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Resident Stories

Dalva’s Story

Originally from Brazil, Dalva and her husband moved to La Vida Llena 5 years ago. Dalva is a retired trauma nurse who came to the United States at age 22 and later met her British husband, a chemical engineer who has a passion for music. Dalva and her husband fell in love with Albuquerque on a cross country trip and decided to settle down here. After experiencing a foot injury with surgery and prolonged complications, Dalva discovered that living in their house was becoming cumbersome. It was difficult to walk the steps and deal with a house that was not designed to accommodate her needs. Dalva and her husband decided to check out the La Vida Llena retirement community. That week, their dream senior apartment became available. The move into their new community was easy. “We have never been happier. We adjusted in no time. We unpacked in 2 days then went on a cruise. We are doing really well!” Dalva says. Their new senior apartment layout was so much easier for her to manage, all on one level and no steps to deal with.  Dalva has since recovered from her injury and is very active in her community. She enjoys walking her service dog, Lily, multiple times a day. Dalva says Miss Lily is good for her because the dog makes sure she gets up early, eats, takes her medications on time and gets exercise. Dalva attends 9 exercise classes a week at La Vida Llena’s fitness center. In fact, she says the classes are so good she has cancelled her membership at a top local gym. Yoga is a passion and one of her favorite classes. Dalva’s classmates in Chair Yoga even nominated her to help teach the class while the instructor is on vacation! “We are really, really lucky to have such a great fitness director!” she says. Dalva also does a lot of volunteer work. A member of the La Vida Llena community’s rose brigade, Dalva makes sure to spend time deadheading the roses every morning on her walks during the growing season. She is very proud of the numerous awards the rose brigade has received at the State Fair. Dalva also enjoys knitting and quilting. Every month, she makes 1-2 handmade crump quilts for the animal shelter. Customers buy her quilts at the community’s gift shop, which is used to raise money for the animal shelter. She also knits about 2 hats a week to donate to the homeless. When it come to food, Dalva has a restricted diet which she says the La Vida Llena dining room accommodates. “The food is good and I do really well”, she says. Dalva has many friends in the community and enjoys working on puzzles with 2 other friends. “We worked through the whole lock down. It’s mind cleansing and good for the brain”, she remembers. And Dalva’s husband is still involved in the local band he started, the Route 66 Revelers, where he plays the drums!

Dalva enjoys traveling with her husband especially to Europe, reading, and gardening on her patio – she grows pots of flowers, vegetables, herbs and tomatoes! Dalva’s life motto: “I make myself happy. Happiness is a choice.”