There comes certain times throughout one’s life where rare opportunities present themselves. These times can be significant, even life changing, or they can be minimized, passed over, ignored, and lost.
Cedar Community, West Bend, Wisconsin is asking for your careful consideration over a rare opportunity!
As many of you know, the fastest growing disease in the Nation and the State of Wiscsonsin is Alzheimer’s disease. Between the years 2000 to 2010, the rate of Alzheimer’s disease has increased by 68%! This is a tragic and deadly disease that affects the inflicted individual, their family members, and our society in general.
In 1976, Cedar Community opened its’ Friendship House, a 128 skilled bed ‘nursing home’ with a design and programming specifically to provide superior and innovative care for those with Alzheimer’s Disease and related forms of Dementia. In 1976 the word Alzheimer’s was virtually unknown by most people. Friendship House was the very first facility of its’ kind in the entire nation!
It is now 37 years after the opening of Friendship House. In the tradition of that original Friendship House, Cedar Community is beginning the process of creating a new, superior, and innovative facility and approach to quality care for those with Alzheimer’s Disease in an assisted living environment. The new facility, now under construction, will be known as “The Cottages at Cedar Run.”
Located on a 160 acre new campus just immediately south of our Cedar Ridge Campus, West Bend, ‘The Cottages at Cedar Run’ will be designed as none other. In our efforts to dramatically advance the environment, programming, and approach to resident-directed care, ‘The Cottages’ will bring resident choice, dignity, sense of ownership, new levels of activity, and most of all a real home feel that will comfort and encourage each resident.
While a lot of effort and planning has already been put in place, more work lies ahead to see ‘The Cottages” come to full fruition. This project will cost $13 million dollars to complete. In terms of financing, plans are to utilize existing Cedar Community assets for about 1/3 of the project costs. Another approximate 1/3 will come for borrowing. The final 1/3, it is hoped, prayed, and being acted upon, will come from the generosity of Cedar Community residents, families, staff, volunteers, foundations, and our greater community of friends.
So the opportunity is this . . . Would you donate to the creation of ‘The Cottages at Cedar Run?”
We have begun a philanthropy fund raising campaign called “Moments to Remember.” The campaign headquarters are located at our Cedar Ridge Campus as a part of our Philanthropy Department. Our Director of Philanthropy is Amy Johnson (262-338-2819).
An elderly man, feeling a little feeble, sitting at his farmhouse window, gazing out at a dozen or more sheep grazing, wondering what the future might bring. No family, few friends, fewer visitors, lonely days and quiet nights. More questions than answers. Were my days spent wisely, he ponders? Does anyone really care? What happens to a farm that no one seems to want? What might the future bring? Eighty years plus brings armfuls of memories. They bring laughs, tears, regrets, joy, and spoken words meant to be unspoken. What might the future bring? Unrelenting waves of emotion, prayerful focus, then resolve. He finally has an answer to, “What might the future bring?” He finally has an answer to, “What happens to a farm no one seems to want?”
His answer? You are now experiencing his answer! That elderly man was William Koehl! That answer came exactly 60 years ago! His answer . . . “Donate my farm to the church in order for it to help elderly people!” Perfect answer, wouldn’t you say!
The story is far from over. Rev. Louis C. Riesch, received the donated farm on behalf of the church, but now the real work begins!
The progression goes a little like this: Farm and farmhouse becomes retreat center; Retreat center becomes a small rest home; A small rest home becomes a nursing home; That nursing home more than doubles in size; That larger nursing home becomes two distinct nursing homes; The second nursing home becomes first Alzheimer’s/Dementia nursing home in the nation; A village of homes is added for independent seniors; Now a second, third, and fourth village is added; A second campus is added with 312 senior apartments; Another campus is added providing a new retreat center; That second nursing home becomes an assisted living facility; Programs and services providing rehabilitation therapy is added with major nursing home rebuilding; Another campus location is added to the map at the new hospital location; More assisted living is added; Another campus is added in Sheboygan County; and another campus is about to be added providing Memory Care Assisted living! WOW!
An annual operating budget of several thousand dollars, now approaches $50 million. A handful of staff, soon will approach 900. The original 22 residents now have nearly 1,100 joining them! All this in a mere 60 years!
So, do you think it’s an appropriate time to celebrate? Do you think it’s an appropriate time to thank God! Do you think it’s an appropriate time to thank William Koehl and Rev. Riesch?
On behalf of the entire Cedar Community Organization, we say Happy Anniversary! Our thanks our founders! Our thanks to our residents, family members, staff, volunteers, donors, and the wider community! Our thanks to God!
Can’t wait to see what the next 60 years will bring! The story is not over!
You see them . . . commercial after commercial of the latest and greatest answers to establish and prolong a healthier you! Their secret? Take raspberry extracts; mega-doses of vitamin C; omega 3 fish oil, green coffee bean derivatives; green tea; and/or organic whatever! The list goes on and on! Health in a package! Health in a vegetable! Oh sure, there can be benefits, but what is not answered is the ‘degree’ of health benefits rendered. Answer: little to very little!
Truly then, what is the secret to living a longer and healthier life? Experts agree on this one . . . its EXERCISE! It’s that simple!
Regular and semi-rigorous exercise has been shown as a very strong tool to fighting diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, obesity, arthritis, and many kinds of cancers!
Want to fight dementia? Memory and word games can be helpful, but putting on a good pair of walking shoes is even better! Peggye Dilworth of the University of Pittsburgh did a study showing older adults who walk 6 to 9 miles a week have a lower risk for cognitive decline in later life!
Stronger muscles and bones, better circulation, better digestion, and better balance are all the results of a dedicated exercise program! Exercise is the way to better health! It’s no secret!