Years of experience
Tom Wiskow started his first memory care facility in 1998
Thomas A. Wiskow was the founder, President and CEO of a 162- resident Alzheimer’s care facility in Rogers, Minnesota that was built in memory and honor of his father who had died of Alzheimer’s in November of 1996. At his father’s funeral, Mr. Wiskow vowed that he would create a home-away-from-home so others with this devastating and progressive disease could live with enhanced pride and dignity.
Mr. Wiskow’s two years of extensive Alzheimer/Dementia care due-diligence in research convinced him that a new type of resident care community was needed that would allow Alzheimer’s residents to live within the level of their disease, and the “resident-to-care-provider” staffing ratios must be improved significantly. In addition, resident programming must be conducted daily, and they would not discharge residents when the care requirements of this disease became intensive.
When Mr. Wiskow’s newly designed Alzheimer Dementia care community opened in August of 1999, his mother was their first resident, and she resided there until her death in August of 2001.
Mr. Wiskow obtained the financial support from several friends/investors and in February of 1998 founded Dignified Assisted Living (DAL), which would conduct its business under the business name Wellstead of Rogers. Arlyce Severson was recruited from the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Association in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to serve as the Director of Care/Operations , and to work closely with Mr. Wiskow in the management and delivery of Alzheimer Dementia care at the Wellstead of Rogers, in Rogers, Minnesota. On August 15, 1999, the Wellstead of Rogers opened a 48 resident Alzheimer’s care facility on a 20-acre site, and the company reached full resident occupancy in less than 11 months. Delores Wiskow, the mother to Thomas A. Wiskow, was the first resident at the Wellstead of Rogers, where she resided until her death on August 22, 2001.
In 2001, Mr. Wiskow commenced the construction of Phase 2, which added 56 units to the original facility for a total of 104 resident beds specifically designed for Alzheimer/Dementia care. This second phase of construction included 12 beds of “behavioral” dementia care on an experimental basis, this proved to be extremely successful and very beneficial for individuals that can present themselves with some type of dementia with sever behavioral issues.
The experimental 12-resident “Behavioral Household” was a tremendous success, and the significant demand for additional “Behavioral Households” prompted Mr. Wiskow to commence Phase 3 construction at the Wellstead of Rogers in 2004, which included 58 additional “Behavioral” dementia beds in 4 separate households, and per the request of the City of Rogers, 66 units of general assisted living apartments. Upon completion of Phase 3 in 2005, the Wellstead of Rogers had a total of 162 resident beds devoted exclusively to dementia and Alzheimer’s care, which earned them the reputation for being the largest Alzheimer’s specific care facility in the country.
Mr. Wiskow mandated that the quality of dementia and Alzheimer’s care at the Wellstead of Rogers would never be compromised, which proved to be extremely beneficial in the Wellstead of Rogers being recognized as one of the premier dementia and Alzheimer’s care facilities, not only in Minnesota, but throughout the United States. The Wellstead of Rogers pioneered new facility design concepts for improved dementia and Alzheimer’s care, in addition to proving successful the concept of offering “Behavioral” dementia care on an expanded basis, which resulted in a significant reduction of the medications being prescribed for such resident behaviors . The Wellstead was also responsible for elevating care provider staffing ratios throughout the industry, and proving the necessity and advantage of offering life enhancement activity programming on a daily basis, to include Saturdays and Sundays. Mr. Wiskow took great pride in the excellent reputation that his company had earned, and in knowing that his promise of November 6, 1996 to his deceased father had been fulfilled.
The Wellstead of Rogers was financially successful, and against Mr. Wiskow’s wishes, the Company’s Board of Directors voted 3-2 to sell the Wellstead of Rogers on February 29, 2008 to a large firm from Massachusetts that specializes in senior healthcare related activities. The Wellstead of Rogers, and its many dedicated employees, will always have a special place in the heart of Mr. Wiskow.
Mr. Wiskow’s passion for being of greater assistance to individuals with Alzheimer’s, or some other form of dementia, would not allow him to seriously consider retirement. Therefore, since 2008, Mr. Wiskow has been actively involved and instrumental in establishing the Wealshire, LLC, a company dedicated to providing the best possible dementia and Alzheimer’s care in the State of Minnesota. In July of 2010, the Wealshire, LLC broke ground on a proposed 2-Phase, 130-resident dementia and Alzheimer’s specific care facility in Bloomington, Minnesota. The company will conduct its business under the Wealshire of Bloomington name. Arlyce Severson resigned her position at the Wellstead of Rogers, and joined the Wealshire, LLC management team.