Gerrad and Carrie Clausen know that when it comes to senior living communities, all are not created equal.
A few years ago, Carrie's father, Gordon, was living a on a campus that offered Independent Living when it became evident that he needed additional assistance.
"All was well until he became ill and his memory started not being great," Gerrad says of his father-in-law. "His services were pretty limited because he was really just in more of an apartment. He just needed more -- and that wasn't our situation."
The Clausens learned about Brio of Johnston, which wasn't far from their home, and they were interested -- but they initially were concerned about the monthly cost. "After looking at other communities, though, we learned not only that they all were comparable in price -- but that Brio offered so much more for the money," Carrie says.
The aspect of Brio that most appealed to the Clausens was the continuum of care the campus offers. Unlike communities that offer Independent Living or Assisted Living only, Brio residents can receive extra help if needed by transitioning from Independent Living to Assisted Living, Memory Support, or the community's health center, which offers short-term rehabilitation after a hospital stay as well as long-term nursing care.
"When Gordon first saw Brio, he said, 'It's beautiful -- but can I afford it?'" Gerrad recalls. "He could -- but it was also a matter of, how can we afford NOT to make this happen? It was exactly what we all needed."
As an Assisted Living resident at Brio, Gordon lives fairly independently, his daughter reports. "It's nice that there are different levels of Assisted Living here so we can fit his services to his needs," Carrie says. "For instance, we take care of organizing his medications, but the team members here remind him to take them. Everyone encourages him to be as independent as he wants to be."
She says Gordon also appreciates that at Brio, he can enjoy all the comforts of a private residence, "He likes that he can have his glass of wine and order off the menu, and the other residents here check on him and include him and could not be friendlier," Carrie says. "The other residents on his floor come and get him for happy hour. What Brio has done for his quality of life is amazing."
And as a special bonus for the Clausens, their teenage daughter, Grace, works as a server in Brio's dining room, allowing for some extra granddaughter-grandfather time. "Brio is an extension of our family for us now," Gerrad says.
Carrie says if she were offering advice to other people with aging parents who need assistance, first and foremost would be: Do your homework.
"There are a lot of nice places out there -- but look beyond the surface," she says. "Make sure to ask questions based on what you need. And start talking about your options early, before you need them.The fact that Dad needed extra care sneaked up on us. We're so fortunate we found Brio!"
Brio has openings in Assisted Living, and our warm and knowledgeable staff would love to welcome you. Call Susan at (515) 252-5380 today to arrange your private tour!