Cassia in the News

A Novel Approach to Memory Care

When most people see Emerald Crest by Augustana Care at first, they say it looks different than other memory care communities. With four locations in Burnsville, Minnetonka, Shakopee and Victoria, each Emerald Crest house consists of twelve to fifteens suites arranged around a central living and kitchen area, with soothing colors and furniture arrangements.

The Emerald Crest model of care was developed in 1998 by Joe Guertin and Greg Getchell. Each has more than 25 years experience in designing and operating eldercare communities. Taking all they had learned and the best reliable research, they discovered a simple fact: people with memory challenges fare better in smaller, home-like residences that are easier to manage and navigate. In 2010, Emerald Crest was purchased by Augustana Care.

Augustana Care Emerald Crest was recently featured in an article by Good Age magazine. Click here to read the article at

Emerald Crest’s occupational therapy program was created by Cognitive Clinical Specialist Theresa Klein to help people with cognitive issues function at the highest level possible. Klein created the program because of her experience watching her grandfather struggle with Alzheimer’s.

Emerald Crest offers three distinct levels of care. The Vine Program offers a support system that is an extension of home for people in early stages of cognitive decline. The Spring Program offers more structure through familiar activities that keep residents engaged. The Marigold Program provides even more support and specially designed activities such as a multi-sensory environment to stimulate brain activity and capability.

The success of the Emerald Crest model has been recognized in repeated studies and is based on staff’s approach to memory care. This approach focuses on abilities instead of deficits and provides a thoughtfully designed structure to help restore rhythms, connections and routines that may have been lost.

 More information about Emerald Crest may be found at