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"A sound decision in health and wellness, and financially, just a superior choice." accent

June 20, 2024 | By

For Kevin and Patty LaGree, the decision to become the inaugural members of WellAhead — WesleyLife's unique new program for people who want to remain in their homes as they age — was one of their easiest decisions ever.

Now, the LaGrees, who live in the Des Moines area, want to let everyone know why WellAhead makes sense from both a financial and a well-being perspective — and why, more than anything they could purchase, it's by far the best gift the couple could ever present to their two children.

"From the first time I heard about the program, I knew it was the perfect solution to what had become a dilemma of sorts for us," Kevin, 75, says. "We are longtime supporters and fans of WesleyLife, and we have been on the waitlist to move into a WesleyLife Community for Healthy Living. And even though that would still be a fine solution, we wanted to stay where we were: in our home.

"We had talked about remaining in our home and obtaining services, if we need them later on, from WesleyLife at Home. But the problem with that is that while there would be home healthcare, there would be no continuum of care. So this was our answer: Stay at home, but be eligible for that valuable continuum."

What is WellAhead?

Known as a "continuing care at home," or CCaH, membership program, WellAhead supports people who want to age with choice in their homes rather than move to a community for older adults. A study from U.S. News and World Report revealed that more than 93 percent of people are a part of this category, and CCaH programs seek to honor those wishes while also providing solutions for future health needs.

"WellAhead provides people with the peace of mind of knowing that if they need health support later on, the membership and monthly fees they pay to be a part of WellAhead will fund the cost of that care when it is provided by WesleyLife at Home or in a WesleyLife community," Aaron Wheeler, vice president of WesleyLife's Home and Community-Based Services, says.

"What's more, WellAhead provides services and amenities that are designed specifically to help members stay as healthy as they can as long as they can. So we're not only embracing a person's desire to stay in their home; we're actually doing all we can to help them live healthily there for an extended period of time."

How the program works

For the LaGrees, onboarding as WellAhead members was seamless. After being accepted into the program and paying their membership fee, they were given a menu of a la carte well-being items to which they are given access through a monthly membership fee. Patty and Kevin each can choose one amenity per month, and they can switch them up from month to month.

"They are wonderful choices; everything from light housekeeping to delivery of fresh greens from WesleyLife's hydroponic farm to personal training and even dog grooming and walking for those who have pets," Patty, 74, says. "We've each chosen housekeeping for now, and that's just been wonderful." 

Kevin chimes in: "The biggest and best surprise was access to the fitness centers at WesleyLife's communities. We thought that would be an a la carte item, but it comes with the program. Automatic access, and we can go there every day; one of the wellness directors even came over and helped us with our fitness regimens." 

In addition, the program affords members access to a  24/7 wellness coach who can assist with everything from helping to create a fitness regimen to navigating healthcare logistics. 

Peace of mind

More than any other privileges of the program, though, the LaGrees say they appreciate the peace of mind it has afforded their family.

"Patty's mom lived in two WesleyLife communities, and the convenience of her having that continuum of care was an incredible relief for us," Kevin says. "Now, we have the promise of the same thing, but we're able to remain in the home we love. Our children won't have to wonder, 'OK, what's the best thing for them to do?'

"Dementia runs in my family. If I need support later on, I'll move into a community and receive phenomenal care, and Patty won't be burdened with the decisions around that." 

And speaking of the possibility of needing care later on, the LaGrees want to make sure anyone considering WellAhead understands this key point:

"Anyone who questions the cost of a WellAhead membership most likely has not experienced the realities of the cost of healthcare," Kevin says. "The program would pay for itself in five or six months in memory support or in a health center.

"It's not only a sound decision in terms of health and wellness, but financially, it is just a superior choice. Our advice to anyone considering it would actually be a question: What are you waiting for?"

To learn more about WellAhead email our director of sales. We would love to welcome you to WellAhead!


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