Senior housing facility offers temporary apartments

Commons temporary housing

Temporary apartments at the Commons of Hilltop in Grand Junction offer seniors a place to stay while they’re recuperating or to provide a break for family caretakers. The rooms cost $100 to $150 a night and come with meals. (Business Times photo by Mike Moran)

Seniors sometimes need temporary housing, whether to recuperate from surgery or illness or give caretakers at home a break.

That’s where the Commons of Hilltop in Grand Junction can help.

A place that’s already home to many seniors now offers hotel-like accommodations. Ten guest rooms have been set up as furnished apartments. The Commons also provides meals, housecleaning services and maintenance.

The rooms are designed for people who want their own space while also receiving assistance — whether it’s following a hospital stay or surgery or to provide a break for a family caregiver at home.

“This is like a cruise ship that doesn’t go anywhere,” said Dottie Lundy, sales and marketing coordinator for the Commons, quoting the sentiments of a woman who investigated the Commons.

The temporary apartments run $100 to $150 a night, including meals.

“If they’re discharged from the hospital, we can help with food and showers,” Lundy said.

As is the case with many of the 26 programs Hilltop Community Resources provides in four counties, the Commons reaches out to potential clients, offering interested people a free meal in exchange for checking out the facilities.

Lundy said the approach follows the template established by Sally Schaefer, the retired chief executive officer of Hilltop who now works on health care reforms at the state level.

“We never say ‘no’,” Lundy said “We go with the assumption that we can do anything.”

Hilltop also offers independent living townhomes at the Cottages and Fountains. Residents have easy access to the Commons, a central meeting point for meals, meetings and live entertainment.

Other amenities at the Commons include regular card games, wireless Internet services, a hair salon, church services and access to the St. Mary’s Life Center in Grand Junction for swimming and other forms of exercise. In addition, the Commons offers 138 living spaces for people who might need assisted care and desire closer proximity to the cafeteria, activities and entertainment.

Lundy has worked at Hilltop for 20 years and realizes many rewards for working with seniors. “Everybody has a story,” she said. “They’re never the same.”

Lee Searcy, manager of the Cottages, put it this way: “This is a kinder, gentler generation. They’re always looking out for each other.”

Seniors seem to enjoy living at the Cottages as well.

“I like the help, the treatment, the building. The food’s good — everything,” said Marge Stewart, a resident of the Commons for a little more than a year.


Mike Moran has worked as a news and sports reporter, and news manager for the past 30 years, in markets that include Rochester, New York; Colorado Springs; Panama City, Florida and Monroe, Louisiana. He also teaches Speechmaking at Mesa State College and assists his wife, Toni Heiden, in managing her real estate company in downtown Grand Junction. Mike is active in Kiwanis Club of Grand Junction, the Mesa State MBA Alumni Committee, Habitat for Humanity, the United Way and the Botanical Gardens of Western Colorado.
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