Valley Memorial Homes has changed its name to Valley Senior Living, with all of its three facilities taking the new name to help the community better understand that it is, in fact, one entity.

“We’re very excited to share that with the community. We’ve cared for people in this community for 96 years,” said Garth Rydland, president and CEO of Valley Senior Living. “We certainly don’t want people to have the impression that there is different ownership. ... We’ve been here for 96 years. We continue to be locally owned, not-for-profit, and governed by 25 area Lutheran churches.”

The name change affects all facilities operated by Valley Senior Living.

Valley Senior Living on Columbia, located at 2900 14 Ave. S., connected to Altru Health System, was renamed from Valley Elder Care. This facility provides transitional care and skilled nursing care. It is the only community without multiple buildings, and has become the namesake of all three centers that make up Valley Senior Living.

Valley Senior Living on 42nd, located at 4000 24th Ave. S., is the new name of 4000 Valley Square. This campus is made up of multiple buildings that will retain their individual names. The Woodside Village facility provides skilled nursing and memory care. Wheatland Terrace is an assisted living facility, and Country Estates provides independent senior living.

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Valley Senior Living on Cherry, which is located at 3300 Cherry St., is the new name of the community made up of Tufte Manor, a basic care facility, and Cherrywood Village, an independent senior living community. The individual buildings will retain their names.

Valley Senior Living has a long history in Grand Forks. Opening in 1924, it was called Grand Forks Home for the Aged until 1959, when it became The Valley Memorial Home, and then Valley Memorial Homes.

“I think, despite our best efforts, the community never really realized that we had three different communities of care, and that we provide care to over 550 people of our community each day,” said Rydland. “I think, and deservedly so, they thought that we might be separate entities.”

Rydland went on to note the number of people receiving care at Valley Senior Living, and the staff of about 820 people, make the organization larger than a number of small towns in North Dakota.

The new logo, consisting of a tree with the organization’s name running through it, symbolizes life and growth.

According to the organization, it provides compassionate Christian care without the expectation of anything in return, to enhance the quality of life for those served by Valley Senior Living.

“The word ‘memorial,’ though it is a term of respect, isn’t taken in that same connotation and these are places where people come to live,” said Rydland. “We felt that it was a more accurate reflection of what it is that we do.”

He continued: “We have a number of people that come to us for short-term stays and go home, but there are a number of people that come to us to live.”