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