By Michelle Talsma Everson

At White Dove Assisted Living Homes, owners Marinela “Nellie” and John Bora emphasize that the residents are “not just numbers on a door”—they get to know each one and are honored to care for them and welcome them home.

“We know them by name; we know who they are and customize their care to fit their needs,” says Marinela “Nellie” Bora. “Caregivers are on site 24/7 and respond to their individual needs, likes and dislikes. We always treat residents and their families with respect and kindness.”
White Dove Assisted Living Homes has three nearby locations; Sunrise Mountain, Silvercrest and Arrowhead. The family-owned business began in the early 1990s when Bora saw her mom run a “foster home for the elderly” and thought that it would be a great chance to care for others while also being able to be home with her own family.

“My husband and I both worked for a Phoenix country club for over 11 years, working a lot of hours, and feeling like we never saw our own family,” she says. “I thought this would be a good way to earn an income while caring for the elderly and being able to see my own children more.”

She opened up her home to elderly residents and had three move in on the first day, she shares. She and her four sisters then began to all manage assisted living homes and White Dove Assisted Living Homes was founded. Her sisters manage other locations in the Scottsdale area; her three homes (Sunrise Mountain, Silvercrest and Arrowhead) are the only ones on this side of the Valley, she says.

“My husband liked the larger lots and the orange groves of this part of town,” Bora shares about her family’s decision to settle here. In addition to her sisters, she notes that other family members are also involved in White Dove Assisted Living Homes.

So what are some of the differences between White Dove homes and other care facilities?

“We are experienced, trained and dedicated to providing all the assistance that our residents may need,” Bora shares. “Here you will find a warm loving family atmosphere in a beautiful, furnished and decorated residential home… All three homes have live-in caregivers available to them 24 hours a day. All employees are trained and certified. Caregivers focus on working one on one with the patients to ensure they receive personal care and attention.”

When it comes to price, Bora notes that “compared to a larger facility, we are much less.” She emphasizes that residents receive 24/7 access to caregivers, private and semi-private rooms, and one-on-one attention.

Bora adds that caregivers at her homes are ready to serve residents with all levels of care needs—from feeding tubes to catheters, and other services—care is customized.

“One of the benefits of a home like ours is that, for example, if there’s a husband and wife where one needs hospice care but the other is more independent, we can serve them both and they can stay together,” she says.

“You can enjoy peace of mind knowing the senior citizen in your life is being well cared for,” according to White Dove Assisted Living Homes. “Our certified and trained caregivers assist our residents with dressing, bathing, and grooming. We make every effort for our elderly residents to live with dignity at this time of their lives.”

When it comes to the caregivers that serve her residents, Bora looks for employees who are honest and open. “I want to care for them too,” she says about her staff. She often prefers to train them herself, sharing her more than 25 years of experience with them. And, while each home operates very much like an extended family, each also meets state requirements and passes all inspections.

Each home has room for 10 residents, with spaces available now for locals who are interested in finding compassionate care for their loved ones. Caregivers most often live on site, which is Bora’s preference, but some come in shifts too.

While each local home is unique, all are spacious enough to comfortably accommodate their residents. For example, White Dove at Sunrise Mountain is a newly remodeled home with nine bedrooms and seven handicap accessible bathrooms.

In addition to on-site caregivers, each home is equipped to work with hospice care as well. “When a resident reaches end of life and needs that care, they don’t have to go anywhere, they can stay here,” she says. This helps to provide comfort to both residents and their families.

Added to hospice services, each home is ready to work with mobile services such as home health agencies and even hairdressers. Residents receive three home cooked meals a day plus snacks, and each local home is on a “large lot with big backyard, where residents can spend time outdoors,” Bora says.

Some other services include:
• Daily assistance with bathing, dressing, and grooming
• Assistance with walking and eating if needed
• Incontinence care
• Diabetic management
• Cable TV, Internet, and telephone
• Daily housekeeping and laundry
• Transportation to and from appointments

Some regular activities that residents can expect include:
• Arts and crafts
• Book reading
• Gardening
• Bingo
• Walking and exercise
• Birthday and holiday celebrations
• Occasional outings

Like many care homes for the elderly and other vulnerable populations, Bora shares that White Dove homes are following all COVID-19 precautions and cleanliness requirements. The health and safety of her residents and employees are important and at top of mind.

“We take what we do very personally,” Bora says. “It is important to us that our residents are happy and healthy.”

Bora shares that she is able to provide families with loved ones who need assisted living with tours of the three local White Dove Assisted Living Homes locations. Those who are interested can call 602-978-1393 for more information.