Kay Paggi on Caring
11 years ago
04/27/2011, 14:38 PM
As a geriatric care manager, I often refer clients to Caruth Haven Court.
There are many good things about this assisted living community, located near Northpark Mall in the heart of Dallas. It's easily accessible but located on a quiet residential street, with little traffic. The building is tastefully decorated, extremely well maintained and landscaped. There's a fountain, flowers that are in bloom, and a porch with wicker furniture in the front of the building. Fresh flowers are always at the reception desk, on the dining tables, and in the bathroom. The halls are wide, there's a lovely seating area with book lined shelves and a fireplace in the entrance, and there's a large area for activities and discussion groups with a grand piano across from the dining area. The food is too good; everyone gains weight after moving in. There's one aide per hall, and the aides get to know the routines and preferences of their residents very well. Care is personalized; those who need extra assistance can get it, and those who want to be independent, are.
There's one full time nurse and another LVN in the building most of the time, and med aides present all night and on weekends. I've alerted the staff on a several occasions that a resident is having a minor procedure, and someone checks on her or makes sure a prescription is ordered in time. Everyone on the staff is helpful. I can call ahead and ask for a client to be reminded of an appointment and an aide will find the resident to be sure she's dressed and ready to go. Transportation to appointments is available. The community has a limo and a van that's wheelchair accessible. Residents go to a nice restaurant monthly, out to a movie once a month, and to the State Fair and on other outings to special events. There are several family nights every year, with entertainment or well-known speakers. These are very well attended, and popular with residents and their families.
The 3-story building has several differing floor plans; all of them have bathrooms with adequate space for a wheelchair or walker. The units on the 3rd floor are usually kept for residents who need more attention, and there's a separate dining area and activity area for them. There's a chapel and a beauty parlor, as well as a game room. There's a gazebo in the back yard, and a screened-in porch.
There are few drawback to this community. One is the price; it competes with the highest, most expensive communities, and levels of care are added as the residents' need for attention increases. The other is the activities, or lack of them. There's a daily tea party every the afternoon, complete with punch bowl. While there is live entertainment once or twice a week, the activity staff makes little effort to create activities that engage the time, interest, and attention of the residents.
For families that can afford it, this is almost an ideal community.
Kay Paggi, GCM, LPC, CGC, MA, is in private practice as a geriatric care manager and is on the advisory board for the Emeritus Program at Richland College. She has worked with seniors for nearly 20 years as a licensed professional counselor, certified gerontological counselor, and certified geriatric care manager.