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Paynesville senior housing to be converted to assisted living

PAYNESVILLE -- Paynesville Area Health Care System will soon begin the transition of 700 Stearns Place from independent living for older adults to assisted living.

The transition is expected to be complete by Feb. 1.

The change has been under study for some time.

Bobbe Teigen, chief executive of Paynesville Area Health Care System, said the goal is to allow the current residents of 700 Stearns Place to age in place.

"As they are in need of more services, there will be no need for them to move unless they are in need of the nursing home setting," she said.

The change is the result of a senior housing study conducted by Paynesville Area Health Care System that identified a need for more assisted living in the Paynesville area.

"We are seeing fewer inquiries about independent living and a higher request for assisted living from potential residents and family members," said Bev Mueller, acute care and long-term care director. "Many of our existing residents are 90 years of age or older and are beginning to need assistance that is beyond what we currently offer at our 700 Stearns Place location."

Washburne Court, the 24-unit assisted living facility also owned by Paynesville Area Health Care System, has remained full and has a waiting list, she said. There is no longer a waiting list of independent seniors to fill vacancies at 700 Stearns.

Once 700 Stearns becomes an assisted living facility, new tenants will be those who need and qualify for assisted living services. The building will no longer take new tenants who are independent seniors, Teigen said.

The assisted living tenants will receive three meals a day and have access to 24-hour staffing and supervision. They'll be able to contract as needed for services such as medication administration, assistance with bathing, laundry and other personal care.

All current residents at 700 Stearns Place have had an independent nursing assessment conducted to identify their individual needs and determine if they qualify to be categorized as assisted living. Individual meetings will be held with each of them to share the results of their nursing assessment and answer questions about their status. All current residents will be able to continue living at 700 Stearns Place regardless of the results of their nursing assessment.

Questions or inquiries about placement at 700 Stearns for assisted living services can be directed to Mari Louis, housing manager, at 320-243-7451.