By Kendra Hennis
The Jarman Senior Living Center in Tuscola has been a staple in the community for many years. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic and all of the uncertainties surrounding it, owner Sally Foote has had to find ways for the center to adapt and expand. I recently got to catch up with her to discuss some of the additions and changes to the center.
How have things been going?
A bit of a challenge from 2020 to 2021. Our primary business is senior retirement living. People will live in a senior living apartment for short term, or long term. We had a few short-term residents move on just before the shutdown which stopped any tours or marketing for move-ins. The high rate of COVID in other senior communities also had many people fearful that a move into a senior living community would give them COVID. We had zero cases of COVID throughout 2020 and to date. But the fear is there, and we must educate, and be creative to safely open to tours, events, and ways to stay. Rent for apartments, offices and event space is what pays our bills, so we are getting the word out that Jarman is available and safe.
What are some of the changes at the Jarman Center?
Our changes have been focused on building relationships with other organizations and businesses, to safely open events and use of the property. I have personally met with some of the nursing home discharge planners and social workers to get to know them better and let them know how Jarman can provide continued senior care after an illness or rehab. We have also used more technology by adding tour videos on our YouTube channel (Jarman Center Senior Living), newsletter, Facebook page (Jarman Center Senior Living), google drive documents to share, and video calls and tours.
I also have met with Ainslie Hielich from Vintage Karma to promote our spaces for artists, I have restarted on site seminars and continuing education events for veterinarians and am reaching out to other educators to use our facility for workshops and events. I am hopeful to bring more people to the space, the entire property has WiFi, with media equipment for live stream as well as on site safe training and Continuing Education.
We have started Sunday dinner to go to have people experience what the residents eat every day at Jarman Center. I set up an online website for ordering and we limit the number of to-go orders to keep the focus on the residents first for food. This has been popular, especially for some of the single, elderly to get a great Sunday dinner meal. If you watch our Facebook page, I post the menu weekly, and you can also click the link on our website. Jarmancenter.com
Lastly, we furnished and supplied some of the available studio and one-bedroom apartments and set them up as bed and breakfast suites. This idea came when I read about other senior homes doing this to bring in income from vacancies. It also created a way to provide a way to try out senior living, for travelers seeking a unique, secure place and accessible place to stay, and a break for the adult child. We have vacant apartments, and we need to have income, so I decided to give this a try.
The BNB concept is to have more use of the property and to increase awareness of what Jarman Center is, office/ workspace, senior living, meeting and event space. This is what pivoting is all about – finding different ways to use your business to build it up while maintaining what is working for the existing business. For many years people have assumed we were full, or just did not know what we have to offer.
What should visitors expect at the bed and breakfast?
A place where you can make your stay your own. Each studio and one bedroom suite are uniquely furnished, using vintage mid century and modern touches. Each suite has a feature, the Monarch suite has photos of butterflies released from our nursery, and info about monarch conservation; the Heartland Hideaway has a beautiful handmade quilt on the traditional double sleigh bed, the Mid-Century travels has a twin with large sitting area using lovely mid-century furniture and a cool globe light. Each apartment has a tv (cable), Wi-Fi, coffee and snack station, accessible seated shower bathroom, and individual heat/ ac control. Guests will have a choice of hot or continental breakfast served in the large dining room on the first floor included with the stay. At check in (3 to 10 p.m.) the guest will be greeted by Jarman staff and escorted to their suite. Guests will have a key to their apartment, the front door, and the use of the call button system for our 24/7 staff. The property is secured and monitored 24/7. Each suite is furnished with towels, linens, and the necessities. Guests can use the common lounges, kitchenette, exercise room and hobby areas. If you play a musical instrument, we can provide a space for you to practice – just let us know! If you brought your bike – no problem. We can store that for you too.
We want to encourage people to use a stay at Jarman for personal or group retreats, a place for your guest to stay especially if they have accessibility needs, and for adult children to get out of town and have a nice place for mom or dad to enjoy themselves without worry.
For group creative, professional, wellness or spiritual retreats we would love to provide a peaceful, home like place with room to gather and stay safely. If you are a contract or temporary worker, you could also use our BNB suites as a home like place to live for your time here. Contact me at email@example.com for details.
What is the cost for a stay at the bed and breakfast?
Studios with a twin and sitting area are $75.00/ night, Double bed (up to two) $85.00/night, one bedroom with double bed $105.00/night. This includes breakfast, WI-FI- cable tv, call button, parking off street, and use of common areas. We can also provide all three meals a day for $20.00/per person/day additional charge. Weekly and monthly discounts are also available.
Are stays open to anyone?
Stays are open to any adult who will follow the guidelines for the stay. A guest may have a child up to the age of 12. We reserve the right to refuse anyone who will not comply with masking, social distancing, or respectful behavior. We are opening Jarman Center Senior Living for others to enjoy, while keeping the residents needs and safety our priority.
How can someone make a reservation for the bed and breakfast?
Reservations may be made two ways. One way is by going on Airbnb. For this, you can go on the Airbnb website and search Tuscola or Jarman center and you should see the three suites listed.
Or you can go to our website and call or email us for the reservation. There is a google calendar on the website for you to see availability, and if you wish to pay for your reservation there, you can. https://www.jarmancenter.com/bed-and-breakfast-suites-
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Jarman Center is a combination use property – senior apartments, meeting space, and professional offices. We seek the support of the community to continue to offer these services by having people use our facility – check out our offices for rent, our apartments for a weekend, week or longer stay, and when you have meetings or events call us. There are a lot of assumptions that no one can come in for family visits, or any events. That is no longer true. You can visit, and hold an event following the current guidelines for our state.
We are the locally owned, locally operated property built by the community, here for the community. We can adapt to provide personal attention for your needs as a professional with an office or event, a resident or guest at our BNB. Think of Jarman first. You can do this by sharing our Facebook posts, YouTube videos, website links, or newsletter. Or the old-fashioned way by talking about it or getting a flier from our lobby to hand out or post. We are also accepting donations of used good quality flat screen tv (they do not need to be smart tv) for the suites, or Mid-Century ashtrays, serving trays or small serving carts.
Sally can be contacted by email at Jarmancenterinfo@gmail.com, phone 217–253-2323 or text 217–722-4484.