2017 Nominees Section
Position: Primary Caregiver
Organization: Amazing Grace & Care
What role does your nominee have in senior care and senior care issues?
Elena is the primary Caregiver and owner of Amazing Grace & Care in Fullerton. Elena left her home in Romania in 1989 to escape communism. She wanted the freedom to pursue her dream of entering the medical field in some way, since becoming a doctor was not a possibility for her as a Christian woman in Romania. She has a BA in Chemistry, an LVN and an RCFE license and has been in the senior care field since 1997 when she opened her first Board & Care home.
On arriving in California, she first went to school in Cypress, CA to get her medical assistant’s license and worked for a medical group starting in 1991 that dealt mostly with children and families. But Elena always gravitated to the seniors when they would occasionally come in. She decided she “wanted to make a difference for the elderly.” And so, in 1997, she opened her first Board & Care with the help of her husband. She then went back to school to focus on gerontology and got her LVN from Rio Hondo College. She sold her first Board & Care in 2005 and made her own family home into her current Board & Care facility in 2010, moving the family upstairs and opening the entire first floor up to care for her senior “family”.
Why should this person be nominated
Elena felt her calling for seniors while she was working her first job in the United States. As she put it, “I just knew I must help; I have to help them in their last years.” She loves communicating with seniors and doesn’t want anyone to be alone or neglected. She is totally hands-on when it comes to caring for her residents.
In 2014, Elena was called to assess a woman with Alzheimer’s disease. This woman is my wife, Joan. She was no longer able to walk, talk or care for herself. Joan has a loving family who cares for her greatly, but we could no longer manage her day-to-day needs. We tried placing her at a large Alzheimer’s care facility but it was tearing us up to see her deteriorating because the facility just couldn’t give her the kind of attention she needed. In desperation, we called Elena. As soon as she met Joan, Elena wanted to be “her hands, her feet, her voice.” She knew it would require patience and a lot of extra time and effort on her and her caregivers’ part, but she knew she needed to do this for Joan and for us, her family. Elena said, “This is not a job for a paycheck, I am here to support; I am here as a calling.”
As Joan’s husband, I can tell you Elena gives her love and care to Joan in every way. I have watched Joanie being fed, moved from her recliner to her wheelchair, being washed up, everything, always tenderly and carefully. No one EVER raises their voice when dealing with residents at Amazing Grace. They ALWAYS respond immediately to a patient’s call or need.
Elena arranges for a physical therapist to work with Joan each week and because of this, Joan has become more flexible and responsive because of the loving therapist’s efforts.
I did a great deal of searching, finding and rejecting of assisted living facilities and Board & Care homes. I found the best place on the planet for my Joan. On a rating scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, Elena’s Amazing Grace home is a 20. I firmly believe Amazing Grace is the only facility that provides their level of care.
Elena Bor is our Hero!