“We’re spoiled here, but we sure don’t mind,” laughed Alice Swanson, a resident of Cokato Charitable Trust for the past eight years. “They all treat us so wonderful here. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

The Minnesota Vikings mascot, Viktor the Viking, was a recent visitor of Cokato Charitable Trust. He even played bingo with the residents. Contributed photos

Cokato Charitable Trust is a 56-unit senior living hub of several entities within the community of Cokato. It owns and operates Cokato Manor, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility; Heritage Place, for those with memory loss; Brookridge, an assisted living facility; and Edgewood Gables, an independent living facility with added assistance and supervision.

Also offered within the system: Home Health Care, Senior Adult Day Care Services, Meals on Wheels Program, Congregate Senior Dining, Pro Rehab and Community Fitness.

“When I first came here a year and a half ago, I didn’t know anyone,” said Foundation Director Thomas Ollig. “What I learned was that the people here are very compassionate and professional. They really care about the residents, and that is something that families will remember fondly. I appreciate coming to work every day.”

Residents of Cokato Charitable Trust come from all over the area and beyond.

“We draw a lot of people from the Twin Cities,” said Tammi Dahlman, Director of Social Services. “They like living in a smaller town. We are a tight-knit community here.”

Swanson said that the family atmosphere of the facility is what she enjoys the most.

“My late husband and I were living in Howard Lake and he needed nursing care,” said Swanson. “So we first moved into Edgewood Gables in 2012 because we were so impressed with how the staff and residents treated each other.”

After Swanson’s husband passed away, she moved into Brookridge assisted living.

“They offer so many things to do here, so I’m never really bored,” she said. “They help me pick out my clothes, and I can get my hair done right here. It’s just a happy place and a great place to live.”

A view of the spacious congregate dining room. Contributed photo

The Cokato Charitable Trust building was constructed in 1964 as an area nursing home. It continues to grow and improve.

“Our main concern is the care of the residents,” said Administrator and CEO Patrick Rafferty. “We have a staff of 175 and it’s the longevity of our staff that is impressive. Many of them have been here 25 years or more.”

“It does help to have that continuum of care and trust,” said Tresha Melquist, Director of Nursing at Cokato Manor. “The residents feel comfortable when they get to know the person that is caring for them.”

Cokato Manor

The Manor is a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility offering private and semi-private rooms with spacious lounges and dining area.

There is also a large activity area, library, cafe, beauty/barber shop, chapel and a central-day lounge.

A spacious courtyard area with a gazebo allows residents to feel as though they are in a country setting. Grill-outs are even held when weather permits.

Cokato Manor focuses on providing services in a caring environment that enhance the quality of life and maintain the maximum level of functioning.


Brookridge Assisted Living offers affordable efficiency and one-bedroom apartments with varying levels of service according to the needs of the resident, allowing individuals to live in a setting with a level of assistance based of their needs and ability to care for themselves.

It also offers numerous amenities, including three meals a day, daily wellness checks and daily planned activities.

“Some residents like to live as independently as possible, but they still might need help with a few things,” said Dahlmann. “We have someone available at all times to assist them with whatever those needs might be.”

Residents also enjoy the spacious apartments and large windows, which takes away from the feeling of confinement.

Edgewood Gables

This 30-unit independent living complex opened in 1997, and is for those 55 years of age or older. It offers apartments ranging in size from one bedroom, one bedroom with a den, two bedroom, and two-bedroom deluxe.

A view of the courtyard area with gazebo. Contributed photo

These apartments are designed to be “senior friendly,” allowing residents to be self-sufficient and independent. There is also a guest room available for visitors.

“It’s really a very nice place to live and the staff treats you like family,” said Reta Blanchette, who has been a resident of Edgewood since 2010. “When my husband was still alive, we looked all over for a place and this was the best one for us.”

Also offered are such things as meals, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, emergency services and medication management. Leisure activities such as outings and special events are planned by the staff and available to keep residents active and enjoying the fellowship of others.

Heritage Place

Heritage Place is a 10-bed secured housing alternative for people with memory loss. Quality care is provided, along with support and companionship. It is a home where everyone is treated with respect and dignity.

The purpose of Heritage Place is to provide housing for those individuals not able to stay in their own home, yet who are not ready for skilled nursing care services.

Heritage Place is registered with the State of Minnesota. It offers five semi-private rooms. Residents also have access to a spacious central lounge, dining room and outdoor courtyard with safe and secure outdoor activities.

A specially trained staff provides individualized care in a therapeutic environment. There is a 24-hour trained on-site staff with a professional nurse on call at all times.

Home Health Care

Residents of Cokato Charitable Trust enjoy a relaxing game of cribbage. Contributed photo

Due to the need for an alternative to nursing home placement in and around the Cokato area, Home Health was established in 1993 to provide in-home care ranging from skilled nursing care to homemaking services.

Home Health Care is available within a 30-mile radius, covering the communities of Cokato, Buffalo, Montrose, Watertown, Hutchinson, Litchfield, South Haven and those in between.

Home Health Care is a Medicare Certified Agency that provides home care to allow an individual to remain in the home. Home Health Care is contracted with several HMO’s. Services include: light housekeeping, caregiver assistance, grocery shopping, medication management, hospital-to-home transitions, nursing duties and rehabilitation.

Meals on Wheels Program

This service has been offered by Cokato Manor for many years within the city limits. It is a home-delivered meal program that is offered seven days a week and is delivered by volunteers. The meal is prepared by the food service staff at Cokato Charitable Trust.

Adult Day Care

Because of the stress that can be associated with the daily care of a loved one, Cokato Manor offers this service.

Adult Day Care Service provides a loved one with an enjoyable and stimulating atmosphere that respects the dignity and self-worth of each individual. Knowing this, a caregiver can relax while having peace of mind that their loved one is receiving excellent care from qualified providers.

Services include: opportunities for mental stimulation, creative expression, spiritual growth and personal achievement; socialization with others; well-balanced and nutritious noon meal and snacks; support and respite care for caregivers; and community fitness programs.

Available for an additional fee are: transportation to and from the facility within a 20-mile radius, therapy services, beauty/barber shop, and bathing and grooming.

Pro Rehab Therapy

Residents recently had a opportunity to hold and pet baby goats at Cokato Charitable Trust. Contributed photo

In partnership with Cokato Charitable Trust, Pro Rehab offers in-patient and out-patient physical, occupational and speech/language therapy, as well as orthotics and prosthetics.

Pro Rehab is a team of dedicated health care professionals who work with people of all ages who, because of physical, developmental, social, or emotional challenges, need specialized assistance to lead independent, productive and satisfying lives.

Community Fitness

The Community Fitness room is open to the public and provides modern nautilus and cardiovascular equipment.

Cokato Charitable Trust Health and Wellness uses equipment specially designed to provide comfortable, safe and highly effective strength building for seniors over 55 years of age.

A staff trainer is available to teach correct technique and help customize an exercise regiment to fit your needs.

Congregate Dining

Seniors are welcome to enjoy a noon meal Monday through Friday with the company of friends and neighbors in this dining area in the Cokato Apartments 1 Community Room.

An outside view of Edgewood Gable Apartments in Cokato. Contributed photo

A 20-person food service staff at Cokato Manor prepares the food and caters to the residents. Approximately 300 meals a day are prepared and residents are welcome to suggest food items.

“We get a lot of input from the residents,” said Joanie Corbett, Food Service Supervisor. “We try to follow a low-sodium diet, while offering home-style cooking.”

For more information, call Cokato Charitable Trust at (320) 286-2158 or visit them at 182 Sunset Ave. in Cokato. Also visit their website at www.cokatoseniorcare.com or on Facebook.

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