8 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Assisted Living Apartments in Texas
Choosing assisted living apartments in Texas can be a difficult decision. You want to make sure that the community provides you with what you need while still empowering you to live your life the way that you want. But how do you know which apartments will make that a reality?
Reading websites and pamphlets is a good start, but to truly understand how well a community will fit your lifestyle, you need to talk to the staff, take a tour and get your questions answered.
Here are eight questions that will help you make the right decision for your lifestyle.
1. What’s Included in the Monthly Rate?
Cost is a major factor for anyone searching for a new place to live. The base price you’re given, however, might not be the actual price you’re charged. Hidden costs and charges can drive up the monthly cost.
When asking about pricing, be sure to ask what’s included (and what’s not included) in the base price. The best communities include assisted living services in the base rate so you can get the help you need along with luxury amenities that give you more time to enjoy your retirement. Some of the services you may want included are:
- Assistance with daily activities
- Laundry and linen services
- Scheduled transportation
- Fitness and wellness programs
- 24-hour security
- Health monitoring
- Emergency assistance
- Maintenance services
Communities may add one-time fees or additional fees for more involved health support or other services, such as having physicians who visit the community regularly. Those additional charges may or may not affect your final decision. Make sure that you know exactly what’s included in the price, and what additional fees you may be charged, to make sure you can afford the services you want.
At Spring Creek, we’ve chosen to keep our pricing plan simple: everything is included in the monthly rate. For a breakdown of our pricing and services, click here.
2. How Will Living Here Affect My Financial Situation in Five Years? 10 Years?
Along with knowing the cost of an apartment, you need to look at how living in a community will impact you financially in the long-term. The average cost of assisted living in Texas, as of 2019, was $3,795, with the average cost in Plano being $4,350. The average retirement savings of Texas residents is $220,480.
Keep your retirement savings in mind as you research communities. Knowing your financial situation is important for figuring out how living somewhere will affect you over the coming years. You may also qualify for special programs, such as Medicaid or VA benefits, that can help lower your out-of-pocket expenses.
3. What is the Ratio of Staff to Residents?
Some states have mandated minimum staff-to-resident ratios in assisted living apartments. Texas does not. The only requirements set by the state are that there must be enough staff to maintain order and safety, provide necessary assistance, prepare meals and ensure safe evacuation in an emergency. Since there is no minimum ratio, you’ll need to ask for more information.
When asking about the staff-to-resident ratio, make sure that you specify qualified professionals. Some communities include staff members such as groundskeepers or maintenance workers into their ratios. These staff members are essential to your well-being, but they won’t be assisting you in daily tasks, so you should ask the community to separate them out. How many staff will be available to assist you daily? How quickly are repair needs taken care of? Asking these specific questions will give you a better idea of what life in the community will be like.
4. What Training Does the Staff Receive?
A highly trained, highly qualified staff is vital for a great community. Ask what training and qualifications the staff members have. Find out what healthcare providers are available and how much experience they have. Don’t forget to ask about what continuing education staff must complete as well.
When asking these questions, keep in mind that assisted living apartments are designed for supportive living. That means most adults are largely healthy and independent, they just need some help with common tasks. If you or a relative needs more advanced support, such as memory care for dementia, you should look at a different type of community that will likely have greater access to healthcare providers and higher staff training requirements.
5. What Do You Do to Keep Residents Safe?
Safety is a concern for all adults, and typically includes both health concerns and physical safety concerns. A supportive living community should have practices in place that keep you safe from crime and can respond quickly to a health concern.
In most cases, security concerns are minimal. Communities typically have 24-7 security monitoring and are located in safe parts of town so residents don’t need to worry. For health concerns, many communities have a nurse on-call and assistants on-site.
At Spring Creek, there is 24-hour support and an around-the-clock health monitoring team, as well as 24-hour security. Apartment bathrooms are outfitted with walk-in showers and an emergency response system. You can rest easy knowing that there are qualified individuals on-site at all times if you ever need them.
It also doesn’t hurt to ask additional questions about resident safety, such as:
- Is there an emergency response plan?
- Are safety drills practiced?
- How are medical emergencies handled?
- What happens if the power goes out?
6. What Happens if I Need Additional Support?
When searching for Texas assisted living apartments to call home, it’s important to look to the future. You need to know what the community offers for you now as well as what other support is available if memory impairments or mobility issues become a concern.
Memory care is a great example of this. Have you had one or more relatives with Alzheimer’s? Medically speaking, you’re more likely to get Alzheimer’s if a close relative has also had the disease. If so, you may want to be prepared to deal with Alzheimer’s yourself and should ask the community if they also offer memory care. It’s easier to transition to memory care when you’re already living in a community that offers those services.
7. How Can You Help Me Maintain My Independence and Wellness?
Your personal goals should be a top priority for any community you join. Whether you want to maintain your excellent physical health or keep your mind sharp so you can continue enjoying your retirement, your community should help you reach those goals.
During your tour, talk to the staff about what you want to accomplish. How will they help? Do they offer fitness classes or a fitness center? Are there programs to help you strengthen your mind? A community that actively helps its residents improve their wellness is likely an environment that values independence and health, which is a good sign.
Spring Creek has a wellness philosophy that focuses on empowering a way of life that makes sure you are physically active, your mind is challenged, you develop strong relationships and any spiritual needs that you have are met. That philosophy guides life in our community, ensuring that our staff helps you achieve your personal goals and live life the way that you want.
8. What Attractions are Nearby?
You won’t be spending the rest of your life in your apartment. In fact, you’re probably moving to a supportive living community so you can be more active, making the most of your money and your time while you enjoy your well-deserved retirement.
Texas has plenty to offer in terms of entertainment, especially around big cities like Dallas and Austin. You may not want to live in those cities, but a close suburb offers all the benefits without the crowds. Ask the communities you tour about their location and what attractions are close by. Is it easy to take a day trip into Dallas to enjoy the city? Are there great restaurants just a few minutes away?
Your new home’s location, as well as the community’s ability to plan trips and activities in the surrounding area, will greatly impact how much you enjoy your new apartment.
Assisted Living Apartments in Plano
Deciding where to live is an important decision. Asking the right questions will help to ensure that you find the perfect place for you. If you’re looking for a comfortable apartment that makes you feel at home and makes the most of your money, consider Spring Creek. Located in Plano, our apartments include all the services and amenities that make up a comfortable lifestyle, with a cost that’s affordable to everyday adults.
Plano itself is filled with interesting things to see and do, with more than 700 restaurants, historic sites, specialty stores and more. However, if you find yourself wanting to explore a little more, downtown Dallas is only half an hour from Spring Creek. With scheduled transportation services (which are included in your monthly payment,) you’ll be able to explore some of the most interesting attractions that Texas has to offer.
For more information about Spring Creek give us a call today.