Understanding Your Senior Living Options
The Key to Senior Living is Ask the Right Questions about it?
Questions are a powerful tool for navigating life. It opens your mind to new ideas and a creative approach to decision making. In “One Small Step Can Change Your Life,” psychologist Robert Maurer writes, “Ask a question often enough, and you’ll find your brain storing the questions, turning them over, and eventually generating some interesting and useful responses.”
If you’re pondering your senior living options, what questions will help you discover the path to a fulfilling retirement lifestyle? Here are some suggestions:
What Do You Want in Retirement?
This question gives you an opportunity to daydream. Do you see yourself hiking? Golfing? Traveling? Volunteering? Maybe all of the above … and more? Knowing your goals will enable you to identify the lifestyle essentials that can help make those goals a reality, such as:
- Maintenance-free living
- Multiple dining venues
- Chef-prepared meals
- On-site health services
- Opportunities to connect with other people
- Social, cultural and educational activities
- 24/7 security
Are You Ready for Senior Living?
If you’re like most people, it can be hard to think of yourself as being the right age for senior living in San Diego, especially if you mistakenly think retirement communities are suitable only for people who are infirm. In truth, independent living communities are bustling hubs of activity where older adults enjoy the freedom to do more of what they love. Our downloadable guide offers a self-assessment quiz that can help you decide whether the opportunities available in independent living would suit your style.
Is Aging in Place a Realistic Plan?
Many of us assume we’ll stay in our current homes throughout the retirement years. But aging in place in San Diego isn’t always possible — or wise. To age in place successfully, a variety of potential issues must be planned for, including:
- Accessibility. Health setbacks and mobility issues can eventually make it difficult to live comfortably in a typical family home without making modifications. You may have to install grab bars in the bathroom, a ramp to improve outdoor accessibility, or a stair lift to access upstairs bedrooms.
- Isolation. Health issues, hearing loss, a shrinking social circle, or being unable to drive can make it difficult to maintain meaningful connections with other people as you get older. In addition to spending long, dull days at home, isolated seniors are at higher risk for a variety of health concerns, including premature death, dementia, heart disease, stroke, depression and anxiety.
- Long-term care. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, today’s 65-year-olds have a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care. That care often falls to family members or requires in-home care, which can be expensive, especially with health care costs continuing to rise. The national median monthly cost of a home health aide in 2021 was $5,148 for only 44 hours per week. This cost is projected to rise to $6, 918 a month by 2031.
How Do You Choose the Right Senior Living Community?
To select the perfect senior living community, you’ll need to consult both your heart and your head. When you tour the communities that have piqued your interest, trust your heart to tell you if you could truly feel at home there, make friends with other residents, and take delight in the community’s amenities and services.
Also bring along a list of questions that will help you discover whether the community suits your financial outlook and meets your long-term goals for health care. Make sure to include questions such as:
- Is there an entrance fee? If so, how much is it and what does it pay for?
- How much is the monthly fee and what does it cover?
- What happens if you outlive your financial resources?
- Is there a continuum of care on the same campus?
- How does moving to a higher level of care affect costs?
Should You Choose a Community that Offers a Continuing Care Plan?
Knowing that health setbacks can happen, it makes sense to have a plan that gives you access to long-term care and protects your estate from the rising cost of that care. Life Plan Communities, also called continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), provide a plan for life. These communities offer independent living and an on-site continuum of care — which may include assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation — so residents know that, if their health changes, they’ll have access to the care they need without a disruptive move to another community. What’s more, moving into a Life Plan Community when you’re active and independent allows you to lock in predictable fees that are less than the market rate.
How Do You Get Family Involved in This Process?
Taking a proactive approach to creating the ideal retirement lifestyle allows you to be in control of the decision-making process. But at some point, you’ll want to discuss your decision with loved ones, enlisting their support as you make the necessary changes in your life. Topics like long-term care or the prospect of selling the family home can bring up uncomfortable feelings, but the following tips can help you have an honest heart-to-heart with family:
- Meet in person, if possible, and bring written notes.
- Explain your reasons for exploring senior living options.
- Describe what you’ve learned and how it informed your decision.
- Ask your loved ones if they have concerns about your decision.
- Allow space for your loved ones to express confusion or resistance, knowing that you may need to repeat the conversation several more times as your family members process your decision.
Discover the Possibilities at Casa de las Campanas
If you’re looking for a carefree lifestyle brimming with amenities and opportunities to pursue your passions, you’ll love Casa de las Campanas. We’re a Life Plan Community in the beautiful rolling hills of San Diego County, where natural beauty, fine dining, and a rich array of services and amenities provide the perfect foundation for a fulfilling retirement lifestyle. Contact us to learn more or, better yet, to schedule a visit.