Assisted Living: What You Need To Know
Jonathan Perlman, founder of Tradition Senior Living in Houston & Dallas, TX.
Jonathan Perlman
January 9, 2019


How Will You Know When It’s Time for Assisted Living?

A sitting area, including a bay window and chandelier, at Tradition Senior Living in Dallas, Texas.

If you have an older loved one who struggles to remember to take their medication or faces challenges with basic Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), like grooming, dressing, bathing, or preparing healthy meals, it may be time to consider an Assisted Living community.

There are many reasons why a family decides it is time for their loved one to move to an Assisted Living community.

Here are a few of the top reasons:

  • Provides a safer living environment than a single-family home or apartment for a person who is age 80-plus
  • Need for supportive services in performing ADLs, but does not need the skilled nursing care and medical attention that a nursing care center provides
  • Inability to live alone safely or adequately receive the level of care needed from a spouse, adult child, family member or home care provider
  • Health care monitoring needed – especially with respect to medication management, such as diabetic and heart medications

Your loved one may decide, or you may decide, that it’s time for Assisted Living if he or she has had a change in health status that impacts quality of life; needs more support in managing chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, heart problems and hypertension; has a history of falls; wants to be more socially engaged vs. being isolated at home; requires specialized assistance for memory or dementia issues; or wants to avoid a long-term stay in a nursing home.

“We remain dedicated to providing the high standards of elegant living, comfort, safety, and care that we have become known for since the opening of our flagship community in Dallas eight years ago.”

What Do I Need to Consider When Shopping for an Assisted Living Community?

Here are a few of the most important things to consider:

 1. Assessing a community’s physical features: This could include, but is not limited to, visiting a community to get a sense of the design and décor; assessing whether it is clean and well-maintained; learning what type of common areas the community offers; exploring amenities provided by the community. Is it elegant? Is it well designed? Is it welcoming? This will be your loved one’s new “home,” so it’s important to find a community that provides a welcoming and beautiful home environment.

2. Assessing a community’s social and recreational programming: Socialization and mental stimulation are important for seniors. Ask for a copy of the community’s activities calendar. Make sure there are plenty of activities to keep your loved one engaged, social and interested in life. Also make sure the community’s Memory Care unit, if there is one, offers special activities for residents with memory impairment or dementia.

3. Assessing a community’s dining program: It’s always prudent when assessing a community to schedule a time to come in and partake in a meal. Your loved one can get a sense of the quality of the food and the dining environment and meet some residents who might become new friends someday.

4. Assessing a community’s quality and levels of care: Be sure you understand the levels of care offered at a community. Also, some communities offer complicated “à la carte” care services, which can add up quickly. It’s important to be able to get a handle on potential future care costs and to be able to budget accordingly.

5. Ensuring that the community has a separate, secure, dedicated locked Memory Care neighborhood: Residents with memory impairment or dementia will often eventually begin to “wander.”  If your loved one should ever need Memory Care in the future, it’s important to know that she or he will be well cared for and safe. 

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