Care center makes move to its new home in Anoka

Late last month Anoka Care Center’s 80 residents were moved into their new home.

Making the move from the Volunteers of America’s 52-year-old Anoka Care Center on Madison Street, they are now living in a new 120-bed Anoka Rehabilitation and Living Center at 3000 Fourth Ave. in Anoka.

New residents of the Homestead at Anoka, Sonja Rehbein and Richard Shepard, enjoy a visit by the fire on Friday. Photo by Mandy Moran Froemming
New residents of the Homestead at Anoka, Sonja Rehbein and Richard Shepard, enjoy a visit by the fire on Friday. Photo by Mandy Moran Froemming

This skilled care center is also connected to The Homestead at Anoka, which includes 59 apartment units – a mix of independent and assisted living.

The opening of the senior living campus marks a decade-long effort, clearing hurdles that included legislation to allow the construction of a new facility, along with finding the right spot to build.

Creating a continuum of care was a priority in the design of The Homestead at Anoka and the care center, said Jared Keeney, community relations coordinator.

The Homestead was designed to meet the needs of seniors who need the care that require the services of a nursing home but want to live in a more homelike setting.

By creating a senior living campus with a variety of options, transitions from one level of care to the next can be less stressful.

“We want our residents to know if they do need long-term care, it’s just down the hall,” said Keeney.

In addition to serving long-term residents, the Anoka Rehabilitation and Living Center offers specialized care and services for those needing nursing care for shorter periods, such as the weeks following surgery, and secured memory care.

Also on site is a physical therapy gym. A doctor and nurse practitioner also make “house calls” to residents of The Homestead at Anoka.

Of the 59 apartments available, about half are now occupied.

The price ranges from $1,500 to $3,600 a month, depending on the size of apartment as well as amenities chosen, which include meals, housekeeping and laundry.

More than half are coming from their own homes, others are moving from apartments or other senior living facilities.

“We know this is a tough transition for a lot of people,” said Keeney.

He said the top priority at The Homestead of Anoka is high quality health care, but beyond that there has been a great deal of focus on customer service and amenities.

Movies on the big screen in one of the many common areas have already proved popular. The Homestead at Anoka also has a chapel, general store and beauty shop.

Those common areas are also available for residents to reserve for family gatherings.

Keeney is also able to help potential residents navigate their options to receive assistance, like veterans’ benefits, to help pay for living expenses.

“There are a lot of resources out there to help people,” said Keeney.

The biggest worry beyond how people are going to pack up and move is how they are going to pay for their new home.

“It can be the difference in being able to afford to move here or not,” said Keeney.

People have said they feel at home when they walk through the door at The Homestead of Anoka, said Keeney.

Airy bright with light wood, the building has an “up north” or chalet feel.

“It’s a really comfortable atmosphere,” Keeney said.

A favorite spot for residents to gather has been around the fireplace in the main entryway.

And with plenty of green space surrounding the buildings, there are outdoor patios for warmer weather and Keeney said they are looking at providing gardening opportunities for the residents.

Keeney said at this time he’s not aware of any specific plans for the old care center on Madison Street.

It is currently being decommissioned, with equipment being moved out to other VOA sites.

The Volunteers of America operates 25 health care facilities for seniors throughout the United States, with the first opening in Minnesota in 1970.

A public grand opening for The Homestead at Anoka campus is planned for May 16.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]