Villa Gardens Resident Continues to Blaze New Trails

In the 1960s and even into the 1970s, most people could not imagine a woman in a position of power outside of the home, much less as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies or as the vice president of the United States. Working women were routinely paid lower salaries than men and denied opportunities for advancement. These limitations inspired Villa Gardens resident Nan Johnson to work hard throughout her life and made her into the woman and activist she is today. Nan's long history of activism s…

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Villa’s Popular Read-Aloud Program Goes Virtual

Residents video record themselves reading aloud to the delight of community A poem by Robert Frost, a grandfather's letters to his family, a children's book adults can enjoy, a family memoir, excerpts from a novel, the humor of Robert Benchley or the tales of Mark Twain. These are just a few examples of works residents have read aloud to each other. Villa's traditional Read-Aloud events began more than a decade ago when a small groups of friends would occasionally meet in the Villa Ga…

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Life Station ‘Boutique’ at Summer House at Villa Gardens Supports Resident Engagement

After Tanya Mazzolini set up a shelf with some knickknacks in one of the common areas inside Summer House at Villa Gardens, the community's memory care residences, she was surprise to hear a resident tell another resident ... "Let's go shopping!" It suddenly occurred to Tanya, the Summer House manager, to set up a "store," where residents could select items and "live out" this shopping experience. The "boutique" at Summer House is modeled after a "life station," a unique tool used in mem…

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Registered Nurse, Resident Ann Grant Impressed with Villa’s Response to Pandemic

As a registered nurse and nursing instructor, who holds a Ph.D. in nursing science, resident Ann Grant is well versed in infectious disease protocols. And as a Villa Gardens resident, she understands how vital it is for continual engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. "From what I have experienced here since February 2020 when I moved in, is that Villa Gardens is doing all the right things to keep residents safe and engaged," Ann said. "Staff are all very professional. I was particular…

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COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives at Villa Gardens

Residents continue safety protocols in anticipation of return to normalcy The big day had finally come! The COVID-19 vaccine arrived at Villa Gardens in late January and residents "took their shot" at stopping the virus in its tracks. "The vaccines are a first step in moving our community back to a semblance of normality in 2021," said Executive Director Paula Digerness. "We are surrounded by appreciative residents. I could not be happier with the large turnout of residents and staff …

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Each Box Tells a Story for Villa Gardens Resident

She has collected them from all over the world. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, designs and materials. She bought some for a few dollars and others are priceless. But to be sure, every decorative box Villa Gardens resident Herrad Marrs has collected, evokes special memories. "Each box in my collection has sentimental value, not so much monetary value," Herrad said. Each box evokes a treasured memory for Herrad of the time and place it was acquired. "I'm often asked if I …

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From the Vote to the Float and Beyond

Villa Gardens Celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage It was New Year's Day, 2020 when I realized what it felt like to be a part of history. I looked out at a sea of white hats and long white dresses on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, marching in the wake of our spectacular Rose Bowl float, Lady Liberty, rising like beacon above us. This year, 2020, marks the 100th anniversary of American Women winning the right to vote. Women from every state of the U.S. came together to celebr…

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Professional Trainer Kim Williams Helps Residents Stay Fit at Villa Gardens

One of the first people new residents meet when they move to Villa Gardens is Kim Williams, the community's director of fitness and aquatics. Upon their request, Kim connects with residents, offering them a full fitness assessment as well as making recommendations for classes and equipment. Villa's fitness center, or as residents call it, Solarium Gym, recently underwent a complete renovation and boasts state-of-the-art exercise equipment, including resident favorite, the CyberCycle, a r…

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Nan Johnson Continues to Blaze New Trails at Villa Gardens

There are some moments that change everything. For Nan Johnson that moment was in 1955, when the dean of a prestigious law school, to which she was considering applying, told her, "You do understand you won't be arguing any cases. You will do the briefs and the men will argue the cases." Since that time, Nan has been an advocate for social change. She was the first woman to serve as Majority Leader of Monroe County, New York legislature and went on to become an associate professor of pol…

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