This page includes a variety of resources for families of residents or those seeking elder care for a loved one. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us by using the form on this page to send us a message.

Does Medicare cover the cost for seniors with Alzheimer Disease who stay in your facility?

Medicare does not cover cost of care in Assisted Living facilities. Medicare does cover a 20 day stay in a Nursing home after a hospital stay.

Does Medi-Cal cover the cost for seniors with Alzheimer Disease who stay in your facility?

MediCal covers Nursing Home care once the resident has met the financial level required.

At what stage are the majority of patients placed in your facility?

Dementia and Alzheimer’s in particular is progressive. Behaviors and function continue to change. Our residents have good days and bad days. Decline is part of the natural history of dementia. We often have 10 or 15 residents who are very high functioning in terms of their ability to participate in Activities of Daily Living. Others have been with us 6 or 7 years. They come in doing high kicks for our daily professional music and now are not able to speak. Dementia is a cruel disease.

I am engaged to be married and my future husband’s mother has Alzheimer Disease. Even in the last six months she is getting much worse, cognitively, and gets angry very easily. She doesn’t want to leave her home and her eleven children are a little challenged taking care of her.

Some people with dementia and Alzheimer’s in particular do become angry and combative. You can just imagine the grief and frustration that comes with losing so much…. including your mind. Your geriatric doctor should be able to help with some of that with the right medication. We work with doctors to reduce the excessive number of meds seniors are taking daily. (Often 10-15 medications for their tiny bodies) Sometimes the wrong combination of meds cause or exacerbate the upset in seniors with dementia

Who Runs Olivenhain Guest Home?

I am Hank Kurtz. Along with my wife, Suzanne we own and actively run The Olivenhain Guest Home for Memory Care and Dementia.

One of my Parents has Alzheimer’s. What should I do?

If you have not already done so, the first step for your new family is to contact the wonderful Alzheimer’s Association They provide classes, support groups for families and people with this cruel disease and just great information!! Information is powerful.

What medical care is provided at Olivenhain?

We have mobile doctors, dentists, and podiatrists who come to our residents for simplicity for the family. This is covered by Medicare.

What will my loved one do at Olivenhain?

We work to provide as much joy and peace for each person we care for, whatever their level of function. Our activities include: yoga/ stretch, chair dancing, water color painting, daily professional music for singing and dancing!!

Why should I have you take care of my parent with Alzheimer’s?

Our greatest gift to our people is our high level of care. We provide a trained staff person for every 4 to 5 residents. Care is our focus. Staffing ratio is very important when you are looking for a special setting.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a wealth of resources on their ExploreVA website. Also, the Aid & Attendance and Housebound page of their website is particularly useful for our residents and their families. You can learn more about that by clicking the button below.

Veteran’s Aid & Attendance and Housebound


To support our residents and their families, we partner with Peter Willis from a local organization called Veteran’s Advocacy Associates. They specialize in the Aid & Attendance Pension Benefit Program. In their nine (9) years of being in business, they have had over 1200 cases approved and several hundred still pending.

You can reach Peter at (619) 301-4799 or visit Veteran’s Advocacy Associates.

Our training classes are for Olivenhain Guest Home staff, administrators and nurses. They are also available for free to family members of residents.

Following is our current list of classes, taught by Dr. Diane Darby Beach:

Death and Dying

Throughout this course, participants learn how to interact compassionately with terminally ill patients and their families. They will learn how to provide life-prolonging encouragement and care to patients, while helping patients’ family members and friends through the grief process.

What is Hospice/Palliative Care?

Through this class, participants learn about the specifics of hospice care. For example, how do you qualify for hospice, who pays for hospice care, what is the philosophy of hospice or palliative care, when is the right time to call hospice? Eligibility requirements for receiving hospice care under specific disease indices such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, etc. are discussed.

What is Normal, What is Alzheimer’s?

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 360,000 people in our community; those diagnosed as well as their family, friends and caregivers.  This informational session explains what we know about the disease, the warning signs and symptoms and how to detect the difference between normal, age-related memory lapses and something more serious.

What is HIPAA Compliance?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued the Privacy Rule to implement the requirement of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). The Privacy Rule standards address the use and disclosure of individuals’ health information—called “protected health information” by organizations subject to the Privacy Rule. During this session, attendees will learn about how to remain HIPAA compliant.

Communication and Dementia

Communication is more than the ability to exchange words; it is the ability to connect with someone.  Upon completion of this program, attendees will be able to improve their overall communication skills with memory-impaired individuals.  They will also be able to identify communication techniques that can play a key role in coping with specific challenging behaviors such as shadowing, repetition, and agitation.

Making the Placement Decision:

The decision to move a loved one into any type of long-term care facility can be a complicated and stressful one. After attending this workshop, participants will be able to identify some of the emotional issues involved in placement, distinguish among various options for assistance along a continuum of care, identify questions to ask when searching for a facility, and recognize methods useful in easing the transition to placement.

Lifestyle of the Healthy Brain

After attending this workshop, participants will be able to identify specific brain healthy foods, understand how physical exercise can improve brain health, learn mentally challenging activities and how they strengthen brain function and recognize the importance of social interaction with regard to the brain.

Nutrition for the Brain

Many foods have been linked to maintaining and sustaining a healthy brain. This class will help participants identify and prepare brain healthy foods. Participants will identify why certain foods are more “brain healthy” than others.

Brain Fitness

Memory is a concern for seniors and people of all ages. Although memory problems and loss of mental acuity can often occur in the aging process, a few lifestyle changes can greatly improve memory function. After attending this workshop, participants will be able to identify types of memory, recognize mental changes common with normal aging, learn several memory exercises, and understand strategies for improving memory.

Physical Fitness for the Brain

Physical activity has been linked to maintaining and sustaining a healthy brain. This class will help participants identify brain healthy forms of exercise. Participants will identify why certain forms of physical activity are more “brain healthy” and will participate in a 30 minute exercise program.

Dr. Diane Darby Beach, MPH, Ed.D, Gerontologist

Dr. Diane Darby Beach is the Gerontologist at Olivenhain Guest Home. She has a Masters Degree in Public Health, a Doctorate in Education and has worked for the last 26 years in the area of Health Promotion/Administration and Dementia. Olivenhain Guest Home is the only community in San Diego with a staff Gerontologist! She currently provides comprehensive training of staff on all aspects of Dementia and facilitates free of charge seminars and support groups for family members.

Family Support Group

This group is intended as an open “process” group where family members receive support from the facilitator as well as other participants. Topics vary according to family member needs. It is a safe, confidential environment for family and friends of people with dementia to express their feelings openly and confidentially.