Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

To me, cinnamon rolls are way more than just something to eat. They are something to love, something to savor.

Cinnamon rolls stimulate our senses – smell, taste, touch and sight. But they are so much more than just that.

They also give us a feeling of wonder, a feeling of memories of home, of mom and dad and family…all around the table waiting excitedly for the cinnamon rolls.

Just the thought of cinnamon rolls melts our hearts with love, security and everything being right with the world.
Sure, we serve cinnamon rolls at The Willows of Marshalltown. But to us cinnamon rolls are even more than food.

As Executive Director at The Willows I make sure our community lives cinnamon rolls.

I try to make sure that both our staff and our decisions always pass the Cinnamon Roll Test. By that I don’t just mean we always want to do the right thing, but that we want to have people feel just right as well. As though they just came down to a warm kitchen of cinnamon rolls.

Sure, we have many rules and regulations to follow, they are important for safety and proper resident care. And we are always dedicated in following those guidelines and more.

But nothing on that “requirements list” keeps us from also being a Cinnamon Roll community.

Assisted Living. And Memory Care. These are our specialties.

Think of the new life of friends, memories and warmth that your senior Mom or Dad will begin to live when they join us.

It’s the cinnamon roll way of life. And I’m your cinnamon roll leader at our Cinnamon Roll Community.

Do we have room? Yes. And the first step is to call me, any time. Here is my cell 485-1672. Call me, and come take in the cinnamon roll life.


Jennifer Stanley
Executive Director

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

When I was a little girl growing up, my Mom always gave me lots of choices.

What to wear, what sports to play, what chores, and how clean to keep my room (well, that was not really a choice).

And life is that way. There are lots of choices.

My Mom also taught me that changing your mind was an OK thing. Give something a good try, and if it does not work, try something else. In fact that one was of immense help for me as I danced through high school and college, trying one thing and then another.

In my case there was a time when I was sure I would be a nurse forever. But then I changed my mind and pursued Management, finally getting a Master’s Degree. And now I am lucky to be able to use both of those skills in my job as Executive Director of The Willows.

I can bet you have had similar experiences in your life. Lots of choices, and a few changes mid stream. Call me some time and let’s swap stories. As you know, I love to visit. And my cell is 485-1672. I mean it, call anytime.

And oh yes, what about my headline about Shrimp Scampi for Breakfast? I figured that would get your attention.

Here at The Willows we believe in lots of choices too. And that means a large daily meal menu, not just “meatloaf on Monday.” And on our menu even has shrimp scampi. And, yes, you can even get it for breakfast.

And you know what? Some of our residents have even done that – smiling all the way.

Thanks Mom. Thanks for teaching me that choice is a good thing. What you taught me is at work here at The Willows every single day.


Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

“I may not remember what we talk about….but I always remember how you make me feel.”

Here is a lesson I have learned for the adult children of parents with memory issues. It’s how your Mom or Dad feels that really matters to them.

Look, memory issues are now an established part of adult life. Memory issues that were once rare, are now common. And they bring adult children sadness and worry.
Why? Because we all remember the time we told Mom or Dad “I will always take care of you.” And now maybe that job has grown too large to do properly. Diet, medication, bathing, proper exercise, movement, and wandering can all become too much for one person to handle.

And yes, this causes guilt, because of the promise we made Mom or Dad years ago.

But here is the thing. Memory issues can quickly outstrip your ability to give Mom or Dad the care they need. And postponing professional care can actually cause more harm.

But your Mom or Dad will always remember how you make them feel. Which is the magical thing that I see happening here at The Willows. Mom or Dad are left feeling wonderful after your visit.

And that guilt you feel? It goes away, because you can see that care is professionally given 24/7, in a nurturing and engaging environment, specially designed for seniors with memory issues, and Mom or Dad are thriving.

On top of that, you can visit Mom or Dad as often as you like. And the love they feel from you during those visits…that is what stays with them. I see it all the time.

One of the most important parts of my job is this comfort I get to bring to families. I’m here to help, call me anytime at 641-485-1672.

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Yet I see it happen all the time.

Folks simply forget they own Long Term Care Insurance.

And that is like discovering a pot of gold under your bed. Let me explain.

Long Term Care Insurance policies are wonderful. They are basically savings accounts for seniors.

When you pay the policy premium, funds are socked away for your use when you choose to move into The Willows.

In fact, right this minute we have many residents at The Willows living comfortably on the funds from their Long Term Care policies. (And many of them weren’t even aware they had this benefit until they called me.)

Now here is the catch: If you don’t use the funds built up in your Long Term Care policy, they usually flow to the insurance company when you pass on. That’s right, they don’t pass to your heirs. You lose them, forever.

I hate to say this, but it is kind of a trap… the trap of struggling to stay home when you could live in comfort at The Willows with the savings you forgot you even had.

Yes, we see many seniors struggling to stay at home, letting their health slide and burdening their adult children. Yet all the while they could have moved into the comfort and friendship of The Willows and paid for all or most of it with their Long Term Care policy.

If all this is ringing a bell, please remember, those funds in your Long Term Care policy are yours – use them to improve the quality of your life today.

And doing that is easy, painless and requires no commitment.

If you have a Long Term Care policy, call me and let’s discuss your situation. I can evaluate the fine print of your policy and we can discuss your options before it’s too late. Call me on my cell 641-485-1672.

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

But fortunately there is a cure.

I am talking about loneliness.

And as we all know, 2020 dished up loneliness in huge portions.

Lately this is the main thing I hear when adult children call me with concern for Mom or Dad.


And we’re not talking about the kind of loneliness from a weekend or so by yourself. If it goes on long enough loneliness becomes dangerously invisible. And things slip. Diet slips, cleanliness slips, exercise slips…if you can imagine it, it slips when you are lonely.

Yet, here is the thing about loneliness – none of us ever want to admit it. As if it were some sort of character flaw, instead of the universal call for help that loneliness really is.

So when an adult child asks Mom or Dad “How are you doing?” the answer is always “I’m fine.”

Everyone wants to appear strong to their kids, that’s why it’s so important to know when it’s time for you to be strong for your parents. They held your hand through the skinned knees and bruised hopes of childhood. It’s your turn to hold their hand through this new and uncharted territory.

Maybe that means more visits from you, more phone calls from you, more transportation to events or friends they want (need) to see.

Or maybe it is time to consider Assisted Living, where Mom and Dad are as independent as they want to be in their wonderful apartment, only without the loneliness, because friends are always right next door, at meals, at our theatre, exercise class or even the always loved bingo. And you have the safety net of a devoted healthcare staff at hand 24/7 with all their meals and transportation taken care of.

I know, this is personal stuff. Everyone is different. Every Mom, every Dad is different. Let me hold your hand through this process. I’m here to help. My cell 485-1672. Call anytime.

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

My Mom did such a good job of making the house I grew up in feel like home.

I don’t know how she did it exactly, but it was there. That homey feeling.

And people tell me we have the same thing at The Willows. A homey feeling.

It’s hard to put a finger on exactly where it comes from. Really, we just try to do things like mom did. We keep our place clean and inviting, we make homestyle meals, we share stories and have fun together. We also have wonderful employees who take the time to make our residents feel cared for and safe. Just like mom did.

Because home is more than a place, it’s a feeling. Something our visitors always mention. I think it would make my Mom proud to know that we have created something like that here.
With the weather warming up, we have had a lot of folks interested in visiting The Willows who are looking for the right Assisted Living or Memory Care community for their loved one.

And you have good choices here in Marshalltown.

I always say one thing to people who are looking: Pick the place that feels the most like home. You can’t go wrong if you do that. I know we do a lot here to make The Willows feel like home for our residents and our staff. But only you know what home feels like to you, and every senior should live somewhere that feels like home to them.

I would love to give you a tour of The Willows to see if we have created a place that feels right for you and your loved one.

Here is my personal cell….call me anytime for a tour or a chat. 641-485-1672.

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

When it comes to senior care communities for Mom or Dad, it’s important to understand the terms used when you’re looking at your options.

The Willows is an Assisted Living community but you would be amazed how often folks ask me “How’s your Nursing Home going? I run into this confusion all the time as Executive Director, so I thought I’d help define these more clearly.

The two main terms used in Senior Care are: Nursing Home and Assisted Living. That sounds simple, but the differences can be confusing.

A typical “Nursing Home” resident usually needs the help of 2 or more people to get around or needs extensive nursing care day and night.

“Assisted Living” means you have your own apartment and can be as independent as you like. But as we age there are often parts of our day where one needs “an assist”.

The Willows has trained and certified care staff to give that assist. Like help bathing, help with your meds, help buttoning a shirt or getting around to meals and activities.

All meals are made for you from a huge menu of options. Cleaning and laundry are taken care of and there are lots of opportunities for socializing. These are crucial things that seniors might have trouble with on their own.

With Assisted Living at The Willows, we take care of those things so life can be full of the things you want to do.

The Willows has the additional feature of Memory Care, a special part of our community where residents receive dedicated care for memory related conditions like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Call me and let’s chat. I’d love to answer your questions. I’m Jennifer Stanley and my cell is 485-1672.

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

We all have important jobs, valuable jobs, jobs that make us proud. Some jobs require analytical skill, some require brute strength, some care and compassion.

But only one job requires the superior combination of the heart and the mind.

That is the job of the health care worker. And never in recent history have health care workers been more deserving of our love and praise than right now.

Never in recent history have all available hospital beds and all medical offices been so full. And behind that demand for services is an army of doctors, nurses, and others who are asked to show their love, strength and compassion every single day.

Not only that, there is no such thing as kicking back in these jobs. No time to rest, and no room for error.

Here at The Willows we see this demonstrated every day as we take our residents to and from normal medical appointments. And I can also tell you that on the rare occasions when one of our residents needs middle of the night care, they ALWAYS receives top quality care no matter what.

This is Marshalltown Strong at its finest.

So please join The Willows in extending the biggest Thank You to all of our great Marshalltown health care workers.

They deserve our thanks, our prayers and our gratitude.

Oh, and feel free to call me anytime. My cell is 485-1672.

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Many, many seniors are military veterans. And to them we give the highest honor on this special day.

Working here at The Willows, I like to think of all seniors as Life Veterans. And remember, life lasts a lifetime. From the moment we’re born all the way to our cherished elder years.

So on this Veteran’s Day, let me convey deepest gratitude to all of you. Because you are all veterans of life.

As a senior your contribution to the world is so important. You have given so much love; love to your family, your friends and your country.

I think giving love is the most special thing about a life lived well. You have so many chances to convey love to others. We don’t always do that perfectly. But if we’re lucky, life is long. And we have lots of chances to not only give love, but to go back and mend fences where we have stumbled. This is also part of being a Life Veteran.

In fact, maybe it is the most important part.

I lost both of my folks when I was quite young. I never had the chance to care for them when they became seniors. Maybe that is why I love The Willows so much. I see a bit of my Mom and Dad in each senior resident and visitor.

So whether you are a military veteran, a Life Veteran, or both. I would love to meet you. Here at The Willows we help our residents organize access to their military veterans benefits. And we feel that all Life Veterans really deserve the latter part of their lives to be surrounded by love, and new friends.

So we do what can to make every day filled with love and care. Call me at 485-1672. I look forward to hearing from you.

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Photo of Jennifer Stanley

Come drive by The Willows some evening this month and enjoy the beautiful purple lights shining on our building at 2315 Campbell Dr. These lights will be on every evening in November. And our care staff is dressed in purple this month too.

Purple is close to our hearts here at The Willows. Because purple is the color for Alzheimer’s Awareness. And November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

This is the month where we honor our loved ones with Alzheimer’s, and we honor those Care Givers who lovingly help them through their days.

I both visit with and work with Alzheimer’s residents every day. And our Willows Care Givers dedicate their lives to caring for them 24 hours per day.

I want to let you in on a secret. Though our Alzheimer’s residents have memory issues, their feelings are just like yours and mine. They recognize people that pass on good feelings to them. When you give them love they give it right back.

And people with Alzheimer’s will open up a person’s heart like no other people can.

What about a cure? New studies showing hope and promise are published every day.

Here at The Willows 24 of our 58 apartments are devoted to residents with Memory Care issues. They have lovely dining and entertainment areas, a beautiful courtyard filled with flowers, and their families have a dedicated entrance for visits.

Most of all they get round the clock care by specially trained Willows staff. Not only is this staff kind and caring, they are well supported with a great team so they are able to stay fresh for our residents.

Join me for a November of Alzheimer’s Awareness. Let your heart open to purple. Together we’ll raise awareness for our loved ones with Alzheimer’s.

I am Jennifer. Call me any time at 485-1672.