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Page Reviewed / Updated – November 28, 2020

The 10 Best Assisted Living Facilities in Des Moines, IA

Named the seventh-best place to live in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Des Moines, IA is on everyone’s radar it seems. In fact, Des Moines has experienced a population burst and is now considered one of the fastest-growing metros in the Midwest. It should come as little surprise that its senior population is growing as well, but the city is well-prepared with an array of assisted living options and a wealth of senior programs run by the Des Moines Park & Recreation Department.

Seniors enjoy exploring the 75 parks and 4,000 acres of land owned by the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department including the vibrant Western Gateway Park which houses a sculpture park within it and hosts regular farmer’s markets to explore. Seniors that are more adventurous can easily navigate the city via the DART bus system which offers a half-fare program to seniors over the age of 65. In addition, the low cost of living in Des Moines makes it an affordable place to retire for those who want big-city amenities at suburban prices. 

Keep reading to discover the top ten assisted living facilities in Des Moines, IA. Additionally, find out more about the cost of assisted living in Des Moines and what financial assistance programs are available.

3801 Grand

Situated in the stately North Grand neighborhood just a five-minute drive from downtown, 3801 Grand offers assisted living residents supportive care so they can maintain their independence within the city they love. The senior living facility is home to independent, assisted living and memory care communities allowing seniors to elegantly age in place. The downstairs lobby is modern and sleek and offers residents the chance to warm up near the fireplace after they come in from a walk around the neighborhood. Apartments are equally modern and offer kitchens/kitchenettes. Most residents take advantage of the restaurant-style dining area featuring chef-prepared entrees crafted out of fresh ingredients.

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Features
  • Guest accommodations available 
  • Transportation to medical appointments available

Edencrest at Beaverdale

Edencrest at Beaverdale is located just a few minutes off Route 6 in a residential neighborhood. The senior living community offers independent living, assisted living and memory care so residents can remain among friends and trusted caregivers as they age. Throughout the day residents can be found in the beauty salon, basking in the sun on a warm day in the landscaped courtyard or enjoying coffee with friends in the TV lounge. Assisted living residents have access to three meals served restaurant-style, laundry and housekeeping services and assistance with the activities with daily living as needed.

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Edencrest at Riverwoods

EdenCrest at Riverwoods is located just a block away from Evergreen park and offers Des Moines seniors a full array of care options ranging from assisted living to memory care. Assisted living residents have individualized care plans that include appropriate assistance with the activities of daily living, three restaurant-style meals and access to great programs such as the Live 2 B Healthy senior exercise program led by certified trainers. We included EdenCrest at Riverwoods on our top ten facility list for its innovative LifeShare program that allows family members to log into a secure portal and view pictures, write messages and check event logs to make sure their loved ones are active and engaged. 

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Edencrest at Siena Hills

Situated in a residential neighborhood behind Route 69, Edencrest at Siena Hills offers local seniors independent living, assisted living and memory care. Edencrest is also notable for offering a fourth level, one called closer care, which is meant to bridge the gap between assisted living and memory care. Assisted living residents receive individualized care plans based on what they need including assistance with activities of daily living, medication management and access to caregivers around the clock. Apartments are geared towards the needs of assisted living residents and include individual climate control and walk-in showers with seats.

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Ramsey Village

Ramsey Village is a continuing care senior community located a few blocks north of Drake University. The senior living facility offers five levels of care including assisted living. Pharmacy staff is available to residents around the clock and a medical director visits the community on a weekly basis to coordinate care plans. Assisted living residents receive individual care plans designed to meet their level of mobility and cognitive abilities. The nursing staff is always available and concierge services are available to arrange transportation to medical appointments as needed. Seniors stay active exploring the lovely gardens and walkways spread out over 10 acres of land during the summer months and settle down with coffee and friends in the game room and library during the winter. 

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Features
  • On-site salon 
  • Dentists, optometrists and podiatrists visit the campus monthly

Prairie Hills Des Moines

Tucked into a wooded area just south of Easter Lake, Prairie Hills Senior Living has offered local seniors elegant assisted living and memory care accommodations for the past two decades. The upscale facility offers seniors plenty of high-class amenities so that they can stay engaged and active during their senior years including a swimming pool, fitness classes, transportation services and three meals a day in a restaurant-style dining hall. Assisted living residents receive customized day-to-day assistance as needed with activities of daily living, access to an active social calendar, housekeeping, and trash services. We placed Prairie Hills on our top ten list for its scenic courtyards and quiet location. 

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Valley View Village

Situated just north of a shopping plaza, Easttown Park, and the East Side Library, residents of Valley View Village appreciate the walkable neighborhood and frequently visit nearby shops. The state of the art assisted living village offers elegant accommodations with kitchens, Pella windows, walk-in showers and oak cabinetry. Residents also have access to an array of on-site amenities including a parlor for greeting guests, lounges on every floor designed for socializing with friends, a library and computer room and a sunroom. All residents also have access to personal care services as needed and are invited to regularly scheduled trips to shopping malls, stores and restaurants.

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Features
  • All residents have a call pendant system 
  • Massage therapy services on-site

Bickford of Urbandale

Situated right off Exit 28 of Interstate 80, the Bickford of Urbandale is a cozy and quaint assisted living and memory care facility. The decor is rustic and comfortable designed to make seniors feel as if common areas are simply extensions of their own homes. Assisted living residents are encouraged to help with simple tasks throughout the day to stay active and receive help with the activities of daily living, healthcare coordination and medication management. All residents enjoy the Bread Basket Scratch Kitchen menu, which includes three freshly prepared meals a day. 

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Features
  • Private dining area available for special occasions 
  • Chaplain services available

MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care at Jordan Creek

Situated in a green spot behind Trader Joe’s within close proximity to a number of major shopping plazas, MorningStar Assisted Living & Memory Care of Jordan Creek is a luxury senior living community. In addition to receiving excellent personal care services on an individualized basis, assisted living residents have access to a wide array of amenities including a salon for manicures, a fitness room and a bistro. Throughout the day seniors can be spotted enjoying a meal prepared by the executive chef, chatting with friends by the fireside, relaxing in the spa bath or strolling through the fully secured and enclosed courtyards. We included MorningStar of Jordan Creek on our list for its wealth of high-class amenities.

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Woodlands Creek Retirement Community

Located one block west of the Campbell Recreation Area, active seniors enjoy the scenic views and multitude of walking paths accessible to them from Woodlands Creek Senior Living. The senior retirement community offers luxury accommodations and modern common areas to independent living, assisted living and memory care residents. Throughout the day residents can be spotted catching the breeze on their balconies, partaking in one of many chef-prepared meals, watching a film in the on-site movie theater or working out in the fitness area.

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The Cost of Senior Living and Care in Des Moines

Long-term care for seniors is relatively expensive in Des Moines when compared to Iowa as a whole. According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey, nursing home costs are roughly 10% higher, although other levels of care, such as assisted living, home care and adult day care, are just slightly more expensive than the state average.

How much does Assisted Living Cost in Des Moines?

Assisted living in Des Moines has a monthly cost of $3,950, which is approximately $100 higher than average for Iowa. In nearby Ames, the cost is very similar at $3,964. Sioux City has the lowest cost in Iowa at an average of $3,050 per month.

Iowa City and Dubuque are the most expensive areas for assisted living in the state, with average costs of $4,175 and $4,100 per month, respectively.

How much does Home Care Cost in Des Moines?

Des Moines and nearby Ames share the same average cost for in-home services at $4,767 per month, which is roughly $200 more than Iowa’s average. The lowest cost for this level of care is in Davenport, with an average of $4,004 per month, followed by Cedar Rapids at $4,195.

Sioux City has the highest cost in the state, and it’s considerably higher at $5,243 per month.

How much does Adult Day Care Cost in Des Moines?

Adult day care services are relatively expensive in Des Moines, with an average cost of $1,490 per month, compared to the state average of $1,353. In nearby Ames, the cost is even higher at $1,733 per month, which makes it the most expensive area in the state.

Sioux City is the most affordable area for adult day care in Iowa, with an average cost of $764 per month, which is almost half that of Des Moines.

How much does Nursing Home Costs in Des Moines?

Nursing care costs in Des Moines are at an average of $6,631 per month, which is approximately 10% higher than Iowa’s average of $6,083. The cost in nearby Ames is higher still, making it the most expensive in the state at $7,118 per month.

Davenport and Sioux City are the most affordable areas in Iowa for nursing home care, with costs of $5,627 and $5,840 per month, respectively.

Financial Assistance Programs in Des Moines

Medicaid Program in Des Moines

Des Moines residents aged 65 or older, and people with disabilities, can receive federal health benefits through Iowa Medicaid. Seniors are served through the state’s managed care program, known as IA Health Link, which is an entitlement for all eligible residents.

Medicaid members receive coverage for nursing facilities and in-home services, such as health aides and skilled nursing. Many other medical services are also covered, including doctor care and prescription medication, preventive and routine checkups, hospital care and outpatient services. Case management may be provided if necessary.

Additional services may also be covered through the waivers described below, although Iowa’s options for financial assistance are limited compared to other states. Waiver services aren’t provided as part of the state entitlement program and there is a participation cap.

Iowa Medicaid eligibility requirements for seniors:

  • Aged at least 65 years old
  • United States citizen and resident of Iowa
  • Maximum monthly income of $2,313 per month for an individual
  • Maximum asset value of $2,000 for an individual

Higher amounts are allowed for assets and income in the case of married couples. If both are applying for coverage, the income limit is $4,626 per month and the asset limit is $3,000. If only one spouse is applying, the non-applicant spouse’s income is mostly disregarded and a much higher asset limit is allowed.

Apply for Iowa Medicaid and the IA Health Link program online at the DHS Services Portal, or call (855) 889-7985 for assistance during business hours. Des Moines residents can also visit the local DHS Office at 2309 Euclid Avenue.

Medicaid Waivers in Des Moines

Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Elderly Waiver

Iowa Medicaid offers additional services to eligible members through the HCBS Elderly waiver. This waiver helps seniors remain in the community by facilitating options that will keep them living in their own home or with family, instead of being put into institutionalized care.

Recipients are covered for a set of services tailored to their condition and abilities, which may include:

  • Meal delivery, homemakers and chore assistance
  • Home health aides and senior companionship
  • Respite for caregivers
  • Transportation
  • Emergency and assistive devices
  • Home and vehicle modifications

Consumer-Directed Attendant Care (CDAC) is a part of this waiver that helps recipients perform activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and preparing meals when they’re no longer able to do so alone. Skilled services including tube feeding, catheterizations and other in-home nursing care can also be provided.

Consumer Choices Option (CCO) gives waiver recipients more control over their Medicaid coverage by allowing them to hire caregivers and other employees. Alternatively, the recipient can choose not to hire anyone and instead spend their allotted funds on medical goods and services. Counseling is available to help seniors and their families make informed choices.

None of the waiver services are considered entitlements in Iowa, which often results in long waiting lists. Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements for Medicaid, and they must also be assessed by staff to determine that they require either nursing or skilled levels of care.

Des Moines residents should contact their case manager to apply for waiver services, or ask their Medicaid managed care organization (MCO) under the IA Health Link program.

Read more about these options in our Iowa Medicaid HCBS Elderly Waiver Guide.

Home Health Services (HHS)

The HHS program helps seniors in Des Moines, who are living in their own home or elsewhere in the community, obtain in-home medical visits.

In-home services available through the HHS program include:

  • Skilled nursing
  • Health aides
  • Therapies
  • Medical social services

Applicants must be assessed by a physician, and it must be determined that they have a medical need for these services. There is often a waiting list for HHS coverage because it’s not an entitlement program.

Seniors or their caregivers should contact their Medicaid case manager to apply for Home Health Services.

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

PACE is a managed care program for Medicaid recipients who live in a community home, which is a term used to describe any private residence. The goal of this program is to provide the level of care required without placing the individual in a nursing facility.

Members receive care at a local PACE Center, which covers physician and nursing services, therapies, personal care, meals and nutritional counseling.

A team of specialists at the PACE Center helps members develop a plan of care while they’re living in the community, and they also help during the transition to other forms of care if necessary, such as a hospital or nursing facility.

Applicants must be eligible for Medicaid or Medicare, meet the medical criteria for nursing care and be aged 55 years or older. They must also live in an area served by the program – Des Moines and Polk County as a whole are covered by PACE.

The PACE service provider for Polk County is the Immanuel Pathways program. Visit the website or call (515) 207-6251 to begin the application process.

Other Financial Assistance Programs in Des Moines

Case Management Program for the Frail Elderly (CMPFE)

The Case Management Program helps seniors and caregivers by developing a plan of care that allows them to stay out of nursing homes for as long as possible. It’s designed for low-income seniors –– the income and asset restrictions aren’t published, although Des Moines residents who can’t get Medicaid coverage may be able to qualify for some CMPFE services.

Access to services, as well as any costs that the recipient may be responsible for, is determined by ongoing assessments. For example, an individual with high medical care needs and a very low income is given access to more services at a lower cost. Some services are free for all recipients.

Services available under CMPFE include:

  • Adult day care and in-home companionship
  • Assistive technology and disability modifications
  • Help with activities of daily living
  • Groceries, cleaning and food preparation
  • Private duty nursing
  • Respite care
  • Transportation to appointments

CMPFE is part of the Iowa Senior Living Program. Apply for services by contacting Aging Resources of Central Iowa through the website, or by calling (515) 255-1310. This agency is partnered with the state to serve Des Moines and all of Polk County.

Read more in our Iowa Senior Living Program – Case Management guide.

Iowa Able Foundation Loan Program

Seniors in Des Moines who can’t qualify for Medicaid but still need help with the costs related to senior care may be able to obtain a loan from the Iowa Able Foundation.

Although these loans won’t help pay for long-term care in assisted living environments or elsewhere, they can provide the upfront funds needed to modify a home or vehicle for accessibility. These funds can also be used to purchase assistive devices such as wheelchairs and other mobility aids, electronics, grab bars and prosthetic devices.

There is no age restriction for this loan program. Applicants must be residents of Iowa and able to show evidence they can pay back the loan. Applicants may also be asked to provide medical proof of need and price estimates on assistive technology or other purchases they intend to make.

Apply for a loan online at the Iowa Able Foundation website, or call (515) 292-2972 for more information.Read more details in our Iowa Able Foundation loan program guide.

More Senior Living Resources in Des Moines

Resource

Phone Number

Description

Des Moines Housing Services (515) 323-8950 The Des Moines Municipal Housing Agency manages public housing units in the area. It also administers federal funding for the Housing Choice Voucher program in the city and nearby areas. These programs help low-income community members find affordable housing or obtain assistance in paying rent in their current dwelling.
Fort Des Moines Senior Housing Apartments (515) 285-8505 This community is designated for low-income seniors and has 60 one or two-bedroom units. Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8) are accepted and can be applied for at the Housing Services agency listed above.
Walden Point Apartments (515) 288-9985 This community has 60 units for low-income seniors in Des Moines. It has one and two-bedroom apartments, elevators and individual temperature control. Housing Choice Vouchers are accepted.
IMPACT – Utility Assistance (515) 518-4770 The local Community Action Program is responsible for managing the federally funded LIHEAP program in Polk County, which helps low-income residents pay for some of their heating costs during winter. Income and other factors determine the level of assistance.


For additional information and planning, please read our comprehensive guide to paying for senior care in Iowa.