior Care & Advocacy is a non-profit community organization committed to advocating and protecting the rights of the elderly Japanese American residents and staff of the former Keiro facilities.
We ask for your involvement and support of the movement, as it is critical that our seniors are protected and their voices are heard.
All are welcome, seniors as well as young people, to help the community to rebuild the facilities that we have lost and to ensure that our current residents, as well as future residents will have an affordable place where they can spend the remaining years in peace and comfort.