Business Close-up: Grace Lodge is a scenic place for senior living
Grace Lodge is aptly named. This beautiful facility in Rhinelander, is perched on the Wisconsin River and offers seniors a relaxing place to live with personalized care available 24 hours a day.
It is owned and operated by Terry and Lynn Friese while Maureen O’Melia manages the facility. Grace Lodge opened its doors in 2003 and offers 16 one-bedroom apartments and four two-bedroom apartments and 12 studio apartments as well. This facility caters to seniors who are fairly mobile (they must be able to transfer themselves) however, it is also considered an aging-in-place home where seniors can live out their lives in a caring and familiar environment.
Each apartment offers many amenities. Refrigerators and microwaves are provided however, residents are encouraged to bring in their own furniture and belongings.
“When our guests come to live here this is their home and we feel it is important for them to have their own furniture and furnishings to make it feel like their home,” Terry said.
All the apartments have a small kitchen area, along with spacious living rooms, large bedrooms and roomy toilet facilities. There are plenty of windows to let in light in each room and floor coverings are durable and easy to care for.
Many of the apartments look out over the Wisconsin River. The grounds are snow covered now but in the warmer months there are gardens and flower beds, a patio, a screened gazebo and a long dock that gives close up access to the river. Walking paths encourage residents to stroll about the grounds and many of the apartments have access to small balconies where a morning cup of coffee can be enjoyed. Birdfeeders dotted throughout the grounds also provide plenty of up-close glimpses of many feathered friends.
In addition, residents here enjoy a variety of activities. There are shopping trips, lunch outings to area restaurants and even pontoon boat rides when weather allows. A full-time activities director also keeps the residents busy with a plenty of fun and healthy exercises. Holidays here are celebrated with decorations and the staff dressing for all occasions.
“We have an annual harvest meal at Thanksgiving time where we serve up to 100 people,” Maureen said. “Family and friends of our residents are invited and it is always a fun time.”
And family and friends are always welcome here.
“They can visit whenever they want,” Maureen said. “Any time of day or night.”
In addition to all the fun activities here there is also a small library, where residents can learn Wi-Fi and even how to operate a computer. There is an exercise room and a beautician’s station where haircuts and permanents are given.
Meals are served in an open and spacious dining area. Residents who have special dietary requirements are welcome while other residents can choose from a wide variety of recipes. There is also a stove available in the activities room so residents who want to do a little cooking can whip up a batch of cookies or other goodies.
While regular doctor visits are encouraged, at Grace Lodge there is also a registered nurse on staff who keeps a close eye on all the residents.
“We believe in preventive care as much as possible,” said Maureen.
Another plus for Grace Lodge residents are the caring staff they get to interact with every day.
“It is very important for us to give our residents here that peace of mind,” said Maureen, who has been caring for the elderly for more than 30 years. “Residents know who they can count on.”
That’s also an important factor for Terry who has been in the long-term care business for more than 40 years.
“We know this population and what their needs are,” Terry said. “We are in it because we love it. The residents at Grace Lodge become like our family.”
Grace Lodge is located at 1000 Day St. in Rhinelander. The phone number is 715-365-1234 and the website address is gracelodge.com.