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ALFA’s Best of the Best Awards recognize innovative products, services and programs advancing excellence in senior living, including independent living, assisted living and memory care. We invite members to share their insights, the challenges they face and the solutions created to solve them by visiting

Autumn Leaves took home a Best of the Best Award in the category of Resident and Family Engagement for their Caring Angels program.

ALFA 2015 Best of the Best Award Winner

Life Engagement Manager Edward Esguerra was also honored with an ALFA 2015 Hero Award. Learn more at

Autumn Leaves at Cy-Fair in Houston, Texas, supported a creative engagement idea developed by residents, families, and staff, fostered its growth, and eventually established a model program to be rolled out across all Autumn Leaves communities. Caring Angels is a group of family members of residents who actively participate in the community’s daily life, organizing events, leading activities, and making special efforts to reach out to new family members who are moving into the Autumn Leaves community. To aid new family members, the Caring Angels share their own experiences with loved ones’ transitions.

Originally launched by two family members, the group gained steam and the support of the community, and new members joined in naturally as they witnessed the impact on residents, families, and the greater community, says Cy-Fair Life Engagement Manager Edward Esguerra. Each month, the community newsletter features Caring Angels’ latest activities. Additionally, a press release about the Caring Angels is displayed in the community hallway and pointed out to prospective families as they tour the building.

“The Caring Angels group functions a bit like a PTA for seniors,” says company representative Mary Jacobs.

The Caring Angels initiative’s success has prompted Autumn Leaves to roll out a “Booster Club” program in all of its 42 communities. Each family-run Booster Club will have the guidance and support of each community’s executive director and life engagement manager. Staff will identify potential club leaders and follow guidelines for launching the club, and each Booster Club will create an activity calendar. Each community’s director of sales and marketing will be tasked with introducing the Booster Club to new residents’ family members and inviting them to participate.

alfa best awards



The above best practice was recognized as an ALFA 2015 Best of the Best Award Winner. Do you have a best practice, product, service or solution at your community or company that is advancing excellence in senior living? The Call for Nominations for the ALFA 2016 Best of the Best Awards opens October 7, 2015. Learn more about the Best of the Best Awards by visiting ALFA’s website nomination period for the Best of the Best will close January 8, 2016.




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