Lutheran Village will hold open house

Recent changes include new chapel, assisted-living facility

April 09, 1999|By Kristine Henry | Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF

The face of Carroll Lutheran Village in Westminster has changed extensively the past several years, with the addition of an assisted-living facility, a chapel and renovations to its Health Care Center.

Area residents can see the $13.2 million in changes firsthand at an open house April 17. Guests will include County Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge and U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, a Republican who represents the 6th District, which includes Carroll.

"The fact that we have an aging population means that people need to be thinking about their options," said Hermine P. Saunders, a spokeswoman for the village. "They need to make some decisions before they're forced into something."

The Diven House assisted-living facility, which has 50 units, opened in September. So far, 38 suites are occupied, and most of the others are expected to be filled by June, said Andrea Taylor, Diven House's program manager.

Potential residents must go through physical and financial assessments before moving in, she said, to make sure they do not need intensive nursing home-style care and that they can afford to make payments. Rates range from $75 to $108 a day, depending on the size of the room and the level of care needed. The price includes three meals a day.

The nonprofit village, which opened in 1980, was founded by 28 congregations of the Westminster Conference of the Delaware-Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Carroll Lutheran Village is the county's 13th largest employer, with 270 full- and part-time employees.

The new assisted-living facility was sparked by Evelyn Diven, who lived at the village for more than 10 years. She died in 1984, leaving the village $1.9 million for the facility.

Kathryn Gilds has lived at Diven House since October. Her husband, Franklin, who was a principal at Westminster Elementary School, died in 1972. She has lived alone since.

"I had heard good things about [Diven House] and I thought it was just about what I needed," said Gilds, 88. "I just felt because of my age, if I moved into an apartment, in several years I'd have to come here and I didn't want to make two moves."

She said the facility provides plenty of activities for those who are interested, although residents can stay in their rooms and read or watch television if they prefer.

"I like it very much," Gilds said. "You can do what you please."

In addition to Diven House, the Krug Chapel Auditorium opened in December. It was named for one of the village's founders, the Rev. Harry Victor Krug.

The village is also working on a new dementia wing, which will give stroke victims and people with Alzheimer's and similar diseases a place for constant activity designed to promote memory. The wing will be part of the Health Care Center -- which provides nursing home-type care.

The village has 48 cottages and 208 apartments for independent living, with a waiting list of 1 1/2 to three years. Although independent-living residents don't need help with daily activities, such as bathing or cooking, many enjoy living in the village community and interacting with others, Saunders said.

Hazel Kemper, for example, moved into a cottage with her husband, Carroll, in 1981. He died in 1983, and she moved into an apartment in the village eight years later.

Kemper, 88, needed hip replacement surgery about two years ago and was forced to move to an assisted-living facility in the area. She moved back to Carroll Lutheran Village as soon as Diven House opened.

"I have a lot of friends and I know so many that were here before and have moved to Diven House, too," she said. "I had lunch with a friend of mine today and we spent almost the whole day together. It's like a little village, it really is."

The open house begins at 2 p.m. in the Krug Chapel Auditorium.

Pub Date: 4/09/99

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