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Trinity Care Center in Farmington celebrates golden jubilee

Trnity Care Center in Farmington celebrates 50 years of caring for generations of seniors. The center invites its hundreds of volunteers and the public to celebrate at a party this week. Kara Hildreth / contributor

Trinity Care Center celebrates its 50-year jubilee this week.

"I see this facility as an anchor and I mean that in prideful way because we care for the elderly and I see it as a place for them to grow their own lives," said Joy Lauterbach, director of activities and volunteer services at Trinity Care Center.

A ribbon-cutting was held 3:30 p.m. Thursday, July 20, to celebrate expansion plans. The center will be able to welcome 29 new residents with the new space. The building expansion gets underway in a groundbreaking ceremony in September.

Before Trinity Care Center, the facility was called Sanford Nursing Home. The Sanford Hospital opened 50 years ago in 1967. In the early 2000s the facility changed ownership and a portion of the building site was closed and has sat empty for more than 10 years, Letich said. The last wing of Trinity Care Center was finished in 2009.

Farmington Health Services provides a community of care at Trinity Campus, including skilled nursing and personal care on site, 24 hours a day. The campus offers assisted living communities, dining, social programs and a memory care area outpatient rehabilitation therapy.

"These improvements will mean a greater quality of life because we will build a brand new pod with the same design where the residents have their own home front," Letich said.

Since many communities the size of Farmington do not have care centers, Letich said, "t is nice for many to be able to come back to Farmington who need more care and still be able to see their family every day."

Trinity Care Center is known to engage hundreds of volunteers who flock to the facility each year. The volunteers come from the community, churches, civic groups and school district who come to learn how this care center is special because it is a place to give back to seniors who offer wisdom, humor and personal relationship building.

"We actually have hundreds that walk in and out of this building each week, and they all come to help and this is different and better than other facilities — the community has been such a force here and they have built us up to succeed," Lauterbach said.

Today Trinity houses 65 beds and residents live in two locations — the Cottages and Crossroads. The pod design for each home helps residents remember where they live at the red or the yellow house, giving them a feeling of security and independence because they live in their own individual home or cottage.

"I am proud to say as a marketing director that I do not make any commission off people who choose to come live here because I love the community and the people so much, and I say the community helps me market this place — the community helps grow us," Lauterbach added.

The facility angels are the 120 certified nursing assistants who serve as the wheels of the operation and interact and develop caring, close and unique relationships with all the residents, Lauterbach said.

When Letich searched through old newspaper clipping at the library that detailed when the facility opened 50 years ago, the owners expected thousands to attend from the area for the groundbreaking ceremony.

"We have grown our outpatient therapy here and we provide people who still live at home the opportunity to come into our facility for appointments with physical, occupational and speech therapy," Letich said.

Besides the caring staff, Trinity prides itself on its loyal volunteers who range in age from children to 100 years old, Lauterbach said.

"I tell our volunteers that for our residents this is their last train stop, and it is their job as volunteers to have purpose and it is an honor to be here, and for them to understand that this could be a resident's last day, so I say 'let's make this a good one.' "

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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