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Arbor Springs A Dementia Community

Arbor Springs A Dementia Community

7951 EP True Parkway
West Des Moines
We welcome seniors of all ages with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Level Of Care


About Arbor Springs A Dementia Community

Arbor Springs is Iowa’s only Continuing Care Retirement Community that is dedicated entirely to Alzheimer’s and dementia care.

Arbor Springs cares for individuals through all stages of dementia. Located in a residential area, a hallmark of Arbor Springs is its award-winning design that offers residents the comfort, safety, and security of an environment like their own home. The Arbor Springs community is a welcoming arrangement of six neighborhoods positioned around Main Street. Main Street includes a sidewalk café, community center, therapy room, and beauty salon. Up to ten residents live in a neighborhood with each one having a private bedroom.

Bedrooms are arranged around an intimate living room, and memory boxes serve as markers to help identify individual rooms. Residents dine with others from their neighborhood in a cozy, homelike dining room. Outside courtyards give residents the opportunity to enjoy fresh air and landscaping in a secure setting.

Arbor Springs offers long-term care, short-term rehabilitation, and respite care.

Short-Term Rehabilitation and Skilled Care—Everything about our care—the facility, staff, environment, and therapy program—are designed specifically for those individuals who not only need rehabilitation but who may also need to overcome complications that dementia brings to the rehabilitation process. Rehabilitation is much more difficult for individuals with dementia because it is harder for them to stay focused on the therapy. There’s also a significantly higher chance of resistance or refusal because he or she cannot cognitively comprehend what is happening and why it’s important. Our Medicare certified rehabilitation team consists of physical, occupational, and speech therapists. Each discipline is uniquely qualified to make sure that dementia does not diminish or derail the individual’s program. Individuals are participating in therapy up to three hours daily. However, families take comfort in knowing the other 21 hours are spent in a quiet, neighborhood environment with caregivers who are not only socially engaging their loved one but also providing quality dementia care.

Arbor Springs has been the preferred rehabilitation site for many assisted livings and assisted living memory cares. The Arbor Springs therapy team has been very successful in returning individuals to their pre-injury/illness ability, thus allowing individuals to return to their assisted living upon completion of their rehabilitation.

Our Care Model—Arbor Springs operates under the philosophy that in order to provide excellent dementia care, equal attention must be given to four specific areas. Therefore, we utilized the “4 Components of Care” model, which includes medical treatment, caregiving techniques, physical environment, and social environment.

Medical Treatment—We prefer and will go to great lengths to preserve the practice of using non-pharmacological interventions unless it is absolutely necessary for the safety of the residents to use medications. Appropriate medications are selected with careful consideration given equally to their potential therapeutic benefits as well as their potential negative side effects.

Caregiving Technics—Properly educated caregivers are essential for providing excellent dementia care. Arbor Springs’ staff undergoes intensive orientation and participates in continuous training and development to meet the special needs of those with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Iowa requires a minimum of six hours of dementia training for long-term care facilities and a minimum of eight hours of training for assisted livings. Arbor Springs provides 12 hours of training upon hire and provides over 20 hours of training yearly. Nearly half of Arbor Springs’ nursing staff are Certified Dementia Practitioners, and Arbor Springs also employs a Certified Dementia Care Manager. We provide consistent staffing on our neighborhoods, which not only allows the staff to get to know each individual resident, but also the resident and family to get to know the staff. We continue to have one of the highest certified nursing assistants staffing ratios in central Iowa (1:5).

Arbor Springs recognizes that families are just as important as staff within the caregiving environment. Alzheimer’s is truly a family disease and requires more comprehensive family involvement than in non-dementia long-term care facilities. Family members provide valuable input into the overall care planning process, and Arbor Springs provides education and support to families throughout their journey.

Physical Environment—Our community was designed specifically for individuals with dementia; consequently, the outcome is a quiet, secure environment that allows for exceptional quality of life.

Social Environment—Arbor Springs employs two full-time activity professionals who oversee the programming needs of our residents. Our activities are designed to build on a resident’s abilities giving them a sense of purpose and productivity.


All utilities included except extended cable and phone.

Dining Options

The process of developing, reviewing, and implementing new menus at Arbor Springs involves many people and a good deal of time. The process begins with our food distributor, Martin Brothers, as their dieticians create recipes and template menus. Arbor Springs’ dietary manager and dietician then review the template menus and make adjustments taking into consideration resident preferences as well as how dementia affects the dining process. Recognizable food that looks and smells pleasing, color contrast on the plate, and menu items that can be converted to finger foods are just some of the issues that Arbor Springs addresses with its dementia specific dining program.

Arbor Springs is proud of its raised garden planters in the courtyards. Residents are not only able to participate in the planting and maintaining of the garden, but they also get to eat the “fruits” of their labor!

Cleaning Services

We provide daily housekeeping and laundry services.


Arbor Springs employs two full-time activity professionals who oversee the programming needs of our residents. Our activities are designed to build on a resident’s abilities giving them a sense of purpose and productivity.

Arbor Springs offers activities within each neighborhood that promote self-esteem and self-worth including household chores like baking, sweeping, and folding laundry; music and art like sing-a-longs, music performances, and crafts; wellness activities like exercises and walking both inside and outside; brain wellness activities like trivia, puzzles, and games; and incorporation of innovative technology via use of iPads and iPods.

Out of nearly 700 eligible organizations in Iowa, Arbor Springs is proud to be 1 of only 19 that is Music & Memory Certified.

As part of the certification process, Arbor Springs’ staff received training on how to create personalized playlists of music enabling those living with dementia to reconnect with the world through music triggered memories.


Abor Springs has a handicap accessible bus for resident outings.

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