The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.


Who We Are

Since 1966, families in Emmet County have been able to count on Bay Bluffs, the county medical care facility, for high quality long-term and skilled rehabilitation care. Founded in 2006, the Foundation is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization created as a vehicle for donors to support special programs and services of the Emmet County Medical Care nursing facility.

Through the Bay Bluffs Foundation, you have a chance to help those who need our care your family, your friends, your neighbors.

What We Do

Raise money to support capital needs or special projects and programs that enhance the quality of life of residents at Bay Bluffs, the Emmet County Medical Care Facility. Foundation contributions are used to support programs and services not supported by traditional reimbursement.

Gifts from the Foundation support residents and staff through grants to Bay Bluffs. In 2022-2023 the following grants were made:

  • Purchase of specialized wheelchair for a resident to support ongoing physical changes and offer long term support for mobility.
  • Purchase of a new bladder scanner.
  • Resident special events/activities: ice cream truck visit.
  • Staff Recognition luncheon.
  • Resident holiday gifts – in partnership with the Ladies Auxiliary.

The Foundation fundraising campaign, launching October 2023, focuses on outdoor recreation program development. While the interior and infrastructure of the building is maintained through a capital millage, exterior or outdoor maintenance and improvements are not included in that millage. The Foundation is actively seeking grants and support to help Bay Bluffs with the following activities:

  1. Engage with a landscape partner to clean up all exterior spaces.
  2. Purchase new and additional outdoor seating, tables, and activity equipment.
  3. Install an additional shaded area for outdoor activities.
  4. Purchase and install raised garden beds that meet ADA requirements for resident use.
  5. Purchase and install plants and shrubs in courtyards and around exterior of grounds.
  6. Replace fence around the campus for increased resident and staff safety.

Our goal is to raise $250,000 over the next 24 months through grants and other community contributions and to begin implementing our outdoor recreation plan in May 2024!

Benefits of Outdoor Spaces for the Elderly

Humans have a connection to the outdoors, and it is no different for the elderly. Outdoor spaces can be extremely beneficial for elderly people, especially those who struggle with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

According to the Chicago Botanic Garden, “The keys (and often the greatest challenges) to successful aging are to remain physically active and socially engaged and to retain a sense of self. There are many measurable health outcomes for seniors and the outdoors. Even a short visit in a garden can lower blood pressure, improve vitamin D absorption, improve stability, and help with better sleep patterns.”

Being in an outdoor space can help give elderly people sensory stimulation. It can give them an escape, as well as providing a remedy for boredom. Seniors who spend time outdoors may experience less depression and anxiety. Individuals who run, bike or walk in natural settings have a reduced risk of mental health problems compared to people who do their exercise inside. The relaxation that nature provides can improve mood and increase overall feelings of happiness.

Getting outdoors promotes social interaction, whether through meeting new people or spending time with friends and loved ones. Natural environments are comforting sites for spiritual connectedness and for escaping the strains common in later life, such as boredom, isolation and loneliness. In addition, spending time in natural places increases one’s sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Current State of Outdoor Spaces (click to view larger)

Why We Do It

Bay Bluffs opened its doors to Emmet County residents in 1966 with the purpose of providing skilled nursing care for all, without regard to the ability to pay or payer source. With no operating millage, the Foundation is a critical component of the long-term viability of Bay Bluffs for future generations.

990 Tax Filing (click to open in new window)

Bay Bluffs Foundation – Board of Directors

Charlie MacInnis (Chair)

Janet Gentle

William Marshall, Sr.

Kristen Smith

Jim Schroeder

Lisa Ashley (Secretary)

Giving Opportunities

Memorial or tribute gifts, grants, donor designated one-time or multi-year gifts. Donate Online!

Current Donor Designated Funds

Outdoor Living Fundraising Campaign

Unrestricted Fund

Staff Support & Continuing Education

Resident Activities

Music & Memory Programs

Request More Information

For more information on the Bay Bluffs Foundation, please contact Lisa Ashley at (231) 526-4400 or

You are welcome to use the form below to contact us.