Episcopal Homes: More than a place to live

Photographed left to right: Ruby Hunt; Jerry Quinn; Friendship Club Leader, Mitchell Lallier; Lynn Lawyer; and George Latimer. The Friendship Club was started in 1965 by Gary Ales and continues to be a much-loved service out of Humboldt High School.

Ask residents what they like best about living at Episcopal Homes of Minnesota, and nearly all will reply, “The people!”

From the caring, attentive staff to the many new friendships they’ve formed, the residents say Episcopal Homes is more than a place to live; it’s a place to embrace life. 

With its wide range of housing options and services, they say Episcopal Homes has helped them optimize life and freed them from the hassles of managing a house. 

“We have the full continuum of care,” says Director of Communications Heidi Elmquist. “People can move in at an independent level, including affordable housing for seniors, and as needs change higher levels of care are available.”

She explains active seniors are attracted to Episcopal Homes’ spacious independent living apartments at Cornelia House, where there’s professional onsite management, underground parking, a shuttle bus, and a host of planned events and activities, including concerts by professional musicians.

If residents need more assistance at some point, they can continue living on the Episcopal Homes campus, which has several levels of care, including assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing facilities. There’s even short-term transitional care for people who are between a hospital stay and returning to their home.

Resident Jerry Quinn says, “It’s an unbelievable environment. Senior housing is another phase of life, but it’s a beautiful phase.”

He explains that new people moving to Episcopal Homes find a welcoming community where the residents, along with the staff, make a tremendous effort to create an environment conducive to feeling at home. 

“One thing about this place is, it has a strong, cooperative thrust. It’s the staff, but it’s the residents as well. My experience has just borne that out.” 

Jerry says he wasn’t sure what to expect at first, “but everybody was just absolutely wonderful.” 

Now he is a member of the Friendship Club, a group that after major holidays gets unsold flowers from Sam’s Club. Other residents cut and arrange the flowers, which are then delivered throughout the campus, bringing a smile to anyone receiving the pretty bunches. 

Jerry says he goes around with a cart and delivers the bouquets to people who look like they might need cheering up.

It’s not just the residents who appreciate the gesture. He recalls an elderly lady, who lived in one of the more intensive care areas, sitting with her daughter in the Episcopal Homes cafe area after Valentine’s Day. Jerry looked at the woman, who appeared to be sad, and said, “You look like someone who might need a yellow rose.” The woman took the flowers and smiled. 

Afterward, the daughter approached him to say thanks, explaining that her father would give her mother yellow roses every Valentine’s Day. 

It’s little touches like this that make this community so special.

The newest additions to the Episcopal Homes options are The Terrace at Iris Park, which is “catered” living for active seniors age 62 and older, and The Gardens, an innovative skilled-nursing facility with a “Greenhouse model of care.” 

Marketing Director Bethany Burns notes that Episcopal Homes, located in St. Paul at 490 Lynnhurst Ave., offers a wider variety of care options than other senior living communities.

“The nice thing about our campus is that we can serve everybody. Residents don’t have to move off, ever,” she says. “They may have to relocate from independent to assisted living, but they can at least stay here with their friends.”

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)
Article category: 
Comment Here