She moved in eight years ago and now lives in a remodeled apartment that opens onto a rose garden. She taught herself to play the piano, regularly entertains relatives, and made many friends.
"That so many of us have thrived here is a testament to the good care and that comes from the sisters," Hill said.
Suzanne and Jerry Campos visit her mother, 99-year-old Marie Cusick, every week. He was installing another rack in Cusick's closet recently. Cusick, who used to work in retail, has never stopped shopping. She frequently invites other residents to "shop" in her closet and just lent one a complete ensemble for a wedding.
"She has been happy here since the get-go and this home has really enhanced her life," Suzanne Campos said. "The sisters look out for all the residents but don't confine them."
The home schedules movie nights, wine and cheese parties, and a breakfast club. Residents can bring their own furnishings, even cherished collections such as Shirley Baker's cabinet of Hummel figurines.
Construction on the third wing began Oct. 1. After that, contractors will upgrade the convent, which also is a center for training candidates for the order. Sister Rosemary trained there 33 years ago as a postulant and is awaiting six candidates this year. That ensures that the legacy of the Little Sisters of the Poor will continue, she said.
"Our residents pass the last years of their lives with us, until God calls them home," she said. "When they are with people who love them, they feel secure. They don't just survive; they thrive."
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