John Dugan built Dove Estates retirement home without ever dreaming he would be one of its first residents.
But after suffering a stroke, Dugan moved into the home with his wife, Marilyn.
“That’s what so fascinating about the whole situation,” their daughter Jill Steiner said. “What they started, they are now a huge part of.”
And not just as residents, she’s happy to report. John Dugan has largely recovered and remains active in various business endeavors, including the retirement home in Goddard that opened in March 2014, and her mother remains in good health.
“Dad wanted his five daughters to own Dove Estates,” Steiner said. “He’s the manager, if you will, and we are the owners.”
Steiner said her parents, who also have four sons, used to farm the land where Dove Estates is located. They gave some of the land for the construction of the nearby Church of the Holy Spirit.
“He kind of saved this area for a retirement home someday, but it was pretty general,” Steiner said. “He was waiting for the right time.”
When a Wal-Mart was established nearby, a project Dugan was also involved in, “he knew that was the time to begin this process.”
One of his first moves was bringing in the father-son team of Aaron and Lewis Kelly. Aaron has been a licensed adult care home administrator since 1975, while his son has worked in the business since 2001. Dugan knew both from their wok at Park West Plaza in Wichita, where his own mother lived.
“You don’t just start something like this without an experienced staff,” Steiner said.
Dugan took the Kellys’ advice as plans for the assisted-living part of the Goddard facility, which is licensed by the state and consist of 61 apartments, took shape.
Those apartments are in the home’s main 73,000-square-foot building, which is built around two interior courtyards and includes dining rooms, a fitness center, a salon, a game room, community space and a chapel that doubles as a tornado shelter.
The game room, in addition to a pool table, dartboard and big-screen TV, includes a demonstration kitchen where baker Bonnie Loewen conducts cooking classes and cranks out fresh-made baked goods, often snatched off trays while still warm by residents.
“The food is really important to people,” Steiner said.
Steiner said the $17 million facility was designed with the families of residents in mind. Several rooms and larger spaces can be reserved. “We want to encourage family events here – the anniversaries, reunions, Christmas parties. We wanted to involve family, because we are family.”
There are also two furnished apartments that family members of residents can rent on a short-term basis when visiting.
The facility includes four detached six-plexes, with town homes for independent living. The two-bedroom units with attached garage are a “short walk out the front door” to the main building’s dining room, Steiner said.
There’s room for a future nursing home on the property’s eight acres, Steiner said.
“We just need to get underfoot what we’re doing here,” she said.
Dove Estate employs 45 people and is about three-fourths full. Steiner said it typically takes retirement homes about 18 months to two years to reach full occupancy, “and we’re working hard toward that.”
Steiner said Dove Estates is not trying to compete with retirement homes in Wichita, although it has drawn residents from that city along with Goddard, Haven, Cheney, Kingman and Pratt.
What she’s most proud of is the facility’s rehabilitation center, which includes a robotic arm used in retraining after brain trauma, and the fitness center, which includes a treadmill, stationary bike, weights, whirlpool, sauna and more. A fitness director offers group and individual sessions.
Steiner said the goal with residents “is to just keep them out of a care home longer.”
Now you know
Address: 1400 S. 183rd St. West, Goddard
Owners: Jill Steiner, Dianne Kilby, Carol Holovach, Elaine Dugan and Jolene Peterson