25 Sunshine Court
Durango, Colorado


Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 5:00pm
Saturday - Sunday Office is closed

Our Story

A History by Robert R. Hilger, Owner/Operator

The Sunshine Garden Senior Community story gets its start over 70 years ago. My Grandma Gley was an RN who opened up Mary Jane’s Boarding Home in Mystic, Connecticut in 1946. She was one of the first assisted living homes in the United States, which at that time was called a Boarding Home. She went on to open Mary Jane’s Boarding Home in Allwood, New Jersey. I first visited that home in 1958, when I was 19 years old. It was a beautiful home, and Grandma Gley was great!

In 1950, my parents Nick and Elsie Hilger built the Hilger Apartments in Largo, Florida. In the early years, these were the home to “Canadian Seniors” from October through May.

My first 62 bed assisted living was built in 1991 in Marion County, Florida. This was our first Sunshine Gardens Community! In 1995, we visited Durango, Colorado and bought a 6.5 acre scrap metal yard which I took through PUD Development, creating 8 condos for Sunshine Gardens Independent Living. In 1996 we expanded to add a 70 bed assisted living home, which is the Sunshine Gardens West that our community knows and loves today. In 2001 we bought a small assisted living home on Highway 172, which is now a flourishing 16 bed memory care home called Sunshine Gardens Country Home. In 2002 we built a 4-condo complex to add to our Independent Living options.

Since then, we’ve added a 24 bed community in Crystal River, Florida and another two independent living condos to our inventory.

With an eye to offering a complete continuum of care from independence to assistance to memory care, we decided to expand once again in 2017 to introduce Sunshine Stay At Home Care. Our latest service for Durango area seniors, this branch of the Sunshine Gardens Senior Community takes our skill and experience out into the community. Sunshine Gardens Stay At Home Care gives seniors the option of staying in their own homes while still receiving the expert care of Sunshine Gardens caregivers.

Plans for 2019 are to build another 4 condominiums on the Sunshine Gardens Durango campus.

We make it all work with my wonderful staff.

What our families say

“My mom is cared for physically and emotionally in a manner that my dad would have been proud to give her. There is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t thank God she is there.”


Tamra Lavengood RN, BSN,MSN


Tamra Lavengood RN, BSN,MSN


“Your kind, loving, gentle, and compassionate care during nearly eight years of our mother’s residence at Sunshine Gardens Country Home is so very much appreciated.”

The Family of Winona McClanahan


The Family of Winona McClanahan

“The family wishes to thank the staff at Sunshine Gardens West and Country Home for the care and attention they gave to Fred for the last four years.”

The Family of Fred Kroeger


The Family of Fred Kroeger

“[My mother’s] Alzheimer’s Disease had progressed to the point that a secure facility of a modest size was the only situation which for her circumstances and, in fact, encouraged her to thrive.”

Karen Young


Karen Young