About Us

Our Mission

The mission of Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family is to provide nursing care in a Christian environment to needy and elderly women and men, while bearing Catholic witness through a spirit of ecumenism.

The History of Lafon

Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family, the oldest nursing facility of its kind in the United States, was founded in 1841 when Henriette Delille, a free woman of color from New Orleans, along with Juliette Gaudin and Josephine Charles, began taking elderly women into their home on St. Bernard Avenue for care. Delille had founded a religious order, the Sisters of the Holy Family (originally the Sisters of the Presentation), that provided assistance to orphans and the elderly, sick, and poor, and that taught slaves at a time when it was legally forbidden in Louisiana to do so. The sisters were also renowned for their care of the sick and the dying during yellow fever epidemics in New Orleans. They were the first confraternity of women of color in New Orleans.

In 1849, the Association of the Holy Family, comprised of a lay group of free people of color, provided financial assistance to help the Sisters of the Holy Family found a new facility, the Hospice of the Holy Family, on St. Bernard Avenue. The new site was dedicated on June 6, 1849. Among the conditions for admission to the St. Bernard Home were that the applicants be ambulatory women, sixty years or older, whose need was verified by a visit of two Sisters to their homes and that the admitted persons were expected to assist in the general work of the Home. The terms were evidently satisfactory, for the Home not only withstood the vicissitudes of the times before, during and after the Civil War, and through the severe yellow fever epidemics that struck the city, it grew and prospered, going on to increase in population. The Sisters increased their numbers, as well; they established schools outside and within New Orleans  and opened two orphanages, one for boys and one for girls.

Forty-six years later, through a generous bequeathment from Creole entrepreneur, philanthroper, and human rights activist Thomy Lafon of New Orleans, the convent and nursing facility moved to a new multi-story structure at the corner of Governor Nicholls and Tonti Streets. It served as home for the needy and elderly women and men of New Orleans from 1895 and was named the Lafon Old Folks Home in Thomy Lafon’s honor. He actually provided new homes for all the orphaned boys and girls under the care of the Sisters, as well as building a new home for the elders. This home served well until 1973 when new services, increased requests for residence, and increased specialized staffing necessitated the move into the current location on Chef Menteur Highway.

Lafon was forced to close September 2, 2005 after the last resident was evacuated after Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that followed it. This was the first time in 160 years of operation that Lafon was closed for operation. However, after numerous meetings and consultations with community administration, FEMA, and architects, Lafon was restored and reopened for residents on January 4, 2010. Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family continues to provide nursing care in a Christian environment to women and men.

Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family, a long-term care facility, is a non-profit nursing facility staffed to give nursing care to the aged and infirm without regard to race, religion, national origin, age, sex, or handicap, and is licensed by the State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. The facility holds membership in the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, the Louisiana Association, and the Catholic Health Association. Services are available to qualified residents who are able to pay privately or through Medicaid or Medicare resources.

Credal Statements

We  believe in the dignity of each person.

We believe each person must be treated with love and respect and this belief is reflected in the care and service given to the aged and disabled.

We believe every resident is entitled to a quality of care that supports and maintains the physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual aspects of living.

We believe in ethical integrity in policies and medical procedures practiced by Lafon and staff for the well-being of our residents and families.


This is a good facility, the majority of the things that I noticed were very positive.

Relative of Resident

An excellent facility with friendly and cultured staff. Wonderful management and a supportive environment with a clean and serene work space/living quarters.

Former Medical Records Employee
- former

I have a couple of relatives here, and whenever I visit I find this facility clean, fresh smelling, and fully staffed with courteous, helpful, and smiling people.

Relative of Current Lafon Residents

We've been there.
We understand.

Everything we do is driven by our universal mission:
to enhance the lives of aging adults and their families.