Auburn Meadows opens its doors in Waconia

The senior population in Carver County is fortunate to be served by many quality facilities, the newest of which is newly opened Auburn Meadows, located at 591 Cherry Dr. in Waconia.
Auburn Meadows offers assisted living, memory care and enhanced care for 62 residents who can take advantage of comfortable living spaces and a diverse range of services while finding the ideal balance between independence and support. Auburn Meadows offers 24-hour nursing staff and security, social programs and wellness activities. The facility features a number of amenities, including special dining areas, a wellness center, celebration center, theatre, library, activity centers, club room, and The Petal Cafe.
Construction began on the approximately $6 million facility in November 2011 and it officially opened on Dec. 11, 2012. Auburn Meadows has filled about one-third of its residential capacity and employs about 30 people. When the building is full, the staff size is expected to more than double its current size.
The folks behind Auburn Meadows are no stranger to the Waconia community.
Located next door to Auburn Meadows is sister facility Auburn Home, a long-term care community with short-term rehabilitation services that can serve almost 40 residents. Auburn Home has been in Waconia since 1998, when it was called Auburn West and replaced Nightingale Nursing Home. Auburn Home moved to a new building and its current location on Cherry Drive in 2008.
Sheila Nieland-Snyder, the Community Relations Manager for Auburn Homes & Services, said Auburn Meadows is focused on the wellness and enhancement of its residents.
“What we’re really trying to do is make it overall wellness experience,” said Nieland-Snyder, noting that the wellness center itself is one of the highlights of the building. “Jill Neubauer is our personal trainer. She’ll do one-on-one and group training with the residents and our staff.”
For spiritual wellness, Auburn Meadows offers the services of Chaplain Carol Wachter.
“In addition to Jill and Carol, we have Patti Melancon and her focus is life enhancement and meeting those social and emotional needs,” Nieland-Snyder said. “Executive Chef Shawn Cooper and his team meet the nutritional needs of our residents. And our wellness team also consists of Christina Weishert and Tracy Courneya. They are our RNs who oversee the day to day health and wellness of our residents.”
In addition to the staff, residents will find pleasure in the facility’s many amenities.
“We have a lovely library and theater room,” Nieland-Snyder noted. “Those are nice amenities people can use in their day-to-day lives. The Petal Cafe is open to the public and has breakfast and lunch specials. It has delicious gourmet salads and not so healthy pies and cakes that satisfy that sweet tooth when you need it.”
As noted, the public is welcome to visit The Petal Cafe, which is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and on Sundays. Nieland-Snyder said the cafe is an example of how Auburn Meadows is making the residents’ home feel open and welcoming to the surrounding community.
Another example of this is the fact that Auburn Meadows is physically connected to Lil’ Explorers, a childcare center currently located in downtown Waconia that will be opening next to Auburn Homes later this winter.
“We’ve been planning a lot of intergenerational activities” between our residents and the children at the center, Nieland-Snyder said. The activities include movies, baking and cooking, bible studies, gardening, “adopt-a-grandparent” programs and baby rocking.
“Grandmothers love to rock babies,” said Nieland-Snyder, who noted the interesting possibilities of someone being able to drop their children off at the childcare center, visiting mom or dad, and grab something for lunch from the cafe all at the same complex.
When it comes to the living spaces, options include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.
“They can choose whatever style and size they need,” Nieland-Snyder said. “When we were planning and designing the building, we were trying to create a place where you would fit in right away. The building turned out gorgeous but it’s still comfortable, homey.”
The community is invited to take a tour and enjoy entertainment, refreshments and more during a Grand Opening event that will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27. A ribbon cutting with the Waconia Chamber of Commerce is scheduled to take place at 1:30 p.m.
Nieland-Snyder and the rest of the Auburn Meadows staff is excited about the future.
“We’re just so pleased to be a part of the Waconia area and supporting the needs of its senior population,” she said.
To learn more about Auburn Meadows, visit or contact Krista Buesgens, Marketing Associate, at (952) 442-6616 or [email protected], or Judy Gustafson, Marketing Coordinator, at (952) 227-0494 or [email protected] For information about Auburn Home, contact Lynn Haering, Social Services Director, at (952) 443-6702 or [email protected]

Contact Todd Moen at [email protected]