When to Get On the Wait List at a Retirement Community

If you or a loved one is considering their senior living options, you likely have begun doing research on the retirement communities. Or perhaps you have a loved one in need of long-term care or memory care and staying in the home will not be safe for much longer. With all of the differing communities and facilities available (especially in larger cities), it can be a lot to take in so the decision process can take some time. This varies from one person to another because some senior living decisions are needs-based and move much quicker, while others are more preference-based and can take months or even years. Once you hone in on a few specific places that meet your criteria, you may want to consider getting your name on their waiting lists. Many facilities, particularly assisted living or nursing care facilities, are likely that they have one. Click the link above to learn more.


Tip #16 of 50 – “This is Not Your Grandmother’s Retirement Community”

For those of us “in the industry,” retirement community living makes a great deal of sense. We know that loneliness is a major factor in the mental and physical decline in the senior population. We also know that the residents who live in our communities are glad they’re here . . . and that they often say, “I wish I’d come sooner.” Learn more about how The Wesley Communities are not like your grandmother’s retirement community by clicking the link above.


What is the Happiest Age? (You Might Be Surprised by the Answer!)

What age group of adults would you think is the happiest? If most people were to guess, they’d likely assume people in their 20s and 30s are the most content. Why wouldn’t they be, right? They are young and likely healthy, and they have their whole lives ahead of them, full of potential and exciting events.

If you think young adults have it all, you may be surprised to learn the results of a study conducted out of the University of California-San Diego; the research results were published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Happiness comes with maturity…

The study’s author, Dr. Dilip Jeste, is a geriatric psychiatrist and the director of the university’s Center on Healthy Aging. He and his team of researchers used a random sampling of 1,546 adults in the San Diego area, age 21 to 99.

The subjects in the study underwent a phone interview with a member of the research team and then completed a lengthy survey assessing their physical, cognitive, and mental health. They were asked about their overall happiness and satisfaction with their life. In addition, they were questioned on their stress levels and any depression or anxiety they were experiencing.

It is often assumed that happiness would form a sort of U-shaped curve over the course of life—high in early adulthood, dropping in middle age, and then ticking back up in late life. But this isn’t what the study found.

The researchers discovered that despite potential health issues and physical decline that are often inherent to the aging process, the older research subjects were actually happier overall than the younger adults. Surprisingly, it was those in their 20s and 30s who were found to have the lowest levels of happiness, life satisfaction, and wellbeing, in addition to the highest levels of depression, anxiety, and stress.

Although the study did not follow the research subjects over time to determine if their responses were just a reflection of that moment in time or a more long-term trend with their mental and physical state, it does suggest that overall, people appear to have improved mental health and overall happiness as they mature and age.

Think about it: In your 20s and 30s, you’ve been released into the “real world,” which can be a difficult transition that includes educational and career pressures, romantic turbulence, trying to keep up with the Joneses, and other “adult stuff” like bills and taxes. It becomes clear why it can indeed be a stressful, anxiety-filled time.

Contrast that to older people. With the wisdom gained over the years, they appear to have more emotional stability, self-awareness, and contentment with their stage in life. They have learned to let more things roll off their backs, which results in greater happiness.

…But not for all seniors

While this study from the University of California-San Diego is certainly good news when it comes to the overall emotional state of our nation’s older citizens, it is not suggested that we should assumethat all seniors are in their happiest phase of life.

There is a “loneliness epidemic” among the elderly, particularly those who live alone, with roughly 40 percent of those seniors saying they often feel isolated—a risk factor that can have a more detrimental impact on health than things like smoking or obesity.

CCRCs can help facilitate happiness

Living alone, in and of itself, does not necessarily translate into loneliness, although it is a contributing factor for many. Likewise, surrounding one’s self with lots of people doesn’t always translate into avoidance of loneliness. Ultimately, it is about quality of relationships and other factors. Yet, this opportunity to socialize more frequently, develop new friendships, and stay active are among the many benefits of living in a retirement community, such as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC, also called a life plan community).

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The above article was written by Brad Breeding ofmyLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.


Tip # 15 of 50 – One of the Hardest Decisions There Is: When (and how) Do You Take the Car Keys Away?

If this title caught your eye, you may very well be on the horns of dilemma. You might be an adult son or daughter, a spouse, or a good friend from church or the neighborhood, and you’re dealing with a very tricky problem – your loved one probably shouldn’t be driving anymore. There have been a few too many “Mr. McGoo” moments, perhaps a damaged garage door or fender with no explanation? Or worse? An accident where someone has been injured? The latter is actually easier to deal with than the former, I’ve found. Click above to learn more about when (and how) you take the car keys away.


Tip # 14 of 50 –The Case Against Staying at Home as You Age

There has been a media blitzkrieg (and resulting changes in state and federal regulations regarding nursing home care) about the benefits of staying at home “as long as possible” as we age. Who wouldn’t, after all, want to stay at home? It’s well, home. And home can be familiar and welcoming, with daily routines, good memories, and familiar surroundings.

But what if staying at home isn’t the best option? Click above to learn more about the case against staying at home as you age and the many benefits of continuing care retirement communities.


Ready to Sell? Tips for Preparing Your Home for the Real Estate Market

With summer on its way, there’s a sense of renewal and opportunity; it’s a great time to make a fresh start!

Perhaps, after discussions with loved ones over the spring, you’ve begun considering a move to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC, or life plan community) this year. There’s no doubt that it’s a big decision to make, but many people feel a great sense of relief once the choice is made. When you live in a CCRC, all of your needs along the continuum of care will be provided in one location, and for most CCRC residents, there is comfort and security in knowing that.

Top 5 tips for prepping your home

Now that your senior living decision has been made, the tough part is over. There’s just the “small” matter of selling your house. While this can feel like a daunting task on the surface, it doesn’t have to be. Spring is a great time to sell since many people want to be in their new home in time for the new school year in the fall. So right now—in January and February—is a good time to start doing a few things to prepare your house. Here are five ways that you can boost your home’s value and make it more attractive to would-be buyers.

  1. Clean-out time

One of the first tasks to tackle when you decide to sell is to declutter your home. This is a bigger task for some people than others, but it’s also a good opportunity to enlist the help of your friends and family. As I’ve written about before, host a “declutter party,” complete with music, snacks, and a reward at the end of the day. Separate things into keep, sell, giveaway, and trash categories. It can be helpful to have your adult children assist with this task so that you aren’t saving things that you think they may want when they actually don’t.

If you feel overwhelmed by this clean-up project, there are “declutter specialists” who you can hire—professional organizers who will help you tackle this sometimes-daunting project. Your realtor will be able to refer you to an experienced provider.

  1. Make it shine!

Once you have gotten rid of the excess clutter in your home, it’s time for a top-to-bottom cleaning. Wipe down all surfaces including counters, sinks and tubs, baseboards, and floors. If you have a smoker or pets in the home, or if you often fry foods or use pungent spices, you also will want to address odor issues. Have the carpets professionally shampooed to help remove lingering smells. A fresh coat of paint on the walls may even be needed in order to eliminate strong odors.

  1. Curb appeal

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and this is true for your home too. Take a look at your landscaping: First ensure that your grass is well-kept, and then do a little extra sprucing up with some colorful flowers and a fresh layer of mulch in the beds.

Also look at your home’s front entrance. As prospective buyers wait for their real estate agent to unlock the door, they will be noticing your front steps, porch, and doorway. Be sure there is no peeling paint on the door or molding, cobwebs have been swept from the corners, the stoop is free of leaves or debris, and consider adding an attractive planter full of vibrant flowers to the porch or a seasonal wreath on the door.

  1. Make repairs

It’s time to finally take on that honey-do list! Repair that sagging gutter; fix the broken ceiling fan in the den; nail down that squeaky step. Again, your realtor can offer advice on specific cosmetic repairs that should be made, but you also will want to be sure that all of your home’s appliances and major systems (heating/cooling, water heater, etc.) are in good working order. Once you have an offer and are under contract, problems with these things will turn up on an inspection report, and you don’t want such issues to scare a buyer away, so you might as well repair known issues now.

  1. Neutralize your color palette

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, and nowhere is this truer than in people’s taste in home décor! You may love your cherry red kitchen and the floral wallpaper in your bedroom, but a prospective buyer could find them to be a huge turn-off…even a deal-breaker. That’s why you may want to tone down your house’s color palette, freshening up walls with a neutral paint tone like a cream, light gray, or beige. These colors are unobjectionable to almost everyone, and a fresh coat of paint can instantly brighten up a room, making it feel bigger.

Expert real estate advice for seniors

Again, a realtor can help you look at your home objectively to determine which of the tasks above you need to do before listing your home. If you don’t already have a trusted realtor that you want to work with, you may want to consider finding a “seniors real estate specialist” (SRES). These are realtors who have undergone additional training to learn how to better address the unique needs of older clients who are buying, selling, or refinancing a home.

One of the big benefits of SRES realtors is access to their extensive network of related service professionals such as real estate attorneys, financial planners, and accountants who also have expertise in senior-specific legal and financial issues. Learn more about the advantages of utilizing a SRES-certified real estate professional by visiting their website. As with any provider, you will still want to be sure you vet a SRES realtor and ask for references.

The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.

 


Making a Move: Packing Parties and Other Creative Ideas

The below article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.

Recently I had the chance to speak with a couple that lives in a continuing care retirement community (CCRC or “life plan community”) in Virginia. Let’s call them Joe and Becky. They have lived in the CCRC for about three years and said they couldn’t be happier. One thing that has really stood out to them since moving, they explained, was the level of service provided by the staff, which they described as “exceptional.” As we talked more, I asked about their experience in making the move and how they managed to deal with all their “stuff.”

Indeed, dealing with years of accumulated belongings can be daunting. Of course, somebody eventually has to deal with all that stuff, and it doesn’t get any easier as we get older. Click above for some ways that can help make the experience more, dare I say, fun.


Comparing Life Plan Retirement Communities on Price

In Columbus, and the surrounding central Ohio region, shopping for a life plan retirement community (also referred to as a CCRC or continuing care retirement community) requires a lot of research, and your final decision will be based on many factors–services, location, amenities, reputation, and more–though price is usually one of the most heavily weighted.

Click above to read more.


Peg’s Perspective –The Longevity Project and Conscientiousness

“Fifty Tips on Aging Well to Celebrate 50 Years of Excellent Service”

As The Wesley Communities approach 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Click above to read tip # 11 of 50 –The Longevity Project and Conscientiousness!


CCRCs: The Purpose of Entry Fees

The vast majority of Continuing Care Retirement Communities require an entry fee. Naturally, people often ask, “What is the purpose of the entry fee?” Before answering this question it is helpful to understand the history of entry fees.

The CCRC concept began about a century ago when faith-based and other charitable organizations sought to provide lifetime shelter and care for the aged. In exchange for this promise, residents being cared for were usually required to assign most or all of their assets to the organization.  Although well-intentioned, this model was less than scientific and when residents lived longer than expected there often wasn’t enough money on hand to fulfill the organization’s commitment.

In response to the short-coming of this model the idea of entry fees evolved. Rather than collecting the assets of a resident, organizations began establishing minimum entry fees (combined with monthly fees) that were determined to be adequate to cover commitments.

After proving to be more effective, the entry fee model eventually expanded to also offer refundable entry fees. Many prospective residents responded more favorably to this approach because they knew that either they or their heirs would receive back some portion of the entry fee if they ever left the community, or at death.

Today there are over 2,000 CCRCs located throughout the United States offering non-refundable, partially refundable, and fully refundable entry fees. Many providers offer multiple options from which to choose.

So, what is the purpose of an entry fee? Primarily, the entry fee helps secure a resident’s contractual access to a continuum of care. This is why CCRCs are the only type of retirement community providing such a promise to its residents. In recent years more rental-only CCRCs have evolved. However, under a rental contract there is either no contractual promise to provide a continuum of care, or the monthly fee will be higher than a comparable entry fee CCRC.

The money received from entry fees is also used to help pay down, or limit, the amount of debt required for development, expansion, or occasional capital projects, which keep the community attractive and competitive in the marketplace.

Finally, many CCRCs- particularly non-profit providers- offer a financial assistance or endowment fund to help ensure that if a resident runs out of money due to a longer than average stay in the healthcare facility or some other unforeseen circumstance, they will not be forced to leave the community. Of course, this would not apply to any situation where a resident mismanaged or intentionally transferred personal assets in order to receive such support.

The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.


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Testimonials & Review

My Husband and I had a great expierence when taking our tour with Fanny. She was a pure delight and she made us feel very confortable with her and the facility. She was very informative and answered all of our questions for us. I really enjoyed speaking with her and enjoyed her great personality during our tour.

- Nancy Gallop