The Stafford Senior Living Patio

By lake Oswego lead contributor Stephanie von Allmen

The below article was produced and published by Greet Lake Oswego.

It’s been a minute since we’ve checked in on happenings at The Stafford, a boutique retirement community with both independent and assisted living.

This tight-knit community consists of 93 independent living apartments and just 12 assisted living apartments, which makes it very desirable due to its high ratio of caregiving to residents.

This month we had the chance to catch up with Nicole Budden, Director of Sales and Outreach, to revisit this lovely independent and assisted living community in Lake Oswego.

To start off, we asked Budden to describe some of the reasons why residents enjoy living at The Stafford. “We are an upscale community with a warm feel,” explained Budden. “The residents’ camaraderie and friendships are very special. It’s unlike what I’ve seen in other communities.”

Budden continued, “We have a welcome committee that purposefully introduces new residents to others with common interests with the goal of ensuring a smooth transition into retirement living.”

Budden went on to relay that it’s not uncommon to see residents gathered and laughing together while sipping a glass of wine and enjoying some live entertainment in the library or at the community dining table.

Another unique aspect of The Stafford is the number of incredible activities available to its residents. With Life Enrichment Director Carey Dienhart, at the helm for more than 14 years, there is never a shortage of stimulating events to attend. Awarded the Oregon Healthcare Association Life Enrichment Director of the Year in 2022, Dienhart plays an integral role in the overall happiness of the individuals she serves. “Her dedication to residents is simply heartwarming,” expounded Budden. “Our residents are truly like family to her.”

According to Budden, Dienhart designs the communities’ activities around the interests of its residents and openly welcomes and encourages their input. Sure, The Stafford provides the standard activities you’d expect in an assisted living environment such as bingo and movies, but they go above and beyond with unique outings and events that are fun-filled, interesting, and always with a touch of class.

For example, a party Dienhart coordinated this past summer included an Argentina Night, complete with empanadas, delicious meats, and a “Romantico Latin Trio.” In addition, she organized a Blue Party Jazz Night with a 6-piece band. Even a simple activity like lemonade on a summer day, Dienhart makes special by suggesting residents bring a favorite childhood book to share. And if her wonderfully themed and impeccably planned events weren’t enough, Dienhart is also an accomplished artist who offers her skills through painting classes for the community.

“Dienhart is warm and welcoming to all and always has a great attitude,” gushed Budden. “After all these years, she still loves her work and making someone’s day.

We would be remiss in failing to mention one of the most important things that sets The Stafford apart from similar communities — THE FOOD! Executive Chef, Jake Rush, has a culinary degree and takes great pride in his work. As attested by Budden, he gets rave reviews!

The Stafford’s exquisite menu features seasonal options and locally sourced food, available at their in-house restaurant, The Mélange. Residents can also stop for a quick bite and drink at their bistro and bar, The Overlook.

The Stafford, located at 1200 Overlook Drive, is ideally nestled near Luscher Farm with community garden beds and wonderful walking trails. In addition, the community sits directly across from the location of the City of Lake Oswego’s brand-new recreation center currently under construction.

For more information on The Stafford, please visit their website at or contact Budden directly at 503-496-3729. You can also connect on Facebook at