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Discover the Wellness Difference at Thorne Crest Spiritual Care In the Community The History of ABHM

FALL 2017

Discover the Wellness Advantage at Thorne Crest

As we go into the fall months Thorne Crest is focused on wellness and how our residents benefit from the program. We are very fortunate to have Leah Atz, our dedicated wellness director, carefully plan classes and provide personal assessments to keep our residents active, healthy and independent as we age. Scientists have found staying physically active and exercising regularly can help seniors manage, maintain and even prevent many physical ailments that accompany aging such as diabetes, arthritis, hypertension, osteoporosis, edema, respiratory and cardiovascular problems, balance and much more. Armed with this knowledge, it is important seniors include exercise in their daily activities. Our bodies are in a constant state of adaptation, meaning with physical activity your body will respond by becoming stronger.

FALL :: 2017

Similarly, without physical activity the body will respond negatively and become weaker. The negative effects of inactivity can threaten an older person’s independence; weak muscles make it harder to get in and out of a chair, poor endurance makes walking long distances more stressful and poor balance increases the chance of falls and injuries.

Another reason to exercise is financial gain! By being physically active seniors are healthier, which may reduce the need for costly medications as well as decrease the number of doctor visits and hospital stays. To help ensure Thorne Crest residents remain healthy and active Wellness Director Leah Atz offers a comprehensive wellness program to all the residents and welcomes those from off campus who visit and attend classes. No matter what level or activity you are interested in, our fitness/wellness program


will get you started, from classes in the wellness studio to exercising in our warm water pool. We encourage all residents and the public to learn about the benefits our wellness program can offer. To us age is just a number. Our residents prove that every day!

~Chris Schulz , Thorne Crest Administrator

Welcome Craig Rosell to the Social Services Department inch of their home. Doing much of the work themselves the project has taken several years but in the end it has been worth it.

Thorne Crest would like to introduce Craig Rosell as the newest addition to the Social Services department. Craig is a Minnesota native, born and raised just east of the Twin Cities in Stillwater, MN. In 2006 Craig graduated from Mahtomedi High School and went on to attend Winona State University and earned a degree in sociology with an emphasis in Law enforcement.

Craig and Kate are proud residents of Albert Lea, where they live with their 8-month-old son Walter (Walt), tiny dog Klyde along with two neurotic cats Chaps & Kobe. In his free time, Craig enjoys quality family time, playing drums in his band True North, tinkering with computers, deer hunting, and doing yardwork.

In 2010, shortly after graduating, Craig married his college sweetheart Kate. Then in 2011 the couple made the move to Albert Lea, Kate’s hometown, and for the past six years have been relentlessly renovating and redecorating every

Thorne Crest’s Craig Rosell Craig is looking forward to his new career in social services and is excited to become a part of the Thorne Crest family where he aims to build lasting, meaningful relationships with the residents and their families.

When you see Craig he may appear familiar to you, that is because from 2011 – 2017 he served as the assistant manager and HR Manager at Hy-Vee.

“Live longer & stay stronger.”

Thorne Crest “I regularly participate in our fitness and wellness programs and my increased activity has improved my balance and energy levels…and I Roger Lonning feel great!” -Thorne Crest resident

“ I love that I can walk down the hall and use the pool everyday, winter or summer. It helps to keep me limber and active.”

Mary Stiles

-Thorne Crest resident

“Our goal is to help residents stay healthy and active. We offer a complete wellness program to improve fitness levels, mobility, balance and more!”

Leah Atz

-Wellness Director

Call to schedule a personal tour!

Take an Online Video Tour at 1201 Garfield Avenue Albert Lea, MN 56007

Senior Living Community

Thorne Crest Senior Living Communit y

507-373-2311 •

Thorne Crest is owned and operated by American Baptist Homes of the Midwest, a not-for-profit provider of senior health care since 1930.



merican Baptist Homes of the Midwest, parent company of Thorne Crest, was founded in a Baptist tradition. Today, our mission has broadened to “Creating healthy Christian communities that empower older adults by providing choices for housing, services, and technology that enrich body, mind, and spirit” for seniors of all faiths and backgrounds. ABHM’s spiritual care programs are inspired by a philosophy of care shared across all our communities. Our spiritual leaders seek to uplift, encourage, and offer compassion to everyone involved with the community. Spiritual services at ABHM are interfaith and open to all residents, families, and staff members. Each community employs a full-time chaplain who serves as the spiritual leader, including Todd Walsh at Thorne Crest. The chaplains work with residents, families, and staff to meet the unique spiritual needs of the community

Spiritual Care Pro A Mission of E through worship services, bible studies, devotionals, hymn singing, personal visitation, and prayer support.

The Importance of a Spiritual Community Todd Walsh, Chaplain at Thorne Crest Senior Living Community located in Albert Lea, Minnesota, says spirituality is an essential element of Thorne Crest life. He is kept busy offering spiritual support and guidance to over 200 residents, family members, and staff of Thorne Crest. The spiritual services offered at Thorne Crest cater to the residents need through a variety of a programs and services. For example, Chaplain Walsh leads Bible study, devotions and open communion on a weekly basis along with Sunday services. Most days Chaplain Walsh does a noon dash to each dining room to share a table prayer with residents. Local pastors take turns in a rotation with Chaplain Walsh on Sundays so residents get a chance to experience different pastors and their styles. A monthly open communion service also brings in local pastors

ograms at ABHM: Empowerment to lead worship. “Helping residents nurture their faith is very important, especially for those who are no longer able to attend their own church. Our services and programs give residents a way to continue expressing themselves spiritually,” states Chaplain Walsh.

reminding residents that they belong to God and that God is near.”

Thorne Crest Chaplain Todd Walsh

These programs together with personal care and support help create a community that encourages and sustains residents, families and staff.

Spiritual Approach Supports Memory Care According to Thorne Crest Chaplain Todd Walsh, “I regularly visit residents living in our Memory Care which opened about a year and a half ago. This area of the community is designed to be a safe and home-like setting for residents living with Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia, staffed by people that make Memory Care come alive with their love and care that surround the residents.” “Family and friends of Memory Care residents are always welcome. They play a vital role helping residents feel comfortable even as Alzheimer’s disease progresses. Families and staff do a great job helping our residents stay connected. It reassures them they belong and our spiritual support programming goes right along with that;

“Those living with Alzheimer’s and other memory related diseases are making the best of a condition that seems to be taking them away; memories, hobbies, and more, yet it’s wonderful to see these residents attend our worship service. Some have difficulty communicating, but when they attend our church service you can see them mouthing the Lord’s Prayer along with everyone else. You also see them singing the familiar hymns even though they don’t have a hymnal in front of them. The gift of God within them is still there. I’m reminded that God will not let go of us.” God spoke through Isaiah a long time ago saying, “I will not forget you – See, I have engraved you on the palm of my hands.” (Isaiah 49: 15, 16)

ABHM The Early Origins of


hen the Great Depression hit the Midwest in 1929, it had a drastic impact on not only working and economic conditions, but family life as well. The origins of Thorne Crest’s parent company, American Baptist Homes of the Midwest, emerged from the hardships of this period.

Seniors in Crisis During the Depression The elderly population was hit particularly hard by the challenges of the Great Depression. Those who were close to retirement or had already retired watched a lifetime of savings disappear before their eyes. Many weren’t capable of returning to work, or were unable to find jobs that would allow them to rebuild their lost savings. As a result, many elderly people became dependent on their families for shelter and care. Unfortunately, young families were facing their own struggles. There were seldom enough resources

for them to adequately provide for their own children, let alone their parents.

Finding Hope in a New Beginning

In 1930, a small group of Baptist gentlemen living in Minnesota and Iowa recognized the serious need to provide shelter and care for the elderly population of the Midwest. These five gentlemen decided to take action and formed a not-for-profit organization they called the Northwest Baptist Home Society. The original mission of the Northwest Baptist Home Society was “to provide Christian homes for aged and dependent men and women, and to provide for their physical and spiritual comfort.” The five founders did not wait long to involve others in their efforts to relieve the suffering they saw in their communities. To expand their initiative, they joined with the Northern Baptist Convention of Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Baptist congregations in these states helped to support the Society’s early efforts.

From the Founders to Today The first ABHM community opened its doors on


1964 1965

ABHM’s first location in Winnebago, MN, the Winnebago Old People’s Home, was originally a dormitory at now-defunct Parker College. The community was later renamed Parker Oaks Retirement Community.

August 29, 1931. It was housed in a former men’s dormitory belonging to Parker College (a nowdefunct Baptist school) in Winnebago, MN, that had sat vacant for many years before being given to the Society and converted into a residence for seniors. The community was originally named the “Winnebago Old People’s Home” and later renamed Parker Oaks Retirement Community.

The ABHM mission has evolved over time, but remains true to the original values of our founders. Dave Zwickey, ABHM President and CEO states, “Our mission today is to create healthy Christian communities that empower older adults, families, and people with disabilities. We provide choices for housing, services, and technology that enrich body, mind, and spirit.”

In the following 18 years, the Society’s mission and footprint grew as they opened seven additional “Old People’s Homes” in Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Meanwhile, another Baptist association for the elderly was growing in Colorado, called the Baptist Home Association of the Rocky Mountains, (BHA).

In the past several years, ABHM has expanded the services offered at a number of locations across the Midwest. Our communities provide a full continuum of senior living and healthcare services that include skilled nursing, rehab care, assisted living, independent living, and memory care, along with housing and programs for the developmentally disabled and subsidized housing for seniors and families. Our communities are located in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

BHA was chartered in Denver in 1949 with the mission to provide “facilities for care, comfort, health, recreation, and general welfare of aged people.” In 1994, the two organizations joined forces to continue a joint mission to serve those in need under the ABHM banner.





Owned and operated by AMERICAN BAPTIST HOMES OF THE MIDWEST, a not-for-profit provider of senior health care since 1930. 14850 SCENIC HEIGHTS RD, STE 125, EDEN PRAIRIE MN 55344

1201 Garfield Avenue Albert Lea, MN, 56007 Phone 507-373-2311


FALL 2017

Thorne Crest is a faith-based, not-for-profit senior living community. Our mission is to create healthy Christian communities that empower older adults. We provide choices for housing, services, and technology that enrich body, mind and spirit.

There’s still time to support the Kleinpaste Nursing Scholarship Program at Thorne Crest. Ask for details at the front desk or visit

Take a fly-thru VIDEO TOUR of the community at!

Thorne Crest Fall 2017 Newsletter  

Thorne Crest Fall 2017 Newsletter