At first glance, TowerLight in St. Louis Park could easily be mistaken for a hotel, not a senior living facility. A look at the weekly activities calendar reveals everything from scrapbooking to Bible study to movie nights, all signs that this is a very active assisted living center. TowerLight, with five stories and 114 living units, features shops, dining areas and a child care center. Run by Ebenezer Management Services and part of the Fairview Health Services, TowerLight offers a full continuum of care.
“Our model of care allows residents to stay independent in their apartment for as long as possible,” says Annie Westall, executive director. “Then, if they need further care, we can accommodate that, too. This is especially beneficial for couples. If they move into TowerLight together, they can usually stay together—even if one of them experiences health challenges.”
TowerLight offers independent living, assisted living, memory care and enhanced care suites. In-house nurse practitioners and doctors from the Fairview system bring expertise and services, including X-rays and lab work, right to the residents’ doors. All these amenities make a difficult time and difficult decision a little easier.
One family learned firsthand how challenging searching for the right senior living facility can be. Linda Therkelsen helped her mother, Shirley Tollefson, and her aunt Pat settle into TowerLight after both experienced health issues. (Shirley Tollefson has since passed away.)
“It’s been a very stressful couple of years,” Therkelsen says. “But I feel like Pat is in a good place. There’s a level of trust there that’s unmatched.”
Perhaps the most special amenities at TowerLight stand about 3 feet tall and know the residents as their “grandfriends.” On the first floor of the building is a daycare center for more than 60 kids, called TowerLight Childcare.
“At least 80 percent of my families come here [TowerLight Childcare] for the intergenerational aspect,” says Josephine Buendorf, director of child care. “The kids know each grandfriend by name and the residents know the kids. It’s a win-win.”
This unusual blend stems from the desire to bring youth and vibrancy to the residents’ lives and instill a sense of respect and understanding in the kids. Gathering for three to four activities a week, the grandfriends and little tykes make dynamic duos who are helping create an intergenerational community in St. Louis Park.
Just down the road lies another facility with a similar care model, Roitenberg Assisted Living Residence. While serving all faiths, Roitenberg, which is part of Sholom, follows Jewish traditions and customs, including serving kosher food under the direction of a rabbi.With 52 apartments available plus 24 for memory care, a full activities schedule and 24-hour medical staff on-site, this community is thriving.
“We offer adult day services, which can serve as a trial day for prospective residents and their families,” says Jamie Maddeaux, corporate sales and marketing manager for Sholom. “At the end of the day, after the activities, exercises and outings, the caregiver realizes that their loved one has already improved. There’s such a benefit to interactions with other people, especially in an environment like this.”
Last October, Roitenberg introduced enhanced assisted living (EAL) to residents who required higher levels of physical and medical services than what’s typically offered at traditional assisted living facilities. With features like personalized care plans, housekeeping, three prepared meals a day, and social and spiritual programs, demand for EAL has been so great that Sholom is working to expand this service.
3601 Wooddale Ave. S.
Sholom (West campus)
3620 Phillips Parkway