Bedford’s Carleton-Willard Village – 30th anniversary
August 13, 2012
Main Street at Bedford's Carleton-Willard Village, which is celebrating 30 years of taking care of senior citizens. This is one of the "gathering and meeting places" at the retirement community.
Wicked Local Bedford
By Eileen Kennedy
GateHouse News Service
Bedford, Mass. —
Bedford’s Carleton-Willard Village, with a spectrum of retirement living and care options, is celebrating its 30th year of caring for senior citizens.
CEO Barbara Doyle, who has been with the community since its inception, said the continuing care retirement community has a solid history of caring for people since the late 1800s.
In 1975, the trustees of the Elizabeth Carleton House and the Francis E. Willard Homes, decided the groups should merge. In 1982, after five years of planning and two years of construction, Carleton-Willard was the result. It is located on Old Billerica Road.
And its more modern history as one of the first continuing care retirement communities with options from independent living to Alzheimer’s care is something she is very proud of.
“We were certainly one of the earliest pioneers in the state and in the country,” Doyle said.
When asked what sets Carleton-Willard apart from other, similar communities, she didn’t hesitate for a moment. “Our deeply rooted history in providing services to older adults,” she said. “Our outstanding facilities here in Bedford and our leadership at the state and local level.”
Carleton-Willard has been recognized for a number of its programs, including Carleton-Willard at Home, which helps seniors stay in their homes by connecting them with reputable repair people in the area.
For Don Marion, Carleton-Willard stood out when he and his wife began looking for a retirement community.
His father-in-law was in a nice community in Florida, and brought them in to visit, giving them some brochures in the process. “The mistake they made was including a little booklet of the 20 best retirement communities in the country, and the only one in New England was Carleton-Willard,” Marion laughed. “When we were visiting our daughter in Rockport, we made a beeline over to Carleton-Willard to look it over and we liked what we saw.”
And they haven’t looked back since. “Somewhere along the line, a phrase has come into our regular conversation: ‘We did the right thing at the right time at the right place,’ and we feel that way together.”
The Manions like the relationship between the staff and the residents and between the residents. “They’re just very kind to each other and I think that’s unusual to find,” he said.
The Manions are not alone in their affection for Carleton-Willard.