More baby boomers are considering moving to a senior lifestyle community earlier than ever before, and all indications are that this trend is here to stay.
It makes sense. Many boomers have had to deal with aging parents and so they want to plan ahead and avoid burdening their spouse, partner or children.
But there’s more to it than that. Boomers have been instrumental in changing the quality of life in senior communities by insisting on enhanced amenities, services, and physical environments.
Many senior living communities now offer flexible dining options, wine tastings, tai chi classes, gardening, and living environments have moved from the stereotypical sterile white to more homelike to even posh.
The bottom line is that older Americans are viewing senior lifestyle communities as places that provide freedom from home maintenance, facilitate new friendships and experiences, and offer long-term health services to sustain quality of life.
Here are 5 great reasons not to postpone securing a senior living community that’s right for you:
#1 Waiting lists are getting longer.
The number one reason not to delay is the increased demand and longer wait lists at senior living communities due to the aging Baby Boomer generation. It’s estimated that the boomer generation will bring a 75 percent increase in people over 65 needing care to nearly 2.3 million by 2020.
#2 Family members may select the wrong place.
If you don’t give your input ahead of time and there is a medical crisis, your loved ones may have to do their best in finding you assisted living. If you regain good health, you could find yourself in an environment not of your choosing.
#3 You want to ensure your quality of life and have access to the best healthcare.
There are quality of life and health benefits derived from being in a place where you are not lonely, bored or having to worry about the many tasks involved in maintaining a home. And if you do need personal or medical support, it’s there when you need it.
#4 The strength of the housing market may shift.
It’s important to keep an eye on the housing market to maximize the return on investment when selling a home. This has become particularly critical after the housing market decline that occurred in 2008 and 2009.
#5 If the economy declines, so do your investments.
Consider the strength in the economy and how it impacts your monthly costs and your investments. A decline in the value of your investments could result in not being financially qualified for the option you want.
What to expect when moving from your home to a senior lifestyle community.
Moving from your home and picking a senior lifestyle community is an experience unlike any other. It’s not like picking out a regular apartment or buying a new home. The process is very different.
Here are the steps you go through to secure an apartment at Cascades of Tucson:
- Request information by phone or email.
- Review the information provided and write down questions.
- Schedule or stop by for a tour. Tours are available [hours, days].
- Stay for lunch and/or join an activity.
- Select an apartment and put down a deposit.
- Have a health evaluation by a licensed nurse to determine your level of care (if any).
- Move-in and enjoy community living.
Here are a few questions to add to your list to ask a senior lifestyle community representative before signing the contract:
- Is my health evaluation conducted by a qualified medical professional?
- Is there a refund policy during an absence such as an extended vacation or hospital stay?
- What is my obligation when terminating a residency agreement?
- If I want to move in immediately, what are the costs and when are they due?
- What amount of deposit is required to hold a residence and is it refundable?
Most importantly, listen to your inner voice to determine if the senior living community you are considering will provide the best life possible for you based on your needs, values, and preferences.
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