Madonna Manor’s New Home
$30 Million Complex Transforms Catholic Retirement Community


It’s billed as the “new” Madonna Manor. And they’re not talking just some spiffing up with a few cosmetic touches. They really mean new.

Torn down is the 40-year-old building that housed the sleepy little nursing home down Amsterdam Road from Villa Madonna Academy in Villa Hills. In its place is a brand new $30 million, 105,000-square-foot complex that has transformed Madonna Manor into a state-of-the-art retirement community that offers a continuum of care on one campus.

‘Absolutely Gorgeous’

The resident capacity has more than doubled. Madonna Manor now offers assisted living with 40 apartments and 22 cottages. There are 60 skilled nursing beds, a physical therapy center and 24 secure memory care suites catering to Alzheimer’s and memory-impaired patients.

The move was made into the new complex last July.

“It is an exciting time for us,” says Karen Bishop, Madonna Manor director of Marketing and Admissions. “It is an absolutely gorgeous building. It doesn’t have the feel of a traditional nursing home. It’s more like a five-star hotel.”

The new facility solidifies Madonna Manor as one of the premier Catholic-run senior living options for Northern Kentucky. The construction project was undertaken after the acquisition of the facility three years ago by the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, Ohio, an order dedicated to health care. It had been operated by the Benedictine Sisters at Villa Madonna.

Many New Touches

The facility represents the growing trend in retirement living toward a less institutionalized feel. Those in the market for retirement home options are looking for a place that feels like home.

“People are expecting nicer floor plans. They don’t want to see a nursing home with the long narrow hallway lined with wheelchairs,” says Bishop. “They are looking for more touches that make it feel less institutional.”

In the new facility, nursing residents have access to a great room with fireplace and wide screen TV.

Assisted living apartments have full kitchens and separate bedrooms. A full-time chef is on staff with varied menu options and a brunch the first Sunday of the month that is open to the public.

Bishop says the new food service has received the ultimate compliment.

“We found there didn’t seem to be many people at times signing up for our trips to area restaurants. When we asked why, we found people saying, ‘Why would we want to leave? The food is so good here.’”

A number of activities are offered to assure residents have the opportunity to get out and about.

In fact, one of the upgrades is a new bus. Trips have involved riverboat rides, picnics, winery visits and tours of the St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption.

Other new touches include the remodeling of a separate community center that is available for rental for parties and as a meeting room for neighborhood groups.

Physical, occupational and speech therapy is offered in a new rehab facility, with the opportunity for temporary stays for therapy following surgery.

A small pond on the campus has been deepened with a fountain and gazebo added. There has been landscape upgrading to the walking paths that have always circled the complex.

And the Madonna herself made the move.

Hanging in the hallway to the dining room is a wood carving of the Holy Mother that used to hang on the exterior of the old building. She adorns a mural designed and handmade by the Sisters of St. Francis.