The Blum family's history has been interwoven with Rochester's Maple Manor Health Care and Rehabilitation since its doors opened in late 1964.
That changed last week, when Pat Blum retired after 36 years as an administrator, and the family sold the nursing home at 1875 19th St. NW for $3.5 million. Pritok Capital of Skokie, Ill., purchased Maple Manor. Pritok now owns seven small senior facilities across the country, including one in St. Cloud.
"It's time to step aside, but it's a sad goodbye," said Blum. "I have mixed feelings obviously. You're talking about moving on from something that has really defined me for 50-plus years of my life."
It all started when Pat's parents, David and Dorothy Blum, with the help of their six sons, began managing the facility on the first day its doors opened. In fact, the whole family lived and worked there for a year as it was getting going.
"It was all hands on deck back then," said Pat Blum, laughing as he remembered telling school friends that he lived in a nursing home. "Nursing homes used have a lot more families involved in running them."
After he graduated from college and earned his administrator's license, Pat began working at Maple Manor in 1978. His parents retired in 1981.
A new administrator, Karl Swedberg, took the reins last week. He has known the Blums professionally for 17 years and is familiar with Maple Manor.
"We're really excited to be in Rochester. I don't expect any big changes immediately for residents or the staff," Swedberg said.
Maple Manor has more than 100 full-time and part-time employees on staff.
"This is a good match for us. They really 'get' it," Blum said of Pritok.
Pritok is coming into the Rochester market during a senior living building boom, with several new facilities, such as River Bend Assisted Living and The Waters on Mayowood, opening and almost all of the existing ones in the area expanding. Being near Mayo Clinic makes Rochester very attractive to the more than 77 million baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964.
While the Blums are no longer involved with Maple Manor, that doesn't mean they are done with senior care. In 1981, the Blum brothers realized when residents were discharged, "They weren't getting enough support," Pat said. That drove them to start Comfort Health, one of the first home health-care programs in the area.
The family still owns Meadow Lakes Senior Living in Rochester and Prairie Meadows Senior Living in Kasson. Pat still has responsibilities at Comfort Health, which is run by his brother, Chris Blum. Another brother, Pete Blum, still handles the finances of Meadow Lakes and Prairie Meadows.
"I'm still working toward being totally retired," Pat said. "The irony is that my wife just recently graduated as a nurse."