Calvin Community testimonials: retirement community in Des Moines, Iowa. Assisted living and much more

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Calvin Community is a classis Des Moines, Iowa retirement community - retirement living at its best!

Calvin offers a complete continuum of retirement living in the heart of Des Moines including Independent, Assisted Living, Assisted Living Memory Care, Skilled and Long Term Nursing Care.

Read below for more from those who know our assisted living and other retirement home options best.


Norma Brown

We came to Calvin first because we were acquainted with it from my husband's years on the board. We came also because whatever our health, there will be a place that fits whatever we need. Living here I appreciate the large, very caring staff. The building size is perfect- not too large, not too small. There are plenty of activities; you can be as busy or not as you like. Don't forget the food- people say it's the best in town!


Pam Carberry, Food Services Director

I applied to Calvin Manor in May of 1978 and was hired as a Dietary Aide under the supervision of Patricia McCaughey at $2.30 per hour. I was 19 years old. I worked my way through the dietary department in various positions from dietary aide to morning cook, evening cook, day supervisor, evening supervisor, assistant food service director and then in 1999 Food Services Director. I always like to say that I have grown up at Calvin. When I started I was a 19 year old newlywed and now I am a grandmother of 3. Calvin has been my home away from home for 33 years. I have seen many residents come and go and have seen many changes that Calvin has gone through. Calvin has aged very gracefully in the Beaverdale neighborhood. I like to refer to us as the "biggest Beaverday brick." We have many long term employees here at Calvin which tells you it's not only a great place to live, but also a great place to work. I have seen parents who lived at Calvin and now their children have chosen to call Calvin their home. Calvin will continue to grow and provide great care to the residents and I plan on being here to be a part of it. In 2010 I received my service award for 30 years; I plan on being the first employee to hit 50 years.


Tammy Torstenson, Health Center Director of Nursing

I came to Calvin in 2012 as Director of Nursing in the Health Care Center after spending the past 20 years of my nursing career in long term and skilled facility care. I came here because I knew of Calvin's long standing reputation in regards to giving good care, it's stable and excellent leadership, and it's Christian-based philosophy in serving residents and employees. I have not been disappointed in this decision. From my first arrival at the receptionist desk for my interview to my ongoing daily interactions, I have found nothing but love, acceptance, and genuine care and concern among and between the residents and employees at Calvin. I have worked at the fanciest and newest of communities in my long term care nursing career, but nothing takes the place of true care and concern for both the resident and employee. The care and concern is shown in truly delivering person centered care on a daily basis to those we serve, without a lot of fanfare or advertisement of providing such. Care and concern is shown by the Administration Team and Board of Directors in allowing the number of staff truly needed to deliver what we say we are going to deliver to the persons we serve. Care and concern is shown in the investment made in the Activities Department to truly provide the staff and structure needed to keep our beloved elders engaged in whatever type activities they choose. Care and concern is shown to our employees on a daily basis with a collaborative, positive, and problem solving approach to any issues an employee may be having. The love and compassion at Calvin is seen daily with our extensive blend of employees from across the globe, working effectively and joyfully with their coworkers and with our beloved residents. I truly have found my 'nursing home' at Calvin Community. I am so proud to tell anyone that will listen I work here, serving our beloved elderly and wonderful blend of caring, giving, committed staff in the heart of Beaverdale.


Kara Fries, Recent Intern

I volunteered as an intern with the Activities Department at Calvin Community this past summer and had an invaluable experience there. As a social work student in college, I wanted to see what it would be like to work in a long-term care facility and chose Calvin simply because it seemed like a nice place. After my first day at the facility I realized that Calvin is much more than just a nice place. Its relatively small size and home-like setting allowed me to get to know many of the residents and staff on more than just a first-name basis. Everyone I met was incredibly welcoming and made me feel like part of the family. The staff treat the residents with so much dignity and worth and the level of care is very high. They all go above and beyond in fulfilling the residents' wants and needs and give them constant care and attention. The Activities Department always has fun and engaging events planned for the residents from Wednesday afternoon Bingo to music programs and movie showings. The residents of Calvin come from all different backgrounds and have amazing stories to tell and wisdom to share. I learned a lot from working at Calvin and am glad to have been a part of this loving and caring family.


Gretchen Ashbaugh, Calvin West Resident

I love the way Calvin Community is constructed with all the buildings connected in a quadrangle and with a center garden and park in back. Lots of flowers and mature trees to give shade to walks, park seats and bandstand. But most important is the staff and employees. They are very capable, caring, friendly and ready always to lend a helping arm or hand when needed. They are TOPS!


Cathy Eddy, Family of Residents

Calvin Community has been home for my parents for nearly ten years. We received information and toured other facilities, but Calvin stood out as being the most welcoming and caring with a strong sense of community among the residents and staff. That is just as true today as it was then. Calvin has a dedicated staff whose focus is on each individual and meeting his/her needs.

 Activities, offered daily, range from service projects with Meals from the Heartland to Wii bowling and music by the Merrymakers. A coffee shop is available for residents and their guests to gather and socialize or read the paper. The backyard includes a paved walking path on beautiful wooded grounds, as well as gardening space and raised beds for residents’ use.

 I have seen many changes over the past years as Calvin Community continues to update, make additions to its facilities, and plan for the future – a true gem in the Beaverdale neighborhood.