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Bringing Fulfilment To Retirement: An Interview With The Keystones

Continuing our retirement community spotlight series, today we are excited to talk about the Keystones, another wonderful community in Cedar Rapids. We had the privilege to speak with Keystones’ Executive Director Lisa Cleland

From a young age, Lisa had a compassionate and gifting heart. She was always drawn to helping seniors even throughout her childhood, as she spent many hours volunteering at retirement homes, reading to them, writing letters, and helping with activities. Lisa’s educational background has led to many fulfilling and diverse experiences from being a Certified Nursing Assistant to earning a degree in Social Work to leading teams as a Marketing Director and now impacting people’s lives every day as the Executive Director of The Keystones. 

Lisa’s passion for people is evident as she works each and every day to demonstrate that passion for residents and their families. We are grateful for the opportunity to get to know her and understand more about what The Keystones offers its residents and how it impacts their golden years for the better.

1. I’d love to hear more about The Keystones of Cedar Rapids. Can you provide a quick overview of the community?

Keystone is designed to enhance the lives of every person who lives here. We seek to change the narrative about retirement communities, thinking of our community and your new home not as a last resort but as a purposeful, meaningful, and positive addition to your life. 

Each person coming to Keystone has a unique set of needs and it is our goal to cater to those needs in a personalized and customized way. Everyone deserves more than a cookie-cutter life, and with our emphasis on connections, relationships, and community engagement between residents, their family and loved ones, and our caring associates we can increase the quality of life for our residents. 

The Keystones offer three types of living opportunities:

  1. Independent living
  2. Assisted living
  3. Holistic memory care

2. Can you please lay out the payment obligations?

Entrance fees 

There is a one-time entrance fee of $2500.00

Monthly fees 

Our monthly fees will vary depending on the type of care needed/desired and the unit selected. We offer the flexibility of month to month rentals with 30 days notice to terminate a lease. Each of our residents has different needs and the prices also reflect increased care and services. Independent living starts at $3,150, Assisted living starts at $4,350, and Memory Care starts at $6,000. Please contact us for more information regarding pricing. 

What do these fees cover and what don’t they cover?

We are pleased to offer many amenities for our residents. Some of these include:

  • Nursing care
  • Meals
  • Housekeeping
  • 24-hour staff
  • All utilities
  • Cable and Wi-Fi (excluding telephone)
  • Full apartment maintenance
  • Scheduled transportation
  • Valet service
  • An exciting variety of social and recreational activities

It is important to note that there is a cost for the level of care provided in assisted living depending on how much care the resident needs. We would be happy to talk to you more about what those costs look like on a tour. 

If or when are any of these fees refundable?

Here at Keystone, we have a Happiness Guarantee. We know that you have lived an amazing life and have earned all the freedoms brought by retirement. We truly believe your new home at the Keystones of Cedar Rapids offers all the independence, care, and support you not only deserve but also so you can live life to the fullest. 

Deciding to move, however, is never easy. Choosing a new place to live can feel scary. We understand. That is why we are pleased to offer you our Happiness Guarantee. 

In the unlikely event that you are not fully satisfied with The Keystones of Cedar Rapids in your first 30 days of residency, we will not only refund your money, we will also pay you up to $1,000 toward the cost of relocation. 

Give us a ring to learn more about our special Happiness Guarantee program and all the ways The Keystones of Cedar Rapids will help you get more out of life.

Do you take Medicaid if the resident spends through their assets?  

Keystone does not take Medicaid, however, some residents have long term care insurance or qualify for Veterans assistance which can help pay for assisted living.

What happens if the resident passes away? 

The lease will end after a 30-day notice. We will work with the family and may fill the apartment sooner if they would like to vacate prior to the 30 days.

3. What is your occupancy rate?  

We are so pleased that our residents love living here. We are at a 98% occupancy rate.

4. What is your emergency response system?  

The safety of our residents is a top priority. Each and every apartment has its own emergency response system and we have staff available 24/7 to assist residents. 

There is a further emergency response system in assisted living. The response system notifies our onsite staff that the tenant is requiring assistance. There are pull cords next to the resident’s bed, in the bathroom, and the resident can also wear a pendant if they would like.

5. How do you measure resident satisfaction and are there surveys I can see?  

We have done residents surveys in the past and we also have monthly resident meetings which give the residents a chance to offer suggestions on improvements to the community. We frequently have residents and their families write reviews on Keystone which can be viewed on our website at www.keystonesenior.com or at www.caring.com.

There is an excerpt of a review on caring.com I would like to call out for your readers’ attention:

“Their goal must be to make every resident feel relevant, give them an opportunity to socialize and keep them engaged. They certainly succeed at all of that. The bottom line is: they truly care. It is sort of like they become part of the family.”

We are so pleased that our residents, their families, and the community at large are happy with the care and service we are able to provide. 

6. How do you prioritize the independence of your residents?  

Our goal at Keystone is to keep our residents as independent as possible.  

There may be times when a resident needs more assistance, and our staff will be there when they need the extra help, however, we want our residents to continue to do as much as they can for themselves so they can maintain their independence.  

Our Director of Health and Wellness works closely with the residents to develop a plan of care that is individualized for each resident.  She can also make referrals to other services, such as therapy to assist in maintaining a resident’s independence.

7. Can you explain the difference between Independent Living and Assisted Living?

Independent living is really prioritizing residents’ independence. They are able to live their lives the way they want with the freedom and flexibility that comes along with that. For folks in need of assisted living, they will retain a great deal of independence but will receive additional care for daily tasks.

When is it required for someone to move into assisted living?  

The only time we require residents to move into assisted living is when they are no longer safe in their apartment. The health and safety of our residents are of the utmost importance. 

Can people remain in Independent Living as their needs change?  

Independent residents can continue to live in their apartments as long as they are safe and can get the care they need.  We have seen some residents hire home health care to assist them with things so they can continue to live independently.

8. Are you for-profit or not for profit? 

Keystone is for-profit with local investors who work with the management company Keystone Senior, LLC.  Together they take pride in the community and are committed to providing a community to help our residents thrive and feel safe and secure.

One thing that sets Keystone apart is that we aren’t run by a huge conglomerate. We are a family-owned business. By keeping things small we are able to offer unparalleled levels of support, personalization, and service. At large, Keystone has been operational for 27 years and the executive team has successfully managed 60 individual properties, Cedar Rapids is one of them.

9. Do you accept married couples in one unit?

Yes, we have many couples in both Independent and Assisted Living.  

What happens if my spouse’s dementia deteriorates? Do we stay in the same building?  As a person with dementia deteriorates, additional care can be added from our staff so they can stay together and get the care they need.  We have a memory care area also, where spouses can live together if this is a better fit for them. In some cases, couples may need their own space and prefer to live separately, but want to visit and eat meals together.  We provide support to help our residents decide what is best for them.

Do you allow dogs/cats and what are the restrictions?  

Animals can visit and we offer pet therapy, however, pets cannot live at Keystone.

10. What’s your policy for visitors, or family coming to visit? Do they need to sign me/my spouse out? Or do we have more flexibility? 

Visitors can visit anytime.  We even have a guestroom available for your guests.  If you leave the building, we do ask that you sign out, just in case there is an emergency, so we know everyone is safe.   

11. When I can no longer drive myself, is there transportation available? 

We know it is important for our residents to be able to get around. Mobility is crucial which is why we do provide transportation services. This service can be used to get to a doctor’s appointment, shopping, and entertainment weekly. 

12. What does an average day in the life look like for a resident?  

One of the best parts about Keystone is that the resident is in charge of their day. They may enjoy a hot breakfast, or maybe they want to sleep in, get up later and come down to the dining room for breakfast. Some residents enjoy breakfast in their apartment.  

There are some wonderful exercise programs to participate in if you wish, or maybe you would like to visit in the lobby and have some coffee with a friend.  There is transportation to appointments and shopping if you would like.   

Invite a friend for lunch or supper, the food is wonderful!  There is always popcorn ready in the theater room, grab a good book in the library or take a dip in the swimming pool. Feeling like you need a wash and set, or a haircut, there is a salon on-site to pamper you. Keystone has a beautifully landscaped campus with several walking paths to enjoy. 

There is also always a schedule of activities for our residents to participate in should they choose. 

The Keystones of Cedar Rapids are focused on the resident experience and optimizing that to create a healthy and fulfilling life in retirement. It is such a joy to see the level of detail and care that is put forth with this group of people. We are so pleased to have had the opportunity to speak with Lisa and learn more about what Keystone has to offer. 

After this interview, here are a few key takeaways:

Takeaway #1: The landscape of retirement communities is shifting to not only provide optimal care but also to create fulfillment, purpose, and meaning in a resident’s personal life. 

Takeaway #2: Community, relationships, and personalization are three important elements for Keystone. As a small business, this community is designed to serve residents in the ways they need through beautiful living spaces, good food, entertainment, transportation, activities, and all of the care and protection they need to be safe. 

Takeaway #3: The residents’ needs come first and anything that can be done to create a better living experience, Keystone is prepared to help. 

If you are interested in contacting someone at The Keystones of Cedar Rapids to learn more or schedule a tour, please contact Community Relations Director, Tricia Hart at 319-393-9500 or drop by for a visit at 6325 Rockwell Dr. NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52402. 

They Keystones at Cedar Rapids have a wonderful philosophy to make life in retirement fulfilling. What does a fulfilling life in retirement mean to you and how can you put that in practice each and every day? Lifestyle planning for retirement is just as important as health and financial planning for retirement. We would love to talk with you more about your questions to help you live the retirement you have always dreamed of. Schedule a call with us today!

You can find the interviews we did with other local retirement communities at the links below:

  1. Meth-Wick
  2. Cottage Grove Place
  3. Grand Living at Indian Creek

Also see our post: Considering A Retirement Community? 3 Things To Be Aware Of

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