February 20, 2018

Is A Continuing Care Community Right for You?

By: Darleen Mahoney

I am on my own personal journey to discover what the best decisions are for my Dad. He is 71 years old and starting to decline both physically and mentally. He decided to be independent and retire in a 55+ restrictive community years ago, but I see the need for additional long-term services for him in the near future. On this journey, I found myself needing a clear vision on what are our options might be that would be best for him and his needs.

I started looking at continuing care community options – what they entail and if it would be a good fit. I regretted that this option was not considered years ago and wondered if it was too late for him to make this move.

Continuing care communities are independent living housing with all the perks of the social, recreational and other retirement community extras that keep independent seniors active. They also have two additional tiers of care available – assisted living and nursing level care. Later, if the independentContinuing Care Retirement Community senior’s health declines, they can smoothly transition to the assisted living tier, and then, the nursing side, if needed.

According to the AARP, “Nearly 90% of people 65 and older said they would like to ‘age in place.’ And yet the hard truth is that a beloved house in a familiar community can become both physically impractical and socially isolating over time”. http://time.com/money/4579934/continuing-care-retirement-communities-cost/

Once you decide that this is a viable option for you or your loved one to explore, it’s a matter of choosing which one would be right for you.

The AARP recommends that you take many steps to make this determination:

https://www.aarp.org/home-garden/housing/info-08-2009/ginzler_housing_choices.html

  • Visit multiple residences
  • Take a tour, talk to the residents, staff, and visiting family members.
  • Ask staff members how long they’ve worked there; a good sign of quality is low turnover.
  • Check with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Many assisted-living residences, nursing homes, and CCRCs voluntarily apply for accreditation, which means they meet many quality measures.
  • Get clear information on financial arrangements and costs
  • Discuss at length with your loved ones, they will help you make a good decision in your best interest.

Regardless of whether a continuing care community is right for you or your loved one, it’s always best to be informed and proactive when making plans of this magnitude. Their health and happiness in the long term is dependent on finding the best senior living arrangement.

When you’re ready to begin your search, remember SeniorLivingGuide.com – the nation’s fastest growing senior housing and services resource!

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Is A Continuing Care Community Right for You?

By: Darleen Mahoney

I am on my own personal journey to discover what the best decisions are for my Dad. He is 71 years old and starting to decline both physically and mentally. He decided to be independent and retire in a 55+ restrictive community years ago, but I see the need for additional long-term services for him in the near future. On this journey, I found myself needing a clear vision on what are our options might be that would be best for him and his needs.

I started looking at continuing care community options – what they entail and if it would be a good fit. I regretted that this option was not considered years ago and wondered if it was too late for him to make this move.

Continuing care communities are independent living housing with all the perks of the social, recreational and other retirement community extras that keep independent seniors active. They also have two additional tiers of care available – assisted living and nursing level care. Later, if the independentContinuing Care Retirement Community senior’s health declines, they can smoothly transition to the assisted living tier, and then, the nursing side, if needed.

According to the AARP, “Nearly 90% of people 65 and older said they would like to ‘age in place.’ And yet the hard truth is that a beloved house in a familiar community can become both physically impractical and socially isolating over time”. http://time.com/money/4579934/continuing-care-retirement-communities-cost/

Once you decide that this is a viable option for you or your loved one to explore, it’s a matter of choosing which one would be right for you.

The AARP recommends that you take many steps to make this determination:

https://www.aarp.org/home-garden/housing/info-08-2009/ginzler_housing_choices.html

  • Visit multiple residences
  • Take a tour, talk to the residents, staff, and visiting family members.
  • Ask staff members how long they’ve worked there; a good sign of quality is low turnover.
  • Check with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Many assisted-living residences, nursing homes, and CCRCs voluntarily apply for accreditation, which means they meet many quality measures.
  • Get clear information on financial arrangements and costs
  • Discuss at length with your loved ones, they will help you make a good decision in your best interest.

Regardless of whether a continuing care community is right for you or your loved one, it’s always best to be informed and proactive when making plans of this magnitude. Their health and happiness in the long term is dependent on finding the best senior living arrangement.

When you’re ready to begin your search, remember SeniorLivingGuide.com – the nation’s fastest growing senior housing and services resource!

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February 5, 2018

Home Staging for Seniors: Best Practices for Bigger Returns

By: Darleen Mahoney

Once it’s been decided that potentially downsizing for retirement living or moving into a senior living community is on the horizon, the most stressful aspect can be selling the home. There are many things to consider outside of the emotional tolls of leaving a home with years of memories attached. There is also the reality that the house itself is most likely the largest source of income/equity, therefore, its very important to sell the house at the best price that the market will allow.

Staging a home and making it more appealing to a wide range of buyers is a best practice and that may be challenging for some Seniors while they are still living in the home. There are a few options for staging a home. It can range from keeping living spaces very organized and decluttered and quick paint fixes to having a professional “stage” the home for sale. Typically, a service will stage a home to make it look larger, utilize neutral colors and will take any personal items of the current homeowner and put them away. These services may replace existing furniture and other personal items which can be stressful for Seniors but can also raise the value of the home. Buyers should not focus on the current homeowner’s taste, style and personal choices.

If a Senior is moving to an Assisted Living community, they will most likely need to downsize right away. This can be such a taxing process both emotionally and physically. According to AARP https://www.aarp.org/work/retirement-planning/info-08-2011/retirement-downsizing.html , it’s recommended that you plan to, “hit the ‘heart of the home’ rooms first. That’s usually the kitchen, living room, and family room, which tend to be the most cluttered and contain items with the greatest emotional value and everyday use. Make four piles-keep, donate, give to family members and trash.”

Other things to consider while staging is touching up paint, changing out hardware, new blinds, replacing burned out lightbulbs, adding fresh flowers or potted plants, fixing visible issues around the house that a buyer would notice, and rearranging furniture to create the look of a larger space. Best practice is to keep in mind that when a potential buyer walks through your home, they need to be able to picture their own personal items and sense of style as well. If there is a strong color palette in the home, it may be necessary to re-paint a more neutral palette to assure that the potential buyer is seeing the actual house and not just the wall colors.

Also, consider the front of the house. A potential buyer should never drive up and before they even enter the house think, “what a lot of work” before entering the home.

Remember the most important things in staging with Seniors is that there may be more emotional attachments to their personal tastes and their personal items Its important to be cognizant of that and walk through the process at their pace while explaining why “staging” will only benefit them in the long run.

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January 15, 2018

Recognizing Depression in Our Elderly and How to Help Them

By: Darleen Mahoney
www.SeniorLivingGuide.com

Depression is a common problem in older adults. It may be difficult to distinguish the difference between a senior who is just feeling “sad” and one who is experiencing geriatric depression. Geriatric depression is a mental or emotional disorder affecting older adults. These seniors that are would fall under “high risk” might be those that have experienced strokes, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, cancer, dementia, and chronic pain. There are specific signs that would tend to be lend more to geriatric depression over moments of sadness. It is important to be aware of these signs because there are also steps to take to help our Seniors, depression is not a normal stage to getting older. Their “golden year” should be just that…golden!

Some signs and symptoms to look for would include: decreased energy levels, more physical problems, such as arthritis and headaches. Other signs that need to be addressed quite seriously would be loss of self-worth, slowed speech, increasing alcohol intake or drugs, thoughts of suicide.

Because depression is not normal and addressing them with our elderly can be tricky, pay attention to signs other than verbal.

“Older adults often say, ‘I am not sad,” or ‘I am not lonely,’ because they do not want to be a burden on the family,”

“Instead, they show signs of distress by wringing their hands excessively, getting agitated or irritable, or having difficulty sitting still.” according to Dr. Strem (www.health.com/health).

Be vigilant of these types of communication signs as well as the physical signs to be more proactive in care and getting the help needed.

The good news is there is help! There are medications as well as lifestyle changes!

Medications Include: www.healthline.com/health/depression/elderly#treatment5

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
  • Bupropion
  • Mirtazapine

Lifestyle Changes Include: www.healthline.com/health/depression/elderly#treatment5

  • Increased physical activity
  • Finding a new hobby or interest
  • Having regular visits with family and friends
  • Getting enough sleep daily
  • Eating a well-balanced diet

If you think that you or your loved one is suffering from geriatric depression, encourage treatment and offer your support. If they are living in a Retirement community, Assisted Living facility, or any type of senior housing environment where you might have access to reach out for help, then please do so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/elderly#Diagnosis4

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