For over 60 years, Ave Maria, a non-profit agency, has been providing for the spiritual and physical needs of active seniors, as well as the frail and elderly in a Christ-centered environment in the Memphis and surrounding areas (mission). In 1951, the Ave Maria Guild purchased property in a residential neighborhood in Bartlett, Tennessee to open a home that would provide long-term care for men and women of all faiths and economic backgrounds. Ave Maria Home opened in 1956 with 35 residents.
In 1961, Ave Maria Home transitioned from a care home to a licensed nursing facility. A new wing opened in 1972, and two additional nursing beds were added in 1996, increasing nursing home capacity to its current 75 residents.
Current programs include an intermediate care facility with 24-hour nursing care, Assisted Living with a specialized dementia unit (St. Luke’s Cottages), an Adult Day Program, HomeCare Services and a Skilled Rehabilitation Center. The Adult Day Program and HomeCare Services serve a growing number of elders who wish to remain in their homes, but who need some assistance with daily living skills. Skilled rehabilitation offers physical, occupational and speech therapy to seniors to return them to their previous level of functioning.
Admission to the nursing home, assisted living apartments, and St. Luke’s Cottage is based on a waiting list and medical necessity. Current demographics of our elders include a variety of economic backgrounds (private pay and insurance) and faiths—55% Protestant, 44% Catholic, and 1% Jewish.
Ave Maria has built four 7,500-square foot Green House homes, which replaced the 1956 original wing of the nursing home. Each home provides private bedrooms and baths for ten residents, a common hearth area, kitchen, and dining room, screened porch, as well as a landscaped garden and patio. Residents live in community as a family sharing meals, socializing, and participating in activities. Additional Green House homes are currently being developed to meet the growing needs of the senior community.
Like many non profit agencies, Ave Maria must raise annual and capital funds to continue providing quality, long-term care for the elderly in our community. Funding sources include donations from the Ave Maria Governing Board and staff, the Ave Maria Guild, individuals, foundations, and corporations. Although a member of the Catholic Diocese, Ave Maria does not receive funds from the Diocese or from individual parish churches.