New Reutlinger unit serves those not ready for full-time care

Recognizing the need for a facility that provides services for seniors caught in between needing assisted-living and skilled-nursing care, the Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living in Danville opened the Tikvah Center this summer.

“What we discovered was that many of our assisted-living [residents] were becoming so frail that they needed 24-hour supervision,” says Dr. Jan Corran, executive director of Reutlinger.

At the same time, however, they weren’t yet ready for skilled nursing — so in June, the doors swung open on the Tikvah Center, a unit that offers enhanced care from its own staff 24 hours a day. It also has its own activity director.

“It’s really for people who are having severe memory loss, but they’re not really a wanderer and they need extra monitoring,” says Corran, “or need to eat in a smaller dining room with less distractions, or maybe someone, by virtue of a medical condition, who needs a lot more intervention.”

The goal, says Corran, is to let people avoid a skilled-nursing facility until it’s completely necessary.

“Under licensing, assisted living can only go so far, but by having this unit, we can keep people in assisted living for much longer,” says Corran. “Plus, the fact is that skilled nursing [at Reutlinger] is always full, so it was a way of keeping people here, when before, they’d have to move out and into another skilled nursing facility before their time.”

Tikvah Center residents are able to remain within the Danville facility and have everything that assisted living offers, whether it’s going to courses and art classes or taking advantage of concerts that come to Reutlinger.

“You can still be part of that,” says Corran. “[Although] we’re giving you much, much more personalized one-on-one care, whether it’s medical or cognitive, you’re still part of the general community.”

Corran says that the Tikvah Center has been embraced by the residents and their families in its first three months.

“The families thought that if their mom couldn’t live in her apartment, she’d have to go to skilled nursing. She doesn’t,” Corran says. “She can still have activities and go see good friends that she knew in the general assisted-living facility.”

The Tikvah Center currently has 12 residents with room for 25, and is the only facility of its kind within a Jewish living setting in the Bay Area, Corran says. In addition, rooms are available for seniors recuperating from surgery.

“We didn’t intend it to be this, but it’s a wonderful resource for someone who has been in the hospital and can’t go home yet, but the doctor doesn’t think they need to go to skilled nursing,” says Corran. “There’s a respite room we created so people can come and stay for a month or two, get their strength back, get their therapy, and then get back to their home and not have to pay the exorbitant prices of a skilled nursing facility.

“Because we have full therapy services here, they can get their physical therapy, so it’s not like going home and getting caregivers who have to pick you up and drive you for therapy.”

Tikvah Center will have an official opening celebration later this year. It is located at the Reutlinger Center for Jewish Living, 4000 Camino Tassajara, Danville. Information: (925) 648-2800 or