The Canada District of the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (NLCA) purchased the block of land in Saskatoon surrounded by Wiggins Avenue, Temperance Street, Munroe Avenue and Osler Street. The NLCA’s intention was to build a seminary on the east half of the block and a retirement home on the west half.
The new home of Luther Theological Seminary opened at 212 Wiggins Avenue in March 1948. By 1948, the NLCA was known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church (ELC).
At the General Convention in June 1950, a board was established to act for the Home of the Aged in Saskatchewan. Pastor J. B. Stolee was elected President, Pastor J. T. Dahle was elected Secretary. Other members were O. K. Jacobson, Harry Jensen, Lila Storaasli and District President Dr. Mars A. Dale. This board was responsible for planning, financing and building the original Lutheran Sunset Home in Saskatoon. The membership of the board remained unchanged until 1958, at which time the Home had been in operation for three years and was debt free, with assets of approximately $300,000.
Pastor Harold Severtson was given a leave of absence from the Lutheran Church in Rose Valley, SK to carry out fundraising activities for the Home
The building contract was awarded to Shoquist Construction of Saskatoon and work began.
The first residents began moving into the Lutheran Sunset Home in March 1955 and the official opening was held on June 11 of that year. Located at 1212 Osler Street in Saskatoon, Lutheran Sunset Home offered retirement living in a Christian atmosphere for 58 "guests." Rev. Knut Bergsagel served as the first Superintendant and Chaplain.
Recognizing that aging residents required increasing levels of care, the capacity of Lutheran Sunset Home was increased by 63 beds, including 43 for nursing care. This was the beginning of the LutherCare Communities "Continuum of Living," as it allowed residents to remain within the familiar and supportive community at Lutheran Sunset Home, even as their needs changed.
Wilf Wagner succeeded Knut Bergsagel as Administrator.
Until 1967, Lutheran Sunset Home operated as a department of the ELC, which became part of the American Lutheran Church (ALC) in 1960. When the Canadian congregations of the ALC became part of the newly-formed Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada (ELCC) in 1967, Lutheran Sunset Home of Saskatoon was incorporated by an Act of the Saskatchewan Legislature. Although it became a separate legal entity, it maintained a close relationship with the ELCC. Delegates to church conventions continue to elect members of the board of directors and approve the by-laws.
When Luther Theological Seminary moved to the new Lutheran Theological Seminary building on the University of Saskatchewan campus, Lutheran Sunset Home bought the former seminary at 212 Wiggins Avenue and converted it for 12 seniors' housing units. It was renamed the Lavik Centre in honor of Rev. J. R. Lavik, the first president of the Canada District of the NLCA.
After years of planning and fundraising, and overcoming legal challenges, the 22-storey, 195-suite Luther Tower opened at 1223 Temperance Street, Saskatoon.
Paul Blomkvist succeeded Wilf Wagner as Administrator.
Luther Seniors Centre opened in the former Richmond School on Alexandra Avenue in Saskatoon, providing a pioneering day program for adults with dementia.
An 80-bed addition to Lutheran Sunset Home was built on the former site of the Lavik Centre. The home now became known as Luther Special Care Home.
The 30-unit Luther Family Housing for low-income families opened on Heritage Way, Saskatoon.
The sections of Luther Special Care Home built in 1955 and 1962 were renovated to create a secure Special Needs Unit for residents with dementia, as well as space for administration offices.
Harold Hesje succeeded Paul Blomkvist as Executive Director.
The 120-suite Luther Heights opened on Alexandra Avenue in Saskatoon on the former Richmond School property.
Lutheran Sunset Home purchased the 52-suite Trinity Tower in Estevan.
Health Services operations, including Luther Special Care Home and Luther Seniors Centre, became affiliates of Saskatoon District Health.
In partnership with the Saskatchewan government, Lutheran Sunset Home opened its first group home for adults with physical or intellectual challenges.
Two community day programs - Travel, Eat, Meet, Talk (TEMT) and Live Smart - began in 1995 to serve adults in the community who can benefit from increased social interaction.
The 33-suite Luther Place opened in Outlook.
The organization adopted the operating name of LutherCare Communities to reflect its growth in terms of services and geographic locations throughout Saskatchewan. Lutheran Sunset Home of Saskatoon remains the legal name.
The 15-bedroom Luther Tower Intermediate Care Home opened at 1230 Temperance Street, Saskatoon. Intermediate care extends the LutherCare “Continuum of Living” by serving seniors who are unable to live on their own, but who don’t qualify for admission to a subsidized special care home.
LutherCare assisted in the development and became the manager of the 155-suite Luther Riverside Terrace at 915 Saskatchewan Crescent West in Saskatoon, in partnership with private developers.
LutherCare introduced Home Help, providing personal care and support on a fee-for-service basis.
Bernie McCallion succeeded Harold Hesje as Chief Executive Officer.
LutherCare Foundation’s Power Bed Campaign succeeded in raising the $400,000 needed to provide a power bed for each of the 129 residents of Luther Special Care Home.
Vivienne Hauck succeeded Bernie McCallion as Chief Executive Officer.
The 15-bedroom Luther Heights Intermediate Care Home opened at 1904 Alexandra Avenue.
The dementia care unit at Luther Special Care Home was renovated to create the smaller and more home-like Temperance and Munroe Neighbourhoods.
LutherCare Communities’ Seniors’ Housing and Community Services divisions received a full three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). LutherCare’s services are now fully accredited, as the Health Services affiliated with the Saskatoon Health Region are accredited through Accreditation Canada.
Sod turned on January 12 for LutherCare Communities' seventh group living home at 1226 Temperance Street. Occupancy is planned for November 1, 2015.
Sod turned on April 17 for LutherCare Village at Stonebridge, LutherCare's new seniors' housing development at 250 Hunter Road in Saskatoon. Completion is expected in late 2016 or early 2017.