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‘It’s a great place to be’

Assumption Community recently celebrated 50 years of quality senior living in Cold Spring

Time refuses to stand still and we all must make tough choices as we get older. For some, the necessity of leaving their home to enter a senior facility is heartbreaking.

And no one wants to enter a facility where a staff is uncaring, there is little offered to the residents, the food is bland, and your room is unkempt.

Assumption Community, a facility nestled in the center of Cold Spring, has 200 staff members all focused toward making your stay comfortable and pleasant. The facility has the look of a small college campus; spacious and full of life. Among the things offered is: a health care facility, an inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facility; home care, community exercise, assisted living, independent living, and memory care.

“Outside of not actually being at home, there really isn’t much of a difference here,” said Jerry Erkens, who has been a resident at Assumption Community for over a year. “It’s a great place to be. They treat you very well here.”

Cold Spring, located in Stearns County,  is a community of just over 4,000 located 16 miles southwest of St. Cloud and 70 miles northwest of the Twin Cities.

Assumption just celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. But through recent remodeling, the place is taking on a more modern appearance.

Independent and assisted living residents living at Assumption Court or John Paul Apartments located within the Assumption Community are provided with all the comforts of home, plus round-the-clock healthcare.

“We really try to make it as pleasant as we can for the residents, and anyone who comes here for rehabilitation,” said Jodi Lubbers, the program director. “I think the one thing residents like here the most is that we have daily mass. I’ve had a lot of them say that was the reason why they chose to come here.”

Assumption Court is a 59-unit facility providing customized living and congregate senior (55-and-over) housing apartments within the Assumption Community. Each apartment has a complete kitchen, living room, bedrooms, full bath, and walk-in closets. An emergency call system, air conditioning, and entrance intercom are also provided. Units with a dishwasher and a washer and dryer, as well as a heated indoor garage are also available.

John Paul Apartments is a 61-unit facility that provides customized living and congregate senior (62-and-older) housing with the Assumption Community. This facility provides a safe environment with 24-hour staff. Each apartment has a complete kitchen, living room, bedroom(s), full bath, and ample closets. An emergency-call system and entrance intercom are provided.

If a loved one is staying at Assumption and a family member or friend wants to visit him and/or her, there are numerous amenities set up for them, too.

“If someone visiting might live far from here and wants to stay overnight or for a few days, they can do that,” said Lubbers. “We have rooms available for visitors. Or we have a private salon in case a friend or family member wants to cut your hair. Or, maybe they want to have a birthday dinner together or holiday meal. They can get a private dining room that has a stove and refrigerator so they could cook a meal and they call could eat together.”

Sometimes a resident living in the independent living facility might have a spouse living in the nursing home Because the buildings are all connected, they aren’t required to go outside and battle inclement weather. Weather permitting, residents are often seen outside in the spacious courtyard.

“We have a garden out there and they can help with that if they want,” said Lubbers. There are picnic areas and a sheltered area in case there is a light rain. And the whole park is completely fenced in.”

Assumption also provides community therapy and rehabilitation care, whether they are a resident or not at the facility.

“It’s for anyone needing rehab services,” explained Lubbers, “If someone is injured and needs to rehab, they come and we have an experienced staff that works on physical, occupational and speech therapy.  We also provide outpatient services in the surrounding community.

Also available to the residents is 24-hour onsite supervision, as well as a registered nurse always on call. And trained workers will also assist residents in one of several exercise rooms.

Erkens, who lived in nearby Richmond, initially came to Assumption to rehabilitate following an injury. He liked his experience so well at Assumption that he moved in following his treatment.

“Jerry could have chosen a place closer to his home,” said Lubbers. “But he chose to stay here. And we’re very happy to have him here.”

Residents are given many options throughout the day to keep them entertained. A daily list with the times of each day’s event is posted.

“We are constantly coming up with things for them to do,” said Lubbers. “It ranges from having a band come to play music, to massages, to bingo. We have bands come in and play. We have happy hour once a month where a band will play and residents can have a cocktail or a glass of wine, if they choose. We also have things like movie night once a month and we’ll make popcorn in our popcorn wagon.”

“When the weather is nice outside, we have outings for them twice a month,” Lubbers continued. “We’ll do something like attend a local baseball game, go to a restaurant or take them on a pontoon fishing through the Let’s Go Fishing program. We’ve even gone to a casino. We try different things for them and then we get feedback from them to see how much they enjoyed them.”

Martinella Muggli’s late husband, Steve, was one of the original planners of Assumption 50 years ago. She has lived at the facility for over a year and has no complaints.

“When I’m in my room doing needlepoint or crocheting or something, I’ll leave my door open,” Muggli began, while pulling her threaded needle through a dishtowel. “And people will pass by and wave and say hello. I really like that. Everyone is so nice here. The staff is wonderful and they treat you very well. I feel very much at home here.”

Muggli was one of several residents raving about the food at the facility, which offers several dining locations within the complex. Three meals a day are served.

“They have great cooks here,” she said, smiling. “I can’t remember ever having a bad meal here.”

If residents or guests are in need of a snack, Assumption Community offers a gift shop with food and beverages, as well as items like as greeting cards or toiletries.

“We try to offer everything a resident might request,” said Lubbers. “If they want their hair permed or something like that, we have a salon and stylists that come in, and we have escort services if they want to go to an activity. We also have housekeeping and laundry services.

In some of the lounge areas at Assumption Community, visitors might notice a glass cage housing various birds or large aquariums with colorful and exotic fish.

While not considered to be a conventional healing method, animal-assisted therapy has proven to increase the health of residents and bring comfort to those in need. Pet therapy has been gaining credibility in the medical community, particularly as a mood booster for the elderly. “We have volunteers come in two to three times per week with their pets that are specially trained to visit with the residents.”

“Residents will spend a lot of time watching the birds and fish,” said Lubbers. “They seem to really enjoy them. And making sure they are enjoying their stay here is our main concern.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the Assumption Community can visit the facility at 715 First Street North, phone 320-685-3693 or visit

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