St. John’s Guest House to offer ‘board and lodging’ option for seniors

Published 6:10 am Thursday, March 14, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Starting in April, St. John’s Lutheran Community will open a new housing option for people 62 and older in the community.

On a portion of the Luther Place campus, the organization has converted 12 of its former nursing home beds into board and lodging units.

St. John’s CEO and Administrator Shanna Eckberg said St. John’s hopes to fill an unmet need in the Freeborn County with the service and has been approved for the license by the state.

Email newsletter signup

“Some folks don’t want to live alone, but they don’t need nursing services,” Eckberg said.

Seniors who want to live in what will be called the St. John’s Guest House will need to meet specific financial and health criteria.

For example, the residents will need to be able to move about without assistance and be independent with their medication management, she said.

There will be two payment options for people who live there, either private pay or through housing support through Freeborn County. It is not licensed as HUD housing.

Eckberg said work has been done to update the rooms since the nursing home residents were moved to the Fountain Lake campus last fall, including some paint touch-ups and updating new closet spaces. Each room will have local phone service and basic cable, as well as a half bath. Three meals a day and two snacks will also be provided.

Residents will have the option of taking part in activities with Knutson Place residents if they choose.

“It’s going to be great because it’s just another option in the Freeborn County area for seniors,” Eckberg said.

She said while they have the ability to open more board and lodging units, they are starting with 12 to see what kinds of needs are out there.

“We want to get this right and make sure we’re doing this properly,” she said.

The new senior housing option comes as the organization last August announced a change of operations at the Luther Place campus.

At that time the goal was also to reopen Sheltering Arms, which will provide a nursing home skilled level of memory care services.

Eckberg said the board and lodging rooms will be on the first floor near the administration office and Knutson Place.

She also noted that St. John’s has been able to offer rooms for its agency and pool staff on-site, as well as other individuals who were in need of short-term housing while their homes have been repaired at the Luther Place campus.

People with questions about the board and lodging option are asked to contact Angie Hanna, licensed practical nurse and housing manager at Knutson Place.