We understand that selecting a senior residential community comes with many questions. Please use our FAQ or contact us to answer any questions.
+ What distinguishes the Altenheim from other senior residential communities?
Our experience: The Altenheim is well established with deep roots in the community. Our residence has provided a quality home to our residents for more than 100 years. The Altenheim takes pride in providing each resident high quality care.
Not part of a large chain: The Altenheim is a free-standing, local, not-for-profit residence. Residents receive a good value for the cost because we keep fees in line with the cost of living and offer services that do not cost extra.
+ How do I decide what level of care is needed for a relative or myself?
Each applicant who applies for residency at the Altenheim is individually assessed by Altenheim’s Director of Nursing to determine the appropriate level of living:
Independent Living which includes meals, laundry and housekeeping
Supportive Care provides additional assistance with daily activities
Nursing Care offers around-the-clock nursing care on a temporary or long-term basis.
To start, you can go to our Find the Right Care Quiz to get an idea of what may be the right fit for you or your loved one.
+ How can I tell if I really need to move to a senior care community?
Some things you may want to consider:
- Your doctor suggests you need more help, or you should not live alone, or you would benefit from a residential care community
- Others express concerns about your living alone
- You depend on others for the basics: ordering drugs, food shopping, meal preparation, laundry, finances, doctor appointments, etc.
- You’re concerned about an increase in forgetfulness
- Climbing stairs is becoming increasingly difficult or frightening
- Home maintenance and cleaning are a burden
- You experience a regular loss of appetite
- Going out to get the mail and newspaper is a chore
- You have difficulty knowing if you’ve taken your pills
- The TV has become your best friend
+ How do I know when it's time for a loved one to move to a senior care community?
Here are some signs to look for, in deciding whether a loved one may need to move to an elder care community:
- Weight loss
- Declining eyesight/hearing
- Recent fall(s) or problems with balance
- Dizzy spells
- Hygiene or incontinence problems
- Loss of ability to communicate or articulate
- Increasing forgetfulness
- Lack of interest in food shopping, cooking or preparing meals
- Anxiety, depression, fear
- Withdrawal from hobbies or interests
- Poor decision-making or diminished judgement
- Problems maintaining a train of thought; groping for words
- Loss of time/events
- Increasing isolation
- Inability to deal with personal finances
- Input from friends/neighbors, “Your mother fell”, or “I’m glad you’re here – she shouldn’t be left alone.”
- Uneasy or guilty gut feeling you have when you leave your parent alone.
- Close family or friends moved away recently
- Diminishing social circle of friends
- Health care workers raise their eyebrows when told your parent lives alone.
+ What if my parent only needs a short stay while we're on vacation?
The Altenheim offers furnished rooms for a short-term stay anywhere from 5 to 90 days. This service includes meals and the same amenities that our full-time residents enjoy at a reasonable cost.
+ How do we go about finding the right place for our loved one to live when they need to move to a senior care community?
Start with any referrals from friends or professionals including your minister, lawyer, or doctor. Check the Internet or Yellow Pages. Phone around and ask about levels of care, activities, transportation, available doctor, cost and general layout, and for an information packet. Visit the facilities you are interested in more than once. Limit your selection to perhaps two or three for your loved one to visit and choose among.
+ Does the Altenheim provide Alzheimer's Care?
We care for residents with different degrees of dementia or Alzheimer’s, depending on the person’s ability to function. The determining factor is not the diagnosis – it’s the behavior the patient exhibits. For the person’s own safety, there are certain behaviors we are unable to accommodate. We are not equipped to handle people who engage in persistent wandering or aggressiveness, nor do we have a locked area specifically for Alzheimer’s patients.
+ Can my parent keep the present doctors, or do they have to use the Altenheim's doctors?
Residents may use our doctor or keep their own. Their doctor may see them here if they choose to do so.
+ Is there a "buy'in" payment we need to make?
Because we offer a life care contract, we do have a $2,500 admission fee. We waive this fee if you move directly into our 24-hour Nursing area.
+ What's included in the monthly fee?
The monthly fee is based on the resident’s level of care as determined by our medical staff. Every resident at the Altenheim receives three meals daily, laundry services, housekeeping and medication management. Resident activities and outings are included in the fee. Depending on the level of care, the fees include providing assistance with everyday needs (i.e. bathing & dressing) and nursing care.
+ What extra expenses do I have to pay?
- Telephone and Cable TV
- Personal health care items
- Dry cleaning
- Beauty or barber shop expenses
+ How often do the monthly fees increase? By how much?
Fees may be increased annually by approval of our local Board of Directors. These increases have been moderate and in line with the rate of inflation. We strive to keep our fees in the mid- range to provide excellent value to our residents.
+ What kinds of social events are available at the Altenheim? Do they cost extra?
Our residents enjoy a large variety of activities including exercise, games, music, socials, movies, and more — at no extra charge. Plus, we have day trips. Residents buy their own lunch on some of these outings. Our events and parties are so much fun, residents often invite friends, family and people in our local neighborhood. Please see our activities listed at www.altenheim-stlouis.com.
+ Can I use my Long-Term Care insurance at the Altenheim?
Yes, we have residents with different Long-Term Care insurance policies in effect.
+ Is physical therapy available?
+ How is the Altenheim licensed?
We are licensed by the State of Missouri as a Life Care Facility and Intermediate Care Facility.
+ Do any national groups accredit the Altenheim?
No. As a small, not-for-profit organization, we have not sought national accreditation.
+ What kinds of security do you provide for the residents?
Our building is very secure. We have staff on duty 24 hours each day, including licensed nurses and a licensed security guard. We provide around-the-clock supervision at the front entrance where visitors sign in. All doors are locked, with security cameras monitored at the front desk. Our security guard makes several rounds checking the building and grounds throughout the night.
+ What's the ratio of staff to residents?
We consistently meet and exceed all state- required minimums.
+ What's the staff turnover rate?
Our Medical Director has served us for 30 years, and most management staff has been here more than 10 years. Like most other nursing homes, turnover in some positions is higher than we like.
+ Are caregivers licensed?
+ Can my family stay at the Altenheim when they come to visit? Is there a charge?
Yes, we have guest rooms with private baths that may be reserved by our residents. There is no set charge for these guest rooms; however, most visitors make a donation when they stay with us.
+ Can I have guests for meals? Is there a charge?
Family and friends are encouraged to visit often for meals in our lovely dining room – simply make a reservation. There is a modest charge for guests’ meals.
+ Can residents come and go as they please?
Yes, we ask that they sign out/in so we know when they are not in the building.
+ How will I know this is the place for me, before I move in?
Spend some time with us. Come for lunch, or one of our many social events. Try us out – come for a short-term stay. We will be happy to put you in contact with residents and families, so you can hear from them how we’re doing.
+ Is transportation available?
We have a bus and van for trips to Schnucks and Dierbergs grocery stores, Wal-Mart, and lunch and social outings. We often are able to accommodate physician appointments and transportation to special family events.
+ Are there visiting hours?
Our residents are welcome to have visitors whenever they would like.
+ Are pets allowed?
Pets are welcome to visit. We have several Altenheim pets living here, and several who come every day. Pets are allowed to live in resident's rooms on a case by case basis, cats are usually allowed.
+ Can I have a car?
Yes, and you will have a reserved parking space just for your car.
+ Can you help me with my medications?
Yes, at every care level we can help you with your medications. You can use any pharmacy you wish, but if we are dispensing the medications we require certain standardized packaging.
+ Are there regular church services?
Yes, we have Protestant and Catholic services.
+ If I have to have a short hospital stay, do I lose my room at the Altenheim?
No. We hold your room for you during hospital and rehabilitation stays.
+ Can I bring my own furniture? What can I bring?
Definitely. You may bring your own selection of furniture and personal decorations. You may also bring a refrigerator and microwave oven if you wish.
+ Can I invite my friends for a private party?
We have several rooms of different sizes where you may have a private party of a few guests or as many as a hundred. Our chef is very flexible in providing your party with food and drinks at a very reasonable cost, if you wish.
+ Is there free WiFi access?
Yes, residents and guests may have the password when requested.
+ Where is the Altenheim located?
We are located on the historic bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River. We are about two miles south of downtown St. Louis, conveniently located a block from Interstate 55.