By Sara Butterfass
DELANO, MN Carrie Klick makes the near one-hour drive from Elk River to Delano every day for work. To her, this journey doesn’t matter; she enjoys every minute of her work day.
Klick is the marketing director at The Legacy of Delano, a new building that offers assisted living and memory care for the geriatric population.
“Everyone here has a passion for it,” she explained. “I can’t tell you how many hours I work, but I’m excited to come back every day.”
For a long time, Delano had no assisted living or memory care facilities, so the city approached Tealwood Management about building such a place.
Tealwood Management operates 48 similar properties in the Midwest. The Legacy of Delano offers assisted living care and Heritage Square memory care to its tenants.
The Delano project has been in the works for two years, and had its “soft opening” in June. The open house and ribbon cutting take place on Sunday, Aug. 2 from 1 to 4 p.m.
The building has 35 houses in the assisted living section, and 16 in the memory care. Currently, residents occupy 50 percent of the building, and 65 percent is pre-leased.
“I give 10 to 15 tours a week, and sign people up almost every day,” Klick remarked of the building’s popularity.
Klick also mentioned that because The Legacy of Delano has been so well-received, she has heard talk of a phase 2 on the project, but doesn’t know exactly what that would entail.
“Most of the residents are from the area and already know each other,” Klick divulged, “It’s fun to see the camaraderie.”
The Legacy of Delano features 12 floor plans, offering one- or two-bedroom homes. Each home also comes with a full kitchen, bathroom, and living area.
Rent includes utilities, basic cable, daily and weekly cleaning, laundry facilities, wellness checks, group activities, and three meals a day.
Breakfast is cooked-to-order, and residents have a choice of two entrees for both lunch and dinner.
The menus are announced in advance so that choices can be made early and enough meals can be prepared on time.
Family members are encouraged to come to the building and eat with their loved ones for $5 a meal.
Residents are allowed to have their own vehicles and come and go as they please so long as they check in and out with the staff.
The main building also features a community room, a media room, a fitness center, a bistro, a beauty shop, a grand bath with Whirlpool and massage spa, and a private dining room.
The hair stylist and masseuse work out of The Legacy of Delano, but welcome community members to make appointments, as well.
The private dining room serves as a quiet place for family to come in and celebrate a birthday or holiday with a resident, but is also open for the public to rent.
Occupants can often be found in the media room watching Twins games and using the Wii to bowl or exercise with Wii Fit.
Paved walking trails through the wetlands behind the building are a favorite of many residents. Here, geese, deer, and birds can often be sighted.
For those residents who enjoy working outdoors, garden plots are available, as well.
The patio in front of the building is another hot spot for residents to get together.
Klick said of this area, “The patio is always filled after lunch. They are out there reading a book or just talking.”
The building staffs 50 people, and will add 15 more in the coming months. Staff is on hand 24 hours a day to help with the residents’ needs.
The Legacy of Delano also offers respite rooms. These rooms allow people who receive home care to come for up to four weeks and be provided for while their caregiver takes a break.
Several of the current residents have used these rooms as a way of testing the atmosphere of the building to see if it is the best choice for them.
“Everyone who has tried it has moved in,” Klick stated.
The Legacy of Delano keeps its occupants active and involved in the community.
Residents have the choice to participate in weekly trips to the grocery store, the pharmacy, and Wal-Mart.
In-house events include poker night, movie night, and bingo, to name a few.
The Legacy of Delano staff also plans larger events. Some of next week’s plans include a trip to Lake Pulaski in Buffalo for a day of fishing Tuesday, and a picnic and tour of the Noerenberg Gardens Thursday.
The Legacy of Delano is all controlled-access. Visitors must by buzzed in by a resident or the office staff.
“You wouldn’t want somebody coming into your house randomly,” Klick said. “The same goes for here.”
Klick emphasized the significance of her and the other staffs’ jobs, saying, “Once they are gone, their stories will be lost if we don’t listen” and share their history.
Klick and The Legacy of Delano staff know that the Tealwood motto is important. They listen “ . . . because the journey matters.”
Looking for more information?
A description of the building’s services and amenities can be found online at www.twdcc.com/legacydelano.
The Legacy of Delano will also be hosting an open house Sunday, Aug. 2 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Door prizes will be awarded, tours will be given, and refreshments will be served at the open house.