Understanding Senior Living

The two-story house with the big backyard was perfect 40 years ago, when your mom was able to maintain the yard, effortlessly go up and down the stairs, and easily care for the extra space. 

Today, Mom relies on others to mow, rake, and shovel, going up and down the steps is a challenge, and that extra space just means extra work.

But when you suggest she consider looking into senior housing options, she adamantly refuses. No way. She loves her home and she’s NOT moving.

If this scenario sounds familiar, your aging parent or loved one could benefit from home care, a service that allows older people to remain in their own homes while receiving the assistance they need to help them remain independent. Typically, home care involves providing assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals, transportation, paying bills, making appointments, administering medications, and providing companionship and emotional support. Home care services range from once a week to 24 hours a day depending on the needs of the client.

AT BAYWOOD HOME CARE, a locally-owned and operated home care company, clients can arrange for services a few hours a week to 24-hour care. “The type of health care that families can expect is fully equivalent to assisted living or a nursing home, except it is one-to-one care in a person’s own home,” explains Dorothy Muffett, president and owner of Baywood Home Care.

A Baywood RN is on-call 24/7 for emergency situations, and families have peace of mind knowing that their loved one is receiving quality, personalized assistance. Developing a close relationship of trust allows the caregivers to quickly identify their clients’ needs as they relate to safety and health, or emotional and social well-being. “The sole purpose of our trained caregivers is to ensure that the one client they are with—at any given time—is safe and living a good quality of life,” Muffett says.

For seniors who like the idea of spending their retirement in a community of peers with a variety of social, cultural, and fitness activities, and want to live in a place that’s comfortable, secure, and safe—without the hassles of maintaining a big house—independent living can be
the answer.

“One of the biggest misconceptions about living in a senior community means losing your independence,” says Nick Kozel, Walker Methodist vice president of marketing and communication. “This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Most people find their abilities increase because of amenities such as courtesy transportation, housekeeping, and enriching social programs.”

Mary Samoszuk, MARTIN LUTHER CAMPUS marketing director agrees. “Some people worry that moving to a senior setting can lead to a decline in health, when in reality, many find that their health, nutrition, socializing, spiritual needs, and transportation limitations are all being addressed in their new homes. So—in many cases—life actually improves for seniors. They gain weight, feel less isolated and lonely, and have social activities to look forward to.”

Independent living provides the greatest versatility and freedom in compact, easy-to-maintain, private apartments or homes within a community of seniors. Any housing arrangement designed exclusively for seniors (generally those age 55+; in some cases the age requirement is 62+) may be classified as an independent living community. While you have to be relatively self-sufficient to live in an independent living facility, many of these communities offer services and resources to make daily tasks easier. For example, many provide local transportation, social activities, group meals, and laundry and cleaning services, and many are located near hospitals and clinics, shopping malls, and recreational facilities.

Many senior communities also offer unique programs to enhance quality of life. At SILVERCREST PROPERTIES, wellness is a key focus. Their comprehensive SilverAdvantAGE™ program includes a full service Health and Fitness Center. Their fully staffed fitness centers include state-of-the-art computerized, self-adjusting, and easy-to-use fitness stations, an aqua therapy pool complete with an adjustable floor, variable speed treadmill, and a personal aquatic therapy instructor (ideal for residents undergoing therapy and rehabilitation), and a warm water, multi-purpose indoor pool for water aerobics and lap swimming.

One form of independent living is a housing cooperative, such as NOKOMIS SQUARE COOPERATIVE, a nonprofit corporation established in the late 70s by members of the Nokomis area in Minneapolis. Their goal was to provide senior housing in the “neighborhood.”  The first members moved into Nokomis Square in 1984.

“The primary distinction between a housing cooperative and other forms of homeownership is that in a housing cooperative, you don’t directly own real estate,” explains Pam Schultz, Nokomis Square Cooperative marketing representative. “You purchase a share or a membership. Your membership entitles you to occupy the apartment or unit of your choice. Your relationship with the cooperative is established by an occupancy agreement or proprietary lease, and every membership has a share in the cooperative and a vote in major decisions and for the board of directors.”

Assisted living refers to communities designed for seniors who are no longer able to live on their own safely but don’t require the high level of care provided in a nursing home. Assistance with medications, activities of daily living, meals and housekeeping are routinely provided. Three meals per day are provided in a central dining room. Residents live in private apartments which frequently have a limited kitchen area. Staff is available 24 hours per day for additional safety. A key benefit of an assisted-living community is that, should your loved one’s health deteriorate, services are already in place to provide extra care in that same facility. Most assisted living communities provide licensed nursing services.

At YORK GARDENS IN EDINA, a new assisted living addition to the 7500 York Cooperative, living options will provide a “continuity of care” when the 47 assisted living apartments, 15 memory care apartments, and 14 care suites open in April of 2011. The care suites will offer private apartments with state-of-the-art support services for those who have more complex care requirements. A variety of rehabilitative therapies will help ease the transition to daily life after illness or surgery.

The WELLSTEAD OF ROGERS, a private-pay dementia and Alzheimer’s specific assisted living care residence located on a beautiful 20-acre “aging in place” campus in Rogers, provides a unique approach for all levels of memory loss. Only individuals with a diagnosis of dementia or other memory impairments are considered for admission. All four stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s care are provided at this campus, which also includes hospice care.

Nursing homes provide around-the-clock skilled nursing care for seniors who require a high level of medical care and assistance. Twenty-four-hour skilled nursing services are available from licensed nurses. Many nursing homes now provide short-term rehabilitative stays for those recovering from an injury, illness or surgery. Long-term care residents generally have high care needs and complex medical conditions that require routine skilled nursing services. Residents typically share a room and are served meals in a central dining area unless they are too ill to participate. Activities are also available. Some facilities have a separate unit for Alzheimer’s residents.

Residential care homes are private homes that typically serve residents who live together and receive care from live-in caretakers. These homes offer assisted care services for seniors who want a more private, home-like community. Assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing are typically provided.

The BENEDICTINE HEALTH SYSTEM is seeking to transform how skilled care is provided by constructing Minnesota’s first “small house,” a residential home where daily life, schedules, and routines are based on the needs and preferences of those who live there. CERENITY SENIOR CARE in White Bear Lake is a faith-based partnership between Benedictine Health System, Clement Manor, and HealthEast Care System.

In this proposed model, the elders live much as they would in their own home, assisting with cooking, helping with household tasks, and participating in various activities of interest. The small house will be staffed by elder assistants, responsible for direct care, cooking, laundry, and housekeeping. Construction is anticipated to begin in spring of 2011.

Respite care provides a temporary break for caregivers by allowing a resident to have a short-term stay in a community that can meet their needs. Many assisted living communities and nursing homes have a respite care program. Residents typically stay from a week to a month, depending on their situation. They receive all of the services of the community. Respite stays may also serve as a “get acquainted” period for the senior. Many residents find that they enjoy their stay and decide to move in soon after the short-term visit. Respite programs are available for assisted living and Alzheimer’s residents.

Many people do not know that home care caregivers are also trained in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s care, says Dorothy Muffett with Baywood Home Care.

“Such care can be provided in one’s own home.  As illness progresses, the cost of 24-hour care at home is very comparable to the cost of 24-hour care in assisted living/memory care,” she explains. “It’s up to the family or the client to decide where they wish to receive memory care; at home or by moving.” 

The best way to find the right fit is to research the options, meet the staff, ask questions, and visit, says Marlene McCarthy, senior regional sales and marketing director for EDINA PARK PLAZA, a Brookdale Senior Living community. Ask to spend a night in a guest suite or sit down to dinner with those who live there. Do the residents seem happy?

“Take the opportunity to talk with existing residents and ask why they chose that particular community, and why they choose to stay,” she says. Shirley Barnes, CEO of CREST VIEW SENIOR COMMUNITIES, says that Crest View feels like a small town, where people enjoy life together yet have privacy when they need it. “The beauty of what we have here in Minnesota is that there are so many options,” she says. Tour different places and compare the amenities.

The bottom line, though, is that the right facility for you is the facility where you feel most at home.



Wellstead of Rogers

Who we are: The Wellstead of Rogers ALZ campus features continuum of care and aging in place for independent, assisted and memory care.  

What we offer
: Diamondcrest Senior Living is an elegant and affordable community.  Socially rich and wellness focused, this active adult community offers independent and assisted apartments with spacious floor plans and full kitchens. Residents enjoy a carefree retirement with a choice of menus prepared by a culinary chef, lifelong learning activities, transportation, and a full range of health and personal care services.  Our campus also features The Wellstead, which provides a unique approach for all levels of memory loss. Our memory care program, Bridge to Rediscovery, has won two prestigious “Best of the Best” awards from the Assisted Living Federation of America. This Montessori-inspired program promotes learning by experience and engagement within the environment. Community households offer a homelike atmosphere with personal touches.

You might not realize: The Wellstead of Rogers ALZ is a Five Star Senior Living community. Five Star is a respected leader and innovator in senior living. To learn more about Five Star, visit www.fivestarseniorliving.com.

Contact Information: 20600 S. Diamond Lake Rd., Rogers, MN 55374 763-428-1981 • www.wellsteadofrogers.com

Benedictine Health System

Who we are: Based in Duluth, the Benedictine Health System is a nationally recognized leader in long-term care in the upper Midwest. We were founded in 1985 with three facilities and have grown to serve more than 35 communities across seven states. In 2010, we received the 2009 achievement level quality award from the Minnesota Quality Council.

What we offer: Choices, privacy, compassion, respect and positive living environments that nurture the soul. We provide complete long-term care services to aging adults, including skilled nursing, assisted and independent living, therapy, memory care, home care, adult day and short-stay rehabilitative care.

You might not realize: We are launching a new model of skilled nursing care, Minnesota’s first “small house” in White Bear Lake at Cerenity Senior Care. This new model changes everything about how long-term care has traditionally been provided. This is not simply a traditional nursing home in a smaller setting, but a comfortable, residential home staffed by certified assistants and aides, featuring private suites and ample community living space for a household experience.

Contact Information: 800-833-7208 • www.bhshealth.org

Martin Luther Campus

Who we are: We are a continuum of care campus offering long-term care, transitional care, memory care, Meadow Woods Assisted Living, adult day programs, transportation and other services. Seniors and their loved ones can choose the services and living settings that best meet their needs. Our staff is friendly and competent, we’re located in a beautiful setting on the bluffs of the Minnesota River (near the Mall of America and the cities of Eagan, Richfield, South Minneapolis, and Edina), and we offer an environment of spiritual care.

What we offer: An excellent reputation, with a history spanning over 50 years. Also, we recently completed a reconstruction of our state-of-the-art Care Center, delivering quality physical, occupational and speech therapy for patients who are recovering from illness or injury.

You might not realize: We are well-known for our “Retain Your Brain” program.  All of our sites aim to offer nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation and more to help our residents maintain healthy brains.  We aren’t trying to reverse damage to the brain; we’re encouraging people of all ages to incorporate certain elements into their daily routine for optimum brain health.

Contact Information: 1401 East 100th St., Bloomington, MN 55425 952-888-7751 • www.martinluthercampus.com

Walker Methodist

Who we are: Since 1945, we have been championing the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual health of seniors through health programs and residential services. We offer a full spectrum of residential and non-residential services, from independent living to skilled nursing care. In all of our communities, we value the spirit, wisdom, and contributions of our residents.

What we offer: We pride ourselves on serving a broad range of people, whether through flexible floor plans, high quality health service, or exciting menus. An individual assessment determines what services would fit best and plans are then tailored to each resident.

You might not realize: • Our excellent spiritual care staff serves spiritual needs within all our communities and for all faiths. • Our well-trained nursing staff provides preventative, health maintenance, and specialized care. We offer on-site physical therapy and fitness programs and on-site dental care in partnership with the University of Minnesota.  • We are committed to continuing education and require our staff to attend monthly courses in their areas of expertise. • Our culinary services are led by talented, professionally-trained chefs.

Contact Information: 612-827-5931 • 800-735-3048, www.walkermethodist.org

York Gardens in Edina

Who we are: Ebenezer, part of Fairview Health Services, is a trusted name in Minnesota for providing quality senior services since 1917. Our newest development, York Gardens, is opening in April of 2011.

What we offer: This new development will consist of 47 assisted living apartments, 15 memory care apartments, and 14 care suites (private apartments with state-of-the-art support services) on an already nationally recognized campus, 7500 York Cooperative in Edina. The addition of York Gardens will greatly broaden the senior living options already offered on this campus. Located near Fairview-Southdale Hospital, Southdale shopping center, restaurants, banks, and salons, this will be the first assisted living community in the region connected to a senior cooperative. Benefits include a community bus, a nurse practitioner who will make old-fashioned house calls, rooftop patios and an in-house spa complemented by the services of a concierge to schedule appointments, secure event tickets, or make reservations.

You might not realize: York Gardens is about 40 percent full. Join us for some culinary delights, creative recipe ideas, and to learn more about York Gardens Assisted Living during our Tastes of York open house on January 29  from 1-5 p.m. at 7500 York Ave. South. Save the date for our grand opening May 21 from 1-4 p.m.

Contact Information: 3451 Parklawn Ave., Edina, MN 55435 952-831-4992 • www.yorkgardensedina.org

Crest View Senior Communities

Who we are: We are a faith-based not-for-profit organization, providing services to older adults since 1952. We have five buildings in Columbia Heights, four on campus and another just a mile away. The spectrum of services includes senior housing, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care, short term rehab care, and home health care. We’re planning to develop a senior community in Blaine, breaking ground in 2011.

What we offer: Security and peace of mind comes with being a part of a caring community with so many services and amenities. There’s a sense of community and family at Crest View. We like to create new memories with people. We believe it is a privilege to serve older adults and we are blessed to serve people in our ministry. In addition, our locations are close to shopping, churches, hospitals and clinics, and more. Scheduled van transportation is available.

You might not realize: We serve seniors in a number of settings and offer a variety of life enrichment activities, such as aromatherapy, knitting/craft circles, and drum circles.  We are also starting an Elder Abuse Prevention and Intervention Program for people in the community, which will include respite for people in need. Come and visit us and experience the enthusiasm in our community.

Contact Information: 763-782-1601, www.crestviewcares.org

Baywood Home Care

Who we are: Baywood Home Care is not a franchise. They are locally-owned and operated, and for the past 10 years,  have made it possible for clients of all ages to continue living their lives the way they are accustomed to, in the comfort of their own homes. This means that Baywood clients continue to eat the foods they like, host family holiday parties, take a bath in privacy, and receive assistance or care from a consistent and trustworthy caregiver who makes it all possible.

What we offer: Baywood is licensed by the Minnesota Health Department to provide care similar to assisted living and nursing homes, but does so in people’s own homes. Their last audit had zero deficiencies. They hire trained and compassionate home health aides, who are selectively hired and have elder care experience.  A Baywood RN is on-call 24/7 should any emergency arise.  They personalize home care schedules to meet individual needs from a few hours/week to 24 hours/day, and everything in-between. Baywood offers no-charge consultations to discuss home care and costs based on each family’s individual situation.

You might not realize: Home care costs about the same (sometimes even less) as many assisted living or nursing homes.  Also, Baywood Home Care can provide the same level of care as assisted living and nursing homes, making home care a safe, viable, and preferred alternative for many people.

Contact Information: 763-546-8899 or 651-699-5070 (Greater Twin Cities) or 507-388-5589 or 507-764-4133 (Southern Minnesota), www.baywoodhomecare.com

Edina Park Plaza

Who we are: With an outstanding reputation in our field, Brookdale Senior Living provides a full spectrum of senior living services in 35 states. In our Minnesota communities, we offer independent living, personalized assisted living, and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care. Located in beautiful Edinborough Park, the indoor park complete with walking paths, a pool, and lush foliage, Edina Park Plaza features independent living as well as personalized assisted living in a spacious, upscale environment.

What we offer: We have trained associates on-site 24/7, and licensed RNs on-site during regular business hours and available any time for guidance and assistance. Our training program not only meets Minnesota state regulations, but exceeds requirements to comply with our company’s high standards. Personalized assisted living services are based upon each resident’s unique needs and preferences. Independent living residents benefit from monthly themes that engage the body, mind, and spirit, providing social interaction, a fun experience and life fulfillment.

You might not realize: Edina Park Plaza is a rental community, so there is no large, upfront financial commitment. The affordable monthly fee includes dining, housekeeping, transportation, utilities, personal wellness programs and more.  We can even accommodate couples that require different levels of care!
Contact Information: 3330 Edinborough Way • Edina, MN 55435 952-831-4084 • www.brookdaleliving.com/edina-park-plaza.aspx

SilverCrest Properties

Who we are: A privately-owned senior housing management and development company with over 25 years of experience. SilverCrest has grown into a strong regional provider of senior housing with exceptional service.

What we offer: A wonderful sense of community featuring a variety of thoughtful amenities. Dynamic social and wellness programs help our residents live each day to its fullest. Each of our senior communities offers distinguished service to our residents, family, and staff via our SilverAdvantAGE™ program. R.E.S.P.E.C.T. is the acronym for SilverAdvantAGE™, with each letter representing a core value delivered on a daily basis.  The most important letter is “R” which stands for “Residents First” and drives all other values supported in our philosophy, including “Enriching Lives,” “Safety and Security,” “Professionalism,” “Energy and Enthusiasm,” “Community,” and “Teamwork.”  

You might not realize: Our residents tell us they wished they had moved sooner, to enjoy all we have to offer.
Contact Information: 952-922-9540 • www.silvercrestproperties.com

Nokomis Square Cooperative

Who we are: Nokomis Square Cooperative is a 55+ self-governed, nonprofit corporation. We offer the advantages of ownership without the burdens of day-to-day upkeep, major repairs, or replacements. Three full-time maintenance staff keep the building and grounds in excellent condition.

What we offer: An ideal location in South Minneapolis, close to a library, supermarket, post office,   banks, churches, and public transportation; carefree, maintenance-free living — no more shoveling! On-site amenities include: dining room, underground parking, fitness center, beauty/barber, guest room, party room, workshop. Also: Electronic entry control and WiFi access and satellite TV in every unit. Enjoy member-planned activities within a community of like-minded peers.

You might not realize: Financial advantages include ownership with deductible mortgage interest and real estate taxes, affordable down payments, and predictable monthly expenses. Our housing assessments are based on the cost of owning and operating the property, unlike rental property, where monthly rates tend to increase faster than actual costs.

Contact Information: 5015 35th Ave. So. • Minneapolis, MN 55417 612-721-5077 • www.nokomissquare.com