MOORHEAD — A new 16-bed memory care facility has opened its doors at 1001 Caddy Ave. in north Moorhead.
BeeHive Homes is part of a memory care and assisted living franchise based in Boise, Idaho, with more than 180 locations across 20 states. The Moorhead home is owned and operated by Alyce and Mark Goldthorpe.
Alyce, a native of Lisbon, N.D., worked at a BeeHive Home in Cedar City, Utah, where she earned a degree in nursing from Southern Utah University.
"I loved it," Alyce recalled while giving a tour of the Moorhead home Friday, July 20.
After graduation, Alyce moved to Flagstaff, Ariz., where she met Mark, who was finishing up his master's degree in social work and public administration. Not long after getting married, she started to dream of returning to North Dakota to raise their family.
She then pitched her husband the idea of opening a BeeHive Home. It didn't take much to convince Mark, who saw firsthand the struggles his mom and aunt endured while caring for his grandmother.
"My grandma broke her hip and had to go to rehab. Then, she had to step down to assisted living a bit before coming back to live with my aunt," he said. "I became familiar with how hard the process can be."
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It's an experience shared by BeeHive co-founder Twayne Walker, who opened the first BeeHive Home in Meridian, Idaho, in 1987. After noticing a shortage of quality nursing homes in the area, Walker built the home as a "means to provide his grandmother with quality care in a personalized, home-like surrounding," according to the BeeHive Homes website.
BeeHive Homes are known for their small size. Alyce estimates the largest home features just 22 private guestrooms.
The Moorhead home follows an open concept. To the right of the front entry is a large television and activity room. Straight ahead is a large, open kitchen and communal dining room.
All rooms are private and include their own bathroom. BeeHive provides the dresser, bed and a nightstand, but residents are encouraged to bring anything else they might like to personalize the space. Services like laundry and housekeeping are included in all payment packages based on the resident's level of need.
Alyce currently acts as the facility's around-the-clock nurse. Mark focuses on managing the staff and meeting with families.
"My biggest strong suit is definitely with the family. I make sure they're comfortable and understand all that we do so they don't feel guilty about having to place a parent or family member in a home," he said. "It's a hard process, but we really just want to be there as kind of an extension of their family."
BeeHive Homes will host a grand opening celebration from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7. The event will feature a ribbon-cutting with the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce, pulled pork sandwiches and snacks, games for kids, tours of the facility and more.
Mark advises families visit three, if not more, facilities when looking for a home because it's not a one-size-fits-all industry.
"Some people need a nice, large facility with endless activities and residents; whereas our style is definitely homier, smaller and quieter. ... I definitely know there is a different fit for everybody. We just hope people will come see what ours is and see if it's something they'd feel comfortable in," he said.
The property has room for growth, Alyce said. If the demand is there, the couple would like to open three more 16-bed assisted living or memory care homes in the future.