Independent Retirement Living for Active Seniors

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Speaking from the heart about Ávila…

We asked our residents to take a few minutes and tell us what living at Ávila has meant to them. We are so lucky and proud of our reputation and we are thankful for the residents who make Ávila such a special place!

A Message from Pat and Hank – New residents since 2016

Pat and Hank Binzer

“Last March we moved to Avila Independent Senior Community at the west end of the city of Albany. We sold our townhouse in Glenmont and got rid of a whole lot of stuff we no longer wanted or needed. We are now settled into a lovely two-bedroom apartment in an Adirondack Lodge themed housing community with about 275 of our new friends. There is even a new and rather comfortable sofa bed to accommodate our family and friends, (as well as private guest accommodations provided by the management for a small fee.) We tease that it is like living on a cruise ship without the water!

We no longer need to cook since most meals are included. We no longer need to vacuum since housekeeping is also included. An extensive professional exercise program is also available and used. Transportation to concerts, shopping, libraries are also included. We still remain active in the outside community service on boards, volunteering, going to yoga and keep old friendships!

Living here certainly makes getting older less stressful and lots of fun!”

“I have no regrets”

Mickey Fleischman
Classical Music Enthusiast, Movie Goer, Planner, Positive Influencer

Mickey has always been a planner. From the day in 1960 when she left Japan with $5 in her pocket, to the day 11 years ago when she and her late husband Paul decided to call Ávila home, she knew that having a plan. good communication and a positive attitude were the most important things to make it all work. Mickey loves America too and simply refuses to have any regrets. At 83, Mickey takes each day on as a personal challenge to be a positive influence on others. After her daily walks, volunteering at the soup kitchen, visiting residents at the Teresian House, you might just find her sewing, reading or just sharing her lovely smile with someone who’s a little down.

“I really feel Ávila was the best move we ever made. I love people and here I can be happy, be positive, walk, eat healthy, and help others. I have lived a successful life and I am appreciative of all the opportunities that have come my way. Life doesn’t always turn out according to my plan yet here I am. I live in a perfect place, in a perfect country. It has all worked out!”

“My life is full.”

Paul Ward
Book Club President, Traveler, Museum Goer, Gardener

A retired University at Albany history professor, Paul Ward wanted to do more than keep his body active; he wanted to keep his mind active. At Ávila, he does. In addition to establishing and leading Ávila’s 30-member book club, Paul takes advantage of Ávila’s trips to regional museums and its partnership with OASIS, a nonprofit organization offering seniors educational programs in the arts, humanities, wellness, technology and volunteer service.

“I cannot live without books. I believe that you have much to learn and contribute at any and every age. Here, I have opportunities to engage—with literature, history, and people who are active physically and mentally. My life is full.”

“My friends want to live here, too.”

Pat Frey
Curler, Swimmer, Mahjong Player

Retirement hasn’t slowed down Pat Frey. Not one bit. If you can’t find her in the pool riding an aqua bike or taking an aerobics class in Ávila’s fitness center, you might find her running Monday night bingo. Or acting out a role with the Columbia Circle Players. Or curling at a local bonspiel.

“Every day feels like an all-inclusive vacation at Ávila. We have everything here—the pool, movies on Tuesday nights, violin concerts, and bus trips to Tanglewood, Troy Music Hall, and SPAC. It’s difficult to fit everything in. My friends all tell me they want to live here too.”

“This is it.”

Don Stauffer
Gardener, Performer, Caregiver

Don, a retired University at Albany English professor, said he and his wife considered a number of Capital Region independent living communities. One visit to Ávila, and they were sold. Don said it wasn’t just Ávila’s centralized location and proximity to cultural events and venues, it was also Ávila’s comfortable, homey feeling.

“We felt Ávila’s warmth and friendliness right away. We also liked the size and overall appearance of the apartments. We’ve visited friends in other living communities, but when we came here, we said, ‘This is it.’”

“I am thankful.”

John Wagner
Amateur Photographer, Whistler, Baker

With a degree in physics and 32-year career in mechanical engineering, it’s no wonder John is the first guy our residents seek when experiencing computer problems. But John loves every minute of it. He also loves singing with his church choir, gardening, baking treats for his wife and neighbors, and writing tech articles for Ávila’s monthly newsletter.

“I am thankful for the opportunities Ávila gives me to stay busy. There is so much to do here that I sometimes wonder how I fit everything in, but I do. My biggest challenge seems to be finding a place to whistle where I won’t bother anyone!”

“It’s like being on vacation.”

Ellie Rubin
Card Player, Aqua Biker, Theatre Goer

Ellie Rubin says she never enjoyed cooking. So she’s especially happy with Ávila’s dining services, provided by Mazzone Hospitality, Albany’s premier catering company. She also takes advantage of Ávila’s trips to local and regional restaurants, including the famed Culinary Institute of America. But Ellie balances it all with daily workouts in Ávila’s pool and fitness center.

“When I’m sitting on my bike in the pool or fitness center, I feel like I’m looking out the window over a resort. The meals and dining staff are exceptional. It really is like being on vacation, only it’s home, and the people here have become my extended family.”

“Ávila is home.”

Pat Healy
Pianist, Gardener, Reader

Pat Healy continued to live in her Slingerlands, New York home for five years after her husband passed away. When the upkeep on their house became too much for her, she turned to Ávila. Although downsizing—and leaving the home she loved—was difficult at first, she says she gained more than she gave up when she moved to Ávila.

“I gave up some material possessions, but I brought my memories, my little dog Daisy, and my piano, which I play every single day. I’ve made good friends, I have a lovely apartment, and I stay busy. Ávila is home.”

“This is my happy place.”

Joy Harding
Movie Buff, Gardener, Water Aerobics Aficionado

Joy, a former elementary-school teacher, moved to Ávila from Guilderland, where she lived for 30 years. She says she chose Ávila for its location in her ‘own backyard’ and the comfort of knowing that she wouldn’t have to change doctors or acclimate to new surroundings. She says Ávila’s uniquely friendly sense of community makes moving to Ávila one of the best decisions she ever made.

“To me, living independently means that I can come and go as I darn well wish. Avila gives me a real sense of independence, and my children know that mom is well taken care of. This is my happy place.”