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El Rio Memory Care Community: A Family Legacy of Care

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Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” This wise observation also sums up the journey and vision of the Koelsch Communities family.

A tradition of service and care was conceived in 1958 by one very special family that now has a history of six decades in developing, building and operating senior housing. Emmett Koelsch and Alice Koelsch-Schultz founded their company based upon the goal of providing quality service in a warm and caring environment. The first family-owned property was a long-term care facility in Kelso, Washington. It was no exaggeration to call this home a “family operation,” since the basement served as the family residence. Family and staff embraced the vision developed by Emmett and Alice that employed a simple philosophy: “Treat all people with the respect and dignity they deserve and the special attention they may need.”

Newest Facility Opening
“Everything Koelsch Communities has done since 1958 has led them to where they are right now,” shared Executive Director Mary Keaton. “All that this family-owned company has worked for has led up to the proud moment of the creation, building and opening of El Rio Memory Care Community in Modesto this fall. To this day, the Koelsch family is heavily involved in every advancement and enhancement that is needed to continue the legacy of excellence in independent living, assisted living and memory care that crosses seven states.”

Each independent living, assisted living and memory care community is meticulously designed by owner and designer Judy Koelsch to support residents living with the challenges of aging and memory loss. Company President Aaron Koelsch leads with the same passion for excellence his parents possessed. This passion fuels the family’s mission of outstanding service with a personal touch, hands-on leadership, attention to detail and overall resident satisfaction. A strong company culture is reflected in their core values and dedication to providing residents with a caring atmosphere, comfortable lifestyle and unsurpassed customer service. This philosophy has aligned the Koelsch Communities as leaders in the senior housing industry and one of the nation’s few assisted living communities specifically licensed as a freestanding dementia care community.

Continuous Improvement
As the anticipation of the opening of the new state-of-the-art memory care facility grows, Mary is quick to point out that this new addition to the Koelsch family is a shining example of the company’s determination to always be improving. “El Rio is a dedicated memory care community that will honor 72 residents in a safe and caring atmosphere for those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Within this new location we will be providing respite care, hourly care, complete medication service, a diabetes management program, three nutritious meals, activities and exercise programs and 24-hour on-site licensed nurses,” she noted.

“Our assisted living and memory care programs are front-runners in the senior living industry because we train and employ licensed nurses onsite 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Having clinical nurses involved with every aspect of resident care, including health assessments and direct communication with physicians or medical caregivers, keeps residents safe and family members at ease knowing that true professionals are directing the care for their loved ones. Koelsch Communities has also developed the Personal Touch Program, a distinct training for staff that instills special significance in every interaction with a resident.”

Serving Clients and Families in New Ways
Mary explained that each new memory care facility built is purposefully developed by Koelsch Construction to reflect any identified improvements and adaptations. The new El Rio Memory Care Community is a perfect example of how the company continues to identify new ways of better serving clients and their families. Koelsch is very proactive about providing training for their nursing staff that will equip them to better navigate the changing needs of memory care patients. The Koelsch Construction team knows the company’s long-standing formula for success, yet knows they will always be implementing new changes and enhancements to make the proven template and vision even better.

“We invite those who are caring for a loved one as they journey through life with Alzheimer’s and other dementias to tour this new location so they can learn how El Rio or any of our 24 locations are different,” Mary concluded. “The original philosophy of Koelsch Communities still stands after more than five decades. This family continues to operate under its founding principles and strives to serve our seniors with respect, dignity and compassion. You can be certain that our family, with its more than half a century of experience, will take great care of yours.” ■

To learn more about El Rio Memory Care Community and the Koelsch Communities, visit