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Featured Image: Raya’s Paradise, a developer of residential care communities, will soon open its newest senior living facility in San Clemente that will contain 20 beds for memory care and 30 beds for assisted living. Photo: Courtesy of Raya’s Paradise

By C. Jayden Smith

San Clemente will soon see another senior living facility open in town, as the newest offshoot of a decades-old company hopes to serve what company officials call an underserved area. 

Raya’s Paradise, a grouping of residential care communities that provides 24-hour care to seniors over the age of 55, started in Los Angeles in 1991. Now the current CEO, Moti Gamburd, and Chief Operating Officer Monica Westphaln are bringing the model pioneered by Gamburd’s mother into Orange County.

Westphaln has years of experience under her belt in social work, and met with Gamburd when he asked for her guidance as he wanted to open a larger community. 

“We began the search, (and) realized that San Clemente was an underserved community that didn’t have a whole lot to offer for seniors in the area,” Westphaln said.

Overall, they found Orange County is less saturated than Los Angeles, has less traffic, and is an area in which they believe could be easier to develop. Specifically, with San Clemente, the only other community they saw was the San Clemente Villas by the Sea.

Westphaln said they desired to provide the living space, as well as essential care for local seniors.

After finding a good lot on which to construct, at 101 Avenida Calafia, they partnered with architect Michael Luna to design the community. It will contain 20 beds for memory care and 30 beds for assisted living.

Raya’s Paradise will include numerous amenities that will help families of loved ones living there have “peace of mind,” Westphaln said, such as quality customer service and extensive staff training.

“We’ve got a lot of technology inside to be able to detect when somebody has an infection to do fall prevention,” Westphaln added. “We’ve got special lifts in the community that will be able to help transfer residents to and from their bed when they no longer can do it.”

Residents will be able to take part in a full complement of activities and courses, such as art, ceramics, and yoga classes and gardening, as well as have opportunities that will get them to the beach or to spend a day outside.

While adhering to the city-mandated Spanish Revival architecture on the facility’s exterior, Westphaln and the design team took great care in planning the layout of the rooms and positioning of the furniture.

“When we first sat down to go through the design process with the design team, I really had to go through and educate them on what seniors were looking for and the comfort in their living,” Westphaln said.

She tried to style the rooms similar to the living styles residents previously enjoyed, only now, they will have all the care necessary.

Raya’s Paradise will have a grand opening on June 23, and looks to open in early July.

C. Jayden Smith

C. Jayden Smith graduated from Dana Hills High in 2018 before pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in digital and broadcast journalism from the University of North Texas. After graduating in December 2020, he reported for the Salina Journal in Salina, Kansas. Jayden loves college football and bothering his black lab named Shadow.

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