Missoula’s St. Thomas House Offers Intimate Care in a Home Setting

Story by Elizabeth Rolle, for Montana 55

Visiting with various people who run small assisted living homes in the Missoula area spurred my inspiration. Each is unique in their approach, but most have a common history; one owner had to quit a job to take care of an aging family member, thus opening a home.

These homes exemplify personal care of each resident and an attention to each individual’s needs. I researched the variety of options for caring for aging adults and each search resulted in the same answer with regard to the best care: intimate care in small home settings with deliberate effort at creating value for each member of the home.

Senescence Care is a company that embodies compassionate care for aging adults, helping them live lives that are fulfilling and valued. The staff develops meaningful relationships with each person who chooses to call Missoula’s St. Thomas House home. Residents choose social events, share meals together and contribute to the community.

St. Thomas House has nine bedrooms and four and a half bathrooms. Each bathroom is generally shared between two-three bedrooms, and both bathtubs and walk-in showers are available for use. The bedrooms range in size from 125-265 square feet, and some offer private sinks.

Family-style meals are served with extensive consideration given to residents’ preferences and nutritional needs. All residents will be encouraged to eat together socially, however, anyone may eat in their room or choose an alternative eating schedule to meet their needs.

Three separate family rooms with fireplaces offer ample space for relaxing, watching TV or reading in a
cozy environment. Space for games or private parties also is available. The deck and patio overlook the Bitterroot River and Miller Creek, which is a great place to enjoy western Montana evenings.

Transportation is available to local events and appointments so residents can stay connected with
the community. Electronic media devices are available for resident use for correspondence with family and friends – through FaceTime and other social media platforms.

Private pay and insurance is accepted for accommodations with fees based on the choice of bedroom
and level of care needed. Call 406-203-7972 or email administrator@sencarehomes.com to schedule an
appointment to visit St. Thomas House, which is located at 3000 St. Thomas Dr., in Missoula.

Elizabeth Roll, the owner and administrator of Senescence Care, grew up in Missoula. She started
working as a CNA at St. Patrick Hospital while going to nursing school, and later switched to dental
hygiene. Eventually she returned to the University of Montana to complete a masters of public health degree and began volunteering with Missoula Aging Services. Visiting small nursing homes across Missoula, and working on various projects with the Missoula Coalition on Aging and Disability
inspired her to open Senescence Care and St. Thomas House.

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