Exploring the Latest in Senior Housing Trends

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Written by By Cindy Mennenga Photography by Fagan Studios

Making Personalized Decisions Based on Individual Circumstances

As our population ages, seniors today are blessed with many housing options from which to choose. Previously, seniors had only a handful of choices for where to live: at home, with family or at an assisted living facility or nursing home. Many of today’s seniors are members of the baby boomer generation, and the boomers have notoriously disrupted every phase of life as they have entered it, insisting that they leave their mark and forcing long-standing institutions to bend to their will. Senior housing is just another stop on the boomer generation’s outside-the-box thinking.   


Part of what is driving these changes is the fact that today’s seniors have seen their parents cast aside by society and wither away in nursing homes, and they don’t want that to be their fate. Most folks want to remain independent for as long as possible. As a result, a very popular type of senior housing which has emerged in recent years is called aging in place. That means that a senior’s home is modified, as needed, to accommodate the resident so that he or she can remain in his or her home as long as possible. For some folks, it means widening doorways to allow a wheelchair to pass through, reinforcing walls to support graspable hand bars in bathrooms and hallways, along with renovating kitchens and bathrooms to include adjustable-height countertops. It often will also include adding zero entry doorways or wheelchair ramps to allow access into the home without steps. An aging in place expert can help determine which changes would be beneficial to help improve safety and functionality.


Not all businesses succeed, and for those that do, there are lessons to be learned from their legacies. For Rochester-based insurance agency, North Risk Partners – C.O. Brown, this legacy of success is one spanning 100 years. The firm celebrated a century in business in September.  

The agency was founded by Clarence O. Brown in 1917. While the C.O. Brown story started with a male founder, the future is bright for women in leadership at the company and throughout the insurance industry as a whole.


The insurance industry has been historically male dominated. Acknowledging this, it remains an industry-wide priority to create more opportunities for women in management, sales and beyond. According to one study, only 15 percent of insurance companies are led by female executives.



STRIVE to Save Lives

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Written by By Trish Amundson

A mammogram is an important screening tool for breast cancer. Unfortunately for some women, some early cancers can be missed by current screening methods and are only detected once symptoms occur. The STRIVE Study is now underway at Mayo Clinic in an effort to change all that—and develop a new test to give cancer patients the timely diagnoses they need. 

Research for a Cure 

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2017, and about 40,610 women will die from it this year. The earlier breast cancer is found, the higher the chance of a cure. The blood test being evaluated in STRIVE, a study by the company GRAIL, uses high-intensity DNA sequencing to analyze blood samples for genetic material released by tumors—and find breast cancer early.  



Health, Wealth & Happiness

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Written by By Emily Watkins

Personal Training for Sustainable Results

Are you overwhelmed by all the information that is out there about exercise and nutrition? What exactly does it mean to “exercise and eat right?” Hire a personal trainer to get a healthy living plan that is tailor-made for you.


Men and women come in all shapes and sizes and are looking for a variety of results. In my initial consultation with clients, I spend a lot of time listening so that I get to know their personality. 



Suffering in Silence

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Written by By Andrea Thomas

When to ask for help when struggling with depression.

For years I suffered in silence, a silence that almost killed me. I was exhausted by the daily grind of trying to hide the pain and suffering that was constantly stirring within me. Lying in bed, unable to shut off the faucet of negative thoughts and traumatic images, I made the choice to hop behind the wheel of my Chevy Beretta in an attempt to put the ultimate end to this battle. I was done fighting.                


I was in my second year of undergraduate study and unaware I was living with severe depression and ongoing trauma symptoms which were interfering with my ability to function on a daily basis. I was very sick with an illness I knew nothing about. I felt alone and hopeless. I was determined to figure everything out on my own. In that moment driving down that dark highway, I did not want to die, I wanted my pain to end. My life had become a series of ongoing nightmares and daytime flashbacks from traumatic events. I couldn’t explain my pain; I viewed myself as a strong person and therefore, I thought I did something wrong to deserve the overwhelming darkness. I figured the only way I could end my pain was to take my own life.



Exploring Ireland

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Written by By Jen Jacobson

An adventure—and a friendship—for a lifetime

I’ve always been a bit Ireland-obsessed. I soak up every movie or book I can find that’s placed there, engross myself in Celtic mythology and always seem to be adding new Irish artists to my playlists. When I was 17, I bought my first Ireland calendar and reveled in the pictures of the cliffs and countryside. Each year after that, I bought a new version, saying I would stop once I finally booked my trip. 

After almost 20 years of dreaming and watching flight costs, I decided last fall that 2017 was the year to make that dream happen. As a single mom, that wasn’t the easiest call to make. Work and child schedules had to be negotiated; money had to be tucked away. But I was determined. I even picked up a second job solely to make sure money would be earmarked for the trip.


I was finally going! Now the big decision: Did I have the guts to go alone? Sure, why not? Solo travel can be a blast, and some tour groups cater specifically to those going it alone. Bringing the kids along just wasn’t in the budget at this point. 



Sharing Olde Fashioned Christmas Cheer

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Written by By Kim Zabel




Co-owners Kristin Alexander and Adrianne McNiff have been nearly inseparable business partners since 2007. But it hasn’t always been that way. Both wanted to open a traditional coffee shop, and both saw a need for one in the Mantorville area, so they decided to combine their talents. Adrianne has a degree in the culinary arts, and Kristin has a degree in marketing. Both spent years in their fields before joining forces. 

“It was like fate,” Kristin says. “We were both taking a risk. We didn’t really know each other very well, but we both had the same dream so we decided we were going to do it, hoping it would work.” The traditional coffee shop model quickly expanded to include all-day breakfast, gourmet coffees, homemade desserts and an ever-expanding menu. 

Kristin and Adrianne have felt supported and accepted by the Mantorville community. “There are a lot of women business owners in Mantorville. The local paper in Kasson used to have a huge section devoted to them,” Kristin says.

Much of their success is formed through the combination of Kristin’s marketing know-how and Adrianne’s culinary skills. “I am a pretty darn good baker,” Adrianne says. “We have really good pies and desserts here.” 


Karrie Berg and RaeLynn Mattick became business partners three years ago. RaeLynn worked as a stylist at Creative Change and was renting her styling chair there but was looking for more. Karrie wanted to expand the business, so they became partners. In addition to hair, the salon also features spa services such as manicures, pedicures, massage, waxing and dermaplaning. 

Unlike Kristin and Adrianne, Karrie and RaeLynn had been friends for years before the partnership. “Karrie actually did my hair when I was a kid,” RaeLynn says. “She did my first highlight!”

“We are very approachable and friendly. I think one of the biggest stigmas with salons is that it’s intimidating to walk into them, but we get complimented all the time on how welcoming and homey it feels here,” she says. That welcoming attitude is evident throughout the Mantorville community as well. “No one is really in competition with one another. Everyone wants everyone else to succeed,” RaeLynn says. 


Lynnette Nash is a people person. “This is who I am and what I do,” Lynnette says. “If I am not at the shop, I miss people. I’m the kind of person that will go out into a crowd and start talking to the people around me.” 

Lynette has the support of her family to help her do what she does. Her mom purchased the confectionery shop in 1989, and Lynnette bought it from her four years ago. Her mom still works in the shop, dipping chocolates by hand, and Lynnette’s daughter, Alexa, plans to come into the business when she graduates with her degree in food and consumer science. 

“This is very much a family thing. If I’m busy, my son comes here to help. My husband is here too. It’s all about doing the product and doing the product well,” she says. 

“The interesting thing is that the glass ceiling doesn’t exist here in Mantorville. Everybody just supports everybody,” Lynnette says. 

Mantorville invites everyone to celebrate Olde Fashioned Christmas on Saturday, December 2 with a candlelight tea, caroling and sleigh rides. You can even take the trolley to Mantorville with your favorite group of friends for Olde Fashioned Christmas from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Register at or call 507-421-0573.

Editor’s Note: Established in 1854, Mantorville was listed on the National Historic Registry in 1975. 

County Seat Coffeehouse
1 Fifth Street West
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Creative Change Hair Studio
516 N Main Street 

The Chocolate Shoppe
420 North Main Street

Finds on 5th
3 5th Street West

Mantorville Art Guild 
521 North Mantorville Street 

Hubbell House  
502 N Main Street


Kim Zabel works as a wellness instructor at 125 Live and the Rochester Area YMCA.



“Can you keep him until tomorrow, Mom?”

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Written by By CJ Fosdick


The pelican that spent the night in our garage.

Nothing surprises me about animals. Their instinct is infallible. They ferret out harbors for help or handouts, and their radar drives them to reliable sources. Our acreage on a hill surrounded by trees is one of those harbors. 


Four grown children repeat this “welcoming” stamp. All of them have several pets in their own homes. As a teenager, our eldest daughter, who now teaches third grade at Riverside Central Elementary School in Rochester, once lured a shaggy, golden-eyed Airedale home, thankfully stopping short of inviting him into the car, as he smelled like a skunk. After a tomato juice bath, he happily joined the family.



Lessons in Bat Catching From an Expert Herself

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Written by By Kathryn Lenn

 I began my bat catching apprenticeship right out of college. I lived with my cousin Corinn, and we had a little bit of a bat problem. In the six months I lived with her, we successfully caught six bats. Our first one was caught about four months into our roommate-ship. You do the math.


Corinn was my fearless leader, and I was her trusty sidekick. After our very first catch-and-release, we came up with a plan. The plan was executed in nearly every hunting endeavor (except the time we found the bat in the washing machine), and it worked beautifully. I’ll let you in on our secret. You need four things to successfully catch a bat: a broom, an empty garbage can, a broken-down cereal box and courage. When the broom has successfully knocked the flying rodent to the ground, gather your courage and cover it with the empty garbage can. From there, slide the cereal box underneath the can to trap the little monster, then release it into the wild. 




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Written by Jorrie Johnson

As I floated on a tube in the lazy river at America’s largest waterpark one Sunday afternoon in August, I pondered what spirituality means to me. At that moment, I was at peace—with my boys laughing and enjoying each other’s company, with the warm sun drying us off after splashing our way down the water slides, listening to and kicking our feet in the water. I was connected with people I love, the earth and universe. That was spiritual, but spirituality is deeper. It is what gives us hope when a friend or loved one is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, or we make a mistake and we desire forgiveness from someone else or even ourselves, or we need to know we are loved no matter what. Spirituality comes from deep within ourselves and is expressed through various forms. 

Our homes are an extension of ourselves, giving us a place to rest and relax, to feel safe and secure and, ultimately, to live, to be and to become. We have a special section for the Rochester Area Builders Fall Showcase of Homes and Remodelers Tour (pages 13–21) in this issue. We hope you will tour some new and remodeled homes for ideas for your own home.


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Rochester Women Magazine, Women Communications, L.L.C
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Copyright 2016