Assisted living communities offer convenient health care for seniors.

When seniors visit the doctor’s office, it is often up to their family members to help with everything from scheduling to driving to interpreting doctors’ instructions.

Medical services at an assisted living community can ease some of this burden for families and help ensure seniors get the care they need. One such community is AlmaVia of San Rafael, which includes an on-site medical center run by Dr. John H. Fullerton.

For more than a decade, Fullerton has worked with numerous skilled nursing and assisted living sites throughout San Francisco and Marin County that have been recognized as geriatric training sites. He became the Medical Director of AlmaVia of San Rafael in 2014, and has been working to make medical care easier for both his patients and their families.

“At the end of each appointment, families get a personalized email from us. They don’t have to worry about trying to decipher medical jargon. We might say, ‘Your mother showed up this afternoon, these are her four issues and this is what we’re doing about them,’” Fullerton says.

As an Elder Care Alliance community, AlmaVia of San Rafael maintains a culture of learning. This encompasses employees, residents, and their loved ones. In alignment with that culture of learning, staff at the medical center offer health education to AlmaVia of San Rafael residents, and health care providers hold training sessions for staff members on medical issues like diabetes management, says Fullerton.

The medical center at AlmaVia of San Rafael is open to both residents and the community. It offers a wide range of services, including urgent care on a walk-in basis, chronic disease management, dementia care and general geriatric care and consultation. Fullerton says having a medical practice on-site brings residents’ families much-needed peace of mind. “Families typically say, ‘We had no idea that once we transferred Mom or Dad, we could have a situation where we could finally relax,’ ” says Fullerton.