March 27, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
The baby boomer generation is no longer the generation of shuffleboard, craft nights, and pot roast for dinner in the dining hall. They want more, they are demanding a different lifestyle.
Now that we have that in the open, what do baby boomers want in their retirement homes? How do you go about getting not only what you want, but what you need?
The best advice: do copious amounts of research on what is available in the location that is ideal for you – including additional support nearby and social opportunities available – and be realistic about your long-term physical needs, your financial resources. “It’s important to align the emotional, social and financial parts of retiring,” says Denise Leish, a financial adviser in Silver Spring, Maryland.
The basic foundations in a retirement community that you should look for:
- Transportation – Senior transportation programs
- Parks nearby and walkable neighborhoods
- Safe neighborhoods-check the crime rates
- Health care- Available health care nearby with doctors that accept Medicare, specialists, and hospitals
- Other services – Meals on Wheels and other Senior focused services
- Shopping, Grocery Stores and Restaurants – Close enough that you will be able to get out and enjoy the community and social activities without a long drive.
- Social Integration – Neighborhood activities, programs, travel opportunities, etc.
Sara Little, 68, and Barbara Shaver, 69, offer a few pieces of advice on making a move into retirement especially if you decide to relocate to a new area, make sure you like the area before you buy and do it while your still young and can enjoy it. They moved to an over-55 community in Sarasota, Florida, they rented nearby to make sure they’d like the area. At the core of their decision: They had “some grounding” there, Little says.
“We had friends who already lived here, and more were moving here,” Little says. “We also got involved in church right away and in activities like swimming and sailing” https://www.cnbc.com/id/100549801.
In response to baby boomers’ demands for a different kind of retirement lifestyle, many developers are designing communities with a village feel to them to include shopping, dining, professional services and community programs. One good example is The Villages in Central Florida, which calls itself the “premier active adult community”. It is quite large, with an estimated 157,000 retirees, it touts its own zip code and daily newspaper. Another example, The Classic at Hillcrest Greens, is built on the site of a former golf course in the western Wisconsin community of Altoona. Its amenities include a restaurant, yoga and fitness studio, game room, library and a salon.
Its fair to say that there is something for everyone if you are entering the age of retirement and a 55+ community is an option. You no longer must settle for a retirement community whose only activities are shuffleboard and golf, there is so much more! Spend some time and do your research. Know what is available and don’t be afraid to ask questions and visit these locations and get to know your future neighbors.
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March 22, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
When your loved one with dementia or other age-related memory problems is at the point where it is no longer reasonable or safe for them to live alone, you may need to find a community that is right for them. A community or facility that specializes in memory care. Do you know where to start? Do you know what to look for and how much does it cost?
The needs of folks with Memory problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other types of memory problems can vastly differ from those in need of long-term care. Choosing a memory care facility that is designed to meet your loved ones care not only includes their medical needs, but their comfort and safety.
Choosing the right memory care options may be confusing. To clear things up, assisted living communities offer special memory care units (SCU) in separate buildings, floors, etc. It’s important to make sure that the staff have training and can properly assist patients with dementia or impaired cognition. According to Mitzi McFatrich, executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care, “they can offer staff extensively trained in caring for people with dementia, individualized care that minimizes the use of dangerous psychotropic drugs, a home-like environment and activities that improve residents’ quality of life. But at their worst, they may offer little more than a locked door.” https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T027-C000-S004-how-to-choose-a-memory-care-unit.html. Be cognizant of this and do your research on the staff, training, and commitment to the overall well being of their residents.
Another option would be an independent memory care community which is distinct from assisted living, these memory care communities will have specialized skilled nursing in memory care.
Memory Care communities and care have higher costs involved due to the level of care that is required for their patients. Inquiring at the community or facility on the types of financial aid and availability to utilize Medicare or Medicaid may also provide additional financial support.
According to the National Investment Center for Senior Housing and Care, “every 66 seconds someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s, long-term care providers are rushing to offer memory care services. As of mid-2016, memory care facilities had the capacity to care for more than 65,000 residents-a 44% increase over the past 5 years.” Therefore, more and more facilities are being built and more focus is being put on the need for this type of care.
According to, https://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-residential-facilities.asp#choosing it’s important to choose your setting as they make these recommendations:
- Plan on visiting several care facilities. Look around and talk with the staff, as well as residents and families.
- When you visit a care facility, ask to see the latest survey/inspection report and Special Care Unit Disclosure form. Facilities are required to provide these. The report and the disclosure form can give you a picture of the facility’s services.
- Visit the facilities at different times of the day, including meal times.
- Ask the care facility about room availability, cost and participation in Medicare or Medicaid. Consider placing your name on a waiting list even if you are not ready to decide about a move.
- If you will be paying for the facility out of pocket, ask what happens if the person with dementia runs out of money. Some facilities will accept Medicaid; others may not. If you anticipate the need for Medicaid either now or in the future, plan to visit with a lawyer that specializes in elder care prior to moving into a facility to ensure a good financial plan is in place.
With the need growing and more facilities/communities being built and opened to accommodate memory care residents, there is more thought being put into the design and types of communities and facilities that folks in need of memory care will need to make them feel more at home. Country Living magazine featured a facility in Ohio that built a community that is designed to look like a small town from the 1940’s while each resident has a “little house”, https://www.countryliving.com/life/a39630/nursing-home-tiny-houses/. There are communities that are including nurseries and doll therapy as new techniques arise in how to address the anxiety and stress that many patients with memory loss feel, https://khn.org/news/when-pretend-play-is-real-for-alzheimers-patients/.
Finding the Memory Care community that is right for your loved one should always include, online reviews, multiple visits to the facility without making an appointment, talking to friends and family of residents of these communities and staff. Until there is a known cure for this disease that continues to increase in diagnosis year after year, the need for these communities and care will only increase.
Ready to begin your search? We have 2,189 potential solutions! Begin your search here – http://www.seniorlivingguide.com/MapSearchAlzheimers.tpl
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February 27, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
Texas is at the top of many retiree’s lists when looking for their ideal state to retire and enjoy their “golden years”. What does Texas offer that is attracting retirees, specifically Baby Boomers, to the Lone Star State?
Texas is the second largest state in the country and offers a wide variety of topography and open spaces for them to live around. The choices range from mountainsides with views of plains and prairies to coastal plains and forested hill country. There are independent and active adult communities new and existing with the amenities and social opportunities that retirees may be looking for today. If you are looking for a fast-paced town with concerts and night life or peace and quite in a natural environment, Texas has them all. http://www.nic.org/blog/key-takeaways-lone-star-states-seniors-housing-market/
While Florida is clearly still at the top of the list for many retirees moving from the North to enjoy the sunshine and beaches, Texas offers many of the same attributes in their weather conditions, which can be a big draw. The mild temperatures vary within the state and provide many opportunities for retirees who want hot summers and cool winters, like San Antonio or Austin. If they prefer a bigger city with a lot of diversity and activity, baby boomers may be attracted to Houston and Dallas, even though they have higher humidity during the summer with more rain.
While some of the biggest draws are the weather, topography, and local activities; it may come down to the brass tacks of affordability. Texas has lower taxes, a lower cost of living, and a reduced tax rate (including no personal income tax). This is important because a retiree with a fixed income is going to be able to make their budget go farther. Therefore, it’s no surprise the state of Texas would be considered one of the best places to retire financially.
Whatever the reasons – varied landscape, warmer climate, diverse cities, or affordability- Texas is attracting retirees. Texas active adult communities are growing to accommodate this emerging growth, meet the needs of the Baby Boomers, and ultimately become a retirement destination for active adults.
Visit us on www.seniorlivingguide.com , click on Texas to visit different Senior Housing available in the Lone Star State.
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February 20, 2018
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 independent 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:
- 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
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 22, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
Being financially prepared before and during retirement is integral in assuring a comfortable and less stressful “golden years”.
Knowing what your retirement bills will look like verses your work life bills and expenses are helpful in budgeting. You may save money on commuting expenses and buying expensive clothes, work lunches and multiple co-worker “life events” financial contributions, but what is the offset in your income?
The first thing you would want to do is assess your finances. Any good budget begins with understanding of your current income and expenses.
Your biggest expense in retirement will most likely be your housing. If you can pay off your mortgage before retirement this will eliminate your biggest monthly expense. If you are unable to do this, you might find it beneficial to downsize and decrease your monthly mortgage, cashing in on any equity to help build up your nest egg. You may also want to consider retirement living and active adult retirement communities as options as they can offer turnkey solutions for long term home stability.
The other biggest expense during retirement will be health care expenses. It is imperative to do a deep dive into what is available to you, especially if you retire before being eligible for Medicare. You may also want to consider budgeting and saving for long term care expenses, as you or your spouse may need them.
Tracking your expenses with online budgeting tools can also be a real eye opener on where your money may be going. Budgeting tools like Mint and You Need a Budget will sync with your bank account and will be able to track where your money goes. https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/on-retirement/articles/2016-08-10/7-tips-for-budgeting-in-retirement
Additional recommendations you might want to consider:
• Have fun-watching TV is not a healthy way to live and these should truly be the years that you have worked so hard for!
• Emergencies! – Big ticket items like New AC, Car repairs, new refrigerator, etc.
• Avoid Debt!
Most retirees have a fixed budget where they may live on a month to month income, creating a budget and being prepared will allow you the opportunity to enjoy your retirement with less financial stress.
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January 15, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
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)
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.
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August 14, 2017
We had a late entry into our Summer TEST DRIVE event – Jenni-Lynn Assisted Living in West Columbia SC, so we’re helping spread the word about their community with a FREE listing for 30 days! (plus a few social media shout outs!)
Jenni-Lynn Senior Living is located on Hook Avenue in West Columbia. Columbia is 1 of 30 cities listed as “America’s Most Livable Communities”, and “Where to Retire Magazine” listed Columbia as 1 of the 25 best choices for retirement. Columbia was also selected #2 in “RetireHomeSmart.com’s” best retirement city poll. Columbia includes some of the best medical care facilities in the state such as Providence, Palmetto Health, Baptist, and Lexington Medical Centers, and William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center. Interstate 26 makes travel in and around the city convenient. Jenni-Lynn is licensed for 63 residents, and offers 53 assisted living apartments. The one-level floor plan includes five apartment styles to choose from, including Palmetto A, Palmetto B, Capital, Jasmine, and Jenni-Lynn suite.
View the complete listing here which includes pictures and links to their website!
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August 10, 2017
Tarantino Senior Communities recently added several of their properties to the fastest growing senior housing and services resource – SeniorLivingGuide.com!
Here’s a short list, click through each one to discover all that these beautiful communities have to offer!
The Barrington in Largo FL
At The Barrington, we offer a resort style retirement unlike any other. Our maintenance-free, senior community provides you with the lifestyle you deserve at a price you can afford. With restaurant style dining, daily events and activities and a friendly neighborhood community, The Barrington represents active senior living at its best.
Life at The Barrington gives you the opportunity to enjoy the freedom to do the things you want to do, when you want to do them. The choices are yours to make every day. Participate in daily activities and social events. Make new friends and memories that will last a lifetime. Get involved in as much or as little as you want-it’s your lifestyle.
Glenbrooke at Palm Bay in Palm Bay FL
The retirement community of Glenbrooke is located in the beautiful waterfront town of Palm Bay on Florida’s eastern coastline. Located midway between Jacksonville and Miami, Palm Bay has close proximity to Melbourne and Orlando International Airports and Port Canaveral. With its warm and sunny weather throughout most of the year, the hospitable community of Palm Bay offers the perfect place for easy living retirement.
The Native American Timucua people were thought to have been the first inhabitants in the Palm Bay and Turkey Creek area. They were attracted to the freshwater springs of the Indian River and Turkey Creek at Palm Bay. In the 1850s, the first European settlers built homes along Turkey Creek. Today, there are over 103,000 residents of Palm Bay that enjoy points of interests such as city parks, golf courses, aquatic center, and nearby beaches.
Lake Forest Park in Fort Pierce FL
The retirement community of Lake Forest Park is located in the historic town of Fort Pierce on Florida’s eastern coastline. With its warm and sunny weather throughout most of the year, the waterfront community of Fort Pierce offers the perfect place for easy living retirement.
As one of the oldest communities on the eastern coast of Florida, Fort Pierce is part of the “Treasure Coast”. The Treasure Coast is named after the sinking of a Spanish treasure fleet in 1715. Since 1901, the city of Fort Pierce has grown in population and size with approximately 42,000 people residing in the city. It has developed into a visitors destination, with points of interests such as shopping and dining in historic downtown, the Sunrise Theatre for the Performing Arts, The National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, and the Heathcote Botanical Gardens.
Lewisville Estates in Lewisville TX
At Lewisville Estates, we offer a resort style retirement unlike any other. Our maintenance- free, senior community provides you with the lifestyle you deserve at a price you can afford. With restaurant style dining, daily events and activities and a friendly neighborhood community, Lewisville Estates represents active senior living at its best.
Life at Lewisville Estates gives you the opportunity to enjoy the freedom to do the things you want to do, when you want to do them. The choices are yours to make every day. Participate in daily activities and social events. Make new friends and memories that will last a lifetime. Get involved in as much or as little as you want-it’s your lifestyle.
The Fountains at Lake Pleasant in Peoria AZ
Located in the Salt River Valley of Arizona and extending into the foothills of the mountains to the north with the Agua Fria River and New River flowing through the area, sits The Fountains at Lake Pleasant, a vibrant community for those 55 years young. Nature and nurture combine at our breathtaking community in the heart of Peoria, Arizona. With its warm and sunny weather throughout the year, the community of Peoria offers the perfect place for easy living retirement.
Our Mediterranean-style resort community features eighty-six residences located on a beautifully landscaped citrus grove. Can you say freshly squeezed orange juice? Offering spacious one and two bedroom apartment homes, The Fountains at Lake Pleasant is truly a step above the rest.
Oakey Assisted Living Community in Las Vegas NV
Welcome to Oakey Assisted Living, your premier assisted living community in Las Vegas, Nevada. We are excited to be considered as a senior assisted living community for your loved one. Our dedicated and devoted staff will ensure that your family member enjoys their stay at our newly remodeled assisted living community. We pride ourselves in the partnership between our staff and your family. Your loved one’s care is our priority.
We know how stressful choosing the right assisted living environment for a parent or loved one can be. One of our goals at Oakey Assisted Living is to offer the best senior assisted living in Las Vegas. It is important to us to provide the highest level of care in Nevada. As an assisted living community we offer our seniors top notch accommodations including daily activities, organized outings, nutritional meals, a variety of programs and much more.
The Devonshire in Hampton VA
Welcome to The Devonshire Retirement Community, your premier independent and assisted living community in Hampton, Virginia. Our dedicated and devoted staff is focused on providing the very best in senior living. Our remarkably beautiful community provides a welcoming attitude to all that come through the door. Paved walkways through lush grounds and courtyards provides a landscape of enjoyment where residents can enjoy spending time both indoors and outdoors during all seasons of the year.
We offer a variety of amenities to enrich the lives of our residents. A few of our amenities include full size apartments with housekeeping and laundry facilities, engaging activities and events, chef prepared meals in our elegant dining room, as well as fitness center, beauty salon, library and game room. We are centrally located in Hampton, Virginia just off Interstate 64. This highly sought after region provides our residents with easy access to the Peninsula Town Center, Coliseum Central district, and provides a variety of entertainment, dining, and healthcare options. Our dedicated transportation team can help provide residents needing assistance to get back and forth to doctor’s and dental appointments, as well as provide entertainment and religious options as well.
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March 8, 2017
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Bright Oaks is a whole new concept in senior living that emphasizes living and takes it to a whole new level. By celebrating what’s unique in each one of us, Bright Oaks communities encourage engagement on a very personal level. Our goal is to help you ignite your curious nature—and make life fun again.
Above all, at Bright Oaks of Aurora, we are a family. We work together and play together. We cherish friends, family and friendships yet to be made. We invite you to be part of our family.
View their ad on SeniorLivingGuide.com HERE.
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