Reality: A recent survey showed that nine out of 10 seniors think the best option is to stay in their current home indefinitely. Ultimately though, many find this not to be the case. Residents in continuing care retirement communities today, are free to engage—or not engage—in activities and to come and go as they please. In many cases, there is more freedom because transportation is available, and they are relieved of the burden of household maintenance.
Script: The reality is that, throughout your life, you have chosen different types of homes to meet your evolving lifestyle. Wouldn’t the best home for your next stage of life be one that provides more freedom, more convenience, better care, and less worry?
Reality: Remaining in your home can result in growing isolation and loneliness in later life. In fact, identifying and building new relationships with like-minded people and maintaining social connections, tends to become increasingly difficult as you age. Studies show that having low social interaction is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, excessive alcohol intake, obesity or never exercising.
Script: How often are you getting out now? I’m curious, do you think you will get out less or more over time? My experience is that people who move when they are more active tend to stay active.
Reality: Paying off a home is a huge accomplishment, but when you consider the costs of property taxes, insurance, utilities, yard maintenance and unexpected repairs, the prospect of moving to a senior community begins to seem far more cost effective, while offering predictable costs and greater peace of mind. This is especially true as mechanical items begin to need replacement.
Script: I understand your position. Some people simply get tired of the hassles of home ownership over time. It sounds like you still enjoy dealing with home repairs, lawn work, and other such things. Is that what I understand?
Reality: Care at home can be difficult to find, costly and unpredictable, while Continuing Care Retirement Communities offer a seamless solution for unexpected care needs that can arise. Research has shown that people tend to underestimate—or be in denial of—the contingencies that can occur later in life. While close to two thirds of Americans will need some type of long-term care after the age of 65, only a third of those surveyed anticipate needing long-term care. Planning ahead ensures that you’ll be in a position to make your choices from among all available options.
Script: Most people believe that in-home care will be the solution to both personal and healthcare needs as they get older. Have you checked into the cost for all day or 24-hour support? I understand it to cost roughly the same as nursing care which can range between $5,000 and $10,000 a month.
Reality: It is important to consider that many of our opinions were formed years and years ago, based on visits to a parent or grandparent in an old-style nursing home. Times have changed. For many, continuing care communities represent a new chapter in life with access to classes, outings, events, and other like-minded people.
Script: Tell the story below
My mom decided at 82 years old to move into a senior living community. When she shared her decision with us, my siblings and I were very concerned. After having lost our dad a few years ago, she had recently begun having balance issues, had given up many things she previously enjoyed, and seemed depressed. Frankly, we thought our mom had basically decided to die – this was her way of saying, “I give up.”
We helped Mom with the move, sold her home, and watched to see how she would adjust to her new environment. (Which much to our surprise was more like a resort than some sort of retirement home).
Six months after she moved, I got a text message from my brother while my mom was visiting him in Florida.
It included this photo of my mom riding a bike in front of his home.
Her energy was better, she was enthusiastic about life again, and she had begun exercising and eating healthy. She says she is now living life again. With no house or yard to worry about, she can focus each day on what she enjoys most.