The Minneota Manor was first opened in 1972.


Expansion planned for assisted living, home health care

To families with a loved one residing there, it was a sad day when they were informed that the Minneota Manor will be closing its doors on Dec. 2, 2021.
"I actually cried," said a woman who has a parent residing in the Manor and requested anonymity. "She loves it there. She is treated well and loves the other residents. I don't know what we are going to do. We have figure out a few things."
While the Manor's Manor nursing home is closing, non-profit owner Living Services Foundation, is planning to expand the assisted Living Madison Avenue Apartments and the Medicare-certified Home Health Agency, Town and Country Home Health.
"That will allow us to provide a much wider array of care in those settings than we have historically," said Jennifer Gleason, Chief Operating Officer of Living Services Foundation. "We've attempted to transition in a way to provide as many services as possible with the staff we have. We will restructure so we can continue to provide these services in the community."
The main reason for the decision to close the Manor was based on a severe shortage of qualified licensed nurses to care for the residents.
"It's a staffing issue," said Kathy Johnson, Minneota Manor Administrator. "It's traumatic around here. We only have three licensed nurses now and they are working ungodly hours. We have been able to handle this with those up to now, but we can't continue this way. We needed to hire three or four more licensed nurses, but we just didn't get any responses.""You need nurses 24/7 and the nurses there did a great job under the circumstances," said Gleason, "but they couldn't do it forever without additional help."
After extensive advertising in an attempt to entice additional licensed nurses, there were very few applications. The few nurses that did apply failed to show up for their interview dates.
"We are transitioning to a new model of care," said Johnson. "As we grow, we can possibly use the Manor to expand services of assisted living or home health care."
Johnson said there are currently 23 residents living at the Manor. Many of them will be able to transition to assisted living. Others may have to find a new location to fit their needs.
"We had a family meeting, and it was very upsetting to some," Johnson noted. "It's a very sad time."
Many other senior living facilities in Minnesota are facing similar staffing problems.
"COVID has taken a trend and sped it up a little bit," said Gleason. "It's been hard for nurses to be in health care the last 18 or 19 months. From our perspective, we need staff to operate. We're seeing shortages everywhere.
"Kathy and the staff have done a great job. We've tried many things. We looked a temporary and permanent options to delay a closure. We checked with the nurses we had and asked them how long they could continue the way the situation was now. Their answer was ‘Not long’. We made big changes to see if we cold recruit, but we weren't successful."
Big Stone Therapies will remain in Manor building.
"We wish the situation were different and our Minneota Manor community is grieving this loss," said Gleason. "Our team and owner remain committed to providing service to seniors in the Minneota community and adapting when necessary to keep our campus strong for years to come."
The Manor's existence began in 1968 when the board of directors of the Minneota Businessmen's Association conducted a survey on the need for a nursing home. The idea was well received within the community. The biggest hurdle, though, was how to come up with the funding.
A special election was held in 1971 with the question: "Shall the Village of Minneota issue its bonds in the amount of $750,000 to construct and equip a nursing home?"
There were 664 votes cast with 376 votes for and 288 against. Building bids were then opened in August of 1971, according to an article in the Mascot, and the project continued to move forward.
The Manor opened on Sept. 17, 1972 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Chosen to cut the ribbon was 87-year-old C.E. Anderson, a retired Minneota businessman who was the first to apply for residency in the Manor. Over 1,500 people attended the grand opening.

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