The other day, I received a call from a daughter of a client. She was in tears and shared with me the issues she is dealing with overseeing her dad’s care. As she explained, she is now responsible to oversee her dad’s day to day care while her two brothers are helping financially. Tearfully, she said, “all I want to do is be my dad’s daughter again.” This situation resonated with me because I see so many people afraid of change who are in a state of denial about their future long-term care needs and are unaware of the impact their decisions have on their family. There are many advantages of living at a senior living community. These include:
Access to on-site services and amenities
Senior living communities are designed to help promote one’s independence and provide a care-free lifestyle for their residents. On-site services and amenities typically include dining, housekeeping, transportation, maintenance, security and social activities. Residents enjoy chef-prepared meals without the hassle of shopping, prepping, cooking and cleaning. Say goodbye to TV dinners and dining alone. Many senior communities have a wide spectrum of activities including fitness programs, card playing and lectures and seminars. Well stocked libraries and even happy hours are common. Your days will be as full as you want them. Yes, you can bring your own car, however transportation services to shopping, doctors’ appointments, area excursions and cultural events are available to make your life easier. Remember, you might be able to drive today, but in the future, it may be safer to let someone do it for you. If something stops working in your apartment like your air conditioner or your disposal, all you do is make one phone call and the issue is handled. You don’t even need to stick around for the obnoxious “window of time” waiting for someone to show up. You can go to your aqua aerobics class and when you return, the issue has been resolved. Life is good!
Access to on-site health care
As we age, we might require more assistance. This could be on short term rehab basis or longer term. Yes, you can bring in care in your home, however there is a limit to what can be provided and is expensive and difficult to manage. Imagine living at a senior community and being able to use the on-site physical therapy services or being able to see your doctor right on campus. Yes, the convenience factor is huge, however the ability to have access to these services will help you stay active and independent longer. On-site services may also include assistance with bathing, dressing and ambulation and even medication management. These services are available for you when you need them. Most senior living communities have 24 emergency response systems in case someone fell or not feeling well. Having on-site emergency response can literally save your life! Many senior living communities have visiting doctors including specialists who will see patients right at the community. No more boring waiting rooms for you! Knowing that you have access to these on-site services will help you stay active longer and provide you with the peace of mind that you know if something ever happens, that you have planned ahead.
Peace of mind
Knowing that you are not a burden to your spouse or your family can not be understated. The peace of mind of knowing you have planned ahead and that you are able to live carefree is priceless. Recognizing that something will probably change in your health and that is better to have a plan in place before it does is an important step. There are too many people who live in a state of denial and wait for a crisis to occur before making any plans. This is not a wise move. Researching the right place that fits your needs and lifestyle will take some time and the last thing you want to do is let someone else make this decision for you.
It is amazing when you compare what you are paying in your own home versus what is included in a senior living community, you will see what a value the senior living community provides. Your food and household expenses will dramatically be lowered. Knowing you have a predictable monthly fee will help you develop a better financial plan. There are different financial arrangements for senior living communities including rental, buy-in (CCRC) or equity ownership. If you elect to stay at home and bring in care, your financial situation could change drastically because of the expense of home health care. There are other financial assistance programs available if you move to an assisted living facility include Aid and Attendance through the Veteran’s Administration. Unfortunately, Medicare does not pay for assisted living and there are only a few assisted living facilities that will accept Medicaid. Usually, someone needs to be living in assisted living before being able to tap into Medicaid. Again, planning ahead is the key.
Friendships and Fun
Senior living communities provide the opportunity for life-long friendships and never being lonely again. There have been numerous studies done that prove people live longer and healthier when they are around other people. Socialization at senior communities is what makes people always say, “I wish I would have done it sooner.” Knowing that you can participate in as much of or as little of activities provides you with opportunities to meet people and have fun. And, there is a lot of fun being had at these senior living communities. Mostly because, the worry burden is off of your shoulders. Many people also continue their interests outside the community include participating in church activities, volunteering and entertaining with friends. Most importantly, your family now can be your family again and not be 24/7 caregivers.
For more information, go to www.seniorhousingsolutions.net