Bethesda opens new London location just in time to celebrate 125 years in business

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Construction on the $ 21 million project began in fall 2019 and the facility is expected to begin welcoming new residents this fall, just as Bethesda launches its 125th anniversary celebration throughout the year.

Founded in 1897, Bethesda operates its flagship multi-faceted senior care complex in Willmar, as well as an assisted living facility in Olivia.

Michelle Haefner, CEO / President of Bethesda

Construction plans for Bethesda North Pointe began about five years ago, when market analysis revealed that residents of that area were looking for senior living options closer to home, said Michelle Haefner, CEO of Bethesda.

She said they had seen “a trend in postal codes” of people served on the Willmar Bethesda campus which indicated that many were from northern Kandiyohi County, which revealed a need for services here.

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If people have a choice, they want to live in their home community, she said.

Haefner said opening a “brand new building” with “cutting edge design” that can adapt to the emerging needs of an aging population is the perfect way to kick off the organization’s 125th year. .

She said Bethesda North Pointe’s goal is to “transform the way we view aging in our community” and provide options in Kandiyohi County for the “highest quality of care” that helps people to live well in their old age with opportunities for social interaction. and active life.

The view from virtually every window, balcony, door, and rooftop gathering decks of Bethesda North Pointe overlooks the woods, hills, and meadows.  Carolyn Lange / Center-West Grandstand

The view from virtually every window, balcony, door, and rooftop gathering decks of Bethesda North Pointe looks out over the woods, hills, and meadows. Carolyn Lange / Center-West Grandstand

Outer frame

Nestled in the bucolic 11-acre landscape between New London and Spicer with views of the meadow and trees and room to expand for future growth, the lodge-style architecture of the 100,915 square foot facility has was designed to mirror the setting, said Haefner.

“We were looking for something that had beautiful scenery and outdoor spaces for people to enjoy,” said Haefner, considering finding a property to build Bethesda North Pointe.

Outdoor space is important to their “model of care” and this site, she said. Located just down the road from the Carris Health New London Clinic, close to Little Crow Golf Course and between New London and Spicer on a quiet road just off National Highway 23, the property “has many ticks. cases, ”Haefner mentioned.

“It’s just a serene environment,” said Haefner, with lots of green space and a “lodgy, open-air type atmosphere.”

Featuring large beamed ceilings inside and out, Bethesda North Pointe's $ 21 million senior living community near New London has the look - and amenities - of a lodge in the woods. North.  Construction began in the fall of 2019 and was recently completed.  Carolyn Lange / Center-West Grandstand

Featuring large beamed ceilings inside and out, Bethesda North Pointe’s $ 21 million senior living community near New London has the look – and amenities – of a lodge in the woods. North. Construction began in the fall of 2019 and was recently completed. Carolyn Lange / Center-West Grandstand

With large exposed beams in the vaulted two-story entrance, a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, rooftop lounge and club lounge for cocktails, football games and other group gatherings, Bethesda North Pointe looks like a northern resort. It also includes a chapel, the Brothers Cafe, intergenerational play areas, catering services, library, workshops, lounge, activity center, spa, wellness center and physiotherapy area. .

Club Bethesda’s wellness center has a full line of ready-to-use exercise equipment and by the end of 2022 – pending the fundraising campaign – an indoor pickleball court and a hot water swimming pool will be built.

Haefner said Club Bethesda at North Pointe will have the same footprint, programs and courses offered on the Willmar campus, with memberships accepted at both locations.

The wellness center, along with other available services, will provide Bethesda North Pointe with a full range of amenities designed to meet the needs of this “senior community,” Haefner said. The building’s design, along with a state-of-the-art model of care, aims to provide older people with a “useful life” so that they are as independent as possible, she said.

Knowing that the country’s demographics include a growing elderly population, Haefner said communities “must prepare for the future”. But she said it should not only be for the sake of growth, but to meet the new “needs and wants” of this generation which differs from previous generations.

Levels of care

The view from virtually every window, balcony, door, and rooftop gathering decks of Bethesda North Pointe looks out over the woods, hills, and meadows.  Carolyn Lange / Center-West Grandstand

The view from virtually every window, balcony, door, and rooftop gathering decks of Bethesda North Pointe looks out over the woods, hills, and meadows. Carolyn Lange / Center-West Grandstand

Half of the apartments in Bethesda North Pointe’s 70 units are classified as independent living and assisted living residences. There are 18 advanced care residences and 18 memory care units.

Haefner said the “generously sized” apartments range from a studio to two bedroom / two bathroom with a kitchen and living room. Most apartments have access to a private outdoor space, such as a patio or balcony on the second floor. There is a large heated underground car park available to residents, and one-way, round-trip traffic will make it easy for family members to pick up residents in inclement weather.

Club Bethesda is equipped with a variety of exercise equipment.  It is expected that by the end of 2022, an indoor pickleball court and therapeutic pool will be added to the wellness center.  Carolyn Lange / Center-West Grandstand

Club Bethesda is equipped with a variety of exercise equipment. It is expected that by the end of 2022, an indoor pickleball court and therapeutic pool will be added to the wellness center. Carolyn Lange / Center-West Grandstand

The different types of care options – including full meals, nursing, personal care, leisure schedules, wellness programs, personal training, and transportation – are designed to meet a variety of needs. needs of residents.

“The goal is to stay in this community as their needs change,” Haefner said, and as those needs change, the services will evolve as well.

A variety of room size options can allow couples to stay together, even if a person’s health needs change, or a spouse can live in a secure memory unit with their partner living in a small studio nearby. .

While a variety of services are available, it should be noted that Bethesda North Pointe is not a traditional skilled nursing facility.

Economics of Elderly Care

The response at Bethesda North Pointe has been swift and positive, and after just one month of construction, all 34 independent living units were already booked.

“It really helped us see that there was a need and people were excited about it,” Haefner said.

Tastefully decorated verandas and family meeting rooms are scattered throughout Bethesda North Pointe.  Carolyn Lange / Center-West Grandstand

Tastefully decorated verandas and family meeting rooms are scattered throughout Bethesda North Pointe. Carolyn Lange / Center-West Grandstand

There are still openings for advanced care and memory units, but Haefner said these types of apartments are generally not in demand until there is an immediate need. She said the overall occupancy so early in the project was “more than we expected.”

This response gives Haefner assurance that Bethesda North Pointe’s economy “will fall into place.”

North Pointe is expected to have approximately 55 full-time equivalent employees, ranging from managers, nurses and culinary staff, and personal care providers to housekeeping and housekeeping staff, chaplains and property officials. -being, activities and recreation.

The project represents a “strong commitment to the region, a major investment on Bethesda’s part, and I think Bethesda has a strong story to tell,” said Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County Economic Development Commission. and the town of Willmar. , who said there was still a “strong demand for more housing for the elderly”.

Those interested in learning more about Bethesda North Pointe should call the Visitor Center at 320-214-5643.

Meanwhile, on the Bethesda Willmar campus, work is wrapping up on a $ 5 million three-phase improvement project that began in 2017 and includes a new chapel, downtown, café and playground. of children’s games. The last stage of updating the residential areas will be carried out by the end of 2022.

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