March 13, 2017
Her name is Faith. She lived a life as a vibrant, smart, and funny woman who loved to both ballroom and folk dance. At 5’ nothing and 100 lbs., she was passionate about her friends and family. Though her true passion laid with Windsor, her husband of 72 years. She has 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandson.
Before moving to the United States, she was a hairdresser back in England. Traveling to France to learn new techniques, she was the first hairdresser in England to do black henna rinses and platinum blonde dying. Where would our blond bombshells be without their platinum blond hair: Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow, and Carole Lombard?
Moving to the United States in 1956, Windsor and Faith settled into their life in Downey, California. Faith became one of the first-ever “soccer moms”, a supportive wife, the neighborhood medic, and friend to many. She approached life with common sense and somehow always knew what to do to fix any situation.
At 80 years old, life took a dramatic shift. Faith was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Windsor began the long, exhausting journey of caring for an Alzheimer’ s patient. He encouraged her, kept her active, helped her maintain the life she so loved and most of all loved her endlessly.
As with all Alzheimer patients, Faith began to wander. It’s not hard to imagine what they are searching for. Searching for the life they left behind, the life they are gradually forgetting, the people who mean the most to them but whose faces are fading beyond recognition.
Four years into the disease, Faith managed to unlock the triple locked doors and wander out into the night. She only got about four houses down before tripping over a flower bed breaking her nose, jaw, and ribs. Three weeks in the hospital – three months in skilled nursing – finally placed on Hospice care with six months to live. The decline was staggering. Six months to live changed to hours. Windsor was losing the love of his life.
Then came Irvine Cottages.
As a last hope, Faith was moved to Irvine Cottages 1. She was 85 and losing the battle. Even Windsor who had pledged that he would always be her caregiver knew that her care had to be turned over to others.
Within 3 weeks, Faith rallied. The staff of Irvine Cottage 1 believed in Faith and began to fight to restore her health. She started responding, eating and smiling. Her vibrancy returned. She and Windsor went on walks, sat in the park, enjoyed the movies, and attended family festivities. Because her care was so incredible, Windsor felt no guilt with Faith living at Irvine Cottages 1. The level of care, specialized services, beautiful homey décor and highly trained staff created a quality of life for Faith that Windsor could only celebrate.
Faith is now 91. She lost Windsor in 2014, but Faith has now been at Irvine Cottages 1 for six years. In January 2017, a poster on her wall encouraged her to hang on until January 20th so she could meet her great-grandson. Faith patiently complied. A new poster now stamps April 29th as the newest date, so she can witness one of her granddaughter’s wedding.
Each milestone brings a few more days, a few more months. The staff of Irvine Cottage 1 diligently work to keep her quality of life the best it can be. In the meantime, Faith waits for the wedding, fighting the pull to just let go and once again walk in the park with her beloved Windsor.
Thank you Irvine Cottages 1 for providing 6 more years to my mother’s life. You are the reason she is still here and we, her family, are blessed that you have given such amazing care to Faith.
March 07, 2017
Anyone who has experienced a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease knows it is truly a heartbreaking and emotionally overwhelming experience. When my grandmother was diagnosed about 10 years ago, I left my professional dance career to become her caregiver. I underwent extensive elder care training and noticed something recurring in most hospitals and elder care facilities; the majority of the staff was unaware on how to properly handle patients who suffered from Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. I became fearful for the quality of care my grandmother would receive when the time came when she no longer would be able to live in her own home.
I was COMPLETELY blown away with the Irvine Cottages. Not only do the caregivers, LVN’s and various other staff members take exceptional care of my grandmother, they treat her as family. I love that she’s in a real home and not just a “facility”. It makes visiting her a lot easier than if I had to go to a depressing nursing home.
The deciding factor was the owner, Dr. Jacquline D.. Her life’s work has been about elder care and it’s not hard to see how passionate she is about caring for people with his horrible disease. I truly believe my grandmother is still alive and doing as good as she is because of the care she receives at the Irvine Cottages.
If you’re looking for the absolute best place for your loved one with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, stop looking! You won’t find a better place!
September 11, 2016
My precious mother lived in Cottage 2 for 6-1/2 years until she passed in peace and grace last month. During those years her primary caregivers were the amazing Gerry and Marie. They provided Mom with incredible care, always treating her with respect and the kind of love I believe they would have shown their own parents. It was such a relief for me to know that my mother was being given the best possible care during the final years of her life. I don’t know what we ever would have done without Irvine Cottages, and especially Gerry and Marie. They will always feel like part of our family. Jackie Dupont, Michelle, Gina and all of the staff are wonderful.
August 26, 2016
May 12, 2016
To all the wonderful caregivers,
I want to thank all of you who took care of my husband, “Dr. Bob”. The attention and concern you gave him is greatly appreciated.
With love and thanks to you all,
From Faye A.
May 12, 2016
!! “THE QUEEN” !!
This is me because of you on my birthday!!!
Thanks for everything!! And kind words that made my head get very “BIG”.
Loads of Love,
February 1, 2016
I am a nurse and I used to visit a patient in this facility. The staff, particularly Jenny and Nap are really amazing. Not only are they hardworkers, they treat their patients like family. They exemplify what a true caregiver is. I highly recommend them for doing things above and beyond.
January 28, 2016
Being the only child and sole caregiver I felt a huge responsibility to find the best environment possible for my Mother when she could no longer live in her home. Over the course of a year I toured many memory care facilities and residential care homes only to feel discouraged until learning about Irvine Cottages. I was immediately drawn to the philosophy of care and experience offered by founder Dr. Jacqueline Dupont. After meeting Jacque and touring Cottage #14 I finally found a place I felt good about. It was not only a beautiful home that I knew my Mother would feel comfortable in but also offered a variety of activities along with an experienced staff and caregivers. Finding the right place was just the first step… leaving her home of 56 years, adjusting to new medications, surroundings and routines was the next, but the caring IC staff helped both of us navigate the difficult transition. Aileen S. was especially kind during this time and offered encouragement and reassurance even while battling her own illness. The wonderful caregivers (Gloria, Esmael and Kenny) have shown much patience, compassion and loving care along the way. They manage to bring fun and smiles even when physical limitations and challenging behaviors arise. The home is always bright and clean and all the residents are treated like family (and so am I!) It’s been over 16 months now and we have celebrated birthdays, shared holiday festivities, enjoyed music, walks to the nearby park and pet visits. Whenever I’m there it feels like my home too. I am so grateful to have found a residence that provides a safe, healthy and respectful environment for my Mother. Thanks to the caregivers and staff I now have peace of mind and would recommend Irvine Cottages to other families searching for the best for their loved ones too.
January 18, 2016
We feel so blessed to have found Irvine Cottage 10 and the staff there for my Mother-in-Law. They were so caring and amazing with her. They treated her like one of their own family members from day one. I will forever be grateful for how they treated her and all of our family members.
January 12, 2016
My friend’s mother who is also my friend has been a resident here for the past several months. She is happy in her surroundings and, extremely pleased with the kind and compassionate care she receives from Jeaniy, Nap and the rest of the staff. She loves her bright cheery room. She enjoys sitting out in the garden, each morning, taking in the fresh air, watching the birds and the lovely flowers and plants all around. When I come to visit, I am always made to feel welcome and part of the family.
January 10, 2016
My Dad has been there less than a year, and he just loves the care and THE FOOD, is fantastic he says. Jeany C. is his caretaker. I have only met her once in person on a trip out to California (I live in Texas), but she is always happy and gracious when she answers the phone. Jeany keeps me posted on all his medicinal needs and she is such a sweetheart. What was really sweet: the day I came to visit from Texas was her day off and she stayed to meet/greet me. Jeany called me one day and said my Dad needed pajamas and she went out and bought him some (I reimbursed) Then, I was in Texas and it was Christmas. Other residents had visitors, and Jeany kept my Dad company, as family, so he would not be lonely and alone on Christmas Day! By the way, my Dad just raves about the food!!! He says it is great every single day (and he used to be a chef!). Always get text messages/information, etc. right away. Cottage #10 is great and I don’t have to worry about my father being taken care of. Thank you so much. You all came highly recommended from a friend of mine.
January 6, 2016
It was a hard decision to put my Mom in assisted living but after taking care of her for over a year I realized that I was not equipped to do so. Cottage 10 is the perfect place for my Mom. Jeany and Nap are very warm and caring. She is happy and content and participates in all the activities provided. There is an activity every day that the residents can participate in. Jeany and Nap are very attentive to all the residents. I feel very comfortable and blessed to have them caring for my Mom.
December 30, 2015
Irvine Cottages 4 prioritized my mother’s needs first before anything else. It isn’t about the money; they genuinely care. I like the ratio of staff to residents. The facility is really clean and safe, and they take good care of her. I feel more comfortable at this facility knowing that they have my mom’s best interest at all times. They have people come in all of the time to teach crafts, and before Thanksgiving, they decorated the walls. They got a beautiful Christmas tree, made Christmas stockings, and put decorations everywhere. There is a beautiful Poinsettia in her room. They keep them occupied. They get their hair and fingernails done. My mom is always clean. It’s really the only place in which I would want my mom living.
From Ryan M
December 21, 2015
My mother moved into Irvine Cottages #14 about a year ago and recently passed away. Have spent the last 8 years in assisted living communities, we were not sure about how a board and care would work, and whether it would be compatible with my mom. I know the senior care space well, and I was familiar with how the large brands tried to scare us about board and care earlier. I wish I would have known about Irvine Cottages a long time ago! There were four residents and three caregivers — Gloria, Kenny and Ismael. They were likely the kindest, most compassionate caregivers I have met since my mom had her stroke in 2005. Everything they did was a ginger touch, engaging and seemed to make my mom smile. They had a very strong attention to detail for everything — meds, behavior, eating, activities, and were really my eyes and ears for her care. My mom was pretty tough to please and she was always happy about the care she received, and how she felt like the genuinely cared for her. End of life issues are tough for everyone, and Irvine Cottages enables my mom and our whole family to fill her last months with as much dignity that I could expect. I highly recommend you consider Irvine Cottages. They know what they are doing and the CARE — something that doesn’t always come together in senior care. Additional Point: What I believe separates Irvine Cottages from other board and cares is the fact that the owner, Jacqueline D., is a gerontologist and sits on the board of many Orange County senior organizations. She really knows what she is doing and has an arsenal of doctors and staff that are very talented. It is a huge difference maker.
December 14, 2015
Hope you are well. By now you have probably heard that my mom passed away
yesterday. It was her time.
I am writing to thank you for being such an angel to my mother and my
family. I though back to the experience she was having at Atria and you
showed a tremendous amount of compassion.You have a wonderful team that
works you, they were very kind and they allowed my mom to live out the
remainder of her life with as much dignity as possible given her situation.
I can’t thank Frank enough for introducing us, and I can’t thank you enough
for being who you are — Karma definitely owns you one.
If I can ever be a reference, a testimonial or anything to convey to other
families that they are making the right choice with you, please don’t
hesitate to ask.
November 19. 2015
Dear Dr. Dupont,
As I sit in my kitchen getting ready for my workday I count my blessings and top of that list is you and the loving environment of Irvine Cottages #4 that my mother now calls home. Over the past several weeks my mother’s dementia has deteriorated rapidly which led to losing her in-home caregiver which then led to moving her out of her home of 40 years and having to place her in various skilled nursing facilities. One of which we came to visit only to find my mother’s face swollen with black eyes from being dropped. This experience has been nothing short of a nightmare where neither my brothers nor I could see any light at the end of tunnel for my mother. Until we found Irvine Cottages.
Dr. Dupont, you have made such a beautiful, warm, welcoming and safe environment for my mother to live her final days that I don’t know how I can ever say thank you enough. Thank you for her care, thank you for her safety, thank you for giving my brothers and I peace of mind that we have made the absolute right choice by placing our mother in the safest most loving environment outside of our own homes.
Your cottages are truly a blessing to the elder community. The quality of care and the respect that your employees have shown my mother has allowed my family to rest assured that we have finally found a home that puts my mother’s needs first. Saying thank you seems so incredibly insignificant for the peace of mind you have given all of us. You truly offer a blessed service for our elder family members. Thank you.
A Note from Sally’s Daughter
July 30, 2015
Dear Jackie and all of your wonderful people of Irvine Cottages,
The beautiful white lily flower arrangement arrived Tuesday afternoon — perfect timing for our “happy Memories” of Sally. I am continuing to enjoy the loveliness and fragrance.
Each one of you with whom I have had contact have been always so kind and helpful. It is hard to say in words how grateful I have been to be associated with such sensitive and professional people, in your acts of caring for your residents and their families.
And, Jackie, I can’t thank you enough for your personal contact. You have taken from your (I can only imagine!) busy schedule time to talk with me. And I am especially grateful for your interest in helping me in my introduction to UCI MIND and all of its fascinating research.
I hope we will stay in touch as the years pass. You are wonderful (and don’t be at all “mortified” when you are praised and honored)!!
A Daughter’s Thanks
February 12, 2015
Thank you so much for your sweet message. Yes, we are a bit in shock to say the least. Just a couple of weeks ago, my Dad was able to sit at the dinner table and eat and converse with us. His rapid decline last week was heartbreaking. We had no idea that he was going to die so soon. We were so happy with Cottage 7 and felt that he would enjoy his new surroundings.
Irvine Cottages is an amazing organization. I’m just sorry for all of the burden we placed on you due to my Dad’s situation. However, we are grateful for your help and support. I am relieved he is not suffering.
Thanks so much,
Thanks for the Annual Holiday Party
January 8, 2015
Dear Dr. Dupont,
The Irvine Cottages Christmas Party was a beautiful and joyous way to celebrate the holidays. The music and entertainment, the delicious meal and treats, and Santa’s gifts for residents were very special and thoroughly appreciated.
We had a great time and so did Gordon’s sister, Janet, who is a resident of Cottage #6. She laughed and smiled and enjoyed it all. You and your staff and your caregivers went out of their ways to make this a memorable occasion. It was a glorious event.
Thank you for your kindness and thoughtfulness. A Happy New Year to you and all of you at Irvine Cottages.
Gordon and Heath
Thanks from Gene’s Daughter
January 5, 2015
Dear Jackie and Staff,
Thank you for the beautiful flowers you sent my family for my dad. Thank you to all of you for caring for Gene. He will be greatly missed by us all. He was a terrific guy, and a wonderful father.
Thank you again,
Thank You Card from Irvine Cottage #10 Residents
It’s unusual and unique to have a lovely person give of herself to a group like Cottage #10. We really appreciate your thoughtfulness. Many thanks from all of us! Happy New Year! We love you!
Jean, Sally, Gloria and Maria
Dr. Burnight, UCI Professor of Geriatric Medicine, Holds Irvine Cottages in High Esteem
December 19, 2014
Dr. Kerry Parker Burnight was honored as one of Orange County’s Most Influential People 2014. In this article from the Orange County Register she praises Irvine Cottages’ care. An excerpt follows:
If Kerry Parker Burnight had her way, every aging adult would spend their last years wrapped in the kind of love and support that sustains 110-year-old Selma “Sally” Mitchell at Irvine Cottages.
“It’s so nice to come where people really are receiving good care,” says Burnight, a UC Irvine professor of geriatric medicine and gerontology, during a social visit to the six-bed assisted living home where Mitchell has spent the past two years.
As founding director of the Elder Abuse Forensic Center in Orange County, Burnight usually sees the opposite. This year, the forensic center investigated its 1,000th case of elder abuse, the most of any such organization in the country.
Burnight works fiercely to protect vulnerable older adults, who don’t have families and caretakers, like Sally Mitchell does, working in their best interest.
“It’s Mrs. Mitchell that we are striving for,” she says, “so people of all economic status can enjoy old age the way God intended us to.”
That kind of dedication is why Burnight received several dozen nominations from readers – more than anyone else – to put her on the Register’s list of 100 Most Influential People in Orange County.
Thank You to Bernie & Anna!
September 14, 2014
My mother, Nadine, is currently living in one of your homes in Mission Viejo. Her caretakers are Bernie and Anna. I wanted to share with you how wonderful they have been with her! I showed them a Scrabble game on my phone and asked them if they had it on the iPad. They said no, but the next time i came by, they had installed it so my mom could play. They always spend time walking and talking with her and make her feel welcome there. We appreciate all that they do day in and day out.
Gratitude for Irvine Cottage #3
August 31, 2014
Dear Jacqueline, Linda and Aileen:
When we first met with you on the first of August I did not think I would be writing this email to you on the last day of August. Ann and I were very impressed with what you had to say about Irvine Cottages and the care our mother would receive there. We felt this was our mom’s best chance at making a strong recovery after her hip surgery and enjoying the rest of her days. As you know we were targeting a 9/1 move in and then came an opportunity to move into Cottage 3 on 8/25. This turned out to be a great blessing. Mom was not making good progress at physical therapy and she was eating less and less each day. The doctor correctly recommended mom leave physical therapy, move into her board and care and start hospice. The last bit of food and drink mom took was on Monday, 8/25 and she went to be with the Lord last night at 6:48.
This sequence of events is not what we expected or hoped. Mom was never able to experience the opportunities that would have been available to her. She never really realized that her room was all fixed up with her furniture and pictures. She did not get to meet the great residents in Cottage 3. She did not get to experience the warm care of Nestor and Elenore. I do not know if Mom knew that she was well taken care of around the clock by the staff of St. Michael Hospice with the assistance of Nestor and Elenore.
Although Mom was not able to experience all that we had hoped for her at Cottage 3, I can say that my sisters and I and our families did experience outstanding care for the week that we spent there. Nestor and Elenore were so kind, caring and accommodating. They were always there with a helping hand, a snack, a kind word and comforting hugs. They made a difficult situation much easier for our family.
We donated a chest of drawers, end table and some lamps to Cottage 3 that we hope will be enjoyed by the residents.
Thank you for working with us and being so accommodating. As we are at that age where our friends may be finding themselves looking for a place where there parent can be cared for, we would certainly recommend Irvine Cottages.
August 26, 2014
I would like to express my heart felt gratitude for the tender loving care I received as a resident in Cottage #11. My caseworker, Le Roy, especially chose Irvine Cottages in which I would recuperate after my failed back surgery and multiple infections. Bernie and Ana, the care givers, were key in nurturing me back to health. They invest time in each resident. Ana gave me regular walks and insured I did my physical therapy so I could confidently return home.
Cottage #11 has a reputation of being “The Happy House.” Bernie has a gift of serving: he puts on music to lift our spirits; together they tenderly /respectfully attended to our personal needs, maintained a clean environment, cooked nutritious food, and laundered our clothes. Safety was diligently observed including administering meds and transfers.
I lived there from October 2013 through February 2014. We celebrated Halloween, 4 individual birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years as well as Valentines’ Day. We had special food for these occasions. We each received a birthday cake, gifts including a beautiful live orchid, which we all enjoyed for months. Gina, Alex, Bernie, and Ana, decorated for each resident’s special day. Wow!!! They made us feel special. Relatives were invited to celebrate birthdays and holidays.
We had a lovely Christmas/Holiday celebration with all the cottages in a community center with live music. We were given gifts as well as prizes. I noticed how the different caregivers treated each resident with dignity meeting their individual needs even in the restrooms. I know from personal experience since I was on the receiving end of that TLC… no pun intended.
Le Roy, did a fantastic job of finding me the proper place to rest and recuperate. We had vocal music, art classes, chapel; even a therapy dog came to visit. I am thankful to God there are facilities like Irvine Cottages, specifically Cottage #11. They genuinely care. A high standard of excellence is maintained at all times. I can confidently recommend your facilities to my friends.
An Easy Transition
July 27, 2014
Thank you so much!
My Mom Norma’s move and transition to Cottage VII is going very smoothly I think. Georgine is sweet as well as being protective of her. Mom is comfortable and feels very safe. The entire process has been very pleasant, especially working with Alex. She is the consummate professional, such a pleasant surprise after our last experience at a larger facility.
Thank you for the flowers and Danish cookies as well, incredibly thoughtful.
Love and Light,
Thank You Letter from Gloria’s Daughter
May 23, 2014
Dear Wonderful People at Irvine Cottages,
My heart is full and grateful for all of the wonderful care, concern and compassion you have given my Mother, Gloria over the last 2 years as a resident of Irvine Cottages. I can’t tell you what a blessing you all were to me and my Mom.
A special thank you, hardly seems enough to offer to Carol, Anthony, Ben, Gina and anyone else caring so lovingly for my Mom. You are all angels who came into our lives when we needed you the most, and quietly go on your way to others in need, when our loved one is called home. There will be a special place in heaven for you all with such compassionate giving hearts and souls. Thank you sincerely for all you did for us.
I also can’t say enough about how wonderful St. Michael’s Hospice was for the many months my Mom was in their care. And especially for the last few weeks of her life as more angels (disguised as nurses) sat and cared for her, through the many transitions at the close of her life. What a blessing to have their calm, comfort and support for me as well. I am at peace and know my Mom would be very grateful for their loving care and being there when I could not.
Please know, it would be my pleasure to highly recommend and refer the services and care of Irvine Cottages. I hold you all in high regard and will offer your name to anyone interested in your wonderful program.
Thank you again for everything. You were more like a family than anything else, and I’ll miss seeing you all. I hope to stop by from time to time to recall some memories and see some extraordinary people.
May your lives be richly blessed because of the love and care you give to others.
Sincerely with gratitude and appreciation,
In Remembrance of Edna Bell
Two beautiful plaques were given to Irvine Cottages from the Bell family. One is hanging in Dr. Dupont’s office and the other is hanging on the wall of Cottage 1, pictured below.
The words on the plaque read:
To the Management and Staff of Irvine Cottages
We want to thank you for the tender loving care that you provided to our MOM and NANA Edna Bell for the past 3 years from January 26th 2011 until her peaceful passing on February 1, 2014. The sincere love, care and support from each member of the staff allowed her to live out the sunset of her life in peace, comfort, warmth, and with a dignity that each and every one of us will hope for when our time here comes to a close. As family, it allowed us peace of mind knowing that mom/nana was being cared for, no matter the time of day, in the VERY best means possible, even better than we could provide for her ourselves. The devoted care and true concern for her well-being was evident each and every time that one of us visited her. We cannot thank you enough for making such a difference in her life and in the lives of each and every one of us who shared a love for her. May God bless all of you for enriching her life and all the others who are fortunate enough to be in your care.
Marilyn Mandell – Daughter
Kevin Bell – Son
Debbie Bell – Daughter-in-law
Also signed by her 8 grandchildren
February 3, 2013
To the Staff of Irvine Cottages,
Thank you for the love & care that you gave to our Mom and Nana for the past 3 years. You all made a difference in her life, and in the lives of those who loved her. May God bless you all.
The Bell and Mandell Families
From a Resident’s Daughter
November 6, 2013
First I must apologize to you and your staff. It has taken me way to long to get back to everyone and to thank you all for taking such good care of my dad. It is a great comfort to my sister and I to know that he lived in a clean and beautiful home surrounded by people who took such great care of him. You took a difficult situation and made me feel very comfortable and at ease. You are a special person, you do a wonderful job taking care of people. You will be in my prayers always.
Thank you again,
From Betty’s Daughter
October 17, 2013
I and my siblings will be forever grateful for the excellent and loving care my mother received at The Irvine Cottages. We were desperate, my mother had aggressive behavior secondary to her dementia, and we were asked to move her out of the facility she had been in for 9 years.
The only place that was willing to accept my mother and work on controlling her behavior with appropriate medication was The Irvine Cottages. The Cottage my mother was placed in was so much nicer than the facility she had been in; if I had found The Irvine Cottages sooner, I would have moved my mother sooner. Irvine Cottages were also significantly less money for a nicer environment, and better care than where my mother was previously.
We and my mother were treated with such kindness and compassion! I would recommend Irvine Cottages to anyone who has the difficult task of placing an elderly parent.
Thank you for the help you gave us at a difficult time.
From Ray’s Family
September 27, 2013
What a true blessing it was to Ray Eggimann for the last six months of his life here on earth to be living at Irvine Cottage #10. I feel it was the divine providence of Our Lord that led us to Irvine Cottages.
Your warm, beautiful board and care homes and loving staff are full of joy and compassion.
Your trained caregivers are very diligent, respectful, caring and personable.
Ray was lovingly cared for at Cottage #10 by Gela, who truly has a heart for those she serves.
Her faithful assistant Alex was always patient and kind as well.
Memories of my visits to Ray at Cottage #10 will always bring me comfort knowing he was loved and cared for there by all. I would like to continue visiting there and enjoying all who live and work there as they easily have become family.
Jacque, thank you also for your help and the financial consideration we were graced by you.
Your calling to serve others in need is evident and worthy.
From the Family of Eugene Bullock
July 10, 2013
Dear Jacque and staff,
This is just a short letter on behalf of our family expressing our appreciation and thanks for the wonderful care given to our father, Eugene Bullock at Irvine Cottages.
Within a few short months, our father’s journey went from home, to a large assisted living facility, to an acute care hospital, to a skill nursing facility, and lastly, to Irvine Cottages in Cottage #6 where he was treated with high quality personal care, extreme respect, and total professionalism in a caring, clean and comfortable home setting. When we visited or spent time at the cottage with our father, he was always clean, dressed, well fed, warm and comfortable. He seemed to enjoy the different scheduled activities.
As we, the family, were trying to make decisions for our father’s care during a most difficult time, Irvine Cottages provided not only high quality personal care for our father, but also, support and services to our family which was comforting. We thank Jacque very much! It is no wonder that Irvine Cottages and its staff are so highly respected and as “living angels”.
Love from our family to yours,
Sue and Brian Rexon — Ashland, OR
Pat Wolfram — Los Gatos, CA
From Carl’s Daughter
June 14, 2013
The flowers that you sent were absolutely gorgeous. They lasted a long time, and my son was impressed that these came in memory of Grandpa. However that’s not the main reason that I’m writing.
When we first came to Irvine Cottages, I thought, huh…I have a little bit in common with Jacque Dupont. But we never had a chance to talk much. So I am writing now to say how much the Irvine Cottages Team meant for my dad. He had health problems since about 1970. He managed quite well until my mom died in the late 1990s, – and then it was a struggle to find a good environment for him. For us, one of the best things about Irvine Cottages was that it combined a home-like environment with activities that came to the house. My dad was reserved/shy, so I had had no luck with “day programs” that I tried to get him to attend. But he did benefit from having people (or animals) to see and things to do.
And it was not just one or two people that made the difference for him. There were so many of the Irvine Cottages staff who enriched his life. He did not have other family in California, and there were very few people besides me (and occasionally my kids) involved in his life.
I am writing to thank you and the whole team for having a very big impact in his life; his last seven years were greatly improved as a result.
From a Resident’s Daughter
April 8, 2013
My Mother is a resident at Irvine Cottages. She has lived there for nearly 4 months and we have had an amazing experience with Jacqueline Dupont, Alex, Michelle and Gela and Alex who care directly with her. The staff is attentive to her needs and make sure that she is comfortable, her medication is properly monitored and we are delighted to know she is safe and that she is well taken care of. We had in home care before moving her to one of the cottages and were very satisfied with our experience. We miss the caregivers and yet the safety of living in her own home was a major factor in moving her. She is now settled in, she continues to receive the personalized attention that she needs, she has companionship of the other residents and activities to keep her entertained. The games, music and other activities help to keep her involved, create a calm sense of familiarity and provide IMMENSE joy for our Mom. We are so grateful to the whole team who has made this transition so easy. We know that Mom is in good hands and she feels at home with her creature comforts that she was used to when she lived independently. This kind of personalized 24 care gives us peace of mind and Mom continues to live with dignity, respect and wonderful care that she deserves. Thank you so much for making our Mom so comfortable and for the love and attention that she is used to and needs. We are forever grateful! With love and gratitude!
From a Resident’s Very Appreciative Daughter
March 29, 2013
My Mother enjoyed a brief stay at Irvine Cottages #8, under the direction of Noel and Jean. This was a move from a quick stay at a Skilled Nursing Facility to Board and Care, after a lifetime the home she and my dad shared. While he visited her daily, it was still a major and very emotional move. The care my mother received while at Irvine Cottages was thorough, continual and extremely kind. Within a very short while, Noel figured out a schedule for my mother that allowed her to sleep though the night, something she had not done in years. During my visits to the home, I often watched the tenderness displayed by the care givers to the clients, and it was always touching. No matter when I popped in, mom was always clean, dressed, pretty, and completely safe. Unfortunately, my dad took a bad fall requiring him to end his independent living and move into assisted living. They are now together and that is wonderful. But we remain grateful and blessed that Irvine Cottages was there for my mother. I recommend them and will use them again if our life situation should require such a need.
From Beverley’s Husband
February 27, 2013
I want to thank you and the staff of Irvine Cottages # 6 for the wonderful care you have provided for Beverley. She was in decline for a number of years, and was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s shortly before we came to the Cottages.
Beverley was not eating or sleeping well at home and she had other problems that I had difficulty handling. Upon entering your facility, the staff was able to stabilize her and get her into a routine that she now handles quite well.
Thanks again for all of your and the staff support for the time that Beverley has been in Irvine Cottages.
From a Resident’s Son
February 7, 2013
I personally wanted to write you and thank you and all your staff for the impeccable manner in which they have treated my Mom. She passed away on the 10th of this month, shortly afterwards the flowers were delivered to me which I deeply appreciate. Your staff gave my Mom a place to call “home”. They were warm and caring at all times. They made my life much easier also. Watching a loved ones health deteriorate can indeed be emotionally trying. Respect and dignity were always shown to my Mom and I will always be grateful for it.
Thank you so much again!
Eric L. Giese
From Connie’s Parents
October 23, 2012
Good Morning Jacque:
I want to take this opportunity to let you know how great Bob and I are feeling with our daughter Connie living at Cottage One. Ellen and Adonis are excellent caretakers. We have dropped in at different times of the day to find Connie always enthusiastic, clean, dressed and ready to go.
The care Ellen and Adonis provide is excellent. Through their care, we have come to notice how Connie has matured in the past few years. Connie does not talk continually. Connie listens to what is going on around her and talks appropriately. Connie has lost weight which is a good thing; she has her treadmill, she enjoys her floor exercises. Connie spends more time in the living room singing and participating in karaoke; rather than sitting on the floor in her bedroom listening tapes as in the past. We appreciate how well Ellen and Adonis are able to encourage Connie to join everyone in the living room.
Bob and I feel Connie’s well being is attributed to the love and care Ellen and Adonis show Connie. If a situation arises, either one of them are able to coax Connie through with little or no repercussions. Connie totally trusts them. She even hasn’t had a seizure for many months. They always consult us when they hear of a medication change; this is very important for Connie. They have overseen her eating habits to help her lose weight, making it much easier for Connie to get around.
We greatly appreciate their attentiveness for our daughter and hope they can be with her in the future.
Bob and Chris
Three Letters from the Plotkin Family
August 28, 2012
I feel that this note of gratitude is so overdue, as I have been wanting to write something since we met last week I cannot say enough how much it meant to me to have met you and Alex, and to feel directly your warmth, care, compassion, wisdom, and generosity. It means so much to me and my family!!!!
After having met you and Alex, and having been so inspired by both of you, and knowing we could trust our Mom in your care and the care of all those at the Cottages, I had the greatest fortune of actually meeting Bernie and Annie, and having spent some time with them during the course of the few days I had been in California to be with my Mom and family. I have to say, I know many, many, many wonderful people in my life, but Bernie and Annie are gems from another time and place. Their warmth; love; care; presence of heart, mind and soul; integrity; dedication; brilliance; magnificence….all so palpable to me, I know to my Mom and to my entire family. There is a sense of safety that we all feel in their care, and no words could ever express our gratitude for you, Alex, Bernie, and Anna. I did not get a chance to meet Dan, but I know, too, that he is such an important, integral and valued member of the team.
Jacque, I know I say this on behalf of my entire family, but please do let us know if there is ever anything we can do on behalf of all of you at the cottages.
There are no words that can express our gratitude, and the depth of our appreciation.
Always, with so much warmth!!!!
On behalf of the Plotkin family,
August 28, 2012
Janet has, so beautifully, put into words what we are all feeling! Every road we travel and each encounter along the way helps define who we are and I know we are all better people for having all of you in our lives! You should be so proud of who you are and what you do.
You and Alex are truly amazing and I believe that Bernie and Anna have been sent from heaven to be “our angels.”
With heartfelt love and gratitude,
Sorry for the “bombardment” of emails, I am sure you are overwhelmed by them. 8-). But, with that being said, I do have to “pipe in” on this train of emails.
I am Danielle, GGMs (great grandma Molly’s) granddaughter. I would like to say that when Bernie and Anna are being called “Angels”, I have to agree with my mom and aunt that they are angelic like. I can be very skeptical of people, and don’t always take a liking to everyone I meet before they prove themselves and their motives, but Bernie and Anna, they warm my heart. I liked them from the first time I met them. They are amazing. They GENUINELY care. Not only are they amazing with my grandma, but they are kind and caring with my mother and aunt as well, who really need that extra TLC right now. My mom feels so much better knowing my grandma is at the Cottages and is safe, sound, comfortable and well cared for.
I am so proud of my mom for researching and selecting the best place for GGM….the cottages.
My grandma is also a “tough cookie” to please, and the other day when I spoke to her, she was really excited to go “home”. I have never met you Jacque, but have heard a lot about you. You have an amazing place for elders to go at their “end stages” of life. You provide this safe, clean, caring, and LOVING environment, which unfortunately not all seniors get. Thank you for creating a place for my grandma and thank you for giving my mom as much piece of mind as possible.
The Family of Gladys Kirsten
April 27, 2012
Dear Ms. Dupont,
My mother, Gladys Kirsten, was a resident of your cottage #11 on Via Luisa in Mission Viejo earlier this year. During her short stay, I witnessed the sensitive, caring and professional attention given her by your staff of care givers and employees. You should be proud of each and every one of them.
I would especially like to recognize Bernie who constantly took care of Mom’s and our family’s needs during her short Hospice stay. He was able to let me know when the end was near. He is a supportive, compassionate and caring individual who should be commended for his outstanding service during our family’s difficult time.
One of the case workers with Hospice told me that your Board and Care is one of the best she has seen in all the years she has been in Hospice. I am so glad I chose The Cottages for my mother.
From a new resident’s family:
April 27, 2012
Dear Dr. DuPont,
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and my family. Due to our rushed circumstances we never had the pleasure of meeting you but want you to know how much we appreciate everything that has been done for our mother Molly Plotkin and our family.
I am Shelly Levenstein, I live in Mission Viejo and my daughter Danielle and son Michael who also live in the area and are very involved with their grandmother. My sister Janet Plotkin Bornstein lives in New York and my other sister Charlene Huston lives in Massachussetts. We are unanimous in our decision to have Mom go to Irvine Cottages and couldn’t be more pleased with our decision. From the moment we contacted Aileen we were treated with nothing but kindness and compassion. It was, to say the least, a very trying time and Aileen made it all seem “not so bad”. On my first visit to Cottage 11 I met Marla and the other staff members and was so impressed by what I saw. The caring and dignity with which the residents were treated was so very touching. But that was quickly overshadowed by the attention that was given to my Mom on move in day. Marla was amazing! Her focus on every detail was exceptional! The process was to say the least, time and labor intensive but the staff members were all so helpful! It made the transition much easier than I had anticipated.
I have left our contact information with your staff and please be assured they can call us at anytime!
I would like to thank you on behalf of our entire family and look forward to a new beginning with a long, healthy and happy road ahead.
The Family of Ann Mitchell
Dear Jacque, Marla, Bernie & Anna, Dan & Josie,
Thank you all so much for the loving care you gave Ann. We had peace in knowing that she was loved and tenderly cared for while in your care.
May God bless you as you bless so many others.
Cathy & Steve
P.S. Thanks also for the beautiful flower arrangement.
April 29, 2012
I am so appreciative of the care and concern you took of me during my recent illness. I will forever be grateful to you and I thank you many times each day knowing that so many people have received this kind of help from you.
In Honor of Jacqueline DuPont for Her Years of Unselfish Dedication, Knowledge and Support for Families Caring for Someone with Alzheimer’s Disease
Dear Marc Carlson and Jacque DuPont,
My family was devastated to learn that my mother was diagnosed with Dementia. She has always been the “glue” that held our Family of 10 together. We were literally lost and confused as to how we should help her.
When I called you last June and asked if you could speak to my entire family to educate us about Alzheimers, you agreed without hesitation. The next day, you spent over an hour on the phone with my brothers, sisters and father, answering questions and providing excellent advice on how we should care for her.
As I write this letter, I have tears in my eyes…tears of JOY because we have our mother back! She has been taking the drug that you recommended and most of her symptoms have subsided significantly!
On behalf of my entire Family, I would like to thank you for your loving guidance, compassion and support.
Tim Maguire and Family
Linda Hitt and family
Thanks so much for marshaling the resources when I needed help with mom’s care and for checking in on Mom and me. As a result of your help, Mom’s comfort level was increased and I became more peaceful.
Irvine Cottages staff made Mom feel safe, comfortable and loved. For that, my family and I are very, very grateful.
We are enjoying the beautiful plant you sent, Mom loved plants, as we do.
Fay Byrnes and family
January 17th, 2011
To all the wonderful and loving people in Irvine Cottage 1,
A special thank you for making Ron’s last days on earth pleasant ones. There is so much love radiating from all the people in Irvine Cottage 1. God Bless you all. I shall never forget you and neither will my family.
Fay Byrnes and family
Time has come to say good bye and to express how much we enjoyed our experience with Irvine Cottages. Charlie has passed onward from Cottage 9, but our memories of his time there are indelible. The serendipitous discovery of your resources could not have been better placed or more timely. Having previously used an “underqualified” commercial nursing facility (we are being generous ere), followed by a harried attempt at in-home care, using resources from afar, to care for an 88 year old stroke patient was difficult, at best. We will never forget the fateful telephone conversation (13 Dec 2009) with Jacque D. to learn about Irvine Cottages. We were describing Charlie’s very demanding condition and much to our surprise, Jacque’s response was “we’ve never given up on anyone”. Truer words have never been spoken. The team at Irvine Cottages turned a daunting family task into an enjoyable experience for Charlie’s last months. We will truly miss our visits to Southern California – the inviting and well designed cottage, the smile on each caregiver’s face and the professional / proactive backup staff, all of which afforded the family a feeling of “you’re in good hands, Charlie boy”. We sincerely hope in time of need, you’ll be met with the same warmth, enthusiasm and expertise that we received.
Bill & Sally Browne – Surprise AZ
Betty & Jerry Rouchka – Carmel, NY
P.S. The flower arrangement was beautiful – another testament to the Irvine Cottage spirit.
Jerry and Betty Rouchka – Taken by the sincerity and professionalism
“Our visit to Southern California has many benefits. Firstly, we’ve been able to thaw out. More importantly, we’ve been able to experience the workings of Irvine Cottages.
IT HAS BEEN WORTH THE TRIP!!
We’ve been highly taken by the sincerity and professionalism that was brought to the lunch table. Your resources have met the needs of my uncle (Charles Rouchka) a stroke victim. Managing him and his affairs is no longer frustration and chaos thanks to your leadership and team of dedicated pros.”
Appreciation from family and relatives:
Jerry and Betty Rouchka, Carmel NY
Betty Pleva – A home away from home
When our loved ones are in need of assisted living, they are sometimes fearful, resistant, and reluctant to leave their secured home environment. My Mother, Betty, had concerns about living in a Board and Care home, but when she was greeted by the smiling and soft spoken caregivers at Irvine Cottages, she began to feel at ease at her new home.
The Irvine Cottages offered several weekly activities for Betty to participate in. She was involved with art projects, music activities, and a daily exercise program. Betty immensely enjoyed the monthly holiday activities and especially, decorating the house for that particular holiday and of course, the elaborate birthday parties, picnics, and outings.
Mainly, it was every detail of her care that made her comfortable and confident about living at the Irvine Cottages. The trained caregivers are very diligent, understanding, loving, caring, and personable. The cheerful and calm ambience of the Irvine Cottages made this a home away from home for my mother.
It has been a wonderful year for my mom – Shirley Longfield. She’s comfortable, stable, and happy. We don’t know what we’d do if mom weren’t happy….she’s always lived in a home of her own, and she still does! I’m so thankful for this “cottage” home concept. She loves her home and every time I take her out, she knows when she’s returning home to “the barn”, as she calls it! She’s a home-grown South Dakota girl. Her horses loved their barn, and so does mom. She truly has a sense of belonging, and truly feels that Cottage 5 is her home. Thank you!
Mom has been a “worker” all of her life. Having “work” to do in knitting and crocheting hangers has been really important for mom. Living in Irvine Cottage 5 really gives her no opportunity to give or work. The caretakers are wonderful, but they take care of everything! Mom does dress herself and brush her teeth herself….but she doesn’t cook, clean, do laundry nor even shower by herself. Things/work she’s done all her life. We’ve found that mom’s knitting and crocheting give her much purpose and sense of worth. I’m so thankful that her hands remember how! She had a tomato plant in the backyard before it got so cold. I’m thinking of getting her an Aero Garden. They’re small indoor gardens! She could grow her own cherry tomatoes or herbs. She was an avid and excellent gardener, and the tomato plant brought back her gardening joy. I think the new indoor patio that Jacque DuPont is planning to add on might be a great place for it, but she’ll probably just want it in her room. She’s pretty particular about her “stuff”. I’m sure all the staff at Irvine Cottages see that a lot.
Jacque DuPont, I want to say thank you. You really do God’s Work! I appreciate you and your program. God bless you.
Irvine Cottages was a God-send for our mother in enabling maximum quality of life in her last years, before her recent passing at 93 years of age. She had resided at a more conventional assisted living facility for the previous five years, but her advancing physical limitations, compounded by dementia and blindness, necessitated more full-time care. Before we found
Irvine Cottages, we had moved Mom into another “board and care” facility, but that “false start” was short-lived, as the ownership had promised far more than delivered, and like so many such advanced care facilities, was much more interested in how much money they could squeeze out of their residents’ families than providing quality care for the residents. In total contrast, the staff at “cottage 6” of Irvine Cottages, Anthony in particular, was always attentive to Mom’s needs and made all efforts in trying to maintain a realistically fulfilling existence for the residents in a difficult environment. All residents were given early morning showers daily, at no extra charge (none of the “nickel and diming” for “extra services” that we have seen and heard about all too much at other advanced care facilities), followed by a good breakfast to start their daily regimen, and quality meals were served at the same time every day where all residents would eat together at a dining table (receiving assistance in feeding themselves when needed), with scheduled activities throughout the day, all part of maintaining the structure that is so important in helping to keep our loved ones mentally balanced in their living environment. And people were also brought in from the outside, to help with activities for the residents such as simple arts and crafts, and “sing-along’s” often featuring music from the 1930s and 40s that was within the residents’ “comfort zones” and helped rekindle pleasant memories to make them feel young again. Cottage 6, like the other “cottages,” was equipped with a full video monitoring system so that residents could be observed from the main centrally located “command center, either in their rooms or anywhere else in the cottage, a feature which we felt was very helpful in both avoiding “falls” and other accidents and in enabling staff to provide prompt assistance in the event of an accident (Mom had had several falls at her previous residence, but not a single one in her 18 months living at cottage 6). Finally, cottage 6 was kept neat and clean at all times, and never had that bad “nursing home smell” often prevalent at advanced care facilities.
Visits and communication with loved ones were encouraged and, when needed, periodic medical visits and (for those on Hospice care) visits by Hospice staff were well coordinated. When the end came near for Mom, the Irvine Cottage staff and Hospice were most helpful in keeping us apprised of Mom’s status so that desired visits could be scheduled before she passed away. There is one last picture as a screen saver on my laptop of Mom smiling in her last hastily arranged visit with her granddaughters. This picture is not only a great memory for us, but also a tribute to Irvine Cottages in keeping smiles on all of our faces (including Mom’s) throughout her entire stay. She passed away peacefully in her sleep at Irvine Cottages in November of 2008.
With much appreciation,
John and Ken Stocker