Primrose Retirement Communities to hold groundbreaking ceremony for first facility in Utah

Jim Thares, CEO and founder of Primrose Retirement Communities, visits with employees at a leadership picnic, Aberdeen, S.D., June 18, 2019 | Photo courtesy of John Davis of American News (Aberdeen, S.D.), St. George News

WASHINGTON CITY — A sense of purpose and quality of life should be maintained at any age. With this in mind, the South Dakota-based Primrose Retirement Communities is excited to hold a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday at their first senior living community in Utah: an 86-unit facility in Washington.  

In the late 1980s, there were not many options for taking care of our loved ones during their later years. Sure, there were nursing homes, and of course, a parent could move in with their adult children. However, many people were living alone, and after leading lives that included various careers, raising families and leaving their mark on the world helping others, they deserved something better.

In an interview with Aberdeen News, Primrose founder Jim Thares said he felt like his grandfather was one example of someone who was just sitting around and waiting to die. 

Thares said he knew we all could – and should – do better. He made it his personal ambition to change what people expected from senior care.

“I thought, ‘Shame on us.’ Here are people that have been productive in life and raised families and had jobs and they still have life,” Thares said. “We need to do a better job of fulfilling them in their later years in life.”

Jim Thares and his grandfather Andy in Ipswich, S.D., circa 1962 | Photo courtesy of Primrose Retirement Communities, St. George News

Thirty years later, Primrose Retirement Communities continues to enhance the lives of seniors, growing from its first independent care facility in Aberdeen, South Dakota, to 41 communities across 18 states employing over 1,600 people. Utah will be its 19th state.

Primrose now specializes in personalized services and high-quality, resident-focused care, recently adding memory care apartments to their facilities for those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Their mission is to create happy and healthy living environments for seniors, no matter what a person’s current health condition.

Jessi Weldon, director of sales and marketing, said one of the reasons for their success in memory care comes from looking at the situation from a different perspective.

“We make sure our staff is trained to go to where that person is, (to) kind of live in that person’s reality versus expecting them to live in our reality. That’s never how it should be,” Weldon said in the Aberdeen News article. “We should be able to change our ways to best meet what that person’s needs are at any stage in their journey.”

Dylan Kessler, training and development coordinator at Primrose, echoed this sentiment.

“Our philosophy is a person-centered care approach, so how do we do it the right way every time for that person, and recognizing it’s not going to be the same for everyone,” Kessler said. “Every resident we have and every resident we serve is the most important person to someone. And that often gets lost in certain areas of health care, but it’s very much on our minds.”

The  groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday will take place at 9:45 a.m. at the building site, located at 5190 S. Washington Fields Road in the Stucki Farms development. 

Rendering of Primrose Retirement Community building courtesy of Primrose Retirement Communities, St. George News

The multimillion-dollar project includes 44 assisted living apartments, 26 memory care apartments and 16 townhome villas. Westland Construction is heading up the project, financed by Plains Commerce Bank.

Thares said even with their growth and expansion, they still have work to do, adding that since they are based out of the Midwest, values like hard work, respect and accountability are evident in their company.

If we still have the opportunity to change lives or impact lives in a positive way, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing,” Thares said. “I guess I still feel like there’s still a lot of (people like my grandfather) out there.” 

The project is expected to be complete in mid-winter of 2020. When open, the retirement community plans to employ approximately 50 people.

For more information about Primrose Retirement Communities, visit their website.

• S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T •

Event details

  • What: Primrose Retirement Community groundbreaking ceremony.
  • When: Tuesday, Aug. 27, at 9:45 a.m.
  • Where: 5190 S. Washington Fields Road in the Stucki Farms development.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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