Alzheimer’s Association releases 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report

Senior man with his daughter and grand sonOn March 23, the Alzheimer’s Association® released 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. This annual report shows that Alzheimer’s disease is on an increasingly destructive path.

According to Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures, from 2000-2013, the number of deaths from Alzheimer’s disease increased 71 percent, while deaths from other major diseases decreased. And while the disease continues to rank as the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, it actually causes more deaths than official sources recognize. Acute conditions, like pneumonia, are often listed as the cause of death rather than the underlying chronic disease — Alzheimer’s.

In addition to the human toll, the report confirms that Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in the nation, costing the country $226 billion this year. These costs will grow exponentially as baby boomers age and are projected to increase to more than $1.1 trillion in 2050.

Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures also includes a special report on how health care providers disclose an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Only 45 percent of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or their caregivers reported being told the diagnosis, whereas people with the four most common cancers and their caregivers reported diagnosis disclosure rates of more than 90 percent. An accurate and timely diagnosis is important to people facing the disease so they can maximize their quality of life and play an active role in planning for the future.

Visit to download the full Alzheimer’s Association Facts and Figures report and watch their video.

Prepare for the holidays with tips from the Alzheimer’s Association

Laughter and happinessThe holidays are often filled with sharing, laughter and the enjoyment of each other’s company. But they can also be filled with stress, disappointment and sadness. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may feel a special sense of loss during the holidays because of the challenges he or she has experienced. At the same time, caregivers may feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of maintaining traditions while caring for a friend or family member.

The holidays can be less stressful for everyone when activities are planned ahead of time. The Alzheimer’s Association® offers resources like the Holidays information sheet as well as the Holidays and Alzheimer’s Families page on to help caregivers approach the season and make celebrations more enjoyable for all.

During this season of togetherness, people visit with friends and family they rarely see face-to-face, providing an opportunity to notice the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. If you observe any of these signs in a friend or family member, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the cause. Early detection allows people to plan for the future and live well for as long as possible.

Applications are being accepted for the NorthStar Leadership Award at WHHC

North Star Leadership Award logoIt’s that time of year again!  AWARDS SEASON and we are not talking about seeing Justin Timberlake at the CMAs either!

We have opened up the time period to begin the nomination process for the North Star Leadership Award for 2015.

This award honors those individuals who exemplify what it means to be a leader in our senior living communities.  This award will go to someone whose actions and leadership greatly enhance the work environment in the community and the quality of life for the residents.  This award is open to anyone  in the company who meets the criteria.  The award will be presented at Welcome Home Management’s Winter Conference in February 2015.

Anyone can nominate a team member.  In the past we’ve had vendors, associations, resident families, residents, other team members, and team member’s families nominate someone for the award.

Nominations for this year’s award are due on December 15th, 2015.  Be sure to include all letters of recommendation, Individual Award Nomination form; and any other supporting documentation that are relevant.

You can download the application by clicking on this link.

DSC_4277Last year’s winner was Julie Mapson, Community Life Coordinator at Excelsior Place Assisted Living of Baxter.

If you have any questions as you begin to review this, or at any time along the nomination process, just give me a call.

Each year, we have an amazing turn out of nominations.  I can’t wait to read all the nominations again this year.

Welcome Home announces two promotions at the Hutchinson office.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Hutchinson, Minnesota



Welcome Home Management is pleased to announce the promotion of Roman Bloemke to the position of Chief Operating Officer and Sarah Work to Chief Financial Officer.

Both Roman and Sarah have been carrying out the responsibilities of running the day-to-day operations of the company for five years. Their promotion formalizes their roles and is in recognition of the excellent work they’ve done serving owners, employees and residents of the eleven facilities Welcome Home operates.

COO-250Roman has served clients of Welcome Home since the company first started in 1994 beginning as an overnight care provider.  Returning to the company in 2001,  previously Roman was an Community Executive Director and later as Regional Director, before assuming the role of Director of Operations in 2006.

Sarah rejoined the company in 2002 initially as a Community Executive Director.  She subsequently served in a variety of roles at the management company before being named Director of Administration in 2006. In that role, Sarah has worked with Community Executive Directors and employees in each community to provide a CFO-250healthy working environment and to provide oversight of financial and accounting functions for each community.

As Roman and Sarah manage the day-to-day operations of Welcome Home, Dean Bloemke has moved to the position of Chair of the Board. Dean plans to continue to manage special projects and maintain a non-day-to-day role with the company.

Established in 1994, Welcome Home Management Company today manages eleven senior communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Welcome Home Management Company offers a full spectrum of services, including human resources, accounting and marketing to senior living properties.  Today, Welcome Home employs just over 400 employees company-wide.

For more information about Welcome Home Management Company, visit their website at

Welcome Home announces new management agreement with Nisswa, MN community

nisswa-3158Welcome Home Management is proud to announce the addition of Hills Crossing Senior Living Community to our managed communities.

Formerly known as Senior Class Care of Nisswa, Hills Crossing was recently purchased by RAR Development and subsequently hired Welcome Home Management Company to handle day to day operations.  This also included hiring all of the staff at Hills Crossing.

HC_Logo-FullColor_Web“We are really excited about this opportunity.  Hills Crossing is a great asset to the community of Nisswa, and we look forward to building on their already wonderful reputation in the community.” states Roman Bloemke, Director of Operations.

Hills Crossing is a 30 unit senior living community made up of assisted living care suites, and memory care programs.

The goal at Hills Crossing is to be successful at three main things.  Number one, provide a great community life program.  From day to day activities, to outings, to resident programs and wellness, our goal is to keep our residents active.  Number two puts a strong focus on the dining experience.  Meal time brings back many memories for each of us.  It is also one of the biggest social times of the day.  Residents should also get a choice when it comes to mealtime.  Our final goal is to provide a solid health care and wellness program that is tailored to each individual resident.  This puts a focus on our health care program, training of our team members, and the overall culture or experience at Hills Crossing.

We also are excited to announce that Deb Krassas has been hired as the Executive Director at Hills Crossing.  Long time residents will remember Deb from her previous position as the administrator at Senior Class Care of Nisswa a few years back.

In the coming weeks, you’ll see a new website developed, a new logo, and a new Facebook page among other things.  You can already “like” their Facebook page at: 

Welcome Home Management operates eleven senior living communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Welcome Home employs 400+ employees throughout their communities.  To learn more about Welcome Home Management, visit them at

For more information on Hills Crossing, contact Deb Krassas at 218-961-5605.

One more date together!

Elsie (Janni) and Erwin Portner were married May 6, 1945 in Searles MN at St. John’s Catholic Church.

Erwin worked as a carpenter most of his life and Elsie was a homemaker as well as being employed by 3M Company of  New Ulm.

Both were very active in the community as well as their parish church.

They did not have children so their nieces and nephews have become especially important to them.  Both have been close with their living siblings as well.

After living an honest life together, the couple retired at Orchard Hill Assisted Living in New Ulm in 2010.  At Orchard Hill, the couple loved to play Bingo, Sheep head, 500, Dominoes, and enjoyed social gatherings and musical entertainment… (especially old time music).

As the couple aged to 96 and 91, the need for more nursing care for Erwin became evident and they recently moved to Oak Hills on May 1st where they will celebrate 70 years of marriage.

Orchard Hill Assisted Living has been involved in a program called “Dreams do come true” (along with other communities from Welcome Home Management Co.) and when asked what Erwins dream was one afternoon, he responded by saying, “I would like to take Elsie out on one last date…but I can’t do it…I have no way of taking her out.”


SAM_2236So, Community Life Coordinator, Cindee Schewe decided to take action.  She contacted Knight’s Luxury Limo service near Comfrey, MN to see if owner, Richard McMullen would be willing to transport the couple.  He said “yes”, and from there the dream began to develop.

Schewe then called the Kaiserhoff.  They also said “yes” to two meals compliments of the Kaiserhoff.  A to Zinnea Floral got wind of the story and offered flowers for the occasion, the Liquer Mart of New Ulm jumped on board with champagne for the elderly couple.  Schewe spoke with Kevin Sweeny from the New Ulm Journal and he agreed this was a story to be told.


The Limo bus holds 16 people so Schewe contacted family members to join Elsie and Erwin in the limo ride of their life.  The bus was filled in no time and Erwin’s dream of taking his wife out on a date will come true Wednesday, May 6th to celebrate a beautiful marriage of 70 years!…dreams really do come true!