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Women team to offer assisted living in Elmwood

ELMWOOD -- The welcome mat is out at Elmwood's new assisted living facility, and not only to residents.

Welcome Home Assisted Living, a project by Dawn Schoeder and her former sister-in-law, Mel, is reaching out to the community. The 26-unit facility which opened this month is holding a grand opening celebration this Friday with an open house from 1 to 7 p.m. and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. There will be appetizers and beverages.

"We want to have the public in at other times, too," Mel Schoeder said Wednesday, mentioning plans for a monthly Sunday brunch, an occasional steak fry and various special events.

The residence consisting of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and efficiency apartments is located along the Eau Galle River at 1121 W. Industrial Rd., just off the intersection of Hwys. 72 and 128 on the village's west side. Single-floor and all handicapped accessible, the housing complex contains 13 units in each of two wings, joined by a commons area. A variety of rental options is available.

"We can tailor (living arrangements) to their needs," Schoeder said, explaining residents can pay for basic living or also get supportive care, for example.

Amenities included in the rent are: walking path around the building, private units with key and mailbox, heat, electricity, water and sewer, kitchenette and private bath, three meals per day plus snacks, 24-hour on-site staff, up to one hour of personal care daily, supportive nursing care, personal assistance with medications, weekly housekeeping and laundry, daily scheduled activities, personal assistance related to daily living, personal call pendants, Lifeline, transportation to appointments, wellness checks, vegetable and flower gardens, three large outdoor patios, beauty parlor, therapeutic spa, TV and activity rooms, spacious lounge area with fireplace, commercial kitchen staffed by Annabell's Catering, a store for hobbies and crafts, a private dining area, overnight guest room, gathering areas in each wing, and wireless internet and cable in apartments.

"People can come to live here and feel they're in a secure, safe environment," Schoeder said. The main entrance is the only one accessible after 10 p.m. and, then, just through being buzzed in.

Mel Schoeder's mother, Judy Schlosser, who has experience in the nursing home industry, serves as resident manager, she said. Jenelle Asher is the consulting registered nurse. Chef Kris Almsted of Plum City and his Annabell's staff prepare the meals, and will serve refreshments for the grand opening. Housekeeping, laundry and maintenance services are provided.

Joe and Arlene Geraets are the first tenants, Schoeder said. Reluctant to leave their local home at first, they now enjoy the many services, such as having meals prepared for them.

A tour of the 25,000 square foot premises last week revealed gathering places are stationed about midway down the hallway in each wing. Inside the apartments, kitchenettes feature sinks, refrigerators and microwave ovens, there are private baths with walk-in showers, closets, decorative light fixtures and equipment for the geothermal heating system.

"There's nearly 12 miles of pipe for that system," she said.

Adjacent to the commons area, the overnight guest room is similarly appointed. The activity room houses tables, chairs and some kitchen items on one wall; the conference room, which can be closed off, may be used for private dining as well. The beauty parlor is fully equipped, as is the commercial kitchen. The spa allows for easy access to and from a tub-like unit. The TV room presents comfortable furniture and a large-screen TV. The two-sided fireplace has faces in both the dining area and commons area. Men's and women's bathrooms are nearby, intended for those times the public will be present.

Read more in the print version of the Herald July 23.