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June 11, 2019

Community Partner Highlight: Santa Teresita

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OneLife LA has pledged to protect, proclaim, and defend every human life from conception to natural death. Honoring human dignity in every stage of life is crucial to the mission of OneLife LA and is part of our broader goal to create a civilization of love.

The Carmelite Sisters at Santa Teresita do just that in their care for the elderly. Their motto is “At the Service of the Family for Life.” This is integral to the way that surround their “cherished” seniors with professional nursing, rehabilitative, and caregiving support.

In a way that dignifies the people who come to live at Santa Teresita, the Carmelites Sisters and staff focus on empowering the residents to embrace their lives with vibrancy, purpose, and fulfillment. Santa Teresita is described as a “Neighborhood of Care” because of the 12 beautiful acres dedicated to supporting the senior community.

Santa Teresita serves an over-looked population and provides much-needed support to the aging and elderly. In Los Angeles County, there are only 0.68 aging service organizations for every 1,000 people over the age of 65, leaving a huge gap of care.

As part of their work, the Carmelite Sisters also host the Hayden Child Care Center on the campus — seniors from Santa Teresita and children from the day-care are brought together for shared activities like crafts, fostering an intergenerational, peaceful community.

The service provided by the Carmelite Sisters honors the dignity of the seniors and treats them with love. The testimonies of the families of the residents demonstrate the importance of their work:

As a family member, the best thing Santa Teresita provided for me was the confidence that Dad was not only getting excellent care, he was enjoying his twilight years, and living with people and caregivers who genuinely loved him... I once asked Dad if he was happy, and his reply was, “I love my life here.” This is what every child wants to hear, and I think it sums up what the Carmelite Sisters are doing in our community: Taking care of and loving our seniors, treating them with dignity, and providing them with unique experiences to enrich their lives. - Jean Beckman, Daughter of Tom Wilson, Previous Resident of Bethany Residential Care and Manor Skilled Nursing

There are many ways to support this loving community that cares not only for the physical but also the spiritual needs of seniors. Volunteers can participate in the daily lives of the residents or in special events, and there are special opportunities through the Junior Volunteers program. They are also in the midst of The Campaign for Santa Teresita that will expand and improve care for years to come.

OneLife LA is proud to partner with this gentle, loving, and enriching ministry and hope that you too can find a way to support the residents at Santa Teresita.

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