Helping Alzheimer's and dementia care patients live with pride and dignity
When Thomas Wiskow’s father died of Alzheimer’s in 1996, he vowed that he would create a home-away-from-home so others suffering from the disease could live with enhanced pride and dignity. He later founded a 162 resident Alzheimer’s care facility in Rogers, MN in honor of his father. When the new facility opened in 1999, his mother was their first resident and lived there until her death in 2001.
In 2009, Wiskow formed The Wealshire, LLC to create The Wealshire of Bloomington. Construction of the Bloomington facility was completed on 2013.
In 2018, construction began on Phase 1 of a new Wealshire facility in Medina, MN with the first residents moving in later in the year. Phase 2 of the Medina facility began in the middle of the pandemic in 2020 and was completed in early 2022.
Thomas’s son Cory oversees all operations at the Medina facility, conducts tours at both locations and manages the marketing for Wealshire.
We sat down with Cory to talk about the business banking relationship with our team at North American Banking Company and the impact it has had on their business.
The following are his words, edited briefly for clarity.
My family and my father started the business. We got into this in 1999 because of my grandparents. They both had Alzheimer’s. My dad made a promise that he wanted to do things differently for people with this disease. My grandpa lived with pride and dignity but we’ve been able to help so many others also live with pride and dignity.
When we decided to do Wealshire and we were looking at places in Bloomington, there was a place there that we fell in love with. Part of the team of investors that we had included Brad Huckle from North American Banking Company.
At that point in my career, I was really just trying to help my dad as best as I could. But that relationship between my father and Brad Huckle… you could just tell there was a friendship there and it just grew and developed.
Bloomington is an amazing facility. We did that in two phases. Then we opened up our Medina location in 2018. Then we got into the COVID years. But we made the tough decision in March 2020 that we were going to build the second phase which is 85,000 square feet. We decided that we were going to take the risk.
We didn’t know what was going to happen with COVID and our organization. But North American Banking Company was right there with us and we pulled it off.
What Makes Wealshire Different
We want to hire really good people. We can hire great people. We can do amazing things. The end result is that the residents here really truly live with pride and dignity throughout this disease’s process from the very early stages all the way through end of life care.
The buildings are beautiful and all of that, but what really makes this place go is the people that we have. It’s the nurses. It’s the activities. It’s knowing that we do it the right way. We’re not trying to cut corners. We’re not trying to do anything fancy. There’s no smoke and mirrors. We’re just trying to provide excellent care to our residents. Because of that, we’ve helped thousands of people and it all goes back to grandpa and what he had to go through.
We really are a community of well-being and we specialize in caring for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. What makes us unique is we separate by the level of the disease. So individuals in the early stage of the disease, where there is still a lot of life, there’s a purpose filled life that they are still able to achieve. We look at that purpose filled life all the way through because even when we’re in the last stages of the disease, there are still so many things that we can do to connect with those residents.
North American Banking Company
The relationship that Wealshire has with Brad Huckle and North American Banking Company goes back to 1999. Throughout all of the different phases, and all the different loans, we’ve always come back to North American Banking Company. There have been competitors that have come along but at the end of the day, that relationship, is just really unshakable. It’s easy for us to say that we want that relationship to continue for as long as possible. Trust has been built up on both sides.
Ben Loesel and the team at North American Banking Company have been with us from the very beginning. They’ve always been our go to whenever we’ve had big ideas or dreams of putting something here. I don’t think we would have got to where we’ve gotten if we had been working with someone else. That relationship that we have is pretty special.
We’re just not a number at North American Banking Company. We’ve experienced that with some big banks where you’re just a number. But being with North American Banking Company, I know I can just call Ben or Brad to figure out what we need to do and get it done.
I’ve continually tried to steer my circle of friends and acquaintances that I know and people that we’ve worked with because I know that once I hand them off to North American Banking Company, they will be treated with respect and the team will try to understand what they want to accomplish. I have absolutely zero hesitation in recommending whoever I’ve met at the bank because they are a great team and truly care about what we do. The service we receive is more than just giving us money. It goes a lot deeper than just that.
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