A Daughter’s Story: Finding the Perfect Community for Mom
In September, Cassandra helped her mother, Janice, move to Monticello West assisted living community in Dallas. It was a process that would be challenging during the best of times and had the potential of being even more difficult during COVID-19. At the hands of Nan Mulvaney, director of community relations, and the rest of the outstanding Monticello West team, however, the move was made as smoothly as possible. Janice is now safely settled in her new home. “The way that everyone helped, and continues to help, has been hugely important and is greatly appreciated,” said Cassandra.
Seventy-six year old Janice had been living alone in her home in San Antonio. After she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, her physician told Cassandra that her mother should not be alone. Cassandra commuted to San Antonio frequently to help her mom, as well as to look at senior living communities in the area. “None of them had what I was looking for. My mother told me it was okay for me to look at places in Dallas, and so I did,” Cassandra said.
One of the most difficult obstacles in checking out potential communities during COVID was not being able to visit the community. “Monticello West put together a wonderful virtual tour,” said Cassandra. “It really gave us a great feel for the apartment.”
An important deciding factor for Cassandra was Monticello West’s unique Aging in Place initiative. As a resident of Monticello West, Janice will have access to additional assistance without having to move into a different apartment. “As her care needs progress, they’ll accommodate whatever she needs within her home. It would be so emotional, and exhausting for her to have to move again,” she said.
Cassandra commends the staff’s professionalism at Monticello West, which started when they first began communicating and has remained consistent. “With some of the communities I contacted, I had to beg for information, and then what they sent me, they piecemealed. It got overwhelming since there were 12 different facilities in two different cities. Nan just gave me all the information that I needed and made herself available by cell and email. She’s responsive,” Cassandra said. “Additionally, she’s professional in her communications. Many of the emails from other places had lots of mistakes and appeared unprofessional. That may seem picky, but the fact is that they’re asking us to spend thousands of dollars, while the sales team appears not to be held to a reasonable level of professionalism. That doesn’t bode well for the rest of the community.”
At 76-years old, Janice had a lot of reservations about the move. “Nan spent a great deal of time with her on the phone, even on weekends. When my mom was still in San Antonio, Nan sent her a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and that meant a lot to her.”
Another significant factor in Cassandra’s decision making, was her puppy Cindy Lou, who has been made to feel welcome!
Cassandra continues to marvel at the friendliness and responsiveness of the entire Monticello West team. “Since the beginning of our correspondence, they’ve been so accommodating, and it wasn’t just to get us to move in. They’ve continued to show the same level of care. They’re wonderful,” said Cassandra. “They’ve seriously been great about any issues, and questions I have are immediately addressed. If Nan doesn’t know the answer, she’ll find out and let me know. That’s been extremely important. I couldn’t get answers at some communities, and if that’s the case before she moved in, what would it be like after? Monticello West just keeps coming back with answers.”
Janice’s assisted living apartment is “lovely, and quite large,” said Cassandra. She acknowledged that this was a difficult time for her mother to move, as things are not status quo due to social distancing and the temporary pause in communal dining. “But the staff has made it a lot easier. They’re so friendly and have been genuinely helpful. All of them. We have not had a single bad encounter, including the housekeeper, maintenance, activities…everyone is helpful and friendly. They made quarantining after her move so easy. They’d stop and visit her. I don’t have a single complaint, and that’s admittedly unusual. They’re really a wonderful team.”