Assisted living facilities are an ideal option for seniors that are looking to receive a measure of aid in order to go about their day to day living. The scope of this particular service is pretty wide, as it can stretch from preparing daily meals and helping them take medication to driving them around to handle various errands during the day. It should also be noted that these special services are not just reserved for those that need help completing various activities for daily living. Indeed, assisted living is a terrific option for those that want a break from having to handle home maintenance and would prefer to spend more time on enjoying the leisurely life of a retiree.

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The cost of assisted living in Dallas

On average, assisted living residents pay slightly more in Dallas than they do around the rest of the country. According to the 2015 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, prices for assisted living average out to $46,722 per year, which is a tick higher than the national average of $43,200. This annual figure breaks down to $3,894 per month, or $128 per day.

These figures translate into an assisted living experience that is substantially less when compared to the average cost of traditional nursing home care. In Dallas, the average price tag for a semi-private room for nursing home care is $56.940. For a private room, this average cost jumps up to $78,475 per year.

For qualified veterans and their spouses, further assisted living savings may be obtainable via the Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit, which can otherwise be known as the A&A Pension Benefit. This special benefit can provide a veteran up to $1,788 per month, a surviving spouse up to $1,149 per month, or a couple up to $2,120 per month. Furthermore, a veteran with a sick spouse that applies for the program is eligible to receive up to $1,406 per month. The process to qualify for the A&A Pension Benefit is relatively simple.

Eligible veterans or surviving spouses of eligible veterans must show the need for help with activities for daily living, otherwise known as ADLs. Some of these activities include bathing, cooking, dressing, medication management, leaving the house for errands and appointments, and grooming. With that being said, seniors do not need to demonstrate that they need help for all of these activities. Aid and Attendance funds can assist in paying for ADL services in numerous places, such as an assisted living community, skilled nursing home, or within the confines of the senior’s own home. For those that are interested, it should be noted that the application process could take several months from beginning to end, but retroactive payments are sent upon the program’s approval.

What constitutes assisted living?

While every assisted living community possesses an endgame of providing a comfortable living environment for golden agers, each of them goes about their business in their different ways. In Dallas, these differences can be partially shaped by the communities that surround them, such as the revitalized Design District to the upscale Oak Lawn District. Typically, these difference will manifest themselves through each venues’ various a la carte services that can be included with each resident’s monthly fees.

What’s included in assisted living?

More often than not, the following services are included with assisted living services along with room and board:

  • Private living quarters. The size of these units typically ranges from a simple room to a multi-bedroom space akin to the size of a small house. Usually, these quarters are similar to a studio or a 1-bedroom apartment.
  • 24-hour security and supervision. These include on-site security and on-call nursing assistance.
  • Emergency call systems in each living quarter to summon help when it is needed.
  • Daily meals and snacks. These are typically served in a main dining area restaurant style.
  • Housekeeping and laundry services. This typically includes a weekly linens change and a weekly cleaning.
  • Wellness and fitness programs, ranging from modern programs such as yoga to more traditional elements like an on-site gym.
  • Basic utilities, such as electricity, natural gas, and water.
  • Medication services, including reminders to take scheduled medications and refills.
  • Social and recreational activities. Some of these activities include movie nights, game nights, holiday parties, and field trips to points of interest such as Dealey Plaza and the Dallas Museum of Art.
  • Shopping and transportation aid. This is usually provided on a regularly scheduled basis to medical centers, retail shops, and local grocers.

What may be available for an extra fee?

Some communities may also offer additional on-site perks that residents can pay extra to utilize. Typically, these perks can include private transportation, personal laundry service, beauty salon services, and massage sessions.

The continuum-of-care option

Additionally, many seniors look for an assisted living service known as a continuum of care, which essentially describes a facility that can provide accommodation for residents regardless of what their specific need may be. Residents in these particular communities typically don’t have to deal with as many big moves should their health or daily needs shift, and they will also remain in a familiar setting even if their health dictates that they have to move to a different building within the facility’s complex. Prices on continuum of care do fluctuate based on the actual service that is needed.

Resources, volunteer opportunities and points of interest for veterans

The Texas Veterans Commission provides aid to the state’s numerous veterans through the ins and outs of the VA benefits system. Moreover, veterans that wish to help fellow retired vets figure out their benefits can do so by volunteering.

When Dallas is combined with neighboring city Fort Worth, veterans will have the chance to explore numerous military-themed points of interest. For instance, the Military Museum of Fort Worth is home to several artifacts and rotating exhibits that stretch back to World War I. The Texas Civil War Museum, also in Fort Worth, shines the spotlight on the Lone Star State’s involvement in the country’s infamous schism through artifacts, historic flags, articles of clothing, and more.