Resident, Family and Community Comments
Assisted-living facility to open (Written
By Jackson Bell
DISTRICT -- With Las Casitas slated to open late next month, owner Sheila
Gonzalez plans to offer a third choice for seniors in types of assisted-living
Las Casitas, a 15-unit, 5,500-square-foot building at 1633 N. Hollywood
Way, will provide more individual attention than the 145-unit Belmont
Village, but will also allow more privacy than small assisted-living homes
that occupy five or six seniors, Gonzalez said.
"It's like life. A small group of people conflict sometimes, and
a lot of the patients get disoriented and overwhelmed at the bigger facilities,"
she said. "This is just the right balance."
Gonzalez, a registered nurse, and her husband, a physician, spent $1
million to renovate the one-story, U-shaped apartment into a Mediterranean-style
building for seniors 60 and older. The features include an intercom system,
kitchenettes in each unit, patio area for barbecuing, hallways with wall
edges that are rounded and a manager who lives on site.
For every resident, there will be nearly one staffer to provide such
assistance as showering, dressing and preparing food, Gonzalez said. The
monthly cost will be $3,000 for shared rooms and $3,500 for singles.
"I'm happy to have an assisted-living facility of this type in the
city because the need is tremendous and growing rapidly as the baby boomers
get older and move into retirement," Vice Mayor Jef Vander Borght
Gonzalez and her husband own and operate Van Nuys-based Medicina Familiar
Medical Group Inc., which is a primary-care clinic. Las Casitas, however,
is their first foray into assisted living.
Neighbor Roland Morehead, himself a senior, believes the new facility
will help spruce up the block and won't bring more traffic since the patients
usually don't drive.
"I have no objection to them moving in," Morehead said. "The
building's renovation will be a great improvement to the area and will
probably increase property value."
Sonia Mariscal, who lives a few apartment buildings up the street, prefers
living close to seniors.
"It makes the neighborhood quieter since they aren't teens who will
be rowdy and noisy," Mariscal said.
For more information on Las Casitas, call (818) 238-9951.