As hospital stays get shorter, there’s a greater need for short-term rehabilitation programs for patients needing additional care and therapy, in order to transition back to life at home. Mother of Mercy Senior Living (MOM) in Albany offers rehabilitation services to individuals who are not yet ready to return home after surgery, illness or an injury.

Physical therapists work with patients looking to get stronger in The Suites Rapid Recovery at Mother of Mercy Senior Living (MOM), located in Albany. Contributed photos

The Suites Rapid Recovery, located on the third floor of MOM, has large, attractive rooms, and their staff uses a comprehensive approach to help patients recover quickly and more fully. They have physical, occupational and speech therapists, who work in coordination with doctors, nurses and other team members, to provide patient care according to an individualized treatment plan. “We have top-notch therapists here,” said Jason Bergmann, executive director of the MOM Foundation, “and our equipment is state of the art. If there’s a piece of equipment we don’t have, we can get it within a day.” The Suites Rapid Recovery is a source of pride to everyone at MOM. “We want people to come here, get better and go home.” 

The highly-trained staff at The Suites Rapid Recovery have worked with individuals who have had joint replacements, a stroke, respiratory problems, heart issues, serious falls and other medical conditions. Darnell Young, rehab clinical leader, is inspired by watching how hard patients will work in order to get better and go home, and the staff celebrate those efforts with a certificate and cheers as they walk out the door. “We do our best to schedule therapy around each individual’s schedule,” she said. “We know not to mess with church or hair appointments! Or, bingo,” she added. Young is one of three therapists at The Suites who have 75 years of experience among them.

Outpatient therapy at The Suites is a convenient option for Central Minnesotans who want to complete therapy close to home. “I’ve been told that there are 22 stoplights between Albany and East St. Cloud,” said Bergmann. “No one has to drive to St. Cloud and fight traffic to get the therapy they need. I keep saying, ‘Come here, get better, go home.’”

Patient receiving therapy on an outpatient basis at the Suites Rapid Recovery at Mother of Mercy Senior Living in Albany. Photo contributed

One success story comes from a current resident of Mother of Mercy. Bertha Schiller and her husband, Richard, moved to an assisted living apartment in 2009. Richard’s health declined a year ago, and he moved to the Care Center, on the same campus. “I visit him every day,” Bertha said. “My family thinks it’s great, and they tell me, ‘You guys have it made.’” After a fall, which resulted in a broken arm and surgery to repair it, Bertha’s doctor told her she would never again be able to raise her arm above her shoulder. Instead of giving up, Bertha took the elevator upstairs one floor and began working with therapists at The Suites Rapids Recovery to treat her frozen shoulder. “I go there three times a week for 45 minutes. It’s helping me a lot.” As she raised her arm to touch the top of her head, she explained, “Two weeks ago, I couldn’t put a cracker in my mouth.” She credits the therapists at The Suites for her progress, and she’ll continue working toward the goal to raise her arm above her head. “It’s so handy for me to live here and get my therapy here, too.” Besides visiting her husband and going to therapy, Bertha is doing some gardening, growing potatoes and other vegetables in a garden plot, just outside her window.

“Some people think of Mother of Mercy as the nursing home by the golf course,” said Bergmann. “We are so much more.”  MOM Senior Living provides a full range of services, including assisted living, enhanced assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care. When the leadership of MOM looked around their community a number of years ago and saw a need for affordable housing, they opened Pondview Estates, income-based apartments for seniors, age 62 or better, who live independently.

Patient receiving therapy on an outpatient basis at the Suites Rapid Recovery at Mother of Mercy Senior Living in Albany. Photo contributed

Last fall, MOM opened a new building, adding apartments for memory care and enhanced assisted living. The open floor plan in memory care is set up with apartments on the outside and communal dining and activity areas in the center, which helps to develop a strong community. There are apartments available for a husband or wife to share with their spouse should one need more assistance than they can provide at home.

The new memory garden, dedicated in May, offers residents and their families a beautiful, safe space to sit and enjoy the outdoors. For another outdoor adventure, they can take a ride on a golf cart and check out the views on the Wobegon Trail, or head to the Dairy Queen, or, on occasion, ride in an area parade and toss candy to the kids.

MOM was excited to welcome a children’s day care in their new building and to provide opportunities for both the children and “grand-friends” to spend some time together, listening to music, having a snack or sharing a story. Intergenerational activities improve the quality of life for the residents and the children benefit from being around other caring adults.

Patient receiving therapy on an outpatient basis at the Suites Rapid Recovery at Mother of Mercy Senior Living in Albany. Photo contributed

MOM’s activity/special event schedule has something for everyone, including a daily Catholic mass and Sunday morning Lutheran service in the chapel.  A few years ago, MOM installed a new sound system technology that works wirelessly, so sound is broadcast directly through a hearing aid. Worshippers don’t need to wear a headset, and they can hear every word of the service.

The MOM Senior Living campus is bustling with activity, and one way to experience all they have to offer is to take a tour. MOM is located at 230 Church Avenue in Albany. To schedule a tour, or for more information, contact Jason Bergmann at 320-845-2195 or jbergmann@momcampus.org.

For music lovers, Rock the Prairie, a fundraiser for Mother of Mercy Foundation, will be held Saturday, Sept. 9 at 21470 Co. Rd. 54, Albany. Tickets can be purchased online at RockThePrairie.org.