"I treasure our family's experience at MorningStar."
(Resident's Family)
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FAQ

FAQs

What makes MorningStar different?
Founded in Denver in 2003, MorningStar is not just a family of senior living communities, but of senior loving homes, where residents are seen as heroes. Here, with full hearts and felt callings, it is our privilege to service, and our pleasure to love all beneath our roof.

The mission of MorningStar resonates at every level, aligning our priorities and defining our behavior (read more under Our Heart). While rooted in Judeo-Christian beliefs, we welcome all faiths among our residents and team members.

Through Radiance, our brand of service excellence, we intentionally foster a culture where kindness and authenticity are paramount.

Our Founder exhorts us to be a company of servants’ hearts, people of action, motivated to meet the needs of others, and resolved to make a difference across the globe.

 

MorningStar offers what variety of senior living options?
Independent Living in both apartment suites and private homes; Assisted Living in apartment suites; and Memory Care in apartment suites within secure neighborhoods. Apartments can be privately occupied or shared. Not all “neighborhoods” are offered within all of our communities. Check the individual profile page of each to ascertain.

 

What is an Assisted Living community?
Assisted living communities offer those 62 years and older compassionate assistance with the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) in a residential setting. Residents and their families gain peace of mind by knowing trained care managers are there to help navigate changes in health condition. Some assisted living communities also offer a secure neighborhood beneath its roof for the memory-impaired (those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia).

 

Is there an age requirement for becoming a resident of MorningStar?
In our Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care suites, you must be at least 62 years old. In our Cottages, one member of the couple must be at least 55 years old and able to live independently.

 

What if I don’t need any assistance? Why should I consider Community Life?
It is common for residents to move into one of our communities without needing any kind of assistance whatsoever. Rather, these men and women seek a refreshing change of lifestyle with built-in companionship, predictable budgeting, activities and programming, and tasty meals they no longer need to cook. Under our roof, seniors enjoy stress-free living, a season that extends their independence given the nearness of care, if ever needed.

 

How do I know the time is right for Assisted Living?
Please see our Decision Guide for a full answer to this important question.

 

How do I introduce the idea of Assisted Living to my loved one?
Again, see our Decision Guide for an answer to that question and many more related to healthy conversations as we age.

 

What’s Companion Living?
MorningStar is pleased to offer Companion Living where two unrelated people of the same sex share a suite, whether in independent living, assisted living or memory care. The attending benefits of such a living arrangement, including cost effectiveness, are fully explained on our Companion Living page.

 

Can couples move in together?
Of course! Couples can live together in their own suites, surrounded by their own treasured possessions. Alternatively, suites can be shared by friends who simply enjoy one another’s company.

 

Do you offer a Respite (short-term) Stay?
Yes, based on availability, within a fully furnished suite. For as long as 30 days, seniors are welcomed into our homes to convalesce after surgery, or to reside while their regular caregiver is on vacation or otherwise indisposed. Respite stays are also a wonderful way to “take senior living—and MorningStar—out for a spin,” and explore what life is like under our roof. Of course, we hope you’ll settle right in and make the arrangement permanent.

 

Do you offer a Trial (short-term) Stay?
Yes, based on availability. We encourage you to try any of our neighborhoods for just a week or a full settled-in month. Within Independent Living especially, you can consider it a Retreat Stay, wherein you sample a life free from cooking and household chores, and a bustling calendar of activities. New friends and adventures are just outside your door.

 

What is a Community Fee?
This modest one-time fee (slighter higher for couples) covers the administrative aspects of your move-in, and helps us refurbish the suite after you have vacated the space.

 

How are prices structured within your communities?
We offer apartment suites (studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom in a variety of sizes). Their monthly rental fee is based on square footage, location within the building and views.

For those in our Assisted Living neighborhood, we offer five levels of care, established through a thorough assessment with our Wellness Director (Licensed Nurse). Various auxiliary services, both medical and non-medical, are priced a la carte.

Our Memory Care neighborhoods offer all-inclusive services (suite and care) at one packaged price. The Cottages (patio homes) at Dayton Place, in Billings and in Idaho Falls have their own unique pricing. See those specifics under their respective pages.

 

How is my level of care determined?
As part of your move-in process, our Wellness Director will assess your current health, and review your medical history to ascertain how we can best meet your needs. At that time, we will also learn your preferences, as well as normal routines, so as to develop a care plan customized to you, a plan that is regularly re-evaluated to coincide with your changing needs.

 

What about veteran benefits (VA Aid & Attendance)?
Please see a full explanation of these generous benefits on our Veterans page.

 

Does Medicare pay for Assisted Living and Memory Care?
No. MorningStar communities are wholly private pay. However, most Long-term Care Insurance policies do cover Assisted Living rent and care. Check with your insurance carrier for coverage options, or ask us for advice about your particular policy.

 

What are the differences between Medicaid and Medicare, and how do both aid in financing senior living?
Medicaid is a federal government program that subsidizes the medical expenses (including certain health services and nursing home care) for low-income people of all ages. Medicaid may also pay for some long-term care services at home and in a senior community. Medicaid sets limitations on the amount of assets you may own and the amount of income you may receive each month before you are eligible for benefits. Who is eligible and what services are covered vary from state to state. There also are restrictions on transferring assets to others in order to qualify for Medicaid.

Whereas, Medicare is a federal government program just for those 65 years and older (and for certain ill or disabled persons), regardless of income, designed to help them fund certain health-related expenses, namely hospitalization and rehab. Benefits may be available for home health care, but only if certain conditions are met. Medicare may pay for up to 100 days of care in a skilled nursing facility per benefit period (100% for the first 20 days) after a three-day hospital stay, if skilled care is needed. For days 21–100, Medicare requires a co-payment. To help cover the co-payment, many seniors have a Medicare supplemental insurance policy. In general, once Medicare stops paying for care, the supplemental payment also will end.

While Medicare never pays for assisted living, it will pay for rehab as long as the person’s health is improving. When you’ve plateau-ed, Medicare stops paying. In other words, Medicare covers only those situations where progress is being made, and where healing and recovery can be marked. It does not, and never has, included coverage for senior living communities.

Medicare Part A covers hospice, regardless of income, including within a senior living community.

 

Do you offer 24-hour nursing?
MorningStar communities are not licensed as Skilled Nursing Facilities. Rather we have made the business decision to operate only as an assisted living facility. Were we licensed for skilled nursing, we would have to abide by a more stringent set of regulations which would limit resident choice and restrict many (by their preexisting condition) from living with us.

However, every MorningStar community has at least one full-time licensed nurse available for clinical concerns 24/7. Please see our Clinical Services page for a description of how widely we can serve under our Assisted Living license through the additional support of third-party providers.

 

Define “Directed Level of Care.”
“Directed level of care” is a type of Assisted Living license that permits us to care for residents who, due to compromised cognitive ability, cannot recognize danger and therefore cannot respond appropriately, and/or cannot express their needs. MorningStar carries this type of license, enabling our trained staff to care for the memory-impaired within a secure environment.

 

Can you care for a person through end of life?
Unless a resident has a need requiring round-the-clock nursing (including the management of acute pain), MorningStar is honored, with the partnership of a hospice agency, to care for a resident through end of life.

 

Do you have a medication management program?
Yes, which includes both the ordering and supervised administration of your medications. We have two price points based on the number and type of prescriptions involved.

 

Can you help me find a doctor?
Certainly, be it a primary care physician or a specialty health care provider, such as an Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist. Our communities also have rounding physicians, though our residents are not obligated to use them.

 

What about transportation to medical appointments?
We do have scheduled transportation every week for those who need a ride to a medical appointment.

 

Am I contractually bound to stay at MorningStar?
No. You may move out at any time with a 30-day notice in Assisted Living and Memory Care, and a 90-day notice in Independent Living.

 

Do you allow pets?
Absolutely. We are pet friendly, recognizing the tremendous ministry animals are to all of us. Some communities have a weight limit on pets, and we do need to assess an animal’s appropriateness for our community on a case-by-case basis. There are also some restrictions on breeds. We require a one-time, nonrefundable pet fee.

 

How does your dining program work?
We offer three hot meals a day, served restaurant-style (sometimes family-style in Memory Care), and prepared by our celebrated Executive Chefs. In addition to the special entrees at each meal, we offer “Anytime Fare” choices. Our weekly menu includes items denoted as being BrainWise (with brain-healthy ingredients), Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, No Sugar Added and HomeGrown. In every community, you’ll also find a 24-hour bistro, where residents can grab a snack or beverage any day, any time.

 

Explain your Resident Rights policy as it relates to choice.
Important among the assurances denoted among Resident Rights is the right to refuse participation in any activity or program. We will do all we can to encourage participation, knowing the joys of Community Life and the friendships they engender. But we also deeply respect a resident’s right to choose.

 

What kind of training does your staff receive?
Some states in which we operate require care managers to be certified in both CPR and First Aid; of course, we comply. In every state in which we operate, care managers complete orientation (including a three-day shadow), Radiance culture training, dementia training, and ongoing training in specific care needs. Our Med Tech (QMAPs) are additionally trained in medication administration.

 

What is your ratio of care staff to residents?
To ensure that you are not paying for services you do not need, we staff in accordance with the level of care (acuity) of our given population of residents. As residents’ individual needs change, so changes the number of care managers on the floor.

 

What happens if I live in Independent Living and my needs increase? Can I transfer to assisted living? Is there a transfer fee?
That’s part of the advantage of having more than one neighborhood under our roof. Of course, a resident can transfer to Assisted Living or Memory Care, depending on the availability of the desired suite. If there is any delay, you are welcome to bring in a home care agency in the interim. There is no internal Transfer Fee.

 

What if my healthcare needs are temporarily heightened while in Independent Living? Can I bring in home care in that period?
Absolutely. And we can assist you with these arrangements. Our license does not permit us to extend care ourselves to anyone living in Independent Living.