Woman Opens Hospice in Honor of Grandmother

After her grandmother died in the impersonal confines of a hospital, Lena Beker vowed to create a haven for terminally ill people approaching death.

Four years later, the former textile company executive celebrated the opening Thursday of a five-bed hospice called the Roze Room, named after her late grandmother, Roza Litvak.

The Roze Room staff of about 40 nurses, social workers, grief counselors and chaplains have been providing in-home care for terminally ill people since late summer, said the facility’s clinical director, G. Jay Westbrook.

The hospice, located in the 1000 block of Martel Avenue, will serve up to five patients in its two semiprivate and one private room, he said.

Beker said she invested $200,000 of her own money in the hospice, which was licensed by the state hospital oversight board in August.


“When I walked into this particular house I said, ‘Wow, this is it. . . . It’ll make people feel like they’re at home for those who can’t be at home when they’re dying,’ ” Beker said.

Westbrook said that while West Hollywood was home to several hospices serving AIDS patients in the 1980s, many have closed. He said the Roze Room staff serves people suffering from cancer, end-stage Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and other terminal illnesses.