WELCOME HOME ASSISTED LIVING, Vandecarr Road, Owosso, will host a grand opening event on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 2 to 7 p.m., in honor of two, new six-bedroom homes, which will bring a total of 18 bedrooms at the Owosso campus. All rooms are currently occupied, but tours will be available to the public.
This photo was taken on Wednesday, Oct. 4 in front of one of the new housing units, tucked in alongside a cornfield where wild turkeys and deer are regularly viewed. Sitting in the rocking chair is resident, Edith Brown, and directly beside her is resident, Mary Cassle. Behind them (from left) is Maintenance Coordinator Doug Loresch, Caregiver Sara Ash, Home Manager Shawn Hall, Activities Coordinator and Elsie Home Manager Ashley Rolfe, office manager Tammy Cech, hair stylist Michele Barnes, owner/operator and nurse Kim Bowen, Executive Administrative Assistant Michele Spinney, Caregiver Shea O’Neill, electrician Brian Jacobs, marketing/PR Kelly Batchelor, and Caregiver Maddison McOwen.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
“It had to be for the good of the community,” stated Kim Bowen, owner and operator of Welcome Home Assisted Living, referencing the very beginning of a 3-year project that culminated in the addition of two, brand new, six-bedroom homes at the Vandecarr Road location. The land Bowen wanted to use to expand the vision of her business on Vandecarr Road fell under state of Michigan farmland preservation stipulations, so she actually had to apply and qualify to meet those guidelines. Working with the Caledonia Township Planning Commission, Bowen had to first get approval for the project. She had purchased the existing assisted living home on the property in 2011, and realizing that many of the individuals she serves were raised on farms or had farming backgrounds, she saw the opportunity to build upon the concept of a quality, country lifestyle.
“My Dad would often say, ‘Organic? There was no such thing as organic. We raised our own food,’” shared Bowen, talking about her plan to incorporate outside activities, such as gardening, for residents. “Our hope is to have some greenhouses out here, and start bringing out chickens. We want our own little village-like setting, and to include the residents in planting gardens, and especially a vegetable garden. The residents love getting their hands in the soil.”
Bowen has included bringing the scenic, country location directly into the design of the two new buildings, as well. Each structure has an airy, four-season room, facing directly out toward open fields, with large windows to take in the view, and plenty of seating. The two buildings are each designed with a perimeter of private bedrooms, four of which are Jack-and-Jill suite combinations for couples, surrounding a common kitchen, dining room, and great room, complete with a fireplace. Each building also includes an employee break and work area, an office, and a private, multi-purpose space. One of the homes includes a hair salon, while the other home has a massage parlor.
Situated on the back of the property is a large pole-barn. The forward portion of the barn is for maintenance. The back portion will feature “The Barrel,” a rustic, farm/western themed entertainment area, including large-screened TVs for the residents and their families to utilize for birthdays, gatherings, and even football parties.
“You know, we’re serving people in their 70s, 80s, 90s, and up. It’s the era we serve, and it’s precious, and I love it,” said Bowen, which is considerable since she opened the Elsie Welcome Home campus in 2005, and her devotion to her residents has not diminished.
Welcome Home Assisted Living is located at 1605 Vandecarr Rd., Owosso. More information on this business can be found at www.welcomehomeassistedliving.net.