As a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, Kin On’s mission is to support the elderly and adults in the greater Seattle Asian community by offering a comprehensive range of health, social and educational services sensitive to their cultural, linguistic and dietary needs.
Our History: The Kin On Story
When the idea of a nursing home to care for non-English speaking Chinese elderly first surfaced in 1985, there were concerns about whether the community would embrace the concept much less support it. Within Asian cultures, it’s a strong tradition for families to care for their own. Yet, surveys taken at that time by The Chinese Nursing Home Society (CNHS), the community’s newly organized non-profit corporation, revealed an estimated 20-30 Chinese residents living in the Seattle area were already placed in nursing homes.
About the same time, a nursing facility was being vacated by the Japanese community as they began to build their new 150-bed facility. On June 28, 1986, a four-year lease was signed and the former Seattle Keiro building became the Kin On Nursing Home. Kin On became the first Chinese nursing home operated by the Chinese community in the nation. The unique program of care at Kin On would feature bilingual, professional staff, a predominantly Chinese diet, observing Chinese traditions of respect and dignity, all the while providing a warm and compassionate environment to meet the cultural and health care needs of each resident. Kin On Nursing Home accepted its first resident on July 23, 1987.
During the nine years of operations, the Kin On Nursing Home met and exceeded its original goal of delivering high quality care. Kin On consistently passed every State survey requirement and was recognized in 1991 by the Washington State Nursing Home Advisory Council for having excellent survey records over the three-year period (1989-1991). In 1992 and 1993, Washington Association of Homes for the Aging gave Kin On their Exceptional Performance Award. In 1995, national recognition was achieved when the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging presented Kin On the Hobart Jackson Social Responsibility Award.
By January of 1990 the success of the Kin On program was apparent as the facility reached capacity with a rapidly growing waiting list. Through the extensive planning efforts of the Long Range Planning Committee, the Kin On Board responded to an urgent need of a new building and launched a $3 million capital campaign with the slogan “Building Our Own.” In September 1996, the new 100-bed Kin On Health Care Center was completed with much celebration in the Seattle Chinese Community. The facility was fully occupied within six months of its opening.
Kin On recognizes the need to offer elderly care in a holistic approach, taking care of adults and seniors along their aging continuum instead of just at the end of their lives. With the help of the GlaxoSmithKline 2000 SHARE Innovation Award, Kin On established the Community Care Network to offer in-home health and support services such as Home Care, Home Health, Family Caregiver Support, Chronic Care Management and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support for seniors and their family members. Kin On recently launched Hospice Services in 2008 – being the first hospice program dedicated to serving terminally ill patients and their family members in the Asian community. Kin On also created the Healthy Aging Program, which provides opportunities for Asian adults and seniors to stay physically, mentally and socially active.
The success of Kin On, however, was not accidental. From the start, Kin On solidly established its role in the community. The members of the Board of Directors, the many energetic and committed volunteers and the highly qualified professional staff of Kin On earned the continuous support of the community.
Today, Kin On continues to keep a pulse on the needs of the community, while providing excellent care and resources to the elderly community.