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Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re just starting your search for senior living options in a community or services to make life easier at home, you likely have questions. We're here to guide your journey with answers to our most common inquiries. 

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Levels of Living & Care

What is assisted living?

Assisted living supports those who need assistance with activities of daily living while helping them live as independently as possible.

What is skilled nursing?

Confusion often arises surrounding the use of the term “skilled nursing.” It’s helpful to consider that skilled nursing is a description of a type of service. The need for skilled nursing services does not automatically mean placement in a residential community; skilled services are available in a variety of senior care settings, including a senior's own home. Skilled nursing care is a high level of medical care provided by licensed health professionals such as registered nurses (RNs) and physical, speech, and occupational therapists. These services may be necessary over the short term for rehabilitation from an illness or injury, or they may be required over the long term for patients who need a high level of care on a frequent or constant basis due to a chronic medical condition.

What’s a nursing home?

Skilled nursing facility, nursing home, and convalescent home are all terms used to describe a residential facility that provides 24-hour medical care. WesleyLife communities aren't nursing homes, and we aren't facilities.

Read more about what sets us apart.

Is assisted living the same thing as a nursing home?

No, they are not the same thing. Assisted living is primarily a residential environment, whereas institutional nursing homes — also called skilled nursing facilities — are considered medical environments.

Read more about our Language for Living.

What is independent living?

In independent living, residents are physically healthy enough to live without assistance. An independent living environment typically provides residents with opportunities to engage and grow intellectually, emotionally, and socially in active, vibrant surroundings.

How do I know if independent living is right for me or my loved one?

Independent living residents should be able to manage their own personal care and grooming needs, understand and manage their medications, effectively use appliances and technology, and do light housework.

What’s the difference between assisted and independent living?

Assisted living encourages residents to live as independently as they want and are able while offering help as needed and desired. Some residents may require help only occasionally, whereas others may need assistance every day. Communities typically work with residents, their healthcare providers, and their families to create a plan that's right for each individual.

What is memory support?

Memory support, also referred to as memory care, is a form of senior living that provides intensive, specialized care for people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. Many assisted living and long-term care communities have created special memory care household-model environments that are homelike and enriching, designed for those living with mild to severe memory impairment.

What is long-term care?

Long-term care involves a variety of services designed to meet health and personal care needs during a short or long period. These services help people live as independently and safely as possible when they can no longer perform everyday activities on their own.

What is short-term rehabilitation?

Short-term rehab provides therapy for seniors recovering from surgery, illness, or accident. Short-term rehabilitation programs help clients achieve maximum functional capacity and get back to their homes or communities as quickly as possible.

What is a Community for Healthy Living?

You may have heard the terms "Continuing Care Retirement Community" or "Life Plan Community." At WesleyLife, we prefer to call our locations "Communities for Healthy Living." Like CCRCs and Life Plan Communities, our Communities for Healthy Living offer full continuums of care, including independent and assisted living, memory support, short-term rehabilitation, and long-term care. However, we go a step further by offering those options within a framework of health and well-being to enhance the lives of all who make their homes with us or benefit from our services.

Community Life

What is the average age of residents at WesleyLife communities?

Residents across all 11 of our communities range in age from 55 to over 100. The average age of our residents across all communities is between 75-90.

Do you provide transportation?

Many of our communities have a dedicated vehicle for regularly scheduled trips, including grocery shopping, prescription pick-ups, Sunday service drop-offs, and social outings. We are happy to arrange for transportation in any of our WesleyLife communities.

Will all my furniture fit into my apartment home or townhouse?

Our communities offer a variety of floor plans, making it easy for you to choose the option that best fits your lifestyle. Our sales directors can provide you with room measurements and assist with other move-in details.

Do you allow pets?

We love our furry friends and allow residents to have dogs or cats at all WesleyLife Communities for Healthy Living in independent living apartment homes or townhomes. In our other levels of living, we enjoy regular visits from therapy dogs to provide socialization and comfort.

What if I’m shy and have trouble meeting new people and making new friends?

It’s natural to feel apprehensive about moving to a new place. At WesleyLife, we make every effort to ensure your transition to living with us is as smooth as possible. We’ll assign an ambassador to you before you even arrive so someone is available to show you the ropes when you move in. They’ll help you learn your way around, accompany you to meals, and help you sign up for social events if you desire.

What kind of security measures are in place at WesleyLife?

The safety and comfort of our residents is of paramount importance to us at WesleyLife. We have 24-hour-staffed concierge desks and secured-entry keypads for doors after hours. We hold regular emergency drills, and smoke detectors and sprinkler systems are located throughout each community.

Costs of Senior Living

What is an entrance fee?

The entrance fee is money paid upfront to secure a place in a retirement community. Oftentimes, an entrance fee can result in a lower monthly fee, which covers services such as maintenance, cleaning, and transportation. Residents do not pay property taxes, and they also qualify for tax breaks on portions of their entrance and monthly fees in retirement communities that provide health care services. It’s always best to talk to your financial advisor, tax professional, or family members to determine what is best for you.

What are monthly costs?

In addition to an entrance fee (which guarantees you will have care, should you need it in the future), monthly costs are associated with the amenities of your new senior living community.

In a rental or lease-based community, you may pay a small up-front move-in fee and then monthly fees to cover things like:

  • Freshly prepared daily meals
  • Housekeeping
  • Opportunities to enrich mind, body, and spirit
  • Home maintenance, both inside and out
  • Security
How can I pay for independent living?

Medicare or Medicaid do not cover the costs of independent living. Costs are paid by individual residents, but some may find assistance with long-term care insurance or veterans benefits. Many residents pay for independent living by selling their homes, maximizing their Social Security benefits, or cashing out investments. It’s always best to talk to your financial advisor, tax professional, or family members to determine what is best for you. People are sometimes surprised that they can afford a move to senior living.

How much does independent living cost?

The monthly cost of independent living can range from $1,500-$10,000 per month. Compared to the costs of home ownership — which include insurance, taxes, property maintenance and improvements, utilities, groceries, and home upkeep — an independent living community may be more affordable than you think. Plus, you won’t have to worry about added costs associated with safety and security modifications, and you’ll often have access to convenient entertainment and transportation options you didn’t before.

Making a Choice

Why should I care about not-for-profit status?

Not-for-profit senior living communities like WesleyLife are privately owned, mission-driven organizations that reinvest the money they make to enhance programs and services for residents, the organization, and the greater community they serve. This continual reinvestment supports things such as operational costs, ongoing community maintenance, and general improvements that ultimately benefit residents and their families.

What is the approval process for becoming a resident?

At WesleyLife, the approval process includes a wellness assessment and a financial review to ensure that you have the best plan in place to provide peace of mind and security for your future. Through an independent medical review, the health and wellness assessment will determine which plan is most suitable for you. Our contract options are similar to an insurance plan, and we want to be sure your long-term care needs are met.

How can I take a tour of a community?

We would love to show you around any of our beautiful communities!

Search our communities today.

How can I find out if there is a WesleyLife community near me?

Our locations extend from western Iowa to western Illinois. Chances are we offer services near you!

Find a community

How can I convince my loved one to move into a senior community?

We find the happiest, most successful moves to senior living — whether independent or assisted living or some level of health care — are the result of honest conversations and thorough research. Every one of our communities has someone on staff who would be happy to sit with you or your loved one to discuss what makes the most sense financially, physically, and emotionally. Sometimes, a move isn't necessary. WesleyLife has an array of in-home services and programs we can discuss with you.

At-Home Services

How much does it cost to use WesleyLife home care services?

For health care needs, please contact us so we can discuss your specific insurance coverage and other funding sources.

For assisted that is not health care-related, prices start as low as $27 an hour. If you live in a WesleyLife community, you will be asked to schedule assistance for a minimum of two hours of services. If you live outside of our communities, you will be asked to schedule a minimum of three hours to ensure we can meet your needs.

What home care services will Medicare cover?

Medicare Part A will cover many health care services including, but not limited to, physical/occupational therapy, wound care, skilled nursing, and assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing.

Typically, health insurance programs do not cover assistance that is not health care related unless you are recovering at home after a qualified hospital stay or illness. Medicare may cover some of our non-health care-related Home Care services in this instance, as well.

Some, but not all, long-term care insurance policies cover some of the costs of services that allow you to remain independent in your home. In Polk County, WesleyLife uses grant funding to provide home-based services to people who cannot otherwise afford care in their homes.

To speak with our team about your specific needs and available funding sources, please contact us.

How do I qualify for Medicare-reimbursed home care?

You must have a physician's order for services and be able to leave your home only infrequently to qualify for Medicare reimbursement for healthcare services from WesleyLife at home services.

How long can I receive Medicare services?

As long as you continue to require skilled medical care, you can receive Medicare services.

What other funding sources are available for WesleyLife home care services?

We accept most insurance plans, including Medicaid, Medicaid waivers, Veterans Affairs assistance, and private or commercial insurance policies.

How do I get started with home care services?

Either you or your physician can contact us at or (515) 978-2777.

WesleyLife at Home will work closely with your physician to set up the initial plan of care and monitor your progress. We will handle all of the necessary paperwork so you can focus on getting well.

Meals on Wheels

Who is eligible for Meals on Wheels services?

Anyone older than 60 and military veterans of all ages are eligible. Meals on Wheels focuses on caring for individuals who have difficulty shopping for food or preparing meals. If you would like to learn more about our services, please don't assume you won't qualify! Contact us and we'll let you know.

What's the cost of Meals on Wheels services?

Meals are available at an already low cost of $9.15, and that cost may be further reduced or eliminated depending on a client's financial situation. If a client is eligible, funding assistance is available through partners such as Polk County, Aging Resources of Central Iowa, and other State of Iowa-funded programs and initiatives, and through the generous support of the United Way of Central Iowa and private contributions. 

Who makes the meals?

Meals are prepared in our own kitchen and personally delivered by our courteous, friendly drivers and volunteers. They deliver a warm "hello" with each meal as they check on the safety of their clients. With few exceptions, each client sees the same driver each day, establishing a connection.

How do I start meal delivery?

For more information or to sign up for services, contact us or call (515) 699-3243.

How can I join the Meals on Wheels team?

Click here to see our current openings for employment with the Meals on Wheels team!

We are always looking for volunteers to deliver meals and check in with our participants over the phone. If you are interested, click here to sign up.

Organizations also have the opportunity to Adopt a Route, sharing volunteer responsibilities on a rotating basis.