A Half Century of Service…And Counting
The Church of the Brethren first planted seeds for a home for the aged in 1880, but it was another 50 years, in the 1930s, before those seeds began to take root.
As the need to provide a home for the rapidly aging population in Northeastern Ohio continued to grow, plans were studied, proposals were made, but due to the economic climate of the period operating such a home was not financially feasible. Determined to fulfill this need, the church’s District Mission Board continued to research and evaluate options over the next two decades.
In 1955, the board’s dream became reality when it purchased the 57-acre, Susan J. Irving property. Located five miles north of Wooster on State Route 3 near three Brethren churches, the property consisted of a 10-room farmhouse and barn. In 1956, the farmhouse was incorporated into a home for the aged and a ministry of long-term care began. The Reverend and Mrs. Donald Sollenberger were the first caretakers of the Home and on June 5, 1956, they welcomed Elma Martin as the home’s first resident.
Over the next few years, it became evident the current location would not accommodate the growing demand for service. The District Mission Board began, once again, to search for a more suitable site. Using proceeds from the sale of the property, 26 acres were purchased along Mechanicsburg Road in the northwestern portion of Wooster on February 21, 1959.
In November 1960, plans for a home were unveiled at a groundbreaking ceremony. Paul Horst was named administrator and he oversaw the construction of what would become the new 26-room residential care home. The new community, which featured a chapel and large kitchen, opened in January 1962 with a new name – West View Manor in recognition of the beautiful scenic view to the west overlooking the Clear Creek Valley.
In 1966, an additional 20 residential care apartments and 47 intermediate nursing care suites were added to meet the increasing care needs of the area’s aging population.
In 1971, 46 more intermediate nursing care suites were added, bringing West View Manor’s capacity to 93 intermediate care suites and 46 residential care apartments.
As the decades changed, many area seniors became interested in living independently on campus in cottages. The Mission Board saw the value of expanding West View’s continuum and in 1983, six cottages were built and immediately sold. The broadening of living options prompted another name change to West View Manor Retirement Center.
To accommodate the shift in people’s expectations of their physical environments, care and services, the Board of Trustees commissioned a committee to address the need for renovation and to investigate the feasibility of further expansion that included larger rooms with more privacy, modern décor and furnishings and more functional activity spaces.
Renovations began in 1996 and were completed in 1998 making West View Manor the only community of its kind offering a state-of-the-art facility design complete with unique room layouts and dining options.
In July, 2003, construction began on Town Square, a new 50,000-square-foot assisted living community with a special neighborhood for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
Town Square and its offerings distinguish West View from all other area communities. The Town Center serves as a connecting link between the assisted living residences and the nursing center by incorporating an array of amenities such as a café, chapel, movie theatre, beauty salon, general store, library, wellness clinic and education center
As the Baby Boom generation prepares to retire, the strategic direction of West View Manor is shifting once again. To more effectively represent West View’s care and lifestyle options and to better reflect the anticipated needs of the Boomers, West View Manor became West View Healthy Living.
The future growth and strategic direction of West View is to evolve from its current position of a “highly respected nursing home and senior care provider” to the recognized “senior care and lifestyle services resource and provider of choice.”
Our goal: to become the primary community resource seniors and their adult children think of first for providing the care, services and proactive guidance and support seniors need to live a healthy, wellness-focused life.