Senior community that opened in 2007 dedicated to values
Shepherd of Grace Senior Community opened its doors in 2007 with a mission to provide senior housing and health care to people in Becker and the surrounding communities. Founded on the values of Service, Compassion, Trust and Respect, Shepherd of Grace infuses those values in everything they do.
Shepherd of Grace is the second campus owned and operated by Good Shepherd Community, which is located in Sauk Rapids, Minn. The need for senior housing in smaller communities is what drove Good Shepherd to develop this second campus.
“Grace Lutheran Church approached us with land available for the project,” Jodi Speicher, vice president of sales and marketing said. “They wanted a place close by so their community wouldn’t have to move away from their support network of friends and family for these services. Many of the folks living here were once neighbors and are again,” she added. “We’re all a family of friends.”
Shepherd of Grace features 33 independent living apartments, 18 assisted living apartments and 18 memory care cottage suites. In addition to the basics of housing and health care services, Shepherd of Grace cares for people living in the community by providing educational and social opportunities through Becker Community Education and inviting the public in to special events, such as monthly senior dining and entertainment.
Care Manager Rahkia believes that what sets Shepherd of Grace apart is that they are a very hands-on, direct-care staff. “We’re not here just to dole out pills and check on health issues,” she said. “Our job is to support our tenants at every step of the way in their daily lives. We want to be there for them when they need us most.”
“The staff here is really, really good and they are always available to help you,” says tenant Jim Boettcher, the former Becker fire chief and Becker Public Works director. Jim is very grateful for the personal dedication since he was diagnosed with prostate cancer last year. “I really like the idea of qualified nurses just down the hall from my apartment,” he added. His wife, Janet, still works and is active volunteering with the local food shelf. Jim employs himself by doing the rounds at Shepherd of Grace making sure people are enjoying themselves, which usually involves singing a “good morning song” to other tenants in the dining room. “I live by the motto that if you can’t have a smile on your face every day, then there is no point in being alive,” he smiled.
Tenant John Larson agrees. “We do have a lot of fun,” he said. “The people are very friendly and we have lots of laughs. We don’t get into arguments or squabbles and everyone minds their P’s and Q’s.”
Shepherd of Grace applies their values to staff as well as tenants. Because the healthcare system typically has a higher turnover rate, Shepherd of Grace has a retention committee to help meet the needs of their employees, keeping them dedicated to their jobs. Becky, a licensed practical nurse, says it helps to know that they’re part of the community, too. “We’re treated like real people, not numbers,” she said. “Whether you’re an employee or a tenant, you know you are valued here by Shepherd of Grace.”
“There is a lot of living going on here,” Jodi says, “because we minister to the whole person, not just their health issues. Everyone looks out for one another, which really is what makes Shepherd of Grace such a welcoming, fun environment.”