The Prairie Island Indian Community opened a senior living center called Tinta Wita Tipi in June of 2018 at 24240 130th Ave in Welch. Originally opened to serve the elders of Prairie Island, the …
The Prairie Island Indian Community opened a senior living center called Tinta Wita Tipi in June of 2018 at 24240 130th Ave in Welch. Originally opened to serve the elders of Prairie Island, the center has the capacity to serve as a home for up to 20 people at a time. Since its conception, it has been open to all seniors of all backgrounds.
Last week, they held a celebration of their five-year anniversary with food, music, a petting zoo and more. During the celebration, Ashley Wagner, Director of Health Services and Courtney Van Vooren, Executive Director took a few minutes to discuss the services provided by Ebenezer Management Services, the company hired to run the assisted living facility.
“Prairie Island is actually maxed out on housing capacity, then, spatially with the railroad and the river and the power plant, looking for ground that was close within proximity to the island reservation, but still a bit safer than their current proximities, they chose the location here,” explained Wagner.
The location of the property is in Goodhue County just south of the intersection of Highway 61 and Highway 316 enroute to Red Wing. The total property is currently around five acres of land with Tinta Wita Tipi occupying the southwest corner. There will eventually be housing near the senior living center on five different streets.
The facility is for those over age 55 and they can serve a variety of individual types from fully independent to those who need care 24 hours a day.
“If somebody comes in under assisted living, they would be under our homecare license. Medically, we could help them with things like dressing, grooming, bathing and medication management. We would correspond with clinics and physicians as needed for necessary changes. But otherwise, folks have a right to continue to doctor with outside providers, though we do have one that does come on site,” added Wagner.
Tinta Wita Tipi is a unique opportunity for senior living, a fact that Wagner is proud of.
“Just our setting, the building layout, we are not your traditional assisted living and I think that's what makes us special. Most buildings are 90 plus apartments with a lot of people, a lot of hustle and bustle and we are this cute little serene gem in the country. We still have all of the perks like other senior living centers as far as activities and outings and all of the typical social stations, it's just a much closer-knit community here. That really allows us to get to know our residents and staff members on a more personal basis than I feel like you would in a larger community,” she said.
With their connection to the Prairie Island Indian Community, they do have a fairly heavy Native American influence on many aspects around the facility. Decorations, menu items like a buffalo burger and the like, even prairie restoration on the grounds.
“We have a Dakotan Word of the Week that that we all learn,” said Wagner.
“We would support any rituals for smudging that would happen if an individual moved in and would prefer to do that to their apartment. That would be welcome here and may not be something that you would see as openly at a different senior living facility. That is something that we embrace. It's not only allowed, it's encouraged if they would like,” added Van Vooren.
The services offered are tailored to the needs of the individual and they would love to discuss your senior housing needs. Visit www.tintawitaelderliving.com or call 651-385-3535 to learn more.