Brain aging, abusive parents, bankruptcies in senior housing, and retiring overseas


A Boomer discusses how her brain is aging.

Dealing with an abusive parent isn’t easy, even if their age makes it easier to handle their personality.

A big CCRC in Florida, Devonshire at PGA, has been hit with a foreclosure lawsuit.

If you’re planning on retiring overseas, there are several things that you need to consider.

Photo courtesy of Hey Paul Studios on Flickr.


Blood pressure, CPR, fake bus stops, and benefits of being skinny


For the very old, high blood pressure may not be a bad thing.

CPR isn’t as successful as the TV shows make it seem.  Additionally, it’s pretty painful if you do survive.

A German nursing home has put a fake bus stop in front of the facility to stop seniors from wandering off. 

There’s another benefit to staying skinny: it keeps your mind healthier.

Photo courtesy of meddygarnet on Flickr.


“Lifecare”: a viable alternative to long-term care insurance

Note: This post originally appeared, a site sponsored by Willow Valley Retirement Communities. If you’re interested in providing articles for, please see our submission guidelines.


Melinda L. Scott, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Willow Valley Retirement Communities, Lancaster, PA has been providing insight in the field of aging services to seniors for over ten years.  Melinda provides her insights on the idea of Lifecare as an alternative to traditional life insurance policies:

If you’re 60 and over, and not familiar with the term “lifecare”, it’s an interesting concept.  Think of an unconditional long-term care insurance policy without waiting periods, caps or paperwork.  Hassle free.  Then wrap resort-style amenities around that. Fine dining, maintenance-free building and grounds and world-class cultural events. While lifecare isn’t new, I don’t often see it explained in the plethora of articles emerging on retirement options for seniors.  It’s a financial arrangement that ensures costs for care don’t escalate at unpredictable rates. Many top shelf insurers such as Metlife and John Hancock are bailing out of the long-term care insurance market. Lifecare is a viable alternative.

Lifecare can provides a valuable asset to residents of Willow Valley Retirement Communities.  In their article entitled “Lifecare Makes Dollars and Sense”, Willow Valley provides a useful Value Calculation chart you can use to compare your current costs to that of Lifecare.  Read more at Lifecare Makes Dollars and Sense.

Retiring in Europe, Alzheimer’s drugs, a 74-year-old DJ, and saving for retirement


There’s nothing better than retiring in Europe

Scientists discovered that a new Alzheimer’s drug isn’t as great as originally thought

There’s a 74-year-old who DJ’s for a Warsaw Nightclub!  If DJ’ing isn’t your thing, you might try entering the AARP spelling bee.

Feeling confident about your preparedness for retirement?  Statistics would beg to differ.

Photo courtesy of ferminet on Flickr.

Bed bugs, home health workers, late-onset Alzheimer’s, and long term care for LGBT seniors


Bedbugs have a new favorite target: nursing homes!

Over the next several years, home health workers will be in short supply.

Late-onset Alzheimer’s might be less aggressive.

Gay seniors have difficulties navigating long term care options due to their nontraditional family arrangements. 

Photo courtesy of Medill DC on Flickr.

The problems with waiting to move


Most seniors don’t want to move out of their homes.  Not only is the economy in bad shape and the housing market slumping, but there’s also the issue of public perceptions of retirement communities as gloomy places.  In light of all of this, it’s tempting to delay making a decision about senior housing until a medical emergency forces the issue. 

There are several problems with this approach:

  1. You won’t have much choice in where you end up.  Whereas moving early puts you in the driver seat in your retirement living choices, waiting until an illness can mean that you give up all control.  There might be sufficient urgency with your visit to warrant you going to a facility that wasn’t on your list.
  2. Your kids will likely suffer. If you have a medical emergency and don’t have a plan in place, your children will be the ones picking up the pieces and arranging for your care.  This may mean uprooting them from their lives and careers for weeks or months (perhaps even years) while they arrange for the move, manage your treatment, and take care of your house.
  3. It might cost more.  Good planning means that you can put in place insurance policies to help defray costs.  Additionally, you have more time to either modify your home (if you plan on staying in your home) or negotiate rates at a community.  These aren’t things that you can do after a move.
  4. You might not get to pick which items go with you. If you want the option of living in a decorated, comfortable apartment that contains your favorite furniture and belongings, planning now is your best option.  The alternative is that your children have to guess which items mean the most to you.

I hate to paint a picture of doom and gloom, but not planning in advance creates situations where you aren’t in control.  If you find the planning process overwhelming, try contacting a financial planner or an estate attorney to help you understand your financial situation.  Then you can hire a third party to help find a community that meets your needs.  Especially with the Boomers aging, there are more and more options for seniors who need help planning their retirement!

Photo courtesy of extranoise on Flickr.

Vision & avoiding falls, financial abuse, Boomers & working, gambling, and ending suffering


The best way to avoid breaking your hip is to avoid falling in the first place.  How do you do that?  Get better vision.

Protecting your parents from financial abuse: a case study.

Boomers are “redefining retirement” by working longer, staying local, and taking charge of their retirement.

Seniors and gambling: when does innocent fun turn into addiction?

Helping a loved one end their suffering can be a crime of passion.   

Photo courtesy of Peter-Ashley on Flickr.

My fascination with the bankruptcy of Convenant at South Hills


I mentioned in a previous post that I’m doing more research into bankruptcy in CCRC’s.  One of the communities that I’ve been researching is Convenant at South Hills.  My friends think that I’m a little bit nuts to do all of this research into a retirement community, but I find it pretty fascinating.  Here are a few reasons why Covenant is probably the most important bankruptcy in senior housing:

  • The community was 70% occupied when it filed for bankruptcy. Although Convenant was “bleeding” cash for a long time, the community had actually reached a decent occupancy level when it finally filed for bankruptcy.  It goes to show just how many apartments need to be filled for a community to meet its debt obligations.
  • It’s the only community in the recent past where the residents have lost the legal right to their entrance fee refunds. Although there were several bankruptcies in CCRC’s in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, modern CCRC developments have been favorable for residents.  To my knowledge, Covenant is the only community where residents have lost their entrance fee refund following bankruptcy. 
  • Residents became activists and fought for their future. The residents were resourceful and active in the bankruptcy process and fought for the buyer that they felt was best for the property.
  • It ended well for the community. Despite the turmoil and the loss of refunds, Covenant was ultimately bought out by the Concordia Lutheran Ministries.  It is full now, and residents now share a $1 million endowment to be used for improving their campus.

All in all, I think bankruptcies like Covenant are relatively rare.  But, the fact that it did happen definitely means that potential CCRC residents should be careful with their future home.  You don’t want to move in without having a good understanding of the financial well-being of the community. 

Picture courtesy of dbking on Flickr.

Want more information? Here are a few articles that might interest you:

The Future of Senior Housing


Everyone is worried about the future! I’ve been talking to my buddies who are in different parts of the senior housing spectrum, and almost everyone agrees that “independent living” is no longer really independent.  Most residents receive assisted living or home health services in their apartments.  There’s also more pressure on governments and individuals to keep people at home longer.  This means that home health will continue growing over the coming years.

For those who wonder about the future, I have some ideas about how senior housing will be provided in the next few decades:

  • There will be more options.  If you think senior housing is a confusing maze of services today, just wait!  As health care expenses increase, insurers, governments, and individuals will find new ways of providing care.  Any type of living arrangement will be possible given the right caregivers and the right coordination.
  • Technology will be huge. It’s getting much cheaper to integrate technology into the home.  Things that would have been impossible five years ago are inexpensive today.  There will be more teleconferences with your doctor and nurse.  Plus, expect the kids to be able to check in on you without you having to even pick up a phone.
  • Homes will change.  Today we build homes assuming that the person living in the home does not need any assistance.  Doorways are narrow.  Steps are everywhere.  Counters are built for a person who is standing up.  That will change as Boomers age.  For one, the remodeling business will take off.  But, more than that, new homes will be built with some of these considerations in mind.

Certainly your standard options like nursing and assisted living will remain.  But, I think that things will definitely get better.  In the past, good housing and care for the aged was not a priority for entrepreneurs.  As the Boomers begin to need more care, we’ll see companies come up with new, innovative ways to caring for the elderly. Overall I think that seniors will benefit from this flurry of innovation, and I’m optimistic that, despite budgetary problems, we’ll find better solutions for caring for an aging population.

Photo courtesy of Sean MacEntee on Flickr.