Dallas Senior Living

There comes a time when even the hardiest Texan needs a hand around the house, and of course we all get sick and need extra care from time to time. For Dallas-area seniors and their families, there are dozens of options for senior care, from on-call delivery and chore services to assisted living communities, nursing homes, and continuum-of-care facilities that offer a full spectrum of senior services. Here’s our guide to rustling up the best senior living services for your situation.

What does senior living cost in Dallas?

For most types of senior care, costs in Dallas are lower than the 2015 national median, according to Genworth’s annual Cost of Care Survey. The median cost of a private nursing home room in the city is $78,475 per year; nationally, the median cost is $91,250. The cost difference is even larger for semi-private nursing home care: The yearly median cost in Dallas is $56,940, compared to $80,300 nationally.

For other types of senior care—home health aides, homemaker services, adult day services, and assisted living–costs in Dallas align more closely with the national median costs. Assisted living costs in Dallas are slightly higher than the national median: $46,722 locally compared to $43,200 nationally. Dallas-area homeowners and seniors thinking of buying a home in the city should note that full-time in-home services are a few thousand dollars cheaper per year than assisted living.

The current cost isn’t the only figure to keep in mind. Costs for some types of care are projected to rise more steeply than others in the next few years. For example, while Genworth expects home care costs to rise by just 1% per year in Dallas, adult day care costs are slated to increase by 11% per year, and the cost of assisted living is expected to rise 5% year over year for the next half-decade.

Senior living options in Dallas

As more Baby Boomers retire, the options for senior living in Dallas are expanding to meet their needs and expectations. You may find an all-inclusive assisted living community that delivers everything you need or you might build a customized care program that includes home health assistance, independent concierge services, and adult day programs while you live in your own home. The first step toward a decision is knowing what’s available.

At home and community services

These are a mix of private and community services intended to help older adults live safely in their homes for as long as possible.

Homemaker services in Dallas, such as Visiting Angels and Comfort Keepers, provide light housekeeping, cooking, and personal care tasks like bathing and grooming. Because the Dallas-Fort Worth area is so large, check with the agencies you contact to verify that they serve your neighborhood. It’s a good idea to choose a service with staffers nearby to minimize delays due to traffic and bad weather.

Home health services in Dallas offer a range of services for older adults who need help with medical tasks like wound care, medication management, physical and occupational therapy, and care for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Dallas residents can choose among providers with nationwide operations like Encompass Home Health, and locally owned services such as Carestaf. As with homemaker services, look for a reputable agency with staffers near your neighborhood.

Adult day programs in and around Dallas give older adults a place to socialize on weekdays, take part in exercise classes, eat healthy lunches, and receive supervision while family caregivers are at work. Some adult day programs, like Friends Place, also provide specialized care for seniors with dementia, to provide the consistent routines and social programs they need to stay engaged and active.

Independent concierge services such as Rover, Favor, Porch, Handy, TaskRabbit and Amazon Home Services can help online-savvy homeowners with everything from dog walking and local errands to finding a handyman and help with housekeeping.

Questions to ask about in-home and community services

Before you hire a service, check their reviews online, ask friends and family for recommendations, and get answers to the following questions.

Is the provider insured and bonded?

If required by the state, is the provider licensed to provide care or services?

Does the provider run background checks on its workers and provide training?

What backup plans are in place if a worker has an emergency and can’t make it during their scheduled time?

For adult day services, is transportation available to and from the site?

Assisted living communities and nursing home care

For adults who want or need to live in a care community, the options range from independent living complexes to dementia care communities, with increasing levels of assistance and nursing care in between. Some communities provide more than one care option, in what’s called a continuum of care. This allows seniors to have their own apartment in an assisted living community but have the option to transfer to onsite nursing care if they need it later on.

Independent living is usually styled like an apartment complex or a retirement resort for seniors who want to skip housekeeping and maintain an active lifestyle.

Assisted living communities provide private living quarters, housekeeping, and some meals in addition to round-the-clock on-call help with tasks of daily living like dressing and transportation.

Nursing homes provide skilled nursing care, rehabilitative therapy, and other healthcare services to seniors who need long-term care for chronic conditions or who need short-term help after a hospital stay.

Dementia care is usually provided within a nursing home, with specially trained staff members who keep residents engaged, active, and calm. These units maintain rigorous security to reduce the likelihood of wandering, a common behavior in dementia patients.

Questions to ask about assisted living and nursing homes

Does the community offer a continuum of care? If so, what are the terms?

What services (linen laundry, meal preparation, transportation, etc.) are included in the monthly fee?

What may be available for an extra fee? Some communities have on-site salons, massage therapists, and other personal care services for purchase.

Can you use independent concierge services while in residence? In general, nursing homes cannot allow outside providers like a private duty nurse to care for residents, but you may be able to hire someone to walk your dog or deliver your groceries.

Paying for senior care

The cost of senior care can be daunting, but you may have more funding options than you realize. Most people look to Social Security benefits and any retirement savings first. For low-income seniors, Medicaid may offer some assistance, and those who served in the military during wartime or are the widow of a wartime veteran may qualify for the VA Aid & Attendance pension benefit. Homeowners may be able to tap equity through a reverse mortgage to help pay for care, as long as you understand the risks and benefits of this type of loan.

Big events and local volunteer opportunities

As one of Texas’ biggest cities, Dallas has plenty of dining options, arts venues, and special events to keep you busy post-retirement. Dallas hosts the Texas State Fair for a month every autumn, the Deep Ellum Arts Festival every spring, and the nationally recognized Dallas Blooms flower festival each spring at the Dallas Arboretum. Older adults who want to volunteer can find options through The Senior Source in Dallas, which also helps seniors to find jobs and get help with care and money management issues.

We hope this Dallas senior care roundup is helpful. If you’re ready for more detailed information, check out our guides to Dallas assisted living, respite care, veteran support, neighborhoods, and other important senior resources.

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