Tom MacDonald and his mother reviewing the building plans for Carlton Senior Living's first community in Pleasant Hill, California


Tom MacDonald saw the need for a different kind of senior care community in the early 1980s while caring for his mother, Carolyn. At the time, there were few independent or assisted living options for active seniors who wanted a higher level of services and amenities. So Tom set out to create an environment where seniors could enjoy a wide variety of activities, fresh, healthy meals, and a caring, well-trained staff.

Drawing on his expertise as a real estate developer and general contractor, Tom designed the earliest communities himself, and in 1985 the company opened its first assisted living community in Pleasant Hill. In 1989, retired professor of dentistry Dr. Don Engle joined the company as a founding partner, adding valuable medical and business experience.


Carlton is one of Northern California’s most successful senior living providers, winning national awards for its resident care, health and fitness, and staff development programs.

With 11 senior living communities in operation, led by President Dave Coluzzi, and new projected communities currently in the planning stage, Carlton offers families a wide choice of highly respected programs at locations across Northern California.

Carlton Senior Living started as a family-owned operation more than three decades ago, and several members of the founding family are still actively involved. Just as our founders did from the beginning, we still consider our employees, residents, and their families part of our own family.

Committed to Kindness

Carlton’s employees are our most valuable assets. From our skilled nurses and managers to our perpetually smiling dining, maintenance, and housekeeping staff, we are committed to serving you and your loved ones with respect, kindness, and compassion. It’s our unique “culture of caring” that makes all the difference.

Tailored to Your Needs

Our senior living communities offer an array of individually tailored services and care options – ranging from independent apartments and assisted living for those needing only a little help, to award-winning health and memory care programs. Our diverse services and programs allow residents to move seamlessly between different care levels if and when their needs change.

From the moment they start and consistently throughout their time with us, every employee makes the following commitments.

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Act with empathy, compassion, and understanding.


Demonstrate value and respect to our seniors and their families.


Display exceptional service, enthusiasm and integrity creating a safe and pristine environment.