Autumn Glen opens doors, seniors cross threshold into new housing community

For 67 of his 94 years, Jesse Jett lived in a house built in the 1860s near the shores of the Mississippi River where it flows through Anoka.

A resident of Anoka since 1947, Jesse Jett settles in to his new living quarters in Autumn Glen’s assisted living community.
A resident of Anoka since 1947, Jesse Jett settles in to his new living quarters in Autumn Glen’s assisted living community.

There, he and his wife, Ada, raised seven children, celebrated those children’s graduations and weddings, cradled newborn grandchildren and great-grandchildren, watched them grow up, and celebrated each chapter of life along the way.

Jett lost his wife years ago, and as age exhausted energies and diminished abilities, life took its toll. Daily living became a tiresome task and earlier this year Jett and his children began to seek out a new place for him to call home.

“We chose Autumn Glen mainly because we knew of Guardian Angels and the care they provide. Also the closeness to family. So that’s the way it’s going to be,” Jett said, sitting in his Anoka home two weeks before his Dec. 30 move-in date to Autumn Glen, a new senior living community located on Coon Rapids Boulevard and professionally managed by Elk River-based Guardian Angels Senior Services.

Autumn Glen sits on the property formerly occupied by Franks Nursery and opened its doors Dec. 15.

The outdoors comes in at Autumn Glen as prominent natural features of stone, wood, granite and greenery adorn the interior of the senior living facility.

Outside, the east side of the property is bordered by mature evergreens and stately hardwoods.

Living communities

The three-story Autumn Glen building houses 100 living units. Jett is the first resident in the 36-unit assisted living community at Autumn Glen. Other living communities include 32 units for independent living and 32 for memory care.

Half of the independent living units are occupied and the first of the memory care residents will be moving in soon, said Autumn Glen Administrator Chris King.

The independent living units are one- or two-bedroom apartments that include a living room area, kitchen (complete with refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave, dishwasher, and kitchen island), washer and dryer and bathroom.

The two-bedroom units have two bathrooms; one equipped with a walk-in shower, the other with a bathtub.

Assisted living units are designed as studio apartments, expanded studio or one bedroom-one bathroom apartments.

In the memory care living units, residents live in studio or one-bedroom one-bathroom apartments.

Amenities

Among other amenities, Autumn Glen features balconies on selected units, Wi-Fi access, a satellite television package, 9-foot ceilings, granite counter tops, individually controlled heating and cooling for each unit, a chapel area, an activity room, exercise room, library, heated underground parking and storage units.

One of the first residents to move in to Autumn Glen, Bill Hammes (far right) makes himself at home and invites some friends over to play Pinochle in the library. Photo by Sue Austreng
One of the first residents to move in to Autumn Glen, Bill Hammes (far right) makes himself at home and invites some friends over to play Pinochle in the library. Photo by Sue Austreng

Meals are provided three times daily in the communal dining room. Breakfast is made to order; lunch and dinner selections are listed on an extensive menu.

Also available at Autumn Glen are guest suites, designed like hotel rooms and available for nightly rent so that residents’ visiting family members can stay on site.

Care provided

Residents of Autumn Glen enjoy state-of-the-art, top of the line technology-enabled care, said King.

“The care, the standards, the floor plan – everything is very well thought out. Residents have access to the full continuum of care,” King said.

Amenities included for each resident include eCall/eNeighbor technology-enabled care. Motion sensors monitor residents’ movements and learn habits and routines. If monitors detect something amiss, the nurses’ station is alerted.

“Say, for example, someone always gets up twice during the night to use the bathroom. The system learns that and if that person gets up eight times one night, an alert is sent to the nurses. Eight times in one night … that probably means that person is not feeling well. The nurse will visit that person and check to see that everything is all right and provide the care needed,” King said.

Socialization

“So much of what we do is about socialization,” said King. “There are common areas, an exercise room, an activity room, the dining room, the library – this is a new neighborhood where our residents can live on their own with new friends close by, or can invite old friends and neighbors and family to gather here, too.”

The Autumn Glen activities staff plans social, recreational, educational and spiritual programs to meet a variety of interests,” said Kari McHenry, director of marketing for Autumn Glen.

“And we provide peace of mind. If health needs change, our staff and our services are ready to meet those changes,” she said.

“Guardian Angels is recognized as a senior care leader in the community. In 2015 it celebrates 50 years providing exceptional healthcare, housing and supportive services to seniors and their families,” said McHenry.

New to the Autumn Glen neighborhood, Jett seems to be making himself at home and appreciating the care he’s received.

“It’s a nice place. They are good people, taking good care. I’m still getting situated and getting used to everything, but I think it’s a good place,” Jett said, relaxing last week his new Autumn Glen apartment.

Autumn Glen is located at 3715 Coon Rapids Blvd. NW, Coon Rapids. To introduce Autumn Glen to the community, McHenry said open houses are held at the senior living facility 3-6 p.m. every Thursday in January.

A grand opening celebration will take place some time this spring; the date has yet to be determined.

To learn more about Autumn Glen, call 763-772-4492 or visit AutumnGlenSeniorLiving.com.

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