Tom Wilson was self-sufficient well into his late 80s, until an allergic reaction to prescribed medications left him in need of an assisted living facility. He initially was moved into a secular, for-profit facility.
“It became apparent very quickly that it would not be an option for him long term,” his daughter, Jean Beckman, said. “It was clean, it was neat, it was tidy. The people seemed efficient, but it was lacking care and dignity and a personal connection.”
Despite following regulation codes, there were definite gaps in proper care. Beckman remembers calling for assistance when her father asked to use the restroom. “They said, ‘Oh, just let him go in his pants and we’ll change him.’
“And I just thought that is not respecting a person’s dignity to let that happen. That’s when we turned to Santa Teresita.”
The Carmelite-run assisted living center in Duarte, California, is home to about 20 residents. They also have a skilled nursing home for about 100 patients.
Wilson had a history of service to others before needing someone to care for him. A native of California, Wilson served in the Navy during WWII. He was a proud veteran and “always wore his veteran hat everywhere he went,” his daughter said.