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Why I Chose Avila – Nina Larrabee

Feb 5, 2019 | Life at Ávila

Every once in a while, we get to peel back the curtain and take a deeper dive into the lives and hearts of our residents. Recently, Ami Schnauber of LeadingAge New York sat down with our very own Nina Larrabee to learn more about Nina’s story, including her decision to make the move to Avila.


Nina moved to Avila 14 years ago. She is the mother of three grown children and a grandmother of four. For more than 40 years, she was a resident of rural Ulster county. She has a great deal of wisdom to share.


“Avila is a great place. From maintenance to housekeeping, to the CEO and assistant CEO, they are all just the greatest people, “ Nina says. “One of the staff came in recently to help me with my Christmas ornaments. He came bouncing in saying, ‘Okay Nina, what do you want?’” Nina reminisced with laughter. He helped Nina hang the ornaments carefully, with her directing every placement to get it just so. It was one of those fun and special interactions that we just love to hear about!


“The thing that impressed me when I came to Avila was, the first morning when I came down to breakfast, the very first person I met greeted me. It has been that way ever since,” Nina states.


Ami wondered if Nina had any concerns when she was making the decision to move from her family home to Avila. The home had six bedrooms and a very large yard. Nina even used to cross country ski on her own property! But as it turns out, she was more than ready to have less work and more free time to enjoy.


“The thing that I found a great comfort when I came to Avila—the lawns were cut, the maintenance crew would come in and be so wonderful,” Nina said. “The snow was actually pretty! I used to shovel snow and I hated it, but now I think it’s quite pretty! “


Ami was also curious about Nina’s daily life at Avila. She wondered, now that Nina doesn’t have to shovel and snow and do home maintenance, how does she spend her time?


“We have many opportunities. You will not be bored at Avila unless you want to be bored! We have all kinds of classes here, I try to take one per day. We also have a fancy pool for swimming with a hydrobike. There is always an instructor there. As a matter of fact, my oldest grandchild learned to swim here!” Nina continued,“our exercise classes are for osteoporosis, like our Sit to be Fit class. We have a lot of fun exchanging stories back and forth, too. We also have games. We have Hand and Foot and Bridge, which is very popular.”


Thank you, Nina, for sharing your Avila story with us! We’ll be sharing more stories this month.


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