100 Years and Counting: A Look at Otterbein’s Past and Present

Posted on: August 28, 2023

For more than 100 years, Otterbein has faithfully ministered to seniors and their families through compassionate, person-first care.

Founded in 1912, Otterbein SeniorLife has grown to include continuing care retirement communities throughout Ohio and in Indiana, skilled nursing and rehabilitation neighborhoods, and home health and hospice services.

In keeping with our UMC tradition, we seek to enhance the quality of life and holistic growth of older persons by building a strong community that supports people wherever they are on life’s journey. Learn more about Otterbein’s history and mission below.

Otterbein SeniorLife’s History and Present

Learn how Otterbein has grown from its origins as a home serving seniors and orphans to a network of premier senior lifestyle communities.


100 Years at Otterbein

1912: Otterbein is founded to serve the needs of children, the elderly, missionaries, and their families.

1960s: Otterbein phases out its orphanage to focus on senior living. Over the next few decades, it transitions to its current modern senior lifestyle solutions

2007: Otterbein builds a revolutionary type of senior community that will provide person-centered skilled nursing and rehab services.

2012: Otterbein joyously celebrates 100 years of providing holistic care and enhancing the human dignity and growth of every person. 

2018: To better display Otterbein’s mission and values, new branding and a new website are unveiled.

What People Are Saying About Otterbein

You don’t have to take our word for it – see what residents and employee partners have to say about living and working at Otterbein.

“The church connection has been rigorously held to. And the mission of this wonderful group – I can’t say enough about how I admire the leadership, and how they stay with their mission to care for people and to keep the church connection.”

  • Judy Royalty, Otterbein Homes Board

“Just because you’re older, it doesn’t mean you have to stop doing things you once enjoyed. We just find a different way to get there or do that. Getting the opportunity to do that for somebody, the feeling is beyond words, and that’s the reward I get to do every day.”

  • Holly Bolin, Lebanon partner

“For us, we said this is where we want to finish. This place has it all. It’s holistic, and it’s complete. That’s a big deal to us.”

Rob Nason, Lebanon resident

“I felt always like I wasn’t getting enough done, like I wasn’t doing a good enough job at anything. Now, when she’s here, I think too that she takes care of herself a little bit more being here than being with me, not even realizing it. She’s a little bit more independent. It’s just a huge relief and everybody can just have good relationships.”

  • Jodi Usford, daughter of Springboro Neighborhood elder

“We have children. We have grandchildren. None of them live nearby, but they visit frequently, and when they come, they leave knowing that Dad or Grandpa is in a place where he wants to be, a place where he’s well-cared for, a place where he has many activities to be involved in, and a place where he is surrounded by many, many friends. That’s important to me – because they are at ease, and because they are, then I am.”

  • Bob Jones, Marblehead resident

Learn more about our new brand and vision >>

Lifestyle and Wellness at Otterbein SeniorLife

How does Otterbein provide the highest level of care and compassion? The opportunities at Otterbein allow each person to reflect on their unique style, their individual sense of purpose, and more of what they value most.

We focus on nine degrees of wellness – what we call “complete wellness” – at Otterbein to help each person live life to the fullest.

The degrees of wellness include:

  • Physical
  • Environmental
  • Social
  • Intellectual
  • Cultural
  • Emotional
  • Vocational
  • Spiritual
  • Creative

Through activities and amenities at each Otterbein campus, residents find the support and resources they need to live the life they deserve.

Learn More About Life at Otterbein SeniorLife

Interested in the Otterbein lifestyle?

Download our free eBook, “Complete Wellness: Your Guide to a More Fulfilling Life,” for detailed information on how we help residents achieve each degree of wellness on campus. Plus, you’ll get tips for implementing these degrees right now in your own life.

Read Nine Degrees of Wellness