The Woodlands at Hillcrest Family Senior Living Resources for Families and Loved Ones

The Woodlands at Hillcrest welcomes and encourages the active participation of adult children (or other loved ones) in the process of choosing a senior living community, and throughout the life of the resident in the community. We suggest that you begin by reviewing these Frequently Asked Questions and the glossary of terms. Certainly, it’s helpful to review the various literature that’s available, but the best measure of a senior living community is to visit—to talk with the staff and experience the environment. We invite you to call for a personal tour or for additional information.

Retirement Community FAQ’s

For quick answers, consult our FAQs.

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is designed for senior adults who require some help with the activities of daily living to maintain their optimal level of independence. It’s an ideal option when skilled care isn’t required – such as a nursing home – but a bit of help is needed for functions such as bathing, dressing, grooming, taking medication, mobility and the like.

What is Memory Care?

Memory Care is a specialized environment, designed for helping those who struggle with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. Activities and programs help maximize remaining cognitive abilities, reduce anxiety and confusion, and increase peace of mind.

How will I know it’s time for my loved one to move into an assisted living community?

That’s a great question. You’ve probably had the opportunity to see your parent or other loved one over a period of years. The aging process includes a natural slowing down, and you may see that certain day-to- day functions – such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and remembering to take medications – have become a challenge. At that point, you’ll find yourself questioning how viable it is for that person to live on his or her own, out of concern for their safety and well-being.

How can I help in the transition?

There are topics of conversation that can help you as you start a dialog that leads in that direction when the opportunities arise. Questions such as – Is your home still appropriate for your needs? Do you need help with household chores? Are you able to cook your favorite meals? Are you comfortable driving? Would you enjoy having transportation available at your door? Are you taking your medications correctly? These and similar questions can pave the way to consideration of a new – and better – lifestyle.

What’s the best way to get started in selecting a senior living community?

Many people will begin the process of seeking an appropriate retirement community by touring the community and talking with staff on behalf of their aging loved one. Then, having made the initial inquiries, they will draw their parent into the conversation.

Are pets allowed at The Woodlands?

Yes! Please ask about our pet policy and restrictions, as well as our pet care packages.

Can residents bring their own furniture?

Absolutely. Residents are welcome and encouraged to bring their own furniture, art, photos, etc., and to make their residence their home.

These questions are interesting, but don’t cover my specific question or concern. Any general advice?

Yes. Please think of us at The Woodlands as a resource. Give us a call. We will likely have excellent guidance, or have a pretty good idea on where to direct you to get your questions answered. In the meantime, this Family Resource section includes the leading online organizations and resources.


Assisting your parents or loved ones as they explore retirement community options often requires a little translation. You’ll notice some terms pop up frequently. Hopefully this brief glossary will help you differentiate plans, services, and senior living options.

  • Age-restricted
    Most retirement communities require that residents have reached a given age before moving in. You’ll find 65+ is a common benchmark.
  • Assisted Living
    Assisted living communities typically provide services which allow the resident to maintain a degree of independence, while offering a helping hand with given tasks such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and taking medications.
  • Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)
    CCRCs are senior living communities that provide a continuum of lifestyle options and choices, generally including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing residences or suites. These communities usually offer long-term contracts or written agreements, and a continuum of housing services and health care.
  • Independent Living
    In an independent living community, residents are capable of living in a residence with or without assistance.
  • Life Care
    Life Care is a term often used to distinguish communities that offer lifestyles and care—for life, with virtually no additional increase to monthly fees, whether a resident is in a residence or a residential health services program including assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing. By contrast, some CCRCs provide continuing care with a fee-for- service contract, requiring additional fees for living at higher levels of care.
  • Long-term Care Insurance
    Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance developed specifically to cover the cost of skilled nursing, assisted living, home health care and other long-term care services. These services are usually not covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare.
  • Medicare
    The federal health insurance program called Medicare is designed for people who are 65 and older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. Medicare Parts A, B, C and D cover specific services and care.
  • Medicaid
    Financed by state and federal governments, Medicaid is the program of medical assistance designed for those unable to afford regular medical service—available to fund care in a skilled nursing setting.
  • Memory Care
    A specialized type of elder care, memory care is tailored specifically for the needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive disorders.
  • Nursing Home (or Health Center)
    Skilled nursing care facilities, commonly referred to as nursing homes or health centers, are licensed health care communities that are inspected and regulated by a state’s Department of Health Services. They offer long- and short-term care for individuals who need rehabilitation services or who suffer from serious or persistent health issues that are often too complicated to be tended to at home.
  • Rehabilitation Services
    Services designed to help an individual recover from an injury, operation, stroke, or illness. These may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and memory care. In most cases, services are planned to help the patient return as closely as possible to pre-challenge levels. The services may be residential (inpatient), or outpatient, and may be short- or long-term, depending on the needs of the patient.
  • Retirement Community
    The term “retirement community” encompasses a wide scope of variations—several of which are covered here. Rental communities, continuing care, Life Care, assisted living and skilled nursing care communities all fall within the spectrum, as do age-restricted communities of individually owned homes with common services and amenities.
  • Skilled Nursing Care
    Skilled nursing care communities offer daily nursing care, provided or supervised by licensed medical personnel.


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