Life Plan Community

Employee Spotlight: Julie Farmer


Julie Farmer is the kind of person you like on sight. Her unmistakable warmth and energy draws people in and her conversations are filled with humor and compassion. She’s the sales manager for independent living residences at Meth-Wick where her charismatic personality works wonders battling the misperceptions prospective residents bring to campus.

“Seniors today are more active and independent than ever before but they don’t think of senior living communities as places where they can be active and independent. It’s my job to open their eyes.”

Julie spends her time with prospective residents listening to their goals and plans, sharing information about Meth-Wick’s styles of living, and answering questions about what this move will mean for their lives. It’s a good gig for someone who has spent her career taking care of the people around her.

Julie studied community health education and gerontology during her undergrad years and worked at a retirement community and a hospital in Chicago before earning her MBA in hospital and health administration. After completing her graduate degree, she took an opportunity as an administrative resident in health administration at a medical center in New Orleans and later in Dallas. She soon started her family and spent several years raising her three children and teaching yoga classes. During that time, she got connected with Chris Madsen, a sales manager at Meth-Wick.

“Chris saw my resume and said Meth-Wick could be a perfect fit for me,” Julie said. “I had young kids at the time so it wasn’t the right moment — but we kept in touch. Ten years later, Chris reached out to let me know she was retiring and she hadn’t forgotten my resume. At that point, my kids were grown and I was ready for a new challenge.”

And Julie has tackled that new challenge head on. Seniors today are different than the seniors she worked with early in her career. She describes the baby boomers she meets as well-informed and assertive. They’re excited about their future and looking forward to the experiences they plan to have in retirement.

“When I talk to potential residents, they are often looking for a paradigm shift,” Julie shared. “Many of them had to make tough decisions when their parents got older and fell ill, moving them to care facilities and selling their houses. They don’t want that traumatic situation for themselves or their children. Most seniors today are healthy and independent and want to stay that way as long as they can — I get to show them how Meth-Wick makes that possible.”

Just as Julie describes, living independently at Meth-Wick truly is independent. When a resident moves into their Meth-Wick home, they’re in control. They get to select the modifications that will be made in their residence and Meth-Wick puts all the changes in place before move-in day. They even get to choose their cable provider. There’s no one to check in with when they come and go from campus and no one to tell them where they have to eat dinner that night. They join a community of peers with similar goals and plans for this stage of their lives. It’s living the life they want to live, without all the yardwork and maintenance that comes with owning a home.

To Julie, her job is about more than helping people find their dream homes, it’s about showing them a community where they can build their best lives. It’s a pretty good way to spend a day in the office.

Robin’s Nest: Making Meth-Wick Unique

If there’s one thing that makes Meth-Wick unique, it’s the variety of lifestyles residents live on our campus.

Those new to Meth-Wick are often surprised by the mix. We offer five different styles of living: Independent Living, Independence Plus, Assisted Living for Physical Needs, Assisted Living for Memory Needs, and Nursing Care. Some residents live with their spouse in a newly-built single-family home while others take advantage of assisted living services in a spacious, private apartment.

On a 65-acre campus like ours, there’s room for different kinds of lifestyles to exist in harmony with each other, all benefiting from Meth-Wick’s 57 years of experience in senior living.

That’s why we’re considered a Life Plan Community, rather than a care facility. The phrase “care facility” conjures up images you might associate with your parents or grandparents, but certainly not with yourself. A Life Plan Community, on the other hand, is a vibrant place that offers older adults a range of residential options along with opportunities for personal, creative and educational exploration.

In a Life Plan Community like we have at Meth-Wick, residents get to live the life they have been planning for years. They have access to our expansive wellness program, from yoga classes to walking trails to specially-fitted recumbent bicycles. They can attend on-campus lectures and join community groups. And, they have access to different levels of assistance should their health needs change over the years.

We’re proud that older adults from all different walks of life have chosen to be a part of the Meth-Wick story. It’s what will continue to make our community unique for many years to come.

What Living Independently Looks Like at Meth-Wick

Retirement living comes in plenty of different shapes and sizes. At Meth-Wick alone, residents can choose between five different styles of living.

For many, independent living is the best way to keep up with your lifestyle without the demands of owning a home. All your home maintenance needs are handled by our capable Meth-Wick staff. Say goodbye to appliance maintenance and lawn care and say hello to the life you’ve been planning for years.

Meth-Wick has a variety of options for living an active and healthy senior lifestyle as part of our vibrant campus community.

Brendelwood Village includes 25 townhouses lining wooded Brendel Hill. Each home has 1,250–1,839 square feet of living space. The layout includes two bedrooms, two baths, living and dining area, full kitchen, washer and dryer, and attached garage. Several have been custom built to include extra features like a four seasons porch.


Highland Park consists of six single-family homes and four duplexes. All homes have a two-car garage, private entrance, basement for extra storage and generous living space of approximately 1,650 square feet. Select homes include a deck or patio.


Oakwood is our newest condominium living option. Residents choose from six floor plans, ranging from 1,176–1,822 square feet. The building includes a common area for gatherings and indoor parking to ensure easy access to your vehicle no matter what Iowa weather brings.


Deer Ridge condominiums offer one, two, extra-large two, and
three bedroom options. All sizes include a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and optional climate-controlled parking stalls on the ground floor. A year-round sunroom is incorporated into every home. There are over 60 condos, along with beautiful common areas, including a large dining room, library, exercise room, beauty and barber shop, meeting room, woodworking shop, craft room, billiards room and computer room.


Greenwood Terrace is comprised of more than 50 condo-style apartments within a secured entrance. Each home includes a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and enclosed porch, with parking in a heated garage. Common areas include a mezzanine, library, dining room, private dining alcove, outdoor patio, billiards and game room, meeting room, car wash, exercise room and computer room.


Could you see yourself at home in one of these beautiful residences on our wooded 65-acre campus? Get in touch with our sales manager, Julie Farmer, to see what’s available.

3 Ways Community Living Can Make You Happier

Older adults have dozens of choices for where and how to spend their retirement years. Some of those choices are limited by ability but, for the most part, today’s older adults are largely healthy and living independently. So, if you’re in good health and capable of staying in your own home, why make a change? What would you gain from community living?

  1. Time

By the time you’re ready to retire, you’ll have spent thousands of hours mowing the lawn, raking leaves, shoveling snow and cleaning out gutters. It takes a lot of time to maintain a home – time that could be spent enjoying the freedom offered by retirement. Older adults enjoying community living don’t have to worry about home upkeep. They can even elect to have their laundry and housekeeping done for them as well. Use that time doing things you really care about like spending time with friends and family, volunteering, traveling or cooking.

  1. Money

It doesn’t just take time to maintain a home. Issues with the water heater, faulty buttons on the microwave, burned out lightbulbs on the front porch — all unexpected headaches that come with homeownership. Senior living communities like Meth-Wick offer a variety of independent living options such as apartments, condos, townhomes and single-family homes that work with different lifestyles. Each living option includes things like appliance maintenance, transportation, and exercise classes so you can live the life you want without having to worry about your budget.

  1. Community

With age, social circles inevitably shrink as family and friends move away and driving gets more difficult. But community living keeps older adults active and connected with a peer group close at hand. Studies show that stronger social connections lead to happier and healthier lives for older adults. Researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine questioned a group of SuperAgers, men and women in their 90s and 100s who have exceptional memories, about their lifestyle and habits. Genetics, diet and exercise obviously play a role but where the SuperAgers stood out was “the degree to which they reported having satisfying, warm, trusting relationships.” Turns out having a good group of friends is as good for the brain as it is for the soul.

Don’t think of senior living communities like retirement homes. Think of them like big neighborhoods where everyone has had a lot of the same experiences you’ve had. It’s not about bingo and bus trips – it’s about living the life you’ve been saving for and planning for decades. That life looks different to everyone. Some people want to spend half the year traveling and like knowing their home is protected by staff 24 hours a day. Others are looking for like-minded people to share new experiences with, like taking in local art and culture or trying a new exercise class.

Whatever life you want to live, there’s a community here for you at Meth-Wick.

Top 4 Reasons A Life Plan Community Is Right For You

The boomer generation has changed what it means to be an older adult. You shop differently, save differently and live differently than any generation before you. So, as you transition into the next chapter of life, consider whether a Life Plan Community might be the right move.

What is a Life Plan Community?

Life shows that our communities are about so much more than care; they are about living life to the fullest.

Plan captures the unique “safety net” advantages that Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CRCC) offer through a continuum of health-related services.

Community means connectedness. It’s where “planning” and “living” merge and allow for living life to the fullest.

Formerly known as a CRCC, a Life Plan Community is a residential community that offers more than one level of care on a single campus, has a focus on active lifestyles, and is integrated into the community. At Meth-Wick, you see the Life Plan Community philosophy in action. We have five different styles of living from independent living to skilled nursing care so that when you make the move to Meth-Wick, you will have the care you need no matter what life brings.

  1. Stay independent and in control

Meth-Wick offers a variety of condos, apartments and even single-family homes for residents who prefer to live independently. This keeps you in your home longer – where we know you prefer to be.

  1. Protect yourself and your family

By putting a plan in place today for the next stage of your life, you relieve your family from decision making during stressful times.

  1. Make a smart financial decision

Life Plan Communities typically have an entrance fee and monthly fees. This structure stabilizes costs as you only pay for what you need, when you need it, removing many of the unknowns of retirement planning.

  1. Never move again

Moving to Meth-Wick means that you may not have to move again as you or your spouse’s needs change. Resident Connie Proffitt and her husband Russell moved into a condo at Deer Ridge when they came to Meth-Wick. Connie was able to care for her husband and arrange for in-home care from Meth-Wick Home & Health when she needed to run errands or be out of the house for a few hours. Rather than having to move him to assisted living, the couple was able to spend Russell’s last years together in their home.

Over the past several decades, what it means to be an older adult has changed. So, we’ve changed with it. Our Life Plan Community is a place where you can live life on your terms, whatever they may be.