Garden View has provided easy transition for residents for 10 years

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

For 10 years, Garden View Senior Community in Monona has helped ease the transition for residents moving from their own homes to assisted living.

“Nobody ever wants to leave their home, but we allow [residents] to come in and make their apartments theirs,” said Garden View Executive Director Randee Blietz. “The goal is to make it as smooth as possible.”

Garden View opened in 2005, after a community survey found a need for an assisted living option in the area, explained Florence Bruns, who was part of the building committee and has lived at Garden View since 2008.

Garden View’s creation was a large undertaking, Bruns said, with the community raising $571,915 and the Darbys contributing $250,000. A U.S. Department of Agriculture grant also helped fund the facility’s development. Bruns said the feat was especially exciting because fundraising began not long after construction of the Darby Family Aquatic Center.

Blietz said Garden View averages around 30 residents, including some couples, at one time, with many of them in their 90s. 

At least two staff members are available at all times (night or day), providing different levels of care, depending on the resident. Four staff members have been at Garden View since the beginning, Blietz said. 

“We have such a good team,” she said. “It’s fun to see them enjoying taking care of people.”

Garden View strives to keep residents as independent as possible, Blietz said, noting that one of Garden View’s advantages is that its three levels—independent, assisted living and primary care—allow residents to transition as their needs change. 

“They’re still seeing the same staff and it’s a familiar facility,” she explained.

Although those living at Garden View come from all over the area, Blietz said one of its biggest assets is that it allows Monona residents to continue living in the community, among friends and family.

“It was an easy adjustment and everybody’s friendly. I enjoy it here,” Bruns said, mentioning that she likes having an ample amount of space to continue her genealogical work. 

She also enjoys the fellowship with other residents.

“We play a lot of cards,” she said with a smile. “We get along pretty well for all the personalities.”

“Socializing is a big thing,” added Blietz. “There are activities going on every day. There’s always something.”

Saturday, July 18, will be a particularly busy day at Garden View, as the facility celebrates its 10th anniversary with an open house. The event will run from 1 to 3 p.m., featuring food, door prizes and live music by Tom Rose’s band, Paint Creek. Facility tours will be offered as well.

“We have a beautiful facility,” Blietz said. “Some people don’t realize what an asset Garden View is.”

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