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  • Melrose Meadows

Bigger Isn’t Always Better: The Benefits of Living in a Smaller Community

When it comes time to move into a senior living community, a big community can seem like the best first. But then, when you think harder about it, do you really want to be part of a big, corporate-run senior living machine? Do you really want to be just one more face in the sea?

Okay, we fully admit that we’re a little biased on this subject. After all, Melrose is a “smaller” community (we have fewer than 100 apartments in our building), and we’re about as far from corporate as you can get. We’re one-of-a-kind...just like you! And we’ve seen over the years how awesome life is for our residents in our smaller-type community. It’s been great, because we’re able to work for them – and not for some big corporate entity.

We’ve been thinking a lot about this, particularly as we deal with all things COVID-19 related. We started writing this blog prior to all the coronavirus goings-on, and we think it’s truer now than ever. So what, exactly, makes a smaller community such a good option for today’s seniors...both during “normal times,” and during a worldwide pandemic?

You’re treated like a person, not a number! With just 58 Independent Living and 31 Assisted Living apartments, we’re able to get to know every one of our residents – and all of our residents know each other, too. We get to form friendships, understand everyone’s likes and dislikes and allow us to treat everyone like the amazing individual they are (not just that one guy in Apartment 3425).

You get more star treatment. A small community means that caregivers and staff members are able to provide more personalized, caring service. And they can spend more time doing it, too, because they don’t have to rush off to the next person. We think that the best care comes from getting to know the people and actually, well, caring about them. That allows us to give every resident the star treatment and provide them with fantastic care.

That’s really good in a pandemic, because we’re all in this together. And we, the staff members, are the only people who can interact with residents in person right now. It’s also even more important for us to provide proper care and safety for our residents at this time. Knowing each resident individually allows us to watch ‘em like hawks to make sure they aren’t coming down with anything.

You end up happier and healthier. Seriously! We’re not just saying’s actually backed up by research. A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that residents who lived in a smaller senior living home had a better quality of life, better health and better emotional well-being than residents who lived in a larger, more “traditional” community. What could be the reason for this? Well, perhaps it could be that...

You really feel like you’re at home. It’s the best of both worlds: you have your own private living space, and you get all the benefits of maintenance-free living. A community is, after all, made up of the people who live there. Think about Mayberry – things would have been quite different for Sheriff Andy if he lived in a big city, right? It’s kind of the same thing at a smaller senior living community. You get to know everyone “in town” – and everyone gets to know you.

Now, we’re not knocking bigger senior living communities. There are many out there that are high quality and provide an awesome lifestyle for their residents. But that’s not just our speed at Melrose. We like being a smaller, privately owned community in the heart of Iowa City. That’s especially true now, when we’re all in this pandemic thing together.

We think you’d love our community, too. Once COVID-19 is under control and we’re able to open our doors to the public again, we’d love for you to stop by when you’re in the area. In the meantime, we’re happy to answer questions over the phone and can even offer video tours of our community and apartments! We’ll still be here when this is all over, and we hope to see you then! We love visitors – and it will be really nice to see some new faces (that aren’t covered by masks)! Give us a call at 319-341-7893 - we'd love to chat!

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