Bringing the young & old together, Generations Child & Memory Care prepares for opening

A new daycare and memory care combo set to open in Mankato this week is bringing the young and old together.

Owner Kristin Gunsolus says Generations Child & Memory Care was inspired by her grandmother, Shelby Adams, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.  Adams, who raised five kids, adored children, Gunsolus said. “She would light up any time children were around.”

Classroom at Generations Child & Memory Care

As Adams moved around to various memory care facilities, Gunsolus began envisioning a place where her grandmother could live.  When her grandfather, David Adams, made an off-the-cuff remark that there should be a daycare next to the facility for his wife, Gunsolus initially thought it sounded crazy. But as she started researching the idea, she says she learned that the concept not only existed but had a number of benefits, such as reducing isolation and loneliness in people with memory loss.

“That really was the driving force behind the vision of putting this building together,” Gunsolus said. “A place where people with memory loss can come that isn’t so lonely for them, and they can have joy brought into their lives daily.”

Generations has 20 private suites on the memory care side of the building, which is spacious and bright, with clean white walls and vaulted ceilings.  The common eating area includes a full kitchen and a large island for cooking and baking projects.

A memory table in one of the common areas contains an avocado-colored rotary phone and other items that might trigger memories for the residents.  Suites are still available, and some will accommodate two residents.  Gunsolus says there are still suites available for lease.

Shelby and David Adams sadly didn’t live to see the project to fruition, but the couple is remembered in the Hoffmann Rd building.  The halls have been named Shelby Ave and David Ln.  And David Adams’ beloved quilt hangs in the main common area.

David Adams’ beloved quilt hangs at Generations Child & Memory Care

Haley Fast, Activity Coordinator, says there will be planned events for the residents and the children, who will range in age from six weeks to five years old.  The COVID-19 pandemic could delay that interaction, but Fast said gardening, baking, music, and shared meals will be part of the experience.

The infant care is full and waitlisted, according to Fast, but there are spots available for toddlers and preschool-age children.

Generations Child & Memory Care will have a Grand Opening on Thursday, January 27, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.   Vendors will be present, and staff will be on hand to answer questions about childcare, memory care, and intergenerational programming.  Families can also tour the units, classrooms, and general spaces.  Masks will be required for the event.


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