To deliver on our brand promises, it’s not enough to follow a mission rooted in heart. Radiance, which describes the culture of MorningStar, gives us a framework through which we nurture and empower our team to be People of Excellence with Servant’s Hearts.
We start by hiring for heart. If our residents are the heroes, our team members are the heartbeat of MorningStar. We say it well on our recruiting card: You can’t teach Nice. So we hire Nice. Downright nice people with Great Hearts and Radiant Spirits.
Everyone on the team, regardless of role, takes a full day of culture training, a class we call Radiance. Then daily we remind each other of our 12 Service Values, and how we are as much about hospitality as about healthcare.
In offering tender service to the memory-impaired, we train and model the precepts of Lavender Sky, our thoughtfully considered philosophy and approach to dementia care. Ask us more about these brand standards.
At MorningStar, we take tremendous pride in creating an environment where excellence can flourish. Our days are busy in serving others. But the way in which we conduct our work defines who we are as a brand. We are about taking the time to be radically relational—building warm, genuine connections, team member to team member, and team member to resident.
We also want to be known as a company that serves our fellow men as we contribute to a more noble world. For this reason we established a MorningStar Foundation with the intention of leaving a legacy of benevolence in honor of our God through global philanthropy, local volunteerism and abiding support of the Alzheimer’s Association. MorningStar has made an abiding commitment to support an orphanage in Nicaragua and the drilling of water wells in Africa.
Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) had their beginnings decades ago as “nursing homes,” in a time when there were few other options for senior care. Today SNFs are generally more focused on short-term rehab over long-term care, dedicating more of their space and resources to post-hospitalization rehab. Their staff are typically RNs and CNAs, serving residents in fragile and declining health. High acuity is common (hoyer lift, feeding tubes and other complicated levels of care), giving those facilities more of a clinical atmosphere.
Whereas most Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) are principally designed to assist residents with 62 years and older the activities of daily living (ADLs) in a residential setting. Life enrichment and hospitality services are as much a part of the day as health care; when coupled with third-party providers, ALFs can ably serve residents through end-of-life. Residents and their families gain peace of mind knowing trained care managers are there to help navigate changes in health. Some assisted living communities also offer a secure neighborhood for the memory-impaired (those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia).
Each move is unique to the new resident. But appreciating that moving into a retirement community is a major lifestyle transition, MorningStar approaches the move-in with great sensitivity, sincerely hoping to nurture a relationship from the start that reinforces the positive aspects of community life and the new adventure made possible.
Once your family decides upon MorningStar, a deposit secures your chosen suite, of which you take possession ideally within 10 days. Taking financial possession early makes the physical move far easier for all concerned, particularly the senior. Our “House to Home” process begins in earnest with securing the vital information, agreements and permissions inherent to the move including a medical assessment and physician’s plan of care (if for Assisted Living and Memory Care). Some of this paperwork is tied to state regulations depending on the lifestyle neighborhood. We offer packing tips in selecting what’s most important to bring. We recommend to you moving companies experienced in senior transitions. The key, as with any significant undertaking, is communication. We’re ready.
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.
Whereas, Medicare is a federal government program just for those 65 years and old (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 plateaued, 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.
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 Care Services page for a description of how widely we can serve under our Assisted Living license through the additional support of third-party providers.
No. But seniors are encouraged to name a POA (Power of Attorney) in advanced age given their increasing fragility of health. Formal POA status endows a designated agent to represent or act on another’s behalf in private or business affairs, whether legal or financial. If the designation is Durable POA, that authority stays in effect if the grantor becomes incapacitated. A medical POA has specific authority over the grantor’s medical affairs.
However, a POA cannot override the choices or force the decision of any senior deemed of sound mind. And POA authority dissolves upon the grantor’s death.
In contrast, a Guardian designation is of broader authority. Whether temporary due to emergency conditions or permanent, Guardianship is a court-appointed role wherein a person’s rights are transferred to that of the Guardian.
Families are well-advised to seek the professional advice of an attorney to fully understand these important designations and their appropriate applications.
Relationally, it’s all about making new connections and trusted friendships with the team and other residents. Ask about our Resident Ambassador program that quicken that all-important sense of belonging. Eager as the Family is to see a Senior settled, don’t rush the process. Give this transition and your loved one space and time to settle in.