MCHS expands Holly Ridge, builds new assisted living facility in Hoffman

The expansion of Holly Ridge doubled the size of the assisted living facility in Starbuck. Contributed photo

It has been a year of construction and change for Minnewaska Community Health Services (MCHS). After years of planning, the Starbuck-based organization has opened the doors on a major expansion of the Holly Ridge Assisted Living facility in Starbuck, a new senior living facility in Hoffman and the development of Glacial Trails, memory care assisted living at Minnewaska Lutheran Home in Starbuck. Each project is designed to address a significant need in their communities, and each was completed in recent months.

Holly Ridge Assisted Living

“At Holly Ridge, we had been full for years and had a long waiting list,” said Dawn Roen, director of assisted living at MCHS. “So we started planning this project a few years ago. We had our ground breaking in September 2017 and the new area is now open for residents.”

With the expansion, the capacity at Holly Ridge has more than doubled, from 20 to 41 units. The staff has doubled in the last 18 months and will continue to grow as the care levels increase, according to Roen.

“We wanted people to be able to age in place, and the services provided (by MCHS) allow people to do that,” said Roen. “They can make this their home, and if they need more services as they age, we can provide those. Along with providing more services, we have made 11 units ceiling lift capable. We believe we will be the first assisted living facility in the state to have these built into the rooms.”

Many people from the community of Hoffman were on hand to witness the ribbon cutting of Hoffman Senior Living earlier this summer. The facility includes 10 assisted living apartments and 10 memory care apartments. The photo includes Chris Knoll, administrator (left), and Kayla Sanstead, housing manager (right) holding the ribbon. Contributed photo

“Each of the new rooms has a kitchenette, a large bathroom and walk-in showers,” said Roen.  “We also put in a central spa, a sun porch, more planter boxes, a cement patio and a new enlarged exercise area. The current residents are happy about the new additions, especially the sunroom. There is also a community space that is open to the public, and we have guest rooms available for visitors to use.”

Residents recently started to move into the new apartments.

“It feels great to have it complete,” said Roen. “The residents here are excited to watch us grow.  This is a big thing for Starbuck.”

Holly Ridge offers three meals per day and group activities a couple of times every day. Area pastors are on a rotation to come in to lead Bible studies and offer communion. The staff and residents also go on day trips throughout the year.

“Today we were at the fair,” said Roen. “We go shopping  and try to take part in different community events.”

The location is also one of the perks of Holly Ridge.

“It is a very quiet location,” said Roen. “We see a lot of wildlife from the four-season porch. We are also right next to Glacial Hills Elementary, so the kids come over for monthly activities, and their Christmas programs are held here.”

Residents and staff always enjoy getting out on the boat on Lake Minnewaska. Contributed photo

Two residents who recently moved from an existing room to a new room in the new addition at  Holly Ridge are Don and Katherine Bucher, both age 93. The two are high school sweethearts, and both have lived in the Starbuck area most of their life.

“It is very nice living here,” said Don. “They did a good job with the new addition. The people are very nice and helpful, the food is good, and it is nicely managed. I personally think this place is the nicest around.”

Carol Sutton, care attendant, has worked at Holly Ridge for 29 years. She loves her job and has been impressed with the team that has been assembled over the years.

“They are awesome,” she said. “I love my team here, and we all work together so well.”

Sutton also loves spending time with the residents.

“I lost my grandparents at an early age, so because I lacked grandparents growing up, I feel like everyone here is my adopted grandparents.”

Sutton, her team and the other residents are excited about the new addition. She is ready to welcome in more adopted grandparents.

Holly Ridge is located at 500 Holly Ridge Drive in Starbuck. For more information or to set up a tour, call (320) 239-4775.

Hoffman Senior Living

This summer, MCHS announced the opening of its newest facility, Hoffman Senior Living in Hoffman, which will provide 10 assisted living apartments and 10 memory care apartments in Hoffman.

The cozy dining room area at the brand new Hoffman Senior Living. Contributed photo

“We opened about a month ago and recently had an open house,” said Kayla Sanstead, RN housing manager at Hoffman Senior Living. “Everybody in this community is very excited for this — the whole town. When the Hoffman Good Samaritan Center closed five years ago, the impact was felt immediately. There has definitely been a need for Hoffman.”

Hoffman Senior Living is a one-story facility with three different apartment options available. Amenities include a barber/beauty shop, spa, covered canopy, screened-in porches and enclosed gardens. There are three different apartment layouts available.

The memory care wing has a large fireside lounge, dining room and serving kitchen, while the assisted living wing has a lounge, reception area and commercial kitchen.

“Everyone will have full meal plans — three meals a day,” said Sanstead. “And we are currently developing the meals based on the residents’ preferences.”

Other amenities will be added in the month to come, including regular pastoral visits representing area churches.

The land for Hoffman Senior Living was made available thanks to the work of the Messiah Lutheran Vision Team.

Several people moved into the new facility the first week it was open, and more have been trickling in over the last month.

“Everyone who has moved in so far has really been happy,” said Sanstead. “They really enjoy the screened-in porches and have been using those daily.”

Sanstead, who lives in the community, said it has been fun to watch the project develop, from the planning phase, the construction and finally, the grand opening. She encourages all those who are interested in taking a tour of Hoffman Senior Living to call 320-986-4775. Hoffman Senior Living is located at 601 Carolina Avenue in Hoffman.

Glacial Trails

Also new to MCHS is the Glacial Trails Assisted Living Memory Care complex, which includes 16 apartments in a secure area attached to the Minnewaska Lutheran Home in Starbuck. The apartment was added in 2016. The rooms were recently updated to make each room private with a private bathroom.

“We have a staff that is highly trained in memory care disorders,” said Roen. “It is a safe place for people to wander without the worry (of leaving) because it is secure. It is the only secure area in the county for those with memory care disorders.”

To learn more about Glacial Trails, contact 320-239-7125.

The expansion of Holly Ridge, the addition of Hoffman Senior Living and the updates on Glacial Trails were made possible through a partnership with Compeer Financial, USDA Rural Development, CoBank and Eagle Bank. Miller Architects & Builders of St. Cloud served as the general contractor, and Trossen Wright Plutowski Architects provided architectural services for the project.