Should I Move Now or Later?

One of the things that marketing agents at senior housing communities hear all the time is that a potential resident “isn’t interested in moving right now.”  The argument usually goes something like this: I’m too young to move into senior housing right now, but one day I might be older and need to move.  When that day comes, I’ll make the move.

That’s a fine sentiment, and it’s understandable that seniors would want to stay in their homes as long as possible.  However, this strategy can backfire.  Here are some reasons you should consider moving when you’re younger rather than waiting until you need to:

  • You might not pass their medical test if you wait.  For most continuing care retirement communities (CCRC’s), especially those that offer LifeCare, there is a medical test that you must pass in order to qualify for independent living.  The longer that you wait to move into the community, the more likely it is that you develop health problems that disqualify you for independent living.
  • You want to make friends early.  It’s tough enough moving into a new community, but moving in after illness is even worse.  The earlier you move in, the more chances you have to be social and join group activities.  After all, what’s the point of moving into senior housing if you’re not going to enjoy the social life?
  • You don’t want to wait until a crisis strikes.  Do you have a lot of stuff at your house that you don’t feel like going through right now?  Will it get any easier to go through it if you’ve broken a hip?  Nope.  When a health event occurs, it puts the burden of the move on other people.  Since you’ll be recovering, you won’t have as much control over how items are handled and your house is sold.  The earlier you move, the more opportunity you have to get things set up exactly like you’d like.

Ultimately, if you want to stay in your house, you should stay in your house.  However, there are huge advantages to moving into a retirement community before illness strikes.  If it’s something that you’re interested in, consider making the plunge sooner rather than later.

Caregivers, bone density tests, diet, homesharing programs, and active adult communities

Are you caring for an elderly parent?  Here’s a great personal story about a 30-year-old taking care of her sick father.

If you have normal bone density, you can delay retesting for several years.

You are what you eat.  New research shows that good eaters are better thinkers.

Want a renter to move into your spare bedroom to help offset the costs?  Homesharing programs are becoming more popular.

Not ready for a senior housing community but ready for a new neighborhood?  Try an active adult community.

Statins & diabetes, age discrimination, anecdotes in healthcare, and daily Aspirins

Bad news about statins: They’ve been linked to diabetes in women.

Sixty three percent of older Americans feel that they have been discriminated against due to their age.

The problem with relying on a story for your health decisions: the story might not be entirely accurate.

If you have macular degeneration, take heart.  A daily dose of Aspirin helps to delay the disease.

Nursing homes, dementia, medical errors, cognitive decline, prostate cancer, genes, and statins

A new study finds that staff is happier at nonprofit nursing homes.

There’s a new way of treating dementia: no drugs.  A new program in Germany is giving up on medication in favor of behavior modifications.

Want to avoid being the victim of a medical error?  Make sure to review your medical record for errors, ask for second opinions, and plan ahead for your doctor’s appointment.

The worst news I’ve heard all week: New research shows that cognitive decline starts as early as 45.

Doc telling you to get your PSA tested?  Screening might do more harm than good.

Think that living to be 100 is all in the genes?  Think again.  Scientists examined the DNA of a few centenarians and found that most people that live to be over 100 don’t have special genes.

Statins might be good for other things, like preventing heart disease before it starts!

Prostate cancer, Wii bowling, lose weight, salt, documents, and hospice

New evidence suggests that men are sometimes better off delaying prostate cancer treatment until the disease begins progressing.

Thinking of taking up a new sport?  Wii Bowling is the newest thing.

16 small things can help you lose weight. Among them: eat in, don’t skip breakfast, and clean out your pantry.

Cutting salt may not have as many health benefits as originally thought.  The science is sketchy, at best.

Some physicians sometimes have trouble understanding the meaning of end-of-life documents like do-not-resuscitate orders.

Hospice isn’t always great.  It seems that hospice is really good at getting patients addicted to narcotics.

Dieting is impossible, vitamins aren’t perfect, fast food, and brand name drugs

Obesity is an epidemic, but our bodies don’t care. Despite our best efforts, it’s nearly impossible for some folks to lose weight.

The skinny on vitamins and supplements. New studies cast doubt on the efficacy of some herbal remedies.

Dang it!  Eating fast food ages the brain. Eating healthy food slows this process.

Why do Americans pay so much for brand name drugs?  It’s much cheaper to buy from Canada, which is what seniors are doing.

Boomers & unemployment, new pill reminders, the “old age disease”, and the future

Baby Boomers are having trouble finding jobs. Companies are hiring younger workers at lower wages. (Here is an summary.)

A new pill bottle can remind you to take your medication. It’s calls GlowCaps, and not everyone is happy about having lights and buzzers remind them to take their medication.

Can “old age” be a diagnosis?  Apparently so.

Boomers are worried about their retirement and the future.

Cancer explanation, caregiver burnout, staying at home, and stent complications

An explanation of how cancer spreads. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more clear explanation.

Caregiver burnout is very common. Here is one woman’s story.

Don’t plan on moving into a retirement community?  You’re not alone. Almost 90% of seniors want to stay in their homes. However, these homes aren’t always designed for aging adults.

If you’ve had a stent recently, you’re at risk for having to return to the hospital. Being older or having other health problems increases your risk.

I got a flyer from a local retirement community. Should I go to the event?


Photo courtesy of striatic on Flickr

If you’re over the age of 65, chances are that retirement communities in your hometown have purchased your name and address. So, you’re now probably getting a relatively regular mailing from their marketing department for a series of events aimed at getting you in the door so that they can market to you.

There are three main types of special events commonly offered at retirement communities:

  • Guest speaker. Most of the guest speakers at senior housing communities are so-called experts in their field. They speak on topics related to estate planning, senior housing, and healthy aging. While most guest speakers make their livings doing this sort of work, make sure that you check their credentials, read up on their background, and even Google them.
  • Marketing pitch. The marketing staff shows you a wowing presentation about their community or their new development and hopes that you’ll sign up.
  • Entertainment. The marketing office hires someone to come give a fun or entertaining talk to which it invites potential residents. The hope is that potential residents like the entertainment, refreshments, and the community itself.

If these events interest you, by all means, go!  Enjoy the crowd!  Check out the community and learn more about the amenities. But, here are two more tips:

  • Be careful how you fill out the information forms on the front table when you first arrive. If you’re not very interested in moving into the community, make it clear that you’re not interested. Marketing agents typically comb over these information forms with the rapt attention, hoping to find someone who will move in as soon as possible.
  • Remember the goal of guest speakers: get you to move in. They are being paid by the marketing department to deliver a speech, so they will definitely not tell you that moving in is a mistake. Keep that in mind as you listen to their message.


Arthritis, diets & Alzheimers, top 10 places to retire, top 10 healthy New Year’s resolutions

Do you have chronic arthritis?  Tips for managing pain include staying active, using heating pads, and modifying your diet.

Healthy diets may slow Alzheimer’s. Apparently, good food can stop the brain from shrinking. Yikes!

Top 10 places to retire in 2012?  Flagstaff, Ithaca, and Lincoln made the list, among others.

Top 10 healthiest New Year’s Resolutions. My favorites: keep in touch with friends, balance your checkbook, and help others. (Bonus: Advice on how to keep your resolutions.)