In a public seminar held at the Western Iowa Tech Community College Conference Center recently, the owner, general contractor, and operations manager of the new Assisted Living Retirement Community in Cherokee, "The Gardens," presented information about the new facility, and answered questions from the audience.
About 25 people attended each of the two meetings, presented at different times of the day for the covenience of the audience members
Vintage Living Development, a Cedar Rapids-based group, owns and manages The Gardens, along with General Contractor JVC Builders, out of West Des Moines. They built and opened their first retirement community, also named "The Gardens," in Jefferson, Iowa last year, and encouraged audience members to visit that facility if they happen to be in the area.
Jim Angstman, representing Vintage, said that work on the Cherokee facility is actually a little ahead of schedule and they will be open for business on July 1. In fact, said Angstman, they may even be able to have some residents move in the last week of June.
On-site supervisor Seth Meyers said they were able to sub-contract much of the project to several local area businesses, including Schoon Construction, Pruett Landscaping, Valley Glass, Holton Signs, and Melander's TV and Appliance, so while The Gardens is owned by an out-of-town group, there has been plenty of local involvement.
Vintage Living Operations Manager Ellen Puhrmann and Occupancy and Development Special Lori Buzynski said there will be a Job Fair on May 13 to begin hiring for some staff positions in Cherokee. There will also be another Informational Seminar held on May 22, and attendees will be able to actually take an up-close look at The Gardens' building at that time.
The Gardens will have five different floor plans available for rent to people who are 55 years of age or older. Younger people may also be eligible to live in the Certified Assisted Living Community if they have a disability. Anyone who is interested may contact the Gardens at 225-2999 and they will assess your eligibility.
Apartments may now be reserved, as the prices for each of the types of apartments have been set. A $500 fee is charged to hold a reservation, and when the person takes up residence, that will be applied to the one time, non-refundable $1000 "Lifestyle Fee."
Monthly fees include your choice of apartment, three nutritious meals a day, weekly housekeeping and laundry, 24 hour access to staff, a full-time nurse, wellness program,social, recreational, religious, and educational activities, and quarterly nurse reviews. These reviews will be based on the resident's Individualized Service Plan (ISP), which is set up with the residents at the beginning of their stay, and centers upon the resident's individual needs. The resident is free to choose what services he or she require. Services in addition to those listed above will have an additional fee.
Life at the Gardens offers apartment style accommodations in an enjoyable and beautiful environment, with whatever assistance you want to make your life easier. The priority of the Gardens is to create a new home for their residents with all the accommodations they need and want. Providing peace of mind, convenience, and independence for residents is the mission of the Gardens. Amenities available at the Gardens include three home-cooked meals daily, served "restaurant style;" daily snacks and refreshments; weekly housekeeping and personal laundry service; use of laundry equipment; all utilities (excluding phone) paid; basic cable television package; a personal security system; full-time Registered Nurse; 24-hour dedicated staff; social. physical, intellectual and spiritual activities; a fitness room; walk-in showers, with grab bars and built-in seat; a private dining room for family or other guests; window blinds; personal mailboxes; grounds and building maintenance; individual apartment climate control; beautiful gardens and landscaping; an on-site hair salon; a "country kitchen" for personal use; wireless internet access; a family and TV room; a reading and game room; and a chapel.
The following monthly fees have been set for The Gardens' apartments:
A 339 sq. ft. Studio Apartment will cost $2400; a 430 sq. ft. one-bedroom apartment will be $2700; a 540 sq. ft. one-bedroom suite (the most popular choice at the Jefferson complex) is $3100; a 591 sq. ft. Studio Deluxe is $3200; and a 645 sq. ft. two-bedroom apartment is $3400. There will also be a $1200/month charge for a second person.
It was noted, also, that there will be extra apartments for family if they visit.
Operations Manager Puhrmann also mentioned that under section 213 of the Internal Revenue code, a resident's stay at a certified assisted living facility like the Gardens may be tax deductible if they are required to live there because of their medical condition. She advised that potential Gardens residents who are in that situation check with their tax advisor to see if this applies to you.
Puhrmann also said that veterans, or widows of a veteran who served in a war, may also be eligible for a monetary assistance program called "Aid and Attendance," and encourages people to check into that possibility.
For those who have Long Term Care Insurance, she said that there have been some changes, and many such policies now cover Certified Assisted Living if you meet the policy's requirements. She also emphasized that the Gardens staff is there to assist their residents, and if they have any questions about finances, staff will be glad to answer them, or, if they don't know for sure, "point them in the right direction" to find the right answers.