Ridgewood Villa expands, adds big perks

Independent living facility adding 30 new apartments, wellness center and more

Dee Pippert (left), a tenant at Ridgewood Villa in Glenwood has high praise for Ridgewood Villa and Klous (right), who is the director of the independent living facility. Photo by Jim Palmer

Imagine living in a place with a state-of-the-art wellness center and warm water exercise pool down one hall, a full pharmacy down another hall, a well-respected hospital across the street and nice downtown and a beautiful lake just a block or so away.

That is exactly what you will get at Ridgewood Villa in Glenwood, an independent senior living facility owned and independently operated by the Glacial Ridge Hospital Foundation (GRHF). The facility was built in 1988, and last year, GRHF committed to the expansion and improvement of Ridgewood Villa. Construction is well underway.

“We currently have 29 apartments, and we will be adding 30 new apartments,” said Daryl Klous, Ridgewood Villa director. “So we will be doubling our size, but in addition, we will also be adding a beautiful, state-of-the-art wellness center with a warm water exercise pool. We will have the whole Glacial Ridge Wellness Center and team on campus, as well as a physical and occupational therapy presence. It will be really nice for the residents to just walk down the hall to these services. Residents will have a discounted membership to the wellness center and its services.”

And if tenants walk the other direction, they will find themselves at Trumm Drug, a full-service pharmacy and retail store, which is leasing space in the Ridgewood Villa complex.

The new addition at Ridgewood Villa will have 30 apartments, bringing the total number of apartments to 59. On the left end of the facility will be the wellness center and therapy pool. On the right end will be Trumm Drug. Contributed drawing

“Because of my health, going downtown is hard for me. Now part of downtown is coming to me,” said Bev Mackie, a resident at Ridgewood Villa for nearly three years. “That will be nice to be able to get my prescriptions filled right here and do a little shopping if I like, too.

Ridgewood Villa has been given the “housing with services designation,” which will allow it to offer additional services that it hasn’t had in the past. One of those services will be more meal options.

“We currently offer breakfast five days a week and a noon meal 365 days a year,” said Klous. “Now we are adding an evening meal service, along with care packages.”

“The food is quite good, and if we have a favorite food, we can talk about having it,” said Dee Pippert, who has been a tenant at Ridgewood Villa since 2010.

“We have restaurant-style dining here, and we have a dietician and dietary staff that we share with the hospital,” said Klous. “They look after any dietary needs or restrictions that the tenants may have. And if they aren’t feeling well, they will save a meal for them and bring it right to their room.”

Bev Mackie, shown in her apartment, has lived at Ridgewood Villa for three years. Bev and the rest of her neighbors are excited to meet the new tenants later this year once the 30 new apartments become available. Photo by Jim Palmer.

Mackie, like many of the residents at Ridgewood Villa, were drawn to the facility because of its proximity to Glacial Ridge Hospital.

“It is nice being so close to the hospital, the ER, and ambulance service,” said Pippert. “And I really like the security. We all feel safe here. We also have hospice and homecare services available if needed, and they are right next door.”

With the amenities close by, Pippert couldn’t think of a better spot to live in Glenwood.

“Even the parade comes right by us during Waterama,” she said, “and I can see Lake Minnewaska right from my room.”

Other perks available include heated garages, light housekeeping duties, senior fitness classes, a library, a craft room, an activity lounge, a welcoming commons area and new meeting rooms. Lutheran and Catholic church services are also provided on-site, as well as bingo and cards, and plenty of entertainment.

“The volunteer team brings in entertainment all the time. Between Thanksgiving and New Years they had 13 performers ranging from preschool kids to the Pope County Men’s Choir, and everything in between. Some years, they nearly have 20 acts perform around the holidays,” said Pippert. “They also have sing-a-longs throughout the year, especially during holidays.”

Since it is an independent living facility, residents come and go when they please.

“One of our residents is an avid golfer. He golfs every day when he can,” said Klous. “He doesn’t have to shop for his food; he doesn’t have to prepare the food or clean up afterwards. It works out really well for him.”

Klous said there is no requirement to check in or check out, and many of the residents really enjoy that freedom.

“We are typically the first place people in this area will come when they leave their home. Maybe they decide the house was too difficult to keep up, or too expensive, or health-related issues may arise,” said Klous. “They also may come because their home isn’t as safe because it is not handicap accessible, with steps, trip hazards, and things like that.”

With the services available in-house, and medical services available next door, Ridgewood Villa is set up nicely for residents to live comfortably for a long period of time.

“They can truly age in place here,” said Klous.

Ridgewood Villa is in a nice location with great services and conveniences, but those might not be its biggest selling points, according Mackie and Pippert.

“Buildings can be beautiful, but it is the people who really matter,” said Mackie. “I have lived in other facilities, and there is truly a difference. The people here are tremendous. They all take very good care of me. They truly listen to me and care about my concerns. From the minute you walk into this place, you become part of the family. We are truly a family. Everyone who lives and works here works together.”

“Everyone is kind of like a big family here,” said Pippert. “We have laughter together, and when we lose someone, we cry together.”

And both Pippert and Mackie have high praise for Klous and the entire staff.

“Daryl is such a caring person and that filters down to everyone in the building,” said Mackie.

“You sign up for an apartment in a great location with health services close by,” said Mackie. “What you don’t realize is how great the people are who work here and how great the people are who live here. It is just incredible.”

What the facility will look like once completed.

The tight-knit family is excited about the changes coming to Ridgewood Villa.

“I’m looking forward to all the new people who will be coming here. It will be fun to learn their personalities and welcome them into our family.”

Construction of the expanded Ridgewood Villa is right on schedule. The apartments should open in early fall, and the wellness center is expected to be completed shortly after. While some of the new apartments have already been reserved, others are available, and they will be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If you are interested in a tour of Ridgewood Villa or want to know more about the expansion, call Daryl at 320-634-2266 or email at Daryl.klous@glacialridge.org.

#Glenwood #Independentlivingfacility #RidgewoodVilla

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