Tip #18 of 50 – Where Do I Even Begin?

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!

Tip #18 of 50 –  Where do I even begin?

If you are a senior living in your home or condo (or an adult child trying to help your parent or relative in this situation), you may know that living alone, for a variety of reasons, is not working. There may be a variety of obstacles in your world that make living at home either uncomfortable or perhaps impossible.   Eyesight or hearing loss is oftentimes a big contributor, along with failing physical strength. Laundry room in the basement, anyone? Driving at night sometimes becomes problematic, and eventually, driving at all is problematic.

So, where to begin? First, take heart. There are many options available to you, and they’re not nearly as overwhelming as you might imagine. To learn more about the options available to you when living at home alone is no longer working, click the link above.


Caregiver Assistance: Addressing Caregiver Stress

Caring for an aging family member is a labor of love. But study after study also shows the emotional, physical, and even financial stress that the caregiver incurs as a result.

Research conducted by MetLife revealed that approximately 10 million adult children over the age of 50 (that’s roughly a quarter of all Baby Boomers!) have taken on the role of caregiver for their aging parents, helping with a variety of tasks–everything from running errands and cooking to bathing and using the toilet. It’s a lot to take on, especially for caregivers who may also be juggling a career and their own children, which is likely why caregivers over age 50 who work and provide care to a parent are more likely to have fair or poor health as compared to peers who do not provide elder care.

A few other noteworthy stats from the study:

  • Adult daughters are more likely to provide help with daily care, and sons are more likely to provide monetary assistance.
  • The total estimated aggregate lost wages, pension, and Social Security benefits of these adult-child caregivers is nearly $3 trillion.
    • For women, the total individual amount of lost income (wages, Social Security benefits, pension) due to leaving the labor force early and/or reducing hours of work because of caregiving responsibilities averages $324,044. For men, it averages $283,716.*

Yet despite all of these physical and financial drawbacks, the adult-child-as-caregiver trend continues to grow rapidly in the United States. The MetLife study showed that the number of adult children providing personal care and/or financial assistance to an aging parent has more than tripled over the past 15 years.

Caring for the caregiver

It seems that caring for an aging parent is here to stay. So what can caregivers do to help alleviate some of the stress associated with the gig? Click the link above to learn more. 


Tip #17 of 50 – Why Not Just Move Into A Hotel For Your Retirement?

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!

Tip #17 of 50 –  Why not just move into a hotel for your retirement?

You may have seen the cartoons and ads and articles that suggest (some in all seriousness) that the price of retirement home living is high so, “Why not just move into a hotel?” The article then usually goes on about the price per day, and usually concludes (inaccurately) that hotel living is the better deal financially. Click the link above to learn more about why retirement communities are far superior to hotels.


An Interview with Janet Herring : A Wesley Ridge Resident With A Truly Special Past

Recently, The Wesley Ridge Retirement Community book club read the historical fiction novel, The Atomic City Girls. The group was lucky to have the author, Janet Beard, visit to discuss the book and meet with the residents who read it.

The novel chronicles the making of the atomic bomb in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where hundreds of young women were hired to work on special tasks, which were never truly explained. The workers at Oak Ridge were instructed that they were helping to win the war, but were told to ask no questions and to reveal nothing to outsiders.

While all of our Wesley Ridge book club members were excited to meet with the author, one resident in particular, Janet Herring, had an even greater enthusiasm, she was one of the young women who worked at Oak Ridge in 1945. Click the above link to learn more about Janet and her interesting past.


Physical Fitness and Aging

We all want our parents to remain as active and independent as possible, and we want the same thing for ourselves! Regular exercise is pivotal for seniors. Seniors are at greater risk for disease, lost mobility, and falls than any other age group. Conversely, they often realize the positive effects of exercise more quickly than other age group. If your parent hasn’t been exercising, it can be difficult to get started.

Healthaging.net offers some tips to get over that initial hump. Click the link above to learn more.


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.

The timing conundrum

Ideally, one should not wait until the day they need to move to begin planning. If for no other reason this can be problematic because of the very subject I am addressing here. There could be a wait list for the facility you like best. But one of the challenges of planning ahead for long-term care housing needs is that it can be hard to foresee exactly when you will need it–it could happen slowly with the natural aging process or the progression of a degenerative disease, or it can occur quickly with an illness or injury. So it is advisable to get on three or four waiting lists if you are looking at assisted living or a long-term care facility for yourself or a family member; this way, when the time comes and you need care, you will hopefully be near the top of the list for at least one facility.

If you are eyeing a continuing care retirement community (CCRC, also known as a life plan community) another consideration is that many of these communities require that new residents be relatively able-bodied in order to enter into a continuing care contract. In fact, many life plan communities have a very active base of residents who live independently today, but want to be someplace where care is available to them on site when needed. Most continuing care retirement communities maintain an assisted living and/or healthcare center in addition to offering independent living. Therefore, residents moving into a CCRC do not necessarily know when or how much care they may eventually need.

How retirement community waiting lists work

Most communities or facilities will require a deposit in order to add your name to their wait list; the amount can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. In some communities, this deposit may be refundable if you change your mind or get into another facility first; always ask about the waiting list refund policy. As it relates to assisted living facilities in particular, sometime the refund will only be refunded in the event that the resident is unable to move into the facility for healthcare reasons.

Many CCRCs also have waiting lists. Yet, the waiting lists for CCRCs are not necessarily for assisted living or nursing care because, as mentioned, CCRCs provide access to a full continuum of care with new residents first moving into independent living. When adding your name to a CCRC or assisted living list, you will typically specify which type of unit you desire, e.g., a patio home, a 1 or 2-bedroom apartment, a single-occupancy room, etc. When a resident living in your desired unit type moves out- often because their needs have progressed and they are transferring into the on-site assisted living or healthcare facility- then the unit will become available to you.

There are two common forms of wait lists that you will find at various facilities.

The open-ended wait list is the more flexible of the two types. When your name reaches the top of the list, you are not required to move in immediately; you can keep your top position on the list and wait until the next desired unit opens up. The challenge with this type of list is that it gives an inexact picture of how many people are actually ready to move to the community so it can take a long time for your name to come to the top slot.

Some facilities have a “three strike rule” wait list. As the name might suggest, for these communities, if you get to the top of the list and turn down that opening three times, you get bumped back to the bottom of the list. You will even run across a few communities that have a one strike rule for their lists.

Once you are on the waiting list, CCRCs or other retirement communities frequently will offer a variety of perks to future residents–maybe unlimited use of their pool and exercise facility, or access to other community events and activities. In fact, a growing number of CCRCs are beginning to call their wait list a “membership.” I would encourage residents-to-be to take advantage of this benefit as it allows you to begin the process of assimilating into the community and meeting future neighbors, even before you live there.

It is also good to be aware that some communities will have an internal waiting list. If you find yourself in a situation where you need (or want) to move into the community and your preferred unit is not available–forcing you to settle for your second or third choice–you can go ahead and move in but stay on the internal list and wait for your desired unit-type to open up. Existing residents will typically get priority over non-residents, so you may be able to get your preference relatively quickly, though you may be required to pay a transfer fee or pay the additional cost if your desired residence is more expensive. Be sure you ask about any charges you will incur.

Your waiting list checklist

Before you get on a waiting list:

  • Research, research, research so you are as educated as possible about your senior living options and various scenarios. Be sure you understand the details of the residency contract and what your fees include.
  • Take a tour of your top contenders; you may find that two or three really stand out when you visit them in person, while others may be easy to eliminate.
  • Ask as many questions as you can about the community or facility, their contract types, and their waiting list policies (including refunds).

After you get on a waiting list:

  • You have made a major life decision to plan for your future; it will likely feel like a tremendous load has been lifted.
  • Begin thinking about organizing your home; consider what you will and will not be able to take with you when the time comes to move.
  • Begin thinking about when you will be ready; consider making a list of determining factors such as age, overall health (including ability to safely drive), current housing situation, savings and assets, family considerations, etc.
  • Take advantage of any perks offered by the community to future residents who are on the waiting list; you will grow more comfortable with the surroundings and meet new friends too.

Adding your name to retirement community and assisted living facility waiting lists is one of the ways you can plan for your future. This step can give you and your loved ones a level of security, knowing that you will be well-cared for as you age.

 

 

For Digital Use (please use the exact hyperlink):

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

 


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 studyconducted out of the University of California-San Diego; the research results were published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Happiness comes with maturity…


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) to 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.


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Wesley Glen is absolutely wonderful. Mom has been there since May and she's in independent plus. It has everything from independent, independent plus, assisted living to memory care. They have lots of services, hairdressers and nail salons right at the facility. The food is good and mom absolutely loves it. The independent plus works great.

- Deborah19