I'm 84, female, very good health, tons of energy, moving closer to POA and his family whom I adore. Don't need assisted living yet, but will at some point. What type of housing should I look for?

My friends decided that they did not want to be a burden to their children. They sold their home and used nearly all their money to "buy in" to a place that promised them as they got older they would be able to go to assisted living, then to a skilled nursing facility on the premises. The place went bankrupt and the company that purchased it will not honor their original contract. It will probably end up in court with more money going down the drain for attorneys. So, use good judgement, if you do purchase into something, and put all your money on their promises, I would have a CPA go over the books to see how solvent they really are.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to MaryKathleen
jacobsonbob Mar 8, 2020
What a horror story! I hope your friends are able to resolve this satisfactorily without spending too much to get it done.
A wise woman gave me the best advice ever.

”Do it when you can, not when you have to”.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to Papillionmom
TekkieChikk Mar 10, 2020
What are your needs? Do you anticipate entertaining? Get a unit with a living area and kitchen.

If you feel you will never cook or entertain and don’t want the additional space then look at an efficiency unit.

An efficiency will cost less if you don’t mind living out of one room.

Do you want a luxury type of place with a swimming pool and a gym? A place with a happy hour for cocktails and appetizers? Do you want a place with bridge tables to play cards? What is your lifestyle now?

Would you like a simpler place? What type of food do you like? What religious services are you interested in, if any? Most facilities have Catholic Mass or other services on the premises.

Do you have hobbies? Look at the activity calendars? Do you like going out places? Some have scheduled outings to the nearby casinos and other trips.

They have bus services to dr appointments, drugstores, grocery, etc. There is usually a library on site for reading. Some residents play games like bingo or do arts and crafts.

There are many different types of facilities. Some have independent living units, assisted living and memory care units. Some are considered basic and some are luxurious and quite expensive.

Tour several places. Have lunch during the tour. Talk to residents. Talk to family members. Look for smiling faces with people interacting with each other. Look at how they are treated by the staff.

I have to warn you. It is a huge business. Once they have your name and number they will contact you numerous times to speak about you moving in. Some are extremely pushy and others aren’t.

Best wishes to you. Post any thoughts or questions and everyone will try to help you.

I love your independent attitude! I am glad that you are able to move closer to your loved ones.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
jacobsonbob Mar 7, 2020
One question whose answer is relevant here is: Do you drive? If so, the day may come when you can't, but if not yet you may find many of the activities mentioned above simply don't interest you because you are still capable of finding more fulfilling activities on your own.
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I’m 70 and just moved from a huge metro-area independent senior living community of 8,000 to a detached home 250 miles away. I’m now in a town of 50,000 and just a few miles from my POA.

I found a senior independent living community too depressing - too many people arguing and trying to control others. Plus, multi-unit buildings were not smoke free. Nice amenities, but seeing many with walkers, canes, and wheelchairs was depressing.

i do have arthritis in my spine and the move exacerbated it - which surprised me. My movers packed up most of my stuff for me, but doing the unpacking of boxes myself left me in pain. I had to take it slow. Would not want to do it again.

Am enjoying my new home - it’s cottage style, open concept,. One step up into house, so a portable ramp will be easy. It’s new construction and I had builders block the bathroom walls before tiling - which allowed nice, decorative (but functional/ADA certified) grab bar installation.

It’s an open concept home, making moving around easy if I ever need a scooter. I found the open concept style can look very “busy” with too much stuff collected over the years. It actually hurts my eyes to see it all - so I’m downsizing finally and sending stuff to the local consignment store.

Like others have mentioned, however, continuing-care senior communities might be your best bet (independent living and step-up accommodations for assisted living and skilled nursing care all in one community). I’m thinking once I get closer to 80, that’ll be my choice. I don’t want to be a burden on my dear POA (I have no children; he’s 15 years younger than me and financially well off ...though I’ve been putting away $$$ for eventual downpayment for continuing care). Continuing care communities that offer “life care” (they can’t kick you out if your funds dry up) are a good choice. Erickson Senior Living Properties in the mid-Atlantic region offer a 90% refund of funds not used (hefty initial downpayment - sort of like paying total cost of long term care up front before it’s needed, but a good chunk refunded back if one moves out or dies & $$$ go to heirs).

Some campus-type continuing care communities can be a hassle when mobility needs are greater. Some that I’ve toured have nice restaurants - but are a good distance from independent living apartments, require a good deal of walking. I’ve toured several that have independent living units all in one building, where all units are just steps from a elevator that takes you to the first floor dining room. With a doctor’s note and small fee, meals can be delivered from the dining room to your unit if you’re sick or can’t get out because of re-hab, etc. so, if you go that route, check on amenities that will keep you in independent living longer.

as to having a detached home, I pay for a landscaping company to do my yard work and have found “handy-folks” to do the mechanical stuff required. With a newly-constructed home, I don’t expect too many problems.

BTW, my POA actually co-shares the home I’m in - he’s owner & I pay the mortgage, which is much less than fair market rental value. It may become his retirement home one day if he chooses to keep it.The arrangement frees up my funds for possible healthcare-crisis related costs and sudden move to assisted living at some point (or skilled nursing). All of my accounts have transfer-on-death beneficiaries, so my POA won’t have to deal with an estate (only property is my car). Wise of you to think of what’s best in your next move. Good luck!
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Reply to jakefix

It sounds like you are a perfect candidate for a Community that has Independent, Assisted and Memory Care.
You can move into Independent Living and take advantage of all that has to offer, come and go as you please.
As you age and need more help (If that time comes...) you can transition easily to Assisted Living and still take advantage of all the community has to offer.
If the time comes when you need Memory Care that would be there for you as well. (frankly it does not sound like this option would be in your future but you never know)
If you price out Independent Living and not having to pay for all the utilities, for much in the way of food. If you drive the cost of your insurance might go down since many communities have van or bus service you can use. Also the insurance might be less than your current homeowners insurance.
Your other option a condo or Townhouse in a 55 and over community if that appeals to you. There would be an HOA fee but with the other community living upkeep, maintenance is lower than owning a house.
All this depends on what you are comfortable with.
I am in a house that was built handicap accessible and I am now 1 person in a 3 bedroom house. I don't need all the room but I would not leave! This is perfect for me to age into. When I moved in with my Husband 9 years ago I said the only way I will ever move again is when they put a tag on my toe and haul me out feet first!
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Reply to Grandma1954

I would look for an independent living situation that has an agreement with the best nursing home in the area to accept residents who need that level of care on a priority basis.

It wasn't until we needed to put someone in a nursing home that we found out how you get into a good one. (And by that time, it was too late.) The smart people are already in line for the spots well before they need them. You are so smart to get ahead of the problem.

It might be worth your while to hire an aging life specialist for a few hours of consultation. Find one who knows the area you are moving into. They have great information about the best facilities and which independent living situations "feed" into them.

I can't convince my mother to do this. (And she's got two of the best nursing homes in the country near her!). Getting on line for a good nursing home does not increase the probability that you would ever need that level of help. It's just insurance in case you ever do.
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Reply to Alicew234

If you are still Independent, you can find an Independent living community. And sell the house to pay for it. There are many to choose from.
-All the best :)
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Reply to Lvnsm1826

You are one smart cookie to be thinking ahead now! 👍
I’ve only skimmed the current responses so I apologize if I’m repeating good advice. My advice includes today’s new fears of coronavirus.
1. Before you make any changes, have you prepared legal documents to speak for you if you become unable? That’s a critical step and one that should be reviewed (if not prepared) by an elder.
2. Consider downsizing now BEFORE you move for two reasons. -Less to move and you may decide to give items to family/friends now to avoid misunderstandings later?!
-Most importantly, it keeps you in your current “safe” environment (among your own bugs) until we fully understand the impact of coronavirus. Moving now could be an unknown Pandora’s box.
-If you choose to stay awhile- make any changes to your home now to support you later - grab bars, etc.

all only my opinion,
my best to you!
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Reply to tggator

kaymar, I know my next stop when the time comes to sell this big old house is to move to a senior community where there are different levels of care.

Thus, start out with Independent Living where you need no help from Staff or pay for optional minor help. My Dad did that at 95, and he really liked his large two bedroom apartment which had a full size kitchen.

Then later down the road move to Assisted Living or Memory Care which is in the same complex. That way, you will still have your new friends you made in Independent Living there to be your support group.

So, start downsizing "stuff" inside your home, it will make moving much easier then the time comes. What I do is toss out something every trash day or put it in a bag for donating :)
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to freqflyer
Judysai422 Mar 7, 2020
Great option. If that is not available where you are moving, other options are 55+ apartment complex or a stay in place senior facility, which starts out as independent living, but where you can keep your same apartment and add assisted living services as you need them.
One thing to be absolutely certain of, that anywhere you go where they provide meals is that the kitchen operates restaurant style, not batch cooking. Interview the chef before you sign makes a world of difference.
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Somehow I can’t picture you in assisted living! Independent living, yes but you are living the life I so wish that I could live!

I picture you being like my cousin who is 98 and still drives, goes to exercise class, sews, cooks, cleans her own independent living apartment, shopping, out to lunch and dinner, travels to see family members, etc.

I do wish my cousin would stop driving. She gets speeding tickets and tells off the policemen. She’s a character!

Somehow, I ended up marrying a ‘stable’ engineer. God knows why? LOL I was a free spirit when I met him that went hiking and backpacking all over with the guy I dated before my husband. I think I felt that I needed him to ground me. I do love him. We have been married since 1978.

I could never get hubby on board to be as adventurous as you. He’s a flyer, not much of a driver like you. I like flying but road trips are great too!
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
jacobsonbob Mar 10, 2020
Other than her speeding, is your cousin still a safe driver? If she tells off the policemen, they might retaliate by forcing her to take a driving test.
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