BAXTER -- A catered living community for senior citizens called Excelsior Place is going up in Baxter with expectations for completion in about six months.
Welcome to our Home, a Hutchinson-based company, is developing the apartment complex on Firewood Drive, just north of Excelsior Road. It offers catered living services to older people who find it difficult or impossible to stay in their own homes, but who do not need all the services of a nursing home. Excelsior Place will be managed by Welcome Home Health Care.
"There will be 50 one- and two-bedroom private apartments," said Roman Bloemke, Welcome Home Health Care director of operations. "They are full apartments and have the kitchens and private baths. It's just like renting an apartment -- you just get all the services. It's your house. We just happen to work here and help you out."
Bloemke said the company is always looking for new projects and an area group of investors, including Steve Quisberg, Cub Foods owner, contacted them.
"They are all from the area and wanted to give something back to the community," he said. "The Brainerd area is just a great area to be in. It's expanding. There is an elderly market that needs to be taken care of and we did not feel they were being taken care of properly. It's a good market to be in."
Welcome to Our Home's Excelsior Place project in Baxter will include unfurnished apartments with housekeeping services, laundry and linen services and an emergency response system. (Submitted Photo)
Bloemke noted the baby boomer generation soon will be among those looking at assisted living options.
"There is going to be a bigger and bigger need to take care of those people," he said.
Catered living senior housing by Welcome to our Home includes a commons area, daily activities, a computer area, meals and snacks. (Submitted Photo)
Services at Excelsior Place include 24-hour staffing, home-cooked meals, an on-site manager, a registered nurse on staff, housekeeping services, grounds keeping, ecumenical services, building maintenance, on-site mail delivery, social and recreational activities.
There are daily planned activities, including exercises. Meals and snacks are served daily. Excelsior Place community features include what is called a "grand fireplace room," dining room, commons area, beauty/barber shop, outdoor patio area, Internet computer center, elevator and several activity areas in the building.
Inside the apartments, the fixtures are designed to be more convenient for senior citizens, including lever handle door hardware, wider halls and doorways, and single-handle faucets. Electrical outlets are placed higher to make reaching them easier and the telephone and television jacks also are raised. Apartments have a high lighting level to help residents see better. Bathrooms include grab bars, walk-in showers and taller toilets. Residents furnish units with their own furniture.
Welcome to our Home was established in 1994 as a board and lodging enterprise and has expanded into assisted living concepts.
An artistic rendering provides a glimpse at what Excelsior Place will look like upon completion. (Submitted Photo)
Excelsior Place will have five different apartment styles. Choices include one- and two-bedroom apartments. Each apartment includes full kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, closet space and an emergency response system. Square footage runs from 510 square feet to 646 square feet for one-bedroom units. Two-bedroom units start at 795 square feet and go up to 846 square feet and 964 square feet.
Rental costs include all utilities except the phone.
Bloemke said services are by choice and not a part of a preconceived package. He likened the process to an a la cart menu option with services and costs varying by resident. Bloemke said costs are competitive and a base price could be $1,600 per month with the services provided. He said if residents count their current home payments, taxes and utilities, they find the costs are often less than living in a home. Costs vary from person to person depending on assessed need for services.
With the rent residents get laundry and housekeeping services right away and one meal a day. They can add on to those services to include more meals, nursing help or medication administration.
"It's all about aging in place," Bloemke said.
Construction is beginning on Excelsior Place in Baxter. In about six months the site on Firewood Drive is expected to have 50 one- and two-bedroom apartments in a catered living environment specialized for senior citizens. (Dispatch Photo by Steve Kohls)
Some residents come directly from a hospital release. Others are downsizing. Bloemke said one of the greatest aspects is the social activities.
"If they were living in their own home they might not be getting out and meeting people and making those contacts," he said.
There is not an age limit. An average resident is in the 80s or 90s.
This is the 14th building the company completed.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.