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Page Reviewed / Updated – June 29, 2023
Iowa’s capital and largest city, Des Moines is located at the center of the corn belt along the Des Moines River. Approximately 12% of the city’s 211,000 residents are aged 65 and over. While health care costs are higher than the national average, the cost of living as a whole is lower and there are far more doctors per capita. Nearby are UnityPoint Health Methodist Medical Center and MercyOne Des Moines, both offering specialized geriatric care, including Alzheimer’s and dementia care.
As memory care is a more intensive form of care that requires a higher level of supervision and additional services, as well as specialized design features, the cost is usually around 25% more per month than assisted living. Des Moines seniors pay an average of $6,004 per month for memory care, higher than both state and national averages of $5,459 and $5,625, respectively.
Memory care communities offer targeted assistance through activities and therapies such as reminiscence therapy, dietary changes, physical and cognitive exercises and behavior support services. Staff members in these facilities include qualified care associates, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, medical directors, and housekeepers.
This guide covers the top 10 memory care communities in Des Moines. It covers features that set apart these communities from others, so you can make the right choice for you and your loved one.
Ramsey Village Continuing Care
Ramsey Village offers two memory care programs and a variety of life-enhancing amenities in a safe, structured and nurturing environment. The Courtyard program offers engaging, therapeutic activities to residents in the early stages of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. These include memory games, brain-teaser exercises, massage therapy and manicures. For those with more advanced memory loss or physical limitations, or who require a higher level of skilled nursing care, the Bridges program provides individualized care in the community's health center. Throughout the 10-acre property are elegant common areas, quiet rooms, a courtyard, a library, a beauty salon and barbershop, exercise room and a games room for residents' enjoyment.
Edencrest at Beaverdale
Edencrest at Beaverdale provides a wide range of programs for seniors with dementia to enhance their physical and cognitive capabilities and promote socialization. Among them are color therapy, music therapy, cognitive games, craft classes and health and fitness programs. Memory care staff can offer residents one-to-one interaction to reduce stress levels and foster familiarity. Among the community's amenities is a secure courtyard with a garden where residents can tend flowers. Seniors have access to a beauty salon and barbershop and a spa for relaxing after a busy day, as well as a mixture of movies to enjoy with their peers. Studio apartments feature private bathrooms, a refrigerator, microwave oven, air conditioning and cable television.
Edencrest at Riverwoods
Located close to a medical center and a pharmacy, Edencrest at Riverwoods provides a specialized, secure environment for people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. The memory care neighborhood provides assistance with activities of daily living, 24-hour supervision and daily programming to meet each resident's individual needs. Seniors can participate in a range of therapeutic and engaging programs and activities such as color therapy, crafts, memory games, fitness classes and music therapy. Community amenities include a secure courtyard and garden, barbershop, beauty salon, relaxing spa, TV room, coffee shop and party spaces. In addition, residents are served three meals daily in a dining room dedicated to memory care.
Bickford of Urbandale
Bickford of Urbandale is recognized in our top 10 list for its diverse memory care programs. Using the Lifesong Document, caregivers are able to capture residents' historical information and use it to assist them on a daily basis. Additionally, Lifesong Baskets/Stations are filled with items that correspond to residents' interests and hobbies and are utilized for meaningful and engaging activities. Other premium services include a companion care program, offering one-on-one activities to maximize resident engagement, and Moments of Happiness, a specialized program designed for dementia residents. Residents have access to a beauty salon and chaplain services on-site, and transportation is provided for appointments.
Glen Oaks Alzheimer's Special Care Center
We selected Glen Oaks Alzheimer's Special Care Center as one of our top 10 based on its award-winning Spark program. It utilizes proven rehabilitation strategies that enhance interaction, optimize cognitive skills and encourage a sense of purpose and achievement for residents. The program utilizes tailored assessment tools to determine each resident's strengths and abilities and offers them appropriate activities, which range from arts and crafts and cooking classes to bingo, holiday celebrations and dress-up days. Residents can choose from studios or companion suites. Seniors can enjoy restaurant-style dining in either of the two dining rooms. There are numerous places to relax such as common rooms, a sunroom and a library.
Edencrest at Green Meadows
Community staff at Edencrest at Green Meadows get to know residents' interests, accomplishments and current challenges, which helps them offer more effective support. In addition to assistance with daily living activities and medication reminders, the community offers cognitive stimulation programs. Opportunities include color and music therapy, arts and crafts, exercise and walk-and-talk groups that promote social engagement. Seniors can benefit from restaurant-style dining with a full, varied menu that includes pictures to make selection easier. Secure entrances and exits, well-lit apartments and cozy common areas provide added security and comfort to residents. There is air conditioning in the apartments as well as cable and Wi-Fi so residents can stay connected and entertained.
Edencrest at Siena Hills
To ensure proper care, Edencrest at Siena Hills' health care coordinator assesses each resident upon entry, 30 days later and every 90 days thereafter. Using technology, the staff ensures on-time and accurate resident care, as well as an immediate response to resident alerts. To maintain cognitive function and physical capabilities, the community offers residents a variety of activities and programs including crafts, color therapy, music therapy, health and fitness classes and social engagement opportunities such as walking groups. Residents can stay connected with family with LifeShare technology, which is available on each resident's television.
Edencrest at The Legacy
Edencrest at The Legacy deserves a place in our top 10 because of its signature program, Dare to Dream. Residents' hopes and aspirations are recognized and brought to life through the program. Each month, the community strives to fulfill at least one resident's dream. The Finest Living Years program tailors activities to each resident's interests, hobbies, histories and accomplishments to keep them active and engaged. There are exercises, board games, arts and crafts, walking clubs, color and music therapies as well as memory games to help maintain cognitive function. Outdoor spaces include a courtyard and beautifully landscaped grounds, which offer fresh air and access to nature. Beauty treatments and haircuts are available at the on-site salon and barbershop.
Independence Village of Ames
Its numerous awards have earned Independence Village of Ames a place in our top 10. It offers its memory care residents personalized services, 24-hour oversight, and a variety of life-enrichment activities in a comfortable, secure environment. High ceilings and large windows in the specially designed memory care community help mitigate the effects of memory loss and dementia. Nurses and caregivers are available 24 hours per day to provide support and companionship. Three restaurant-style meals are served daily based on residents' preferences and feedback. Activities include card games, exercise, movies and religious services.
Addington Place of Des Moines
Addington Place of Des Moines is conveniently located near several quality hospitals and medical facilities specializing in dementia. Professionally trained staff assist seniors with aspects of daily living, such as dressing and bathing and provide a robust program of activities designed to help residents maintain their cognitive function and physical abilities. Mood-enhancing activities include color therapy and music therapy while walking clubs and health and fitness classes support active lifestyles. The courtyard garden is an ideal spot for those with green thumbs. Craft classes and cognitive games are also available to stimulate creativity and maintain sharp thinking skills. Wednesday night is movie night where residents can gather to watch classics as a community.