By Jim Palmer, Senior Perspective, November 2018
The weather is turning colder every day and more shoveling is on the way for homeowners. But there is another option. At Ridgewood Villa in Glenwood, all the shoveling is taken care of, along with just about everything else. Plus, the Villa has a long list of perks – including being just 50 feet from Glacial Ridge Health System – that make it the perfect spot for those looking for worry-free living.
Ridgewood Villa is an independent senior living facility owned and independently operated by the Glacial Ridge Hospital Foundation (GRHF). The facility was built in 1988 and was recently remodeled and expanded to keep up with the demand. “We had 29 apartments, and we added 30 new apartments,” said Daryl Klous, Ridgewood Villa director. “So we doubled our size, but in addition, we also added a beautiful wellness center with a warm water exercise pool.”
Meet Tenants Bob and Lucy
Tenants move to Ridgewood Villa for a variety of reasons. Some are looking for less maintenance. Some want to make their life easier. Some are looking for more social opportunities. And some want to live closer to the hospital and other services. For Bob and Lucy Bymers, all those things contributed to their decision to move into Ridgewood Villa. Bob had suffered a massive stroke and was slowly recovering, and Lucy’s eyesight was failing. Something needed to change.
“It was getting harder and harder to keep up living in our house,” said Lucy. The Bymers both worked for Glenwood Retirement Village for many years. She served as the director of nursing for years and he worked in maintenance. They had friends at Ridgewood Villa and had always considered it a possible destination.
When they decided to move, the transition was quick and easy, they said. They had plenty of help getting moved in and they were welcomed with open arms by the other tenants. “Everyone really looks out for each other here,” said Lucy.
With Bob’s health issues, the location of the hospital has been very important. “The ambulance and the hospital are literally across the street,” said Lucy. “It is a great hospital and keeps growing and getting better with more services all the time. It has been really nice to have that here.”
Location, Location, Location
Ridgewood Villa is also located within a few blocks of Lake Minnewaska, city park, multiple restaurants, the library, downtown shops, and the grocery store. “We can go pretty much everywhere we want,” said Lucy. “And Rainbow Rider can take us places if we want, too,” said Bob.
Since it is an independent living facility, residents come and go when they please. “One of our residents is a semi-retired farmer. He works on his farm 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 afterward. It works out really well for him.” Klous said there is no requirement to check in or check out, and many of the tenants really enjoy that freedom.
Fun, Social Activities
While many travel around to different venues for entertainment, there is also quite of bit of entertainment and fun right at Ridgewood Villa.
“We have singers come in, we play bingo and cards, we have a bible study,” said Lucy. “We have different parties. We have a party on New Year’s Eve, there are many performances around the holidays, we have BBQs, Mexican theme parties with Mexican food and decorations, we dress up for the Twins or Vikings games, all sorts of stuff. We really have the best time here.” One of the Bymers’ favorite visitors are the elementary students from Minnewaska Elementary School. “They are all so nice,” she said.
Nutritious, Balanced Meals Included
Another perk, the Bymers emphasized, was the food. “I can’t really cook decent anymore so it is nice to have meals made for us,” said Lucy. “And we still have a kitchen in our apartment so we can make something here if we want to. The food is really good and they have such nice people who serve the food.”
“We offer breakfast five days a week and a noon meal 365 days a year,” said Klous. “We also added an evening meal service, along with care packages that tenants can choose.
Ridgewood Villa offers restaurant-style dining and they have a dietician and dietary staff that they share with the hospital. “The staff look after any dietary needs or restrictions that the tenants may have. And if a resident isn’t feeling well, they will save a meal for them and bring it right to their room.” For many tenants at Ridgewood Villa, the meals are an improvement in their diet, which contributes to their overall health.
Fitness Center with Pool and More
The fitness options also give those who participate another added boost. “I walk down to the fitness center three or four times a week,” said Lucy. “And we also have some exercise classes in our library here, which I also do.”
The addition of the new Glacial Ridge Wellness Center that is open to the public means all tenants at Ridgewood Villa can enjoy the convenience of the wellness center, as well as the services of both physical and occupational therapy, just steps away. All tenants have a discounted membership to the wellness center and its services.
“It is really nice for the residents to just walk down the hall for these services,” said Klous. 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. Fifty-feet further, just across the avenue, is the entrance to the hospital and clinic.
Age in Place with Ease
Moving to Ridgewood Villa has made life easier for the Bymers. “Even little things like paying the bills is easier,” she said. “Everything is included in one payment each month. The only thing we have to pay for is the cable bill if we want that or any outside services that we want to bring in.”
Klous said Ridgewood Villa is set up nicely for residents to live comfortably for a long time. If and when additional assistance is needed (homecare, housekeeping, grocery delivery, etc.), they can get other services. With the services available on-site, and medical services available next door, “They can truly age in place here,” said Klous.
As happy as the Bymers have been with their decision to move to Ridgewood Villa, there may be some people in their life that are even happier. “Our kids and grandkids were very happy when they heard we were moving here,” said Lucy. “They were worried about us living at home and this has given them great peace of mind.”
Their family can rest easy knowing their Bob and Lucy are in good hands. If something happens and they need assistance, help is very close by. “Daryl is wonderful,” said Bob. “If you need something, he comes out of the woodwork and is right there for you.”