Some in the senior living industry will have a memorable Thanksgiving this year for all the wrong reasons.
The Camp Fire in Northern California has been declared the deadliest and most destructive fire in the state’s history. As of Sunday, 1,276 people remained missing as the fire burned on. The death toll had reached 76, and the fire was 60% contained, having burned 150,000 acres, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Destroyed have been 10,364 residences, 418 commercial buildings and 2,992 other buildings, Cal Fire said, and 14,500 additional structures are still threatened.
One of the missing is Julian Binstock*. According to his granddaughter, he had been evacuated from his residence at Feather Canyon Retirement Community in Paradise, CA, on Nov. 8, the day the fire started.
Atria Senior Living’s independent living, assisted living and memory care community in Paradise looks to be one of the structures that has been destroyed. Thankfully, all Atria Paradise residents have been accounted for and are safe at a hotel.
Many senior living employees lost their workplaces and also lost their homes and possessions in the fire. There are several ways to help them for those who are interested.
The California Assisted Living Association, an Argentum state partner, has started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for them via its Care for the Caring fund.
“Though they may have suffered personal losses, the brave associates of our member communities remain committed to the safety and care of hundreds of residents while in the midst of some of the worst firestorms in California history,” CALA said.
As of Sunday, 44 people had raised a total of $14,575 toward the fund’s $75,000 goal, according to the site.
LeadingAge California also has a place on its website for donations to the organization’s California Fires and Disasters Recovery Fund. Currently, log-in is required to make online donations, but checks also may be sent to LeadingAge California at this address: 1315 I Street, Suite 100, Sacramento, CA 95814.
And the California Association of Health Facilities has posted links to GoFundMe pages raising funds for workers of three skilled nursing / post-acute facilities — Cypress Meadows, Heritage Paradise and California Park Rehabilitation Hospital — destroyed by the fire.
CALA also is maintaining a live, shared document on its website via which operators can communicate their ability to help peer communities in fire-affected areas who need assistance locating available units to temporarily house displaced residents.
* Nov. 29: I’m sad to relay that it is now being reported that Julian Binstock died in the fire.