an agreement that guarantees the lifetime of
services and support over an extended period
of time that they are looking for. There are
so-called copycat senior-care residences that
claim to offer all the benefits of a CCRC,
but in reality the services guaranteed by the
actual contract fall far short of the claims
made by management.
Before signing a contract with a CCRC,
seniors should conduct a thorough review of
the facility’s services, operations and finances,
and determine that the CCRC is appropriate
to their needs, lifestyle and expectations. It’s
also a good idea to ask a family attorney or
accountant to review the contract as well. If
the contract is found agreeable, ask to spend
at least one night and two days at the facility,
to test drive the community and make sure it
is a good fit. Some points to consider include:
• Are pets allowed in your residence?
• What social, recreational and cultural
activities are offered?
• Is food prepared onsite? If so, how is it?
• Are there fitness facilities onsite?
• Is the staff friendly and knowledgeable?
• What healthcare and personal care
services are available?
• What preparations have been made for
handling medical and evacuation
• Is there easy access to offsite activities
such as shopping and is transportation
CCRCs are an excellent option for those
who are independent and in good health,
The variety of housing offered by CCRCs
is varied as well, ranging from ultra-urban
high-rise apartment communities to cottages,
townhouses, duplexes or even single-family
homes located in a beautiful, natural setting.
An Assisted Living Community (ALC) bridges
the gap for seniors who need assistance with
daily activities a nursing home might offer,
but wish to live independently so long as they
are capable of doing so. Residents in an ALC
are unable to live completely by themselves,
but do not require constant supervision. An
ALC offers its residents 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 individual-
ized 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 appro-
priate care to each resident. Housing in an
ALC may be studios or one-bedroom apart-
ments 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
“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
“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
AREA SENIOR CENTERS
Allen Senior Recreation Center 451 Saint Mary Drive Allen 214-509-4820 www.cityofallen.org
Baylor Senior Center 2835 Sylvan Avenue Dallas 214-421-2271 www.baylorhealth.com
East Dallas Senior Center 911 Saint Joseph Street Dallas 214-821-5398
Elmwood Senior Citizens Center 1315 Berkley Avenue Dallas 214-330-7144
Farmers Branch Senior Adult Center 14055 Dennis Lane Farmers Branch 972-241-8636 www.senioradultservices.org
McKinney Community Center 2001 S. Central Expwy McKinney 972-542-0045 www.mckinneytexas.org
Plano Senior Center 401 West 16th Street Plano 972-941-7155 www.plano.gov
Richardson Senior Center 820 W. Arapaho Road Richardson 972-231-4798 www.cor.net
Seniors in Dallas find that they have a
wide variety of housing options that
accommodate their budget... and pursuit
of their personal interests, goals and