The Carmelite Sisters and staff at Avila Gardens provide professional and loving care as they serve our Seniors and strive to be “At the Service of the Family for Life.” Our compassionate service extends to not only the seniors who live at Avila Gardens, but also the family members who entrust their loved ones to us.
The testimonials below reflect the experiences of some of the families and residents from Avila Gardens. Their stories will hopefully provide a glimpse into the quality of living and excellent care provided at Avila Gardens Residence for Seniors.
Marilyn had only heard about Avila Gardens from those she knew and she loved what she heard. And being from a pretty good distance away, there was no other way for her to really know that this was it unless she took the leap (or flight!) of faith and visit us herself. Having never been here before, but with great excitement and anticipation, she came for a trial stay and here is what she had to say at the end.
“My grandmother lived at Avila for one of the best years of her life. A fiercely independent woman, it was not the easiest of transitions, but by her mid nineties, we all agreed it was the best for her body, mind and spirit to live within reach of support. Rosalie learned to be more social, be more humble and enjoy a life full of the spirit of family and God. We saw a miraculous transition in this once hardened woman, into a softer, gentler and more at peace soul. Though her stay at Avila was short, the impact Avila had on our family continues today. Life at Avila is full of heart and soul and the Carmelite Sisters truly impact entire families.”
–Granddaughter of Rosalie C., Previous Resident at Avila Gardens
Jim and Rose
“We found Avila Gardens before our mother, Kathleen M., was introduced to the facility. She was moving from a mobile home park in Northern CA, and this seemed like the perfect transition for her. She would have many active seniors to interact with each day, the glory of God through faith-based activities, including daily Mass. She also welcomed a living arrangement that allowed her to remain independent, yet with a full-service staff to assist her. She spent one night at Avila Gardens before committing as a permanent resident – but it was love at first sight as she would later recall. This wasn’t an independent living facility, it was home.
Mom’s outgoing personality brightened the day of many at Avila Gardens, and she quickly formed many friendships, but none as strong as her bond with Mary Jo, who has been a loving and dedicated friend since they met in 2007. They have been inseparable since then and can be found together praying, playing cards, bingo or bocce, or taking part in one of the many activities offered at Avila Gardens. They both seem to light up when in the presence of the Carmelite Sisters, whom they adore. It is the Carmelites that make Avila Gardens such a peaceful and caring home for these seniors, who all enjoy the love and comfort that the Sisters provide. They truly are an extension of our family, especially our dear Sister Shawn Pauline.
Beyond friendship, mom found her second love while living at Avila Gardens after being widowed 16 years. Not long after Joseph moved into Avila Gardens, he and mom become an item and were married a short time later. They offered each other love, companionship, and made such a cute couple getting married in their 80’s! They enjoyed a very peaceful life at Avila Gardens until Joe passed earlier this year. Never alone, mom found solace through the love from all her friends at Avila Gardens.
The staff here is second to none – caring and compassionate – with a high level of service. All of mom’s needs were served both by the staff and the Carmelite Sisters. When it was time for mom to transition to Skilled Nursing, she was devastated at having to leave her home of the past 6 years. She now uses Avila Gardens as motivation to improve her health and return to independent living – ‘going back home’ as she calls it. As her loving family, we pray and encourage her daily as we miss Avila Gardens,too!”
–Jim and Rose Murphy, son and daughter-in-law of Kathleen Murphy, Previous Resident at Avila Gardens
“I lived with my daughter after my husband died. My daughter said that I needed friends and since I didn’t drive and do much around the house, I was becoming stagnant. She began shopping around for different places and then she found Avila Gardens. It was just the right size and there was even a Chapel, which was very important. Now I am delighted to be here; I have many friends. They are like my extended family and it’s not too big here. I am the resident sacristan and am now very active in all of the activities with the Carmelite Sisters and with the other residents.”
–Mary Jo, Current Resident at Avila Gardens
Aging, health problems, combined with the upkeep and responsibility of maintaining my home, compelled me to investigate retirement residences. My decision was not difficult after I visited Avila Gardens in Duarte, Ca.
Beside the desirable location, interior décor and pleasant homelike atmosphere of the buildings, I learned that a resident priest was present to say daily Mass in a beautiful chapel and to attend our spiritual needs.
I had been a very outgoing bachelor all my life, my home was the occasion of many parties and social events with various groups and friends.
After the Carmelite Sisters who administer Avila Gardens, invited me to one of their many open house functions, and introduced me to some of the residents, I immediately felt “at home” again and knew this is where I could begin to fill in the void I had been experiencing with the loss of so many old friends in the last few years.
The last 3 years living at Avila Gardens has indeed proven to be a happy and fulfilling time for me. By sharing stories with other residents of our life’s journey, our joys, heartaches and trials, we have formed a unique family bond. We are provided with many happy occasions throughout the year when family and friends join us to celebrate special events – Mardi Gras – St. Patrick’s Day – Easter – Thanksgiving – 4th of July – memorable dinner parties at Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, etc. And we are delighted when professional entertainers join us to make our days even brighter.
Everyday is filled with many social activities tailored to suit our personal preferences – Bingo, Exercise Classes, Puzzles, Movies, planned trips to various places. I thank God for directing me to Avila Gardens, a residence that I can truly call “home” supported by the love, care and devotion of the our beloved Carmelite Sisters.