Purposeful Living for Aging Adults in California 

Elder Care Alliance is an association of residential communities with one mission: to help older adults live a life of purpose and belonging rooted in holistic wellness.  

Our Beginnings

Headquartered in Alameda, Calif., Elder Care Alliance (ECA) is a non-profit formed in 1996 by two continuing care retirement communities with the support of Catholic Healthcare West (now CommonSpirit Health), a non-profit hospital system based in San Francisco. Mercy Retirement and Care Center was founded in 1872 by the Sisters of Mercy in San Francisco. After the 1906 earthquake, the Mercy campus was relocated to Alameda County in the East Bay, where it still resides today.

Built on a foundation of faith, dignity, and compassion, these values remain forefront to our work, with a commitment to caring for every aspect of physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Our goal continues to be prudent sustainability while growing to serve more older adults through a platform of holistic wellness.

Today, Elder Care Alliance is a network of five communities:  Mercy Retirement & Care Center, AlmaVia of San Francisco, AlmaVia of San Rafael, AlmaVia of Camarillo in Southern California, and The Villa at San Mateo.

In 2024, Elder Care Alliance joined the Transforming Age network of affiliates to continue to grow our mission to help older adults live a life of purpose. With the power of the Transforming Age network supporting our impact in California by committing to improving the lives of older adults by integrating housing, community services, technology, philanthropy and partnerships.

Elder Care Alliance is an “Alliance,” operating as an integrated system that is mission-based. “Elder” is about the age period, celebrating the individual as “statesmen,” “wise,” rather than just “old.”  “Care” is about the multi-dynamic nature of care provided, emphasizing holistic wellness.

The communities developed by Elder Care Alliance have the name ‘AlmaVia,’ meaning ‘way of the soul,’ which captures what the founding members wanted to provide – holistic care and a life of purpose for older adults of all beliefs. 

Our Culture

We honor and celebrate the inherent worth of each person. From innovative ideas on senior care to investing in our team members’ professional development, our residents’ wellbeing and dignity are at the forefront of all we do. We strive to respond to each person with compassion and create an environment that fosters holistic wellness and empowerment.

Paula has a heart of gold. I observe the way she cares for the residents with such compassion and patience.M.C.AlmaVia of Camarillo

The quality of LOVING care there was absolutely amazing. Helpful, friendly staff.B.D.Mercy Retirement & Care Center

Nice place and green environment!Miko F.The Villa at San Mateo

Our Impact

As a non-profit provider of housing for older adults, we use innovative approaches to creating an enriching environment for residents.  Rather than pay dividends to investors, we carefully steward resources and reinvest in our communities through team member programs, art and creative expression, opportunities for life-long learning, social events, and even social enterprise. 

5 Communities

Seniors Helping Seniors

2 million lbs

of Food Delivered Every Year

500 +

Generous Volunteers


Smiles Created & Shared

Where to Begin

This is a new transition and there are many things to consider. Start here to find out your options and what others have experienced before you.

What are my options?

Is it the right time?

Financial Planning

Resident Stories