Villa Gardens Fall Fest Digs Deep

The "all-staff meeting" can be an important part of making connections with employees across an organization, but according to Kim Williams, director of fitness and aquatics at Villa Gardens, it doesn't need to be tedious.  "Once a quarter, we try to do something more fun," said Kim. This October the community decided to introduce employees to the organization's new core values through a "Fall Fest" event. "The core values were the main ingredient," said Kim, "but we made it fun by …

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Challenge Accepted! Residents Bring the Jerusalema Dance Party to Villa Gardens

For three minutes and 41 seconds in March, the Villa Gardens parking lot and driveway in Pasadena was a daytime dance floor. Two of the 36 dancers, a couple dressed like the others in blue jeans and white T-shirts, were total novices -- even though the group activity, part of a worldwide social media challenge, was their idea. Phil and Ann Graf have been residents of the Villa Gardens community since 2016. Married in 1964, they met while both were newbie teachers and "dorm parents" fo…

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Demystifying Resident Contracts

For people who are considering moving to a community, many of the benefits are obvious: a beautiful location, friendly neighbors, great amenities, and supportive staff. But moving to a senior community is a big decision, and one that can raise many questions - especially when it comes to signing a contract or resident agreement. The resident agreement may seem imposing at first, but it also holds the answers to many questions prospective residents may have, such as: What's included and n…

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Villa Gardens Resident Publishes Highly-Rated Memoir, Hosts Book Signing

Proceeds from book signing support seniors Ann Boyle Grant, RN PhD, is grateful for so much in her life--a successful career as nurse, educator, art historian and mother. Now, she is the author of an inspirational memoir, titled, The Essays of Ann: A Memoir for a Time of Pandemic. Ann was inspired to write her memoirs during a time of relative isolation in order to stay connected with her fellow residents at Villa Gardens. Now available both as an e-book and paperback, Ann's memoir ha…

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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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