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Bickford of Iowa City

Bickford of Iowa City

3500 Lower West Branch Road
Iowa City

Level Of Care


About Bickford of Iowa City

Life is fragile and the effects of aging can rock us to our core. However, aging can also awaken us to the beauty of life and our need to express love now. With the urgency of this love, our family of caregivers is ready to do whatever it takes to make our residents happy.
—Eby Family, founders of Bickford Senior Living

There is no higher calling, no greater purpose than that of a caregiver. Somehow, we’ve come to believe that caregiving is just for some of us and not all of us. Yet at our core, we are all made to love, to connect, to extend ourselves in service of others. The question is…do we have the will to love, to do what it takes, to risk ourselves in caring, even when the burden is great? In times of happiness, in times of sadness—we are that caregiver. WHATEVER IT TAKES

What is a manifesto? It is a declaration of who you are and what you stand for. We are that caregiver who does whatever it takes to make our residents happy.

Our Story—At the core of her being Mary Bickford had happiness coursing through her. She gave beauty and strength to everyone around her. She enriched their lives in every possible way. And the Bickford Family Tree that sprang from the seed of her life continues with the self-same purpose, the core running throughout every aspect of what we do, enriching happiness in the lives that become intertwined with ours.

Her Life Song—Mary Bickford was born in Wichita, Kansas. She learned to play the harp and continued to play throughout her life for 57 years. In 1943 she married her husband Christy and together they raised two children – Judie and Ralph. As a mother, she lived by the motto: whatever it takes to make you happy.

A Haunting Refrain—In the early 1970s, Mary’s life took a dive. Her son Ralph was killed in Vietnam, her husband died of a heart attack and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Mary’s behavior began to change, and her family became increasingly worried about her. Judie took her to see a doctor where she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

A Disturbing New Melody—After Mary’s diagnosis, Judie and her husband Don Eby began looking for a new home for Mary. The options offered too much or too little assistance—none met her needs, and nothing felt like home. Since they couldn’t find what they wanted they decided to create what Mary needed.

Her Song Becomes a Seed—Don employed his extensive business skills and knowledge, driven by the love he had for his mother-in-law. The song of Mary’s life became a seed. The seed was planted and in November 1992 the Bickford Family Tree sprang forth with the opening of one of the first assisted living residences in Kansas. This Branch became Mary’s new home.

The Growth of The Bickford Family Tree—What has sprung from Mary’s life continues to grow. Our philosophy of care is based on the foundation of our Bickford Family Tree: It was created to care for our family, devoted to serving yours. Our experience led us to connect with so many other families who were going through similar experiences.

Rooted in Family—Don’s lifelong dream to have a family business became a reality when his three sons became involved in the business. He instilled his boys with his vision and Bickford’s core values which they were determined to continue. Don Eby passed away March 25, 2010, but his legacy to give everything we have, every day, lives on in his sons. Bickford continues to be a family owned and operated business.

Current Season—Bickford currently operates 65 Branches in 11 states with additional Branches in development. Our approximately 2,500 Bickford Family Members (our employees are family to us) love and care for nearly 3,000 residents.

While seemingly impressive, growth and size has never been our goal. At the end of day, all that matters to us is the happiness of the sweet little lady in apartment 406, because nearly 30 years ago that “someone” was our Mary Bickford.


All utilities and Wi-Fi included.

Dining Options


Made from Scratch—Homestyle food with made-from-scratch recipes. Fresh bread daily.

High Quality Ingredients—High grade poultry, pork, and seafood. Only the best Choice and Prime grades of Certified Angus Beef. Local produce when in season.

Culinary Practices—Cooks are trained daily on proper culinary techniques.

Special Diets—Ability to accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions and preparations (i.e. gluten restricted, diabetic, no added salt).

Restaurant Style Dining—Three meals served daily. Breakfast is cooked to order. Multiple entrée selections and additional a-la-carte items available.

The Family Table—Food is best when shared with family and friends. Celebrate special occasions in the Private Dining Room. Have fun with themed and holiday meals.

Cleaning Services

Our residents enjoy weekly housekeeping and linen service with laundry room or personal laundry service.



Daily Activities—A variety of activities conducted each day tailored to a range of interests, including creative, intellectual, spiritual, life skills, physical, social.

Outings—Community trips to local restaurants, shops, parks, and more.

Community Involvement—We partner with individuals and organizations to share their interests and love with our residents (i.e. performers, pet therapy, student visits).

Theme Days—Fun-filled days where activities are coordinated with meals, costumes, and decorations (i.e. Western Day, Winter Wonderland).

Family Gatherings—Events geared toward family involvement like Thanksgiving, Grandparents Day, and Easter Egg Hunts.


Scheduled Appointments—Bickford can coordinate transportation for any need (i.e. handicapped accessible, non-emergency medical, taxi).

Companion Care—Personalized transportation to and from scheduled appointments accompanied by a Bickford Family Member (employee).

Outings—Outings Community trips to local restaurants, shops, museums, concerts, plays, etc.

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Paying with Medicaid
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