Previously known as Nikkei Concerns, Keiro Northwest provides care for Asian seniors across a full spectrum of health and wellness services. During the last 40 years, demographics, lifestyles and the healthcare system have evolved. We saw these changes as an opportunity to grow our programs and decided to reflect our expanded focus with a new name—Keiro Northwest.
The new name both honors our past and welcomes people outside the Japanese community. Keiro means “respect for our elders,” and our Seattle Keiro facility is already well known for its high-quality care. Along with the organizational name change, some of our programs and services are being rebranded as well. The Seattle Keiro facility will now be known as Keiro Northwest Rehabilitation & Care Center.
Throughout these changes our goal remains the same: To provide elderly persons on a nonprofit basis with housing facilities and services, specially designed to meet the physical, social and psychological needs of the aged, and contribute to their health, security, happiness, and usefulness in longer living. We do it through our mission of Making Every Day the Best Day for our residents, families, and the entire community.
In the early 1970s, aging Issei (first generation Japanese-Americans) had nowhere to go to receive culturally sensitive nursing care. In response to this need, seven Nisei (second generation) mobilized the Japanese community to develop a nursing home to meet the cultural, social, language and dietary needs of elderly Nikkei. In 1975, these visionaries created Issei Concerns. Previously named as Nikkei Concerns, the organization is now known as Keiro Northwest, a not-for-profit organization that serves our growing community through its many programs: Home Care, Rehabilitation & Care Center, Catering, Nikkei Manor assisted living community, Kokoro Kai senior activity program, Nikkei Horizons continuing education and Transportation Services.
Establishing the Rehabilitation & Care Center
After a concerted fund development campaign, our skilled nursing facility opened its doors in South Seattle. The year was 1976. By the end of the first year of operation, the facility was filled to near capacity, and demand was growing. Residents were receiving excellent care, and their lives were extending beyond expectation.
In the spring of 1985, Keiro Northwest embarked on its second major fundraising effort for a new $6.6 million, 150-bed facility. On May 6, 1986, the new Rehabilitation & Care Center broke ground at 16th Avenue and Yesler Way, its current location.
An Array of Services
As the years passed, Keiro Northwest developed services that responded to the growing needs of the community. The following programs were established: Kokoro Kai, an adult day program promoting social interaction and wellness activities, in the spring of 1978; and Nikkei Horizons, a continuing education program for active seniors, in 1990.
In 1995, Keiro Northwest embarked on another major campaign for the construction of a 50-unit assisted living facility for elders who did not require skilled nursing care, but could benefit from assistance with daily tasks. In 1998, Nikkei Manor opened its doors.