assistance with eating, bathing, dressing,
laundry, housekeeping, and keeping
track of medications. They often have
centers for medical services, but typically
do not offer the extensive medical
services provided by a nursing home. An
ALC is not a substitute for a nursing home,
but rather is a stepping stone between
complete independence and services
provided by a nursing home.
Often, an ALC will create an
individualized service plan for seniors
upon admission, detailing personal
services that will be provided to the
resident. This plan is periodically
reviewed and updated to provide the
appropriate care to each resident.
Housing in an ALC may be studios or
one-bedroom apartments with small
kitchen facilities. Typically, ALC housing
units have group dining facilities and
common areas where residents gather to
enjoy social and recreational activities.
An ALC may be licensed as a “Type A” or
NURSING CARE FACILITIES
“Type B” facility, says Martinez. “A facility
with a Type A licensing means that the
residents are mentally and physically able
to vacate the building without assistance
within 15 minutes,” says Martinez. “A Type
B certification means that residents require
assistance to vacate the building within 15
minutes. Our facility is licensed for Type B,
as we are also certified to care for residents
with Alzheimer’s Disease.”
“Your first impression of an Assisted Living
Community is the most important,” says
Martinez. “What do you see when you get
out of the car? How do they take care of the
lawn? What is your first impression of the
staff? Are the residents properly dressed?
How’s the lighting inside the buildings? What
activities are available? Are staff members all
in the same uniform? Scrubs are not
appropriate for an Assisted Living
Community, but name tags are important.”
“I’m not bragging about our own facility,”
says Martinez of her own community,
Parmer Woods Retirement & Assisted
Living, “but people comment all the time
about that first impression when they walk
into my building, go on the tour, and
acknowledge that they like what they see.”
A Nursing Care Facility (NCF) is a state
licensed, private-care facility that provides
24-hour skilled hospital care for residents
who do not require hospitalization but
cannot be cared for at home. Also called
Long Term Care Facilities, the majority of
nursing homes are staffed by caring,
trained persons who provide an excellent
level of service for their residents.
It pays to shop around when selecting an
NCF. Seniors should consult with a trusted
doctor or health care practitioner for
recommendations of nearby facilities.
Plan on visiting at least four or five area
facilities, and make an appointment with
the administrator or director of nursing.
Check to make sure that information
provided is consistent with information
gathered during the facility tour.
Discrepancies between provided
information and your own observations
indicate possible problems later on. A
nursing care facility should have clean
floors and smell clean. Facilities with dirty
floors and a sour smell do not put a high
priority on cleanliness, and should not be
Ask to see the compliance survey report
prepared by the State of Texas on the
considered facility. The report will list
deficiencies found in resident care during
routine inspections, and the facility’s effort
to correct the problem. Under Texas law,
nursing homes must make this and other
survey compliance reports available upon
request, as well as provide an accessible
and well-lit place for review.
Another option available is to call the
Texas Department of Aging and Disability
Services (DADS) at 800-458-9858.
While state law prohibits agency
employees from recommending one
facility over another, they can answer the
following recommended questions about
any such facility:
• Have there been any proposed license
terminations in the past two years?
• How many complaints have been filed
in the past year?
• How many complaints in the past year
have been found to be valid?