Announcing Our Director of Talent and Culture!

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Welcoming Lesley: Enhancing Talent and Culture at Geneva Suites

Lesley is thrilled to join The Geneva Suites leadership team as the new Director of Talent and Culture. With over 20 years of experience, including 8 years focused on recruiting and retention in the healthcare industry, Lesley brings a wealth of expertise to her role. Her passion lies in creating a welcoming environment where both new team members and longstanding staff feel valued within the organization.

Equipped with a Master’s in Organizational Psychology and 15 years in higher education, Lesley possesses extensive knowledge on skill development, enjoyable learning methods, and promoting self-growth. She is currently working towards becoming a certified HR professional through SHRM, further augmenting her qualifications.

Outside of work, Lesley cherishes quality time with her family and friends. She finds joy in activities such as camping, traveling, and indulging in music. Her love for gardening is another cherished pastime. Additionally, Lesley is deeply committed to giving back to the community. She currently serves as the President of The Honoring All Veterans Memorial in Richfield, MN, and has been a leader in both the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts organizations.

We are very excited to see the ways that Lesley helps Geneva Suites grow!

Lesley’s expertise in recruiting and retention in the healthcare industry will benefit residents of Geneva Suites by ensuring that the organization attracts and retains top talent. Her focus on creating a welcoming environment will contribute to a positive atmosphere for both new team members and longstanding staff, ultimately enhancing the quality of care provided to residents.

With her background in organizational psychology and higher education, Lesley brings knowledge and skills in skill development, enjoyable learning methods, and promoting self-growth. This will enable her to support the professional development of the staff at Geneva Suites, leading to a highly skilled and motivated team.

Lesley’s commitment to giving back to the community is an admirable quality that aligns with Geneva Suites’ values. Her involvement as the President of The Honoring All Veterans Memorial and her leadership in the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts organizations demonstrate her dedication to making a positive impact.

Overall, Lesley’s addition to the Geneva Suites leadership team is an exciting development that holds great promise for the organization’s growth. Her expertise, passion, and commitment to creating a welcoming and supportive environment will undoubtedly benefit both the staff and residents of Geneva Suites.

Celebrating National Nurses’ Week

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During National Nurses Week, we would like to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude to the nurses, especially our team, who dedicate their lives to caring for others. Their compassion, expertise, and unwavering commitment make a profound impact on the lives of countless individuals. At Geneva Suites, we stand in awe of the incredible work nurses do, and we encourage everyone to join us in celebrating and appreciating these remarkable healthcare professionals.

Compassion is the cornerstone of nursing, our clinical team exhibits this on a daily basis to our residents. There are countless heartwarming stories where they demonstrate their ability to provide comfort and empathy to residents and their families during times of distress.

Nurses who approach their work with compassion prioritize the individual needs, preferences, and emotions of each patient. They strive to understand the unique circumstances and challenges faced by their patients, fostering a trusting and therapeutic nurse-patient relationship.

Our compassionate nurses provide emotional support, empathy, and reassurance, helping our residents navigate through difficult times. By acknowledging and addressing the emotional aspects of aging.

Our nurses actively listen to residents and their families, ask thoughtful questions, and provide clear explanations. This empathetic approach helps everyone feel heard, understood, and involved in their care. Promoting trust and collaboration between nurses and our residents, leads to better outcomes.

Together, let us honor their invaluable contributions and support them in their mission to provide exceptional care to all.

Welcome Tanner as our new Director of Nursing!

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Tanner brings a fresh perspective, vast knowledge and experience to our team.

Tanner graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a Nursing degree, demonstrating his commitment to providing high-quality care to those in need. He then pursued further education and obtained a Doctoral degree in Healthcare Administration from Ashland University, equipping him with the skills and expertise to lead our clinical team.

Outside of work, Tanner enjoys playing hockey, cheering on local sports teams, and exploring new locations with his energetic dog, Finn. His adventurous spirit is evident in the fact that he has moved an impressive 25 times in just 30 years, but he is thrilled to call Minnesota home.

With Tanner’s leadership and dedication to compassionate nursing, we are confident that The Geneva Suites will continue to provide exceptional care and support to our residents. We encourage you to reach out to Tanner with any questions. He is eager to collaborate and ensure a seamless transition for our residents.

Please join us in welcoming Tanner Peterson to our team. We look forward to the positive impact he will make on the lives of our residents.

Missing Missy Chai

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At The Geneva Suites, our pet therapy program has been an integral part of enhancing the well-being and happiness of our residents. Chai, our beloved therapy dog, held a special place in our hearts. It is with profound sadness that we share the news of Chai’s passing. She brought comfort to those feeling lonely, provided a listening ear to those needing to share their thoughts, and offered unconditional love to everyone she met.

Chai’s presence had a profound impact on our residents’ lives. She had an innate ability to uplift spirits, ease stress, and create a sense of joy and companionship. Whether it was a gentle nuzzle, a wagging stubby tail, or simply sitting quietly by their side, Chai had a unique way of connecting with our residents on a deep emotional level.

Chai’s legacy extends beyond her physical presence.  Her memory serves as a reminder of the incredible healing power that animals possess. Chai’s gentle nature and unwavering loyalty touched the lives of everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.

While Chai’s passing leaves a void in our hearts, we are committed to preserving her legacy by continuing our pet therapy program with the same dedication and compassion.  Her fellow therapy animal, Axel, will continue visiting The Geneva Suites homes sharing comfort, happiness, and love to our residents.

Chai, your exuberance and full body wiggles will be missed, rest in peace sweet girl.

Parkinson’s Awareness

April is National Parkinson’s Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about Parkinson’s disease and supporting individuals living with this condition. As a member of the Parkinson’s Foundation (formally Struthers) for the last 10-plus years, we feel sharing the complexities of Parkinson’s is imperative to help bring awareness and support to the community. 


At The Geneva Suites, we are deeply committed to providing exceptional care and accommodation to individuals with Parkinson’s disease. We understand their unique challenges and strive to create an environment that promotes their well-being, independence, and overall quality of life. 


When renovating our homes, we keep our Parkinson’s residents in mind. We have open floor plans with as few flooring transitions as possible. Taking pills on time is a big deal for all residents, but especially those with Parkinson’s. Our goal is to have pills on time every time. For us, that means within fifteen minutes of pass time. Most importantly, we remember that if we understand and care for one resident with Parkinson’s, their disease and the progression is very unique to them. 


We invite you to join us in raising awareness about Parkinson’s disease this month. Please visit and learn more about the ABCs of Parkinson’s. Your support can make a significant impact in helping us reach individuals who may benefit from our specialized care and accommodation services. By sharing information about Parkinson’s and the resources we provide, you can help us make a difference in the lives of those living with this condition.


Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our shared goal of improving the lives of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Together, we can positively impact and raise awareness about this important cause.

Welcome Markie

We are thrilled to introduce Markelle (Markie) DeMenge, LPN, our newest nurse at The Geneva Suites. Markie brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our team, and we are confident that her skills and compassionate care will greatly benefit our residents.

Markie joins us with a strong background in nursing, having worked in various healthcare settings over the years. Her dedication to providing high-quality care and genuine passion for improving the lives of others make her an invaluable addition to our team.

Markie’s friendly and approachable demeanor, combined with her excellent communication skills, will help foster positive relationships with residents, families, and fellow staff members. Some fun facts about Markie; she throws competitively in axe throwing competitions. She and her daughter enjoy traveling and dressing up to go to different renaissance festivals around the United States.  Ask her about all of fun the places she has been and pictures of her all dressed up.

Markie is committed to creating a warm and welcoming environment where residents feel valued, respected, and cared for.  We are excited to have her as part of The Geneva Suites team and look forward to the positive impact she will make in the lives of our residents.

The Power of a Thank You

Let’s be honest, the senior care industry is not always the easiest. We get attached to our residents, which is heartbreaking when they are no longer with us. However, when a family acknowledges that our work makes a difference, the loss is worth it. We hear the saying, “Many hands make light work,” which is true in the senior care industry. With partnerships with Hospitals, Case Managers, Social Workers, Hospice, Homecare, and all of the staff, we can make the journey’s end peaceful and beautiful. Thank you!

Big Progress With Little Steps.

It amazes me how simple things can make big changes in a person’s life. Consistency can often be the magic formula for success in good health. I was reminded of this when I was in our Eagle Birch home. One of our residents, Rae, came to us a little over a year ago unable to bare weight on her legs and needed a mechanical lift for all transfers. Part of her decision to move into Geneva Suites was to benefit from the physical therapy we offer. Our physical therapy program includes working with, Dustin, our physical therapist. He. meets with the residents each week, and creates a daily exercise program that the residents practice with their care partners. Rae has worked hard to regain her mobility and with the support and encouragement of Dustin, she did it! Rae is now standing and working towards pivot transfers. By this spring she hopes to take her first walks outside in years.

All of us have goals that seem overwhelming to achieve. Hopefully, Rae’s story adds a little boost to your steps in attaining your goals.

How To Choose A Home For Seniors

5 checkpoints to find the right fit.

Finding the right fit senior home can feel overwhelming. That’s why I’ve developed a simple checklist to help you navigate this important decision.

1. What Makes You Happy?

Happiness plays a major role in health in the golden years. In choosing a senior home ask yourself, are you happier in private or in a crowd? Do you prefer group activities or just want alone time? Be sure opportunities for happiness is in the discussion of choices.

2. Know your health needs.

Not all homes have the same skills. For example memory care, post-stroke care and physical therapy are completely different skill sets. Be sure the place you choose has people with the skills you need for your specific health.

3. Small versus big.

Smaller, residential homes are a fit for people with higher physical and emotional care needs. Larger facilities are often a fit when the depth of care may not be as acute.

4. Stay close to family.

One of the most important factors in choosing a home for mom or dad is proximity to family. Even a one hour drive can take away length and frequency of family visits.

5. Stabilize your costs.

Some assisted living homes have variable costs based on care condition. What looks affordable on day one may become expensive over time, often with little improvement in care quality. Consider a fixed price cost model.

You have many options when it comes to senior care. I’d love to hear what your experience has been as you have learned about the various choices. Leave me a note below.

Small Steps

My professional love for seniors started in our home health care business. Through my work, I had the opportunity to meet CJ in 2015. CJ was 90 years young, still quite feisty and wanted to be active even though her body made that more and more difficult. She loved the feeling of weightlessness when swimming, however, she could not manage the locker room alone, due to pain in her shoulders and knees. After a brief consult, it was decided that our staff would help her maintain her independence by assisting her with outings to the pool and housework.  As the consult was finishing up, she showed me around her apartment. It was obvious that she was very proud of her Norwegian heritage, and the fact that she was a teacher for over 40 years. The sparkle in her blue eyes was present, and as I was packing up to go, she handed me a card. It was hand stamped and colored. “I’d like you to have this, “she said. “I make these to fill my time, and I really appreciate you coming today.” I was touched. When back at the office, I clipped the card on my bulletin board.

Fast forward a few years, I received a call. “Hi, you probably don’t remember my mom CJ, but she asked me to call you. She needs some help.” With a smile I answered, “Of course I remember CJ; she likes to make cards and swim.” That seemed to break the ice, and CJ’s daughter started to share all that was going on with her mom. Now in an assisted living facility, instead of her apartment, CJ’s health had begun to decline. The pain in her shoulders was more significant and chronic. Since she was weaker, she was wheelchair-bound, needed a Hoyer for transfers and could no longer wheel herself. “The place where mom is now is nice enough, just the staff forget about her a lot. She will wait in the dining room sometimes hours since she can’t get back to her room on her own. I think even though we are paying for her to be there, we need a caregiver to come and help her out again.” She discussed how often CJ’s pain meds would be given late and that it was hard to keep her comfortable.

“I’m so glad you called because I believe I may be able to help you with a better solution.” I shared all about The Geneva Suites. We discussed the beautiful environments and, more importantly, the unique personal care. Our model has three significant differentiators from other options: amazing care partner to resident ratios, chef-prepared meals, and physical therapy twice a week for our residents. “This sounds too good to be true; do you have time to show my mom and me around?” After the tour, the family decided to move forward.

On the move in day, I caught up with CJ in her room, already decorated with pictures of her children and grandkids. I recognized the painting of her cabin that had hung in her apartment years ago and her card making station. “It looks like you are settling in CJ,” I said, “We are excited to have you.” With a smile of delight in her eyes, she enthused “I’m ecstatic, and I can’t wait to start with PT. I want to be able to transfer on my own again.”

“Mom, we talked about this. You are 93 now and haven’t walked in over a year. Transferring and walking are probably not going to happen.” Seeing the disappointment on CJ’s face, I interjected. “Let’s see what Carol our PT says.  If you want to work, I know Carol will work with you.” With a quick nod and a smug smile, CJ said: “Yes, let’s see.”

In the coming weeks and months that CJ lived in our home, she did work hard with Carol and was an inspiration. She went from not able to transfer at all and needing a Hoyer, to moving with an assist of one. She improved from not able to bare weight on her legs to be able to stand and take a few steps. One afternoon while CJ was working with Carol, another resident commented, “I’m really proud of you.” This resident was not one to talk much and often isolated due to his clinical depression. “You are an inspiration to me.”

CJ was a little embarrassed, “It’s just a small step,” she said as she wiped the perspiration off her lip. “But it was a big step for you,” he said and went back to reading the paper. Both Carol and I looked at each other in a little shock. The brief interaction was profound on so many levels. The tenacity that CJ showed paid off, and it was spreading throughout the house.

As Carol was leaving the house to head to the next, she pulled me aside. “You know CJ and all the progress she is making doesn’t normally happen. Seniors don’t usually get the opportunity to have slow progress without PT being stopped. It is so cool what we get to do every day.” I couldn’t agree more, the opportunity together with the determination was a brilliant success.

Let me know what you think!  Warmly yours ~ Marlena