- The mission of Rebecca’s Retreat is to support and care for seniors with dignity and respect. We instill a joy for living in the moment through an enriching program of activities, transcending the physical and emotional pain that often comes with the losses and challenges of aging, especially for those with memory loss. Our goal is to partner with the family caregiver to improve the overall well-being of the senior participant and to enhance the quality of life for both the senior and the caregiver.
What is a Senior Care program ?
Becky Chong has worked with seniors her entire career, beginning in college as a volunteer for the activity program of a large assisted living facility in La Mirada, California.
Once settled in San Diego, after a two year hiatus traveling and living in Asia, Becky worked on the administrative staff of a large assisted living facility on Coronado Island. It
text Becky Chong has worked with seniors her entire career, beginning in college as a volunteer for the activity program of a large assisted living facility in La Mirada, California. Having enjoyed spending time with her grandparents and great grandparents as a child, working with seniors came naturally to Becky. Prior to moving to San Diego from Northern California’s Napa Valley in 1996, Becky worked for The Altenheim Retirement Home in Oakland, California where she earned her California State Certification as an Activity Director for elderly care facilities.
Once settled in San Diego, after a two year hiatus traveling and living in Asia, Becky worked on the administrative staff of a large assisted living facility on Coronado Island. It was during this time Becky experienced firsthand the need for small dementia care facilities. She saw so many of the residents at this facility being moved into skilled nursing homes strictly because of their cognitive impairment, not because they needed skilled nursing care. This was in 1997 and the ‘memory care’ facility movement had yet to take off.
Becky had grown up around entrepreneurial minded people – her parents owned and operated their own business all her growing up years - and doing the same felt right. Becky’s Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Biola University, her love for seniors and her desire to provide a better alternative for those suffering from dementia, allowed her to successfully create, own and operate four small care facilities right here in the Mount Helix area of La Mesa. Named ‘The Park at Mt. Helix’, these homes enjoyed much success and cared for many seniors and supported their families from 1998 to 2005.
Becky began having children in 1999, two girls: Alyssa and Kira. In 2004 her son Danny was adopted from Kazakhstan. When her children were two, four and six years old, Becky spent a year traveling the United States in a motor home while home-schooling her children. Once settled back in San Diego, Becky accepted a position with an in-home care agency as one of their Geriatric Care Managers. For four years Becky helped families manage the care of their loved ones at home and when the need arose she also provided assistance with facility placement.
During this time Becky’s entrepreneurial bug returned as she saw the need for a stop-gap for those who wanted to remain at home, but either couldn’t afford around-the-clock care, needed more social interaction, or both. Many of the families she worked with wanted to assist with caring for their family members but at the same time they had children of their own to care for or other obligations which made full-time caregiving an impossibility. She also met with many families who simply did not like the idea of bringing a caregiver into their own homes. She knew without a doubt: San Diego needed more options for senior day care. She envisioned a home away from home environment which would provide enrichment for the senior and a respite for the family caregiver. She knew of a few larger senior day programs, but nothing like what she hoped to create.
In 2013, after struggling through the painful break-up of her seventeen-year marriage, Becky opened Rebecca’s Retreat Senior Day Program in the Mount Helix area of La Mesa. The Retreat has enjoyed much success from the start, operating with a waiting list ever since its second year of operation.
On a more personal note, Becky has remained active in the schooling and extracurricular activities of her three children who in 2016 will turn 13, 15 and 17 years old. Foothills United Methodist Church has been Becky’s faith community for over ten years now. She enjoys working with the seniors’ group ‘Foothills Folks’ there as well as serving on the Family Camp Steering Committee and as one of the Liturgists on Sunday mornings. Her hobbies include singing, cooking, gardening, snow skiing, decorating/remodeling and enjoying time with her long-time companion, Mitch, as well as her extended family, including her parents who recently celebrated 50 years of marriage.
Becky will be forever grateful to all the families who have entrusted her with caring for their loved ones. She can confidently say she is one of the lucky ones who loves her work and the people she works with. Together with a small group of her good friends, Becky is blessed to spend her days, Monday through Friday, with smart, creative, loving, expressive, thriving seniors, ranging in age from 72 to 103! She has also been surprised by how happy she is to have Rebecca’s Retreat operate from the comfort and beauty of her very own home in a neighborhood of amazing, generous and kind-hearted people.