3 Reasons Seniors Delay a CCRC Move & Why They Should Reconsider

According to AARP’s most recent survey of adults age 50 and over, 76 percent of seniors want to remain in their homes for as long as possible. I’ve seen other surveys that put that figure at upwards of 90 percent. Whichever source you consider, the consensus seems to be that a large majority of retirees would prefer to stay in their current home rather than move to a retirement community such as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC or life plan community).

But why?

AARP research identified the most common reasons that people give for not wanting to move to a CCRC or other senior living community. They included: the physical stress in moving, fear of losing independence, anxiety over leaving a community, emotional attachment to a family home, and fear of the unknown.

These findings are not too different from our own research findings. In our 2019 myLifeSite Consumer Survey, we received responses from 430 people who are actively engaged in the process of researching CCRCs for themselves. We found that even when prospective residents of a CCRC feel that making the move is the best choice for them over the long-term, there are a variety of reason that might indefinitely delay the decision to move.

Top 3 reasons for delaying a CCRC move

In our survey, we asked respondents to provide their primary reasons for delaying a move to a CCRC. The top three responses were:

  1. I don’t feel I’m old enough for a retirement community (46.6 percent)
  2. I have concerns about long-term affordability (41.92 percent)
  3. I’m putting off dealing with all my stuff / hassle of moving (34.19 percent)

Many survey participants—approximately 35 percent—also chose to share other reasons for delay in the comments box. Some of the key themes around these write-in responses included: spousal opposition, hard to leave my home/neighborhood, difficulty of moving to a smaller space, waiting for the right residence to come available, and a lack of confidence in the management team.

Interestingly, the survey respondent’s age impacted their reasons for delaying their CCRC move too. For those age 80 and under, not feeling old enough was the top response (47.17 percent), and putting off dealing with all their stuff was third (34.34 percent). For those over 81 and over, dealing with all of their stuff was the top reason (53.62 percent), but even at 81+ years old, 18.84 percent said they didn’t feel old enough for a CCRC.

Reasons to reconsider delaying your CCRC move

Let’s take a look at each of the three most common reasons that people say they are putting off their CCRC move and examine reasons they may want to reconsider their delay.

I don’t feel I’m old enough for a retirement community.

A certain percentage of people will probably never feel like they are “old enough” for a CCRC. I’ve heard people well into their eighties say this. But the reality is that there may be numerous benefits to making a CCRC move sooner rather than later, some of which people often do not fully realize until after the move.

I wrote about this very topic earlier this year, but in short, moving to a CCRC at a younger age allows you to get involved in the community’s many activities and make friendships sooner, can increase your overall wellness, reduces concerns about being healthy enough to qualify for entry, and in general, can make the CCRC transition easier.

I have concerns about long-term affordability.

The cost of a CCRC is an important consideration. With the hefty entrance fee required by most CCRCs on top of the monthly residence fee, many people assume that it will be cheaper to remain in their own home as they grow older. However, this may not always be the case, especially if the entry fee is refundable and if the cost of care is discounted at the CCRC. (Be sure you understand the contract stipulations.)

All of the living expenses that come with remaining in your home (mortgage, insurance, property taxes, maintenance, food, etc.) plus paying for any in-home assisted living services you may eventually require can really add up. Just 20 hours of in-home care per week (part-time care) can range from around $1,600 to $2,400 each month on top of your other expenses.

Comparing the lifetime cost of staying in your home and the cost of moving to a CCRC is nearly impossible because there are so many unknowns related to the costs of staying at home. For example, will home renovations be needed (to update or to accommodate any mobility issues)? What is the ongoing maintenance expense of the home? And what if you need in-home care? How much will you need and for how long? What will be the financial impact on family members if they must help with caregiving? What if you ultimately must move more than once based on various levels of long-term care needs?

Without a crystal ball, these questions are difficult to answer. However, in terms of getting a quick comparison of your monthly expenses today versus if you opt to move to a CCRC, our “Monthly Cost Impact of Moving to a Retirement Community” downloadable worksheet (PDF) can help.

I am putting off dealing with all my stuff / hassle of moving.

This one is a biggie. And to be honest, I totally get it. Moving is rarely if ever a fun chore, and moving to a CCRC is a big life change. Plus, downsizing to a smaller residence is not only a lot of work, it can be highly emotional for many people. But the reality is that at some point, someone is going to have to sort through all of your possessions and decide what to keep and what to get rid of—either you, your partner/spouse/adult children, or the executor of your estate.

The good news is that most CCRCs provide tremendous resources and support so that the whole moving process is much, much easier on the senior. Just last week, I had someone tell me that they really appreciate some advice I had shared in my book about the value of a move-in coordinator or senior relocation specialist. Many CCRCs have move-in coordinators on staff who act as your personal move liaison, offering recommendations on estate sale companies and movers, answering any questions that may arise, and even providing design services to help you determine what furniture will fit in your new home. A senior relocation specialist may work independently of any particular retirement community. These valuable services typically spring into action once a soon-to-be-resident signs their CCRC contract and submits their deposit.

What’s holding you back?

CCRC residents cite countless advantages of living in a CCRC. Among the top reasons cited by our survey respondents: the health and wellness programs and facilities available on the CCRC campus, the social opportunities presented by the community, and the safety benefits that come with CCRC residency.

However, access to a full-continuum of care services was by far the top reason that people gave for wanting to move to a CCRC. Sixty-three percent of respondents rated this as the number one reason among the given survey choices; in fact, it scored 45 percent higher than the next most popular response (health and wellness programs). The peace of mind that comes with knowing that you will have access to the care services you need—from just a little help with activities of daily living (ADLs) to full-time skilled nursing care—is invaluable to many people.

So ultimately, if you are considering a CCRC but one (or more) of the reasons above is holding you back from making the move, you have to do a cost-benefit analysis of your choice—and by cost, I mean not only monetary but also the emotional and physical cost.

Is the thing that is holding you back from making a CCRC move really an issue? Is it an issue that will get easier or more difficult as more time goes by and you grow older? Or is it a surmountable challenge, or even a relatively minor challenge, if you look at it a little more objectively?

 

 

The above content is provided by and with express written permission from My LifeSite | www.mylifesite.net.

 


Tip #20 of 50 – Loneliness in Seniors, an Enormous Problem

As The Wesley Communities celebrate 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Tip #20 of 50 – A problem no one wants to talk about: Loneliness can be an enormous problem for seniors still living in their homes

In the hierarchy of human needs, food, shelter, and safety are at the top of the list. And oftentimes, seniors living alone can meet these basic needs fairly well, especially with services provided in the home, and necessities more readily available through things like Uber and personal shoppers. But once you step beyond these basic human requirements to sustain life, social interaction and connection are of the utmost importance, and oftentimes, can be missing elements for seniors living alone. Click the link above to learn more.


November is National Family Caregiver Month

Recognized by President Clinton when he signed the first proclamation in 1997, National Family Caregiver’s Month has been proclaimed by an American President annually ever since. Many states and dozens of local municipalities have also proclaimed November, NFC Month.

Day in and day out, more than 75 million family caregivers in this country fulfill a vital role in caring for elderly, aging parents.

Caring for the elderly requires many, sometimes thankless, hours of work. Family caregivers are the most familiar with their care recipients’ medicine, medical issues, and they understand best the dietary and exercise regimens needed. This care can often fall to one particular caregiver, often a son or daughter.

Family caregivers work each day to ensure a better quality of life for their family members. Through their selfless action, these caregivers provide their loved ones support and comfort as they age, combat illness, or suffer from disability.

National Family Caregivers Month allows us the opportunity to take pause to thank, support, educate and empower family caregivers.

Join us during the month of November in celebrating Family Caregivers Month!

 

The above article was written and published by Barbara McVicker of barbaramcvicker.com


The Unexpected Costs of Caring for an Aging Parent

According to data collected by the National Alliance for Caregiving, there are over 66 million family caregivers in the United States. That translates to nearly 40 percent of the U.S. adult population…a stunning statistic. This number includes people who are caring for the sick or disabled, but the majority of these caregivers are assisting an elderly family member.

Other than a spouse, the most common people to be tasked with caring for an elderly loved one are adult children. In fact, a study conducted by MetLife showed that 10 million adult children over age 50 were acting as a caregiver for their aging parent(s), a number that equals approximately a quarter of all Baby Boomers. Click the link above to learn more about the realities of caregiving for an aging parent and the unexpected costs that come with it.


Tip #19 of 50 – What About the Dog?

As The Wesley Communities approach 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Tip # 19 of 50 –  What about my pet?

If you are a senior living on your own, or if you are the adult child of a senior living on their own, and moving to a retirement community is under consideration one very important question may be: but what about the dog? Or, what about the cat? Oftentimes, this beloved pet has been part of the family for many years, and seems like a real obstacle when it comes to making a move.

The good news is this: many retirement communities not only allow pets, they encourage them! Click the link above to learn more about why a pet needn’t be an obstacle when considering a retirement community.


Boomers Can Achieve Better Health with Super Foods

Super foods. The name alone evokes images of capped heroes, swooping in to save the day. But are these foods really worthy of such superlative nomenclature? And are the health benefits to seniors all they are cracked up to be? For some of these foods, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” But for others, recent studies have given mixed reviews.

What makes a food “super”?

The trademark of most of the super foods is that they are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, “good” fats, and/or lean protein. On top of that, many are loaded with antioxidants. Diets rich in antioxidants are frequently associated with the prevention of cancer, inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular disease–all issues of concern as we age. Click the link above to learn more about the types of super foods that can help boomers achieve better health.


Traveling With Your Aging Parents

With so many of us living with and caring for our parents, we are constantly searching for ways to incorporate that care into our daily lives…and our vacations.

Remember back when our travel plans required that we consider feedings, strollers, diaper changing, and playgrounds? Now, we are considering walkers, oxygen tanks, hydration, and benches for resting. It can be challenging to assure you have covered all your bases and to assure everyone will have a smooth, enjoying, and relaxing vacation. Click the link above to learn some tips that will help when traveling with your aging parents.


4 Tips for Talking to Parents About Assisted Living

As your parents age, there may come a time when they are not able to live as independently as before, whether because of a chronic illness, injury, or decline in general health. As an adult-child of an aging parent, it may fall upon you to begin the conversation about a move to a retirement community or even assisted living, depending on the degree of need. Having this conversation can be challenging and emotional, especially because the majority of aging Americans are more attracted to the idea of “aging in place” in their current home.

Here are four tips that will help you approach this fragile subject with empathy and openness that will put you and your loved one on the same page about this transition.

Keep it candid and casual: Don’t approach this conversation on the defense, expecting the worst; this attitude might inadvertently illicit the negative reactions you are fearing. Also, don’t act as if the decision has been made, and suspend judgments about how your parents might feel about their aging. Do approach the conversation with an appropriate amount of relaxation and even humor. Follow the lead of your parent, and let that guide the conversation in a calm and light manner.

Start early: Don’t wait until the last minute to bring up this discussion with your aging parent. Open the lines of communication early and often so that the topic of their long-term assisted care does not come off as a necessity for you, as if you want the responsibility of their care off your plate when their health has declined. Consider offering your thoughts about how you might plan for your own long-term care—show that this is about the process of organized planning and not about the necessity created by their old age.

Go on a tour together: Go with your parents to tour the retirement communities and/or assisted living facilities in your area. Taking a tour can show them what kind of environment they’ll be living in and can also remind an aging parent that the things that they love and value about living at home can be found in other settings. Visiting together will show your parents that this conversation isn’t just about moving them to assisted living; it’s about a transition for the entire family.

Review finances: Come to the conversation educated about the costs of assisted living and the resources that can be used to find senior living placement. Be sure to recognize that many of the things your loved one pays for today will be covered under the monthly fee at the retirement community. One reason that your parents may resist is the idea that assisted living will drain their savings or retirement fund. Know what the costs of your local facilities are and the different options for payment.

This conversation can take time, and many aging parents may resist at first. Do not pressure your parents, but also do not let their health decline without the proper care. It’s definitely a tricky line to straddle. So, stay empathetic, and put yourself into your parents’ shoes. Guide and don’t steer them to their decision to choose assisted living.

 

The above content is legally licensed for use by myLifeSite .


Caregiving Is A Marathon

Too often we underestimate the time obligation of caregiving. Adult children step up to be the primary hands-on caregiver having no idea that they may spend as much time caring for their parents as they spent raising their children.

We tend to think that we can burn the candle at both ends – that we can do it all. We think we can manage kids, career, spouse, house, and parents. If caregiving were a sprint, we could probably do it all. Unfortunately, it’s not. Caregiving is a marathon that you could easily spend 15 years focused on the health and well-being of your parents. Click the link above to learn more.


Tip #18 of 50 – Where Do I Even Begin?

As The Wesley Communities approach 50 years of excellent service, our CEO Peg Carmany offers “Peg’s Perspective” on a variety of topics affecting seniors and their adult children as they plan and choose to age well – 50 tips to celebrate 50 years!

Tip #18 of 50 –  Where do I even begin?

If you are a senior living in your home or condo (or an adult child trying to help your parent or relative in this situation), you may know that living alone, for a variety of reasons, is not working. There may be a variety of obstacles in your world that make living at home either uncomfortable or perhaps impossible.   Eyesight or hearing loss is oftentimes a big contributor, along with failing physical strength. Laundry room in the basement, anyone? Driving at night sometimes becomes problematic, and eventually, driving at all is problematic.

So, where to begin? First, take heart. There are many options available to you, and they’re not nearly as overwhelming as you might imagine. To learn more about the options available to you when living at home alone is no longer working, click the link above.