Three decades ago, building a nursing home in O’Fallon, Missouri, seemed less than ideal. With a limitation on the number of beds, courtesy of the state, and everyone’s eyes on neighboring St. Peter’s, O’Fallon wasn’t necessarily prime real estate for building a business. Richard Winter, president of Garden View Care Center, saw differently.
“I knew there was a need for a facility out in O’Fallon,” he recalls. “I had my own independent business [at the time, as did] Bill Weier, who was practicing law at his own firm. We formed a company and invested money, then started building the place.”
Today, 31 years later, Garden View serves three communities, in Chesterfield, St. Louis County and O’Fallon. Winter still recalls the care center’s first resident: A high school English teacher named Margaret who resided in Garden View for the remaining 10 years of her life. He recognized a need in the community long before others, and his intuition has kept him business-savvy all these years.
“I might be too hands-on,” Winter admits, “but I get involved with what we do on a day-today basis all the time. If there is an issue or a need, we’re here. We provide great care and each facility has its own little community. It’s our home.”
Each location offers a slice of culture, with a Bill’s Ice Cream Parlor (named after Winter’s business partner), artwork featured throughout, and even a space devoted to hometown hero Stan Musial, which showcases signed memorabilia and a reproduction of the baseball star’s Hall of Fame sculpture, recreated by the artist of the Busch Stadium statues, Harry Weber.
“We have a good reputation,” Winter notes. “We don’t staff to a minimum basis; we staff to the needs of the people that [we serve]. There’s longevity with our employees. Many have been with us for so long, since the beginning, and they have done a fabulous job of making us into who we are.”
Residents respond in kind, feeling comfortable in their surroundings and encouraged to live the lives they want to live. Swing by Chesterfield on a Monday and you might just catch a much-loved kitchen demonstration, “Eat with Sanda,” hosted by one of the residents.
“My mom spent almost five years in one of our places,” Winter shares. “It dawned on me that maybe this was her last home. She was a great baseball fan, so I took her to an All-Star Game in San Francisco. The way I look at it, whatever the family thinks mom and dad can do, they should be able to do.”
Garden View extends invitations to families to join residents on excursions. From catching the Rockettes at The Fabulous Fox Theatre to cheering on the Cardinals at a game, the care communities ensure residents get to experience the best of the city.
“You make one decision in coming to Garden View,” Winter explains. “As time goes on and more medical care is needed, your loved one stays in the same facility with a familiar staff.”
With dementia care services offered in all three communities, Winter looks toward the future of the company.
“My goal is to make our homes like hotels, with nurses,” he states. “The amenities are beautiful. We have licensed chefs to take care of dietary needs. We have a fabulous activity program that enhances the experiences [of our residents]. And over the years, we took every one of our bathing facilities and turned them into spas, offering massage therapy.”
The company’s catchphrase – Assisted Living Plus ™ – captures the elevated style of living offered at Garden View, where a social environment reinvigorates residents and families find peace of mind.