Our History

A different kind of senior care

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.

Respected senior living programs

Today, 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.

Even though Carlton Senior Living started as a family owned operation more than three decades ago, 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.