Residential Services and Placement

What types of residential services and placement alternatives exist for seniors?

A wide variety of residential services and placement alternatives exist for seniors. They include senior centers, adult day healthcare centers, in-home services, retirement communities, assisted living, personal care homes, and nursing homes. Availability of these services will vary from area to area.

What are senior centers?

Senior centers offer daily programs (Monday through Friday) for senior citizens, which generally include a hot noon meal and a variety of social and health maintenance services, such as information and referral, recreational activities, and exercise programs.

What are adult day healthcare centers?

Adult day healthcare centers exist for dependent seniors who need supervision, but do not need to be placed in a staffed nursing facility. They provide nursing therapy, nutritional services, health monitoring, and recreational activities, with emphasis on giving the senior an opportunity for decision making on his or her own behalf. They are ideal for seniors who reside with family members who work during the day. Low-income individuals may also qualify for day care through the Texas Department of Human Services.

What are in-home services?

In-home services are designed to allow the senior to remain in his or her own home while receiving necessary services. Examples of such services are: primary family and home care which can include assistance with bathing, dressing, eating, cleaning the house, and doing laundry; home delivered meals; nursing services, including medication administration, injections, tube feedings, catheter care, skin care; physical therapy; occupational therapy; speech therapy; medical social work; emergency response services; and telephone visitors. Several in-home service agencies exist in the Dallas area including some with programs for low-income seniors.

What are retirement communities?

Retirement communities are apartments or residential facilities designed for retired individuals or couples who wish to live independently while sharing common interests and having access to supportive services, which often include congregate meals. Nursing care services are not usually offered. Some communities, however, do offer what is called Assisted Living or Personal Care Units, which is described in more detail below. Other services that are offered vary tremendously, but may include laundry; housekeeping; social, recreational, and cultural activities; day trips; transportation; exercise facilities; libraries; beauty/barber shops; and religious programs. Some retirement communities offer subsidized rent for qualified individuals.

What is assisted living or personal care units?

Assisted living or personal care units are special programs offered by some retirement communities, designed specifically for the frail but independent senior. Residents in such programs are provided services by staff members such as licensed nurses, personal care assistants, professional nutritionists, and social directors. Services may include dispensing medication; assistance with bathing, dressing, and personal grooming; and health monitoring.

What are personal care homes?

Personal care homes generally consist of residential homes for small groups of elderly or disabled individuals who require supervised living. These facilities usually have one or more care providers 24 hours a day who prepare meals, dispense medication, and assist the residents with bathing, dressing, personal grooming, and eating. They generally provide furniture, linens, and laundry service. Some facilities also provide transportation to and from doctor appointments.

Personal care homes are licensed by the Texas Department of Health. Funding for low-income residents of such facilities is available through various programs of the Texas Department of Human Services and the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority. Personal care homes are an ideal placement alternative for individuals who need supervised living, but do not require the level of care provided by a nursing facility.

What are nursing homes?

Nursing homes are the most familiar type of residential placement facility for seniors. They offer the most sophisticated level of nursing care short of hospitalization, but allow their residents to exercise less independence than other types of facilities. Nursing homes are licensed and monitored by the Texas Department of Health. Funding is available for eligible nursing home residents through Medicare and Medicaid.

How should I choose which type of facility is best for me or my loved one?

The most important consideration in choosing the appropriate residential situation for any senior should be allowing the senior the greatest independence commensurate with his or her mental and physical abilities, in addition to the usual factors to be considered such as cost, location, atmosphere, and compliance with all applicable licensing requirements.