A life in senior carePublished 11:45am Monday, November 25, 2013
Andrew Anderson has been executive director of Garnette Gardens Senior Living Community in Redwood Falls for three months, and is still getting settled in.
He says it’s not that difficult.
“I haven’t had to micromanage. There was already a great management team in place,” he said last week in his office near the main entrance.
Anderson grew up in Fergus Falls.
“When I was growing up, I wanted to be a professional baseball player,” he said. However, by high school other interests took over.
“When I started college I knew I wanted to do something business-related since I’ve always kind of liked numbers and accounting.”
In college Anderson had an internship at a Fergus Falls facility somewhat similar to Garnette Gardens — and loved it.
An uncle in the healthcare field also influenced his direction, which eventually led to a degree in healthcare management from Concordia College in Moorhead.
Before moving to Redwood Falls last summer, Anderson was administrator for a nursing home in Barnesville.
Garnette Gardens is a one of nine senior living communities owned by VistaPrairie, a Hopkins-based firm.
Currently Garnette Gardens has 88 apartments, capable of housing between 85-95 residents. It also has a staff of 68.
Anderson said the best part of senior care is “getting to know the residents and staff. It’s kind of like a big family here.
“Every day there’s something new. I enjoy the problem solving, all the new challenges.”
The part of supervising a healthcare facility he could do without is “the disciplinary actions. It’s never fun or easy, but ultimately it’s what’s best for the residents. It’s a necessary evil, but necessary to provide top quality care.”
Since coming to Garnette Gardens, Anderson has instituted a new orientation program for the staff working in the memory care unit.
“It’s about how we approach and interact with the residents there,” he said.
Outside the office, Anderson has gotten involved in coaching area youth hockey.
“I’ve been playing hockey for the last 20 years,” said Anderson, who listed hunting, fishing, and basketball as among his other hobbies.
“I was a member of the Lions Club and expect I’ll join in Redwood Falls,” he added.
“What drew me to Garnette Gardens was the vision of VistaPrairie vice-president Pat Rafferty. I liked his philosophy of how to treat our residents and staff.
“And we have a beautiful facility here. It’s not hard to wake up in the morning and want to come to work in the morning.”