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.

 



Active Aging Redefines Health and Wellness

What does it mean to be healthy as we get older? For most of us, it’s simply the opposite of illness. And staying healthy equates to managing diseases and chronic conditions.

But there is a movement to expand the definition of health and wellness in order to accommodate the idea that being healthy is the process of getting the most out of what life has to offer — regardless of physical age.

Click above to learn more about active aging.


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.


Parkinson’s Disease and Nutrition

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic movement disorder. PD involves the failure and death of vital nerve cells in the brain, called neurons. Some of these neurons produce dopamine, a chemical involved in bodily movements and coordination. As PD progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally.

Primary motor signs of Parkinson’s disease include the following:

  • Tremor of the hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face
  • Bradykinesia or slowness of movement
  • Rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk
  • Postural instability or impaired balance and coordination

Common nutritional concerns for people with Parkinson’s disease are:

  • Unplanned weight loss
  • Difficulty eating due to uncontrollable movements
  • Swallowing dysfunction
  • Constipation
  • Medication side effects (e.g., dry mouth)

Nutritional concerns vary by individual based on signs and symptoms and stages of the disease. It is important to work closely with a doctor or dietitian to determine specific recommendations.

When it comes to nutrition, what matters most?

  • Increase calories. If a tremor is present, calorie needs are much higher. Adding sources of fat to foods (e.g., oil and cheese) is one way to do this.
  • Maintain a balanced diet. Eating properly involves eating regularly. If uncontrollable movements or swallowing difficulties are making it hard to eat, seek the advice of an occupational or speech therapist.
  • Maintain bowel regularity. Do so with foods high in fiber (whole grain bread, bran cereals or muffins, fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes) and drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Balance medications and food. Individuals taking carvidopa-levadopa may need to adjust the amount of protein eaten and the time of day it is eaten, or take their medication with orange juice. If side effects such as dry mouth are making it difficult to eat, work with a health care professional to help manage these.
  • Adjust nutritional priorities for your situation and stage of disease.

Check with a dietitian or doctor for your specific dietary needs.


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.


How CCRCs can help couples stay together as they age

An active, healthy lifestyle can help protect your mind and body from disease and injury—which often leads to a need for long-term care. However, there are no guarantees in life and the question of whether—and how long—you or your spouse may need care remains unknown.

Click above to learn how CCRCs can help couples stay together as they age.


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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