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Home Care In Belle Plaine, MN

Home Care Belle Plaine, MN

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Hooper-Bowler-Hillstrom House gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Belle Plaine, MN is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Belle Plaine, MN

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The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.

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TESTIMONIALS

“Always Best Care comes in to help my dad a shower at night. When the guy came out to interview, he was really good and helpful, but it was just hard to find someone to help with dad been a little bit bigger and heavier. They like the person that they had come out a couple of times. The caregiver is good.”

Gloria285054

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Belle Plaine, MN?

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Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.

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When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

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The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

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At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Belle Plaine, MN

Types of Elderly Care in Belle Plaine, MN

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Belle Plaine, MN
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Belle Plaine, MN
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Union Square Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Belle Plaine, MN
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Sparetime Tavern or visit Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Belle Plaine, MN

Benefits of Home Care in Belle Plaine, MN

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Belle Plaine, MN, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Belle Plaine, MN

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your MN's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Belle Plaine, MN

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Belle Plaine, MN understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.


Respite Care Belle Plaine, MN

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Belle Plaine, MN

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine
  • Kingsway Retirement Living
  • Spero Belle Plaine - 55+ Independent Senior Living
  • Belle Plaine Senior Dining
  • Boessling Lutheran Home Apartments
  • Midwest Independent Living Services
Home Care Belle Plaine, MN

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Belle Plaine, MN

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way

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A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive

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Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider

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Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Belle Plaine, MN 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Belle Plaine, MN

Latest News in Belle Plaine, MN

Satanic Temple loses court battle over placing monument in Belle Plaine

The Satanic Temple has lost its court battle with the city of Belle Plaine four years after the religious group attempted to put a monument in the local Veterans Memorial Park.The temple asserted in two separate lawsuits that the southwest metro city had violated its rights to free speech and free expression of religion, among other objections. But a federal judge dismissed most of those allegations in 2020 and decided in September that the city didn't breach a contract when it revoked the temple's permit to install the monument....

The Satanic Temple has lost its court battle with the city of Belle Plaine four years after the religious group attempted to put a monument in the local Veterans Memorial Park.

The temple asserted in two separate lawsuits that the southwest metro city had violated its rights to free speech and free expression of religion, among other objections. But a federal judge dismissed most of those allegations in 2020 and decided in September that the city didn't breach a contract when it revoked the temple's permit to install the monument.

Belle Plaine is pleased with the court's decision, said Dawn Meyer, city administrator.

"Don't pick a fight you can't win — and that's what happened here," City Council Member Paul Chard said. "It's too bad it had to get this far."

The court's ruling came by summary judgment, not a trial.

Matthew Kezhaya, the Satanic Temple's attorney, said that the Massachusetts-based religious group has filed notices to appeal both the first case and a second, similar case that it filed.

"Our case was never heard," he said. "If the public silently watches this miscarriage of justice happen to the Satanic Temple, then it disempowers itself to credibly object when it happens to other religious minorities."

© OpenStreetMap contributors

The battle began about four years ago after a monument was installed at Veterans Memorial Park depicting a soldier's silhouette kneeling by a fallen comrade's cross-shaped grave marker. The monument garnered complaints for its religious overtones.

The city then took the memorial down, but new protests prompted Belle Plaine to create a free-speech area in the park and put it back up. The Satanic Temple commissioned a monument of a black cube with pentagram inscriptions and an upturned helmet on the top to be displayed as a counterpoint.

It was to be the first Satanic Temple monument on public property in the country, but Belle Plaine leaders canceled the free-speech zone — a "limited public forum" — after repeated protests by religious groups and free speech advocates and revoked the temple's permit. The statue of the soldier, who some called "Joe," came down.

The Satanic Temple sued the city in 2019, asserting that its rights were violated by the city revocation of the permit. Temple officials said they had paid to have the monument built and that its value was about $35,000.

The temple, which has chapters around the world and one in Minnesota, says its members don't actually worship Satan but advocate for a distinct separation of church and state.

In August 2020, a federal court dismissed nine of the 10 counts in the Satanic Temple's suit, including several alleging free speech and free exercise of religion violations. The lawsuit's remaining count alleged that the city broke a promise when it revoked the permit.

The "promissory estoppel" claim required the temple to prove that the city made a "clear and definite promise" to the Satanic Temple, that the city intended the temple to rely on the promise, that the temple did so with negative results and that the promise must be kept to "prevent an injustice."

The judge found that Belle Plaine made a promise but said the temple didn't rely on it because the group had contacted an artist to make the monument before receiving a permit.

Belle Plaine fulfilled its promise, the judge said, since the city never promised to reimburse the temple and the temple received ample donations to fund the monument. The temple didn't make a "compelling case" that its reputation was hurt or that the monument isn't fulfilling its purpose because it's not displayed in Belle Plaine, the judgment said.

Since the temple wasn't financially hurt and there was no loss of reputation, enforcing the promise isn't necessary, according to the order.

The judge also agreed with the city's request to penalize the temple for filing a second lawsuit that echoed claims that already had been dismissed in the first case.

The judge ruled that the temple should pay the city's legal fees for the second suit, which was dismissed, as a penalty. The legal fees still are being determined.

Erin Adler • 612-673-1781

Water boil advisory issued for Belle Plaine residents

The city is telling residents that a mechanical failure with the water system Sunday caused a drop in pressure and potential contamination.BELLE PLAINE, Minn — Editor's Note: The video above first aired on April 7, 2023. The city of Belle Plaine is advising all residents to boil their water after a mechanical failure over the weekend caused the municipal water system to lose pressure.City officials say pressure loss like the one experienced Sunday can allow contaminants like bacteria, viruses and parasites...

The city is telling residents that a mechanical failure with the water system Sunday caused a drop in pressure and potential contamination.

BELLE PLAINE, Minn — Editor's Note: The video above first aired on April 7, 2023.

The city of Belle Plaine is advising all residents to boil their water after a mechanical failure over the weekend caused the municipal water system to lose pressure.

City officials say pressure loss like the one experienced Sunday can allow contaminants like bacteria, viruses and parasites to enter the system, increasing the chances of humans becoming sick. Symptoms that indicate waterborne illness include nausea, cramps, diarrhea and associated headaches.

Residents are being told to use bottled water, or to boil tap water for at least a minute if using it for drinking, food preparation or teeth brushing to kill contaminants.

The city says water pressure has already been restored to the system, and samples will be collected and analyzed to see if it is safe. Residents will be informed when tests indicate the water is safe to drink and boiling is no longer needed.

After the system has restored pressure and the advisory lifted, it’s recommended that all residents flush the plumbing systems in their homes or residences.

For more information on drinking water advisories, check out the Minnesota Department of Health website.

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Belle Plaine student wins essay contest, selected to lay wreath at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

BELLE PLAINE, Minn. -- Thanks to an essay he wrote, a 14-year-old Belle Plaine student was selected to lay a wreath at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.Social studies happens to be Nathan Ludwig's favorite subject. So, when he learned he could visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier if his essay won, he sat down and wrote from the heart."I decided to submit one because, obviously, it's a huge honor, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I'm like, 'I have to write one I can't pass up...

BELLE PLAINE, Minn. -- Thanks to an essay he wrote, a 14-year-old Belle Plaine student was selected to lay a wreath at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

Social studies happens to be Nathan Ludwig's favorite subject. So, when he learned he could visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier if his essay won, he sat down and wrote from the heart.

"I decided to submit one because, obviously, it's a huge honor, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I'm like, 'I have to write one I can't pass up on this,'" Ludwig said.

The paper was a tribute to those who served and are still serving. His grandfather was in the Vietnam War.

"Nathan never got to know my dad he passed away before Nathan was born. But we talk about him a lot," said LaRae Ludwig, Nathan's Mom.

A group of teachers picked Nathan's essay, along with three other students. And last Tuesday they visited the monument dedicated to U.S. service members whose remains have never been identified.

"I only saw my grandpa cry maybe twice in his life and once was there. That's when I understood just how powerful and symbolic it is," said Ross Nelson, Social Studies teacher.

Nelson is Nathan's teacher and he planned the trip based on his own experiences. His daughter's essay was also selected.

Because it takes so much planning, this is a rare opportunity for students. And it's a trip Nelson hopes to make every two years.

"It's a lot of work. It's a lot of stress, but it's so worth it," said Nelson.

"At first it was a really big rush because we were trying to get to the top to be there by 12:45," said Nathan.

It's the same path U.S. Presidents have walked to pay their respects. Only a few people a day are selected to do this, and a reservation has to be made at least 6 months in advance.

"When it came to the moment we stood on the top and Mr. Nelson is whispering in my ear- this is the biggest honor you'll ever have in your life- but don't worry, it's easy," said Nathan.

And for the most part it was. The ultimate teaching moment made possible by the ultimate sacrifice. Proving that some lessons can't be taught in a classroom.

"My daughter was there and I have a feeling my grandpas and my wife's grandpas were looking down and smiling with pride. It's indescribable. The feeling. It really is," said Nelson.

To get selected, teachers read the students' essays anonymously and picked their favorites. One-hundred-ten students, parents and teachers from Belle Plaine were part of the trip to Washington D.C. and Arlington National Cemetery. The tomb is guarded around-the-clock, no matter what the weather.

John Lauritsen

John Lauritsen is an Emmy award-winning reporter from Montevideo, Minn. He joined WCCO-TV in late-July of 2007. Two days after he started, the Interstate 35W bridge collapsed.

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Fourth generation family newspaper reconnects Belle Plaine to its past

On "Communities that KARE," learn how Minnesota's oldest family-owned newspaper is preserving community history by sharing the news from a bygone era.BELLE PLAINE, Minnesota — Each Monday in Communities that KARE, we showcase unsung heroes that make a difference. This week we travel to Belle Plaine, where the local paper has been preserving the city's history for nearly 140 years."We are standing in the original building of the Bell...

On "Communities that KARE," learn how Minnesota's oldest family-owned newspaper is preserving community history by sharing the news from a bygone era.

BELLE PLAINE, Minnesota — Each Monday in Communities that KARE, we showcase unsung heroes that make a difference. This week we travel to Belle Plaine, where the local paper has been preserving the city's history for nearly 140 years.

"We are standing in the original building of the Belle Plaine Herald where my great-grandfather, Joseph Edward Townsend, started the newspaper," said current publisher Edward Daniel Townsend.

That happened back in 1882. The paper was an offshoot of a printing company founded around 1875.

The current Townsend gave our KARE 11 photographer a tour of the paper's archive where that first edition sits. It looks and feels like a time capsule.

Credit: KARE 11

Edward Daniel Townsend, Belle Plaine Herald publisher

Among stacks of past editions of the Belle Plaine Herald, we found old photography equipment and cameras from the 1920s and earlier. There were also stacks of old photos of the town and Life Magazines, highlighting some of the most critical moments in American history.

It's a collector's dream!

Credit: KARE 11

Belle Plaine Herald's archived photography equipment

This fourth-generation family-owned paper is nearing its 140th anniversary and continues to reconnect its readers to a bygone era.

Even as the Herald covers current events, the paper also republishes photos and snippets from 30, 60, 90, even 120 years ago, bringing a voice back to eyewitnesses of history. "We've got people in Belle Plaine that have fought in almost every war," Townsend said.

In the weekly paper, you can find out everything from what the weather was like for the crops in 1901 to what the infamous outlaws, the Younger Brothers, did the day they left the Stillwater Prison.

It's not just significant headlines that are worth looking back on.

"Belle Plaine stopped baseball during the pandemic, and our sports page didn't have any sports. So, we then decided we would start from the first archived stories of baseball in Belle Plaine," Townsend said.

So the paper started republishing articles from 1892 and ran them every week until they got to the 1900s.

"You can tell [the reporter] was writing as a spectator and as a journalist because he would get passionate in his writing, and that was always entertaining to read as well," Townsend recalled.

While the Belle Plaine Herald sparks fascination for the past, the Townsend Family is also looking towards the future.

"I'm excited, nervous, and I have high expectations," Townsend said.

"I think the history of the newspaper is something a community can't afford to lose. What happens today you can read about a hundred years from now. If we're gone, it's over."

No matter what direction the paper goes, Townsend is adamant that it will stick to its founding principles.

"I think the Belle Plaine Herald has stayed true to what my great-grandfather said we would do; this paper is going to have integrity. It's going to be respectful, and we're going to work with the community. I'm also interested in preserving the history of the community as well," Townsend said.

Belle Plaine running back Preston Kes overcomes major eye injury

Doctors could take the bottom of Belle Plaine running back Preston Kes’ left eyelid and touch it to his forehead.They used 170 stitches to mend the lacerations on his nose, cheek and area directly beneath his eye. These weren’t the worst parts of a boat launch accident two years ago, when a spinning hand winch caught Kes flush in the face.Things got worse when the EMT and dermatologist, who happened to be nearby and postponed launching their kayaks to aid Kes, told the dazed young man that he had suffered much worse...

Doctors could take the bottom of Belle Plaine running back Preston Kes’ left eyelid and touch it to his forehead.

They used 170 stitches to mend the lacerations on his nose, cheek and area directly beneath his eye. These weren’t the worst parts of a boat launch accident two years ago, when a spinning hand winch caught Kes flush in the face.

Things got worse when the EMT and dermatologist, who happened to be nearby and postponed launching their kayaks to aid Kes, told the dazed young man that he had suffered much worse than a bloody nose.

“The first thing I thought was, ‘There goes football,’” said Kes, who did indeed lose his sophomore football season before it started.

The situation bottomed out when doctors told Kes, “They didn’t think I’d ever have sight in my left eye again.”

Hope returned during a meeting several hours later with a retina specialist.

He said, “I think we can get your sight back to 50 percent or higher,” Kes said.

Four surgeries have restored some of the eye’s function. Kes returned to the football field as a junior last fall for the school located about 45 minutes southwest of Minneapolis. A season abbreviated by COVID-19 concerns, coupled with Kes not feeling quite like himself, made 2020 something less than a triumphant return.

A senior this fall, Kes regained his form as a tough runner who relishes contact. He ran 24 times for 154 yards and three touchdowns as the Tigers crushed Le Sueur-Henderson 37-16 on Sept. 11.

“This year, I came out and flipped a switch knowing this was my last year to play,” said Kes, a 5-10, 175-pound runner who leads his team into Friday’s game at Tri-City United. “It’s go, go, go again. I’m not looking back anymore.”

Living through their medical challenges of the past 24 months brought the Kes family through a cycle of tears, laughter and hope. Everything started normal on Aug. 11, 2019, the day before football practices kicked off. Then everything changed.

Preston and his younger brother, Carter, joined their father Matt for a panfish outing on Parley Lake near Waconia.

Just before 7 a.m., as Matt backed the truck and trailer down the access, Preston noticed the 20-foot Chaparral was coming off the trailer well before the water’s edge. He tried reaching for the winch, the handle already spinning his direction, but his hand slipped. The handle came around again in an instant and struck Kes.

His left cheekbone was broken, his left eye retina damaged. The medical professionals onsite wrapped a beach towel around Kes’ battered face and helped Matt load up the boat. The Kes trio headed to Ridgeview Hospital in Waconia. Preston received a CT scan and painkillers before being sent to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

“I remember getting out of the truck and getting in a wheelchair and they pushed me right into surgery,” Kes said. “Next thing I remember is waking up in a gown.”

After surgery, Kes saw a retina specialist in Minneapolis once per week. At home, Kes remained primarily on the couch, “eating a lot of ice cream and getting a lot of rest.” He wore sunglasses every day. Football was out, though he did get back into another sporting passion.

“I made sure I was cleared to go to the youth opener for duck season,” said Kes, a right-eye dominant shooter who made the school’s varsity clay target shooting team as a freshman.

Senior Gavin Fahey, who started playing football with Kes when they were third-graders, offered his longtime friend some perspective he gained through enduring two left knee surgeries.

“I told him, ‘Patience is big,’” Fahey said, “‘because you’re going to want to do everything as soon as you can, and it’s probably not going to be a good idea to do that.”

Kes did resume wrestling during the winter months of his sophomore year.

“There were a few times I was really shook, the times I landed face down on the mat on my left side,” Kes said. “I sat out for a few minutes because I was scared. Since then, I’ve gotten over that.”

Fahey, also a wrestler, said, “I think he got a lot of confidence back from wrestling, because it doesn’t get much more physical than wrestling.”

Weekly retina specialist visits have changed, first to once per month, and now once every three months. Kes receives a steroid injection to clear away blood and strengthen the muscles around the eye. Externally, the gash under his eye now resembles a dark circle, the kind people get from a lack of sleep.

With left-eye function currently at “15-20 percent,” Kes estimates, he can’t see much with his peripheral vision. He can read writing at arm’s length. From there, it’s all colors and blurry forms.

Kes’ brown eyes light up when recalling his comeback performance against Le Sueur-Henderson, capped by the Belle Plaine student section chanting, “I believe that we just won,” late in the fourth quarter.

Kes, who played a major role in securing the victory, said, “That was probably the biggest smile I’ve had on my face in a long time.”

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