Alzheimer’s & diet, being a caregiver, senior housing locator services, and signs of dementia


Should Alzheimer’s be called “Type 3 diabetes?” New research points to poor diet at a potential cause.

What’s it like being a caregiver?  A Boomer gives her honest opinion about caring for her father.

The FTC is investigating complaints against two senior housing locator services

Mild cognitive impairment can be a symptom of future Alzheimer’s.  

Photo courtesy of Christian Haugen on Flickr.


How a good salesperson can ease your move to senior housing


I tend to be skeptical of salespeople.  Yet, I must admit that I’ve met some excellent marketing representatives at communities around the country.  They generally all share a common passion for senior housing, and they work hard to satisfy their clients.  Here  are some ways that a salesperson can be of assistance during your transition to senior housing:

  • They will help you decide on the right apartment.  You might be able to afford a large apartment, but listen to a salesperson who suggests something a little smaller or with a slightly better view.  Sometimes the best sale is one that steers you away from the big purchase into something that’s more your style.
  • They will help you get comfortable with the moving process. It can be really intimidating to move into a new community.  The best salespeople will try to help you break the move down into smaller, less intimidating components and will suggest moving professionals to assist you.
  • They will introduce you to residents with interests similar to yours. Once you move in, some salespeople feel that their job is over.  But, someone who really cares about the residents will go out of her way to introduce new residents to others who have similar interests.  This helps you enjoy your new home and makes you more likely to recommend the community to friends.  But, it’s also a mark of a good salesperson.

Certainly not all salespeople have the right motives, and you can’t trust everyone you meet.  But, finding the right salesperson can make a world of difference during your move into a retirement community.

Photo courtesy of buddawiggi on Flickr.


Discrimination against caregivers, long-term care, politics as a second career, and small-town retirement


Workplace discrimination against caregivers is a huge problem in America.

Paying for long-term care isn’t easy for seniors in California; I’m betting that the rest of the country feels the same way!

How does it feel to be one of the most powerful demographics in America?  Seniors are now turning to politics as a second career.

Interesting in unconventional retirement locations?  Try small towns.

Photo courtesy of brownpau on Flickr.


Three questions to ask your financial/estate planner about your move to senior housing


The absolute first step during any move into senior housing is to visit your financial or estate planner.  You basically can’t make any other decisions without knowing about your financial well-being, so here are three things to ask during your visit:

  • What types of senior housing can I afford? Before you run to the phone book and start scheduling visits to local communities, you need to understand your financial situation and the type of retirement community that you can afford.  A good financial planner can outline your assets and liabilities and estimate your budget for senior housing.
  • How much will you charge me to review the CCRC Resident Agreement and Disclosure Statement? It’s always good to get a second pair of eyes to help review the documents for your new community.  Plus, a good financial planner can create an analysis of the community that will give you an idea of the community’s stability so that you don’t get any nasty surprises when you move in.
  • How do I update my will to account for the CCRC refund? You might already have anything in place to update your will, but you might also have to make some changes prior to finalizing your entrance fee contract.

Certainly there will be many more things to consider before moving into senior housing.  The best planners can help walk you through all aspects of the process and suggest ways to simplify your financial life prior to move-in.  

Photo courtesy of Alan Cleaver on Flickr.


What to expect on move-in day


It’s finally here!  After all of the effort and planning that you’ve put into finding the perfect community, today is the day that you move into your new home.  If you’re a little nervous about the transition, don’t be.  Here is what to expect on the move-in day: 

  • Movers will transfer your items to a truck and transport them to the new community for unloading. 
  • When you arrive at the community, the marketing agent will give you a key and help conduct a walk-through of your new apartment.  He or she might also give you one last tour of the community.  Now is the time to ask questions about your new home and clarify anything that is confusing.  Also, if you notice any major defects with the apartment, be sure to document them on your walk-through so that management knows that the issue was there prior to your move-in.
  • The accounting department might stop by with a few questions or additional forms to complete. This is usually related to your meal plan, your monthly service fee, or any automatic payment systems that you’ve set up.  They might also require the balance of your entrance fee deposit if you haven’t already paid it.
  • You’ll receive a new resident information packet if you haven’t already gotten one.  This will list all of the rules and regulations associated with living in the community.  It will also give hours for the dining room, the pool, the exercise room, and other amenities.
  • The resident greeting committee will arrive. Sometimes they bring a basket of goodies; other times they’ll just introduce themselves.  I’ve also seen communities where the staff will all stop by to greet new residents.
  • Finally, maintenance personnel will walk the room with you to help you hang pictures, check your appliances, and fix any other problems that you might have noticed.

Remember that you can always ask for help if you need it.  Big retirement communities can be confusing, but residents are generally excited to assist one another. Also, be sure to take time to relax and enjoy moving into your new apartment.  There’s no reason to rush to unpack everything. 

It’s going to be a hectic day, but, at the end of it, you’ll be in your new community! Congratulations on starting your new life in senior housing.

Photo courtesy of malias on Flickr.


30-Year retirements, long-term care crisis, exercise benefits, and CCRC at home services


Are you ready for a 30-year retirement?  It might sound like fun, but it costs a lot of money! 

There’s a long-term care crisis coming in America. 

Common sense for your weekday: Exercise helps reduce falls.

If you want to stay at home and still get CCRC-like services, try a CCRC at home.

Photo courtesy of virtualphotographystudio on Flickr. posts you missed the first time!


Finding the right time for the move to senior housing: It isn’t easy to move into a new community, but with proper planning you can help ease the transition.

Review of “Leisureville” by Andrew Blechman: He toured several active adult communities and lived to tell!

Why you should visit a nursing home before you need to: It might be intimidating to tour a nursing home on your visit to a retirement community, but seeing it now may save you a lot of headache later.

The problems with waiting to move: Proper planning can make all the difference in your move to senior housing. 

My fascination with the bankruptcy of Covenant at South Hills: As the economy has soured, there have been several bankruptcies in CCRCs, but Covenant was one of the worst.

The future of senior housing: As Boomers age, things will change in retirement communities across the United States.

Bankruptcies in senior housing: It’s not pretty, but it does happen from time to time.

The great construction arms race: Retirement communities have to continually attract younger residents, and this means lots of new building projects.

Three tips for financial planners who have clients interested in CCRCs: If you’ve had clients come to you asking for help with their senior housing decision, here are some things to consider.

How the recession impact senior housing: It’s been a tough few years for senior housing providers.

Photo courtesy of gareth1953 on Flickr.


Brain strength, assisted living costs, hospice, and robot caregivers


One of my former college professors posted an excellent article in Psychology Today about keeping your brain strong as you age.  Having read his books, I can tell you first-hand that he’s an excellent writer!  Go check it out.

The cost of assisted living rose 5% last year.

If you’re on Medicare, you can appeal end-of-life hospice decisions.

Would you like a robot to take care of you?  A new survey shows that most seniors don’t mind the idea.

Photo courtesy of Pasukaru76on Flickr.


Caregivers & discrimination, top nonprofit retirement communities, hospice & palliative care, and improving your hospital stay


The AARP says that family caregivers need workplace protections to avoid discrimination.

Ziegler and LeadingAge just released the list of the top 100 nonprofit senior living providers. The largest company has almost 19,000 apartments!

The difference between hospice and palliative care in a nutshell.

If you’re about to be in the hospital for a long time, here are some tips to help improve your stay.

Photo courtesy of Banalities on Flickr.


Finding the right time for the move to senior housing


It’s starting to feel like fall in my neighborhood, and I am already busy planning the last months of 2012.  As I consider my future plans (I’ve got a book coming out soon!), I wonder about all of the families who are contemplating a move into senior housing. 

It’s hard work to move into a new community, and, with everyone’s busy schedules, it seems like there is no good time to plan a move. Whether you decide to begin the search in April or August, you’ll still be faced with scheduling problems, local climate issues, or some other hindrance.

While the process can be intimidating, you might find that breaking it down into smaller steps helps.  Here are some smaller tasks that you can do at any time of the year that will help make your move easier:

  • Talk to your financial and estate planner; make sure your finances are in order.
  • Declutter your home.  If you don’t love it, toss it or take it to a charity. 
  • Tell your kids about your plans so they can help you if need be.

I’m looking forward to more nice fall days, and I hope that those readers who are contemplating a move to senior housing make a fast and trouble-free transition!

Photo courtesy of AliJoyy on Flickr.