Tip #22 of 50 – A Look Back at 2019 and a Look Forward to 2020

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 #22 of 50 – A look back at 2019 and a look forward to 2020

As we plan for 2020 at The Wesley Communities, I found myself looking back over all that 2019 has brought to us. First and foremost, 2019 was the year where we celebrated our first 50 years of providing excellent housing, care and services for seniors. And we will continue that celebration into this year – 50 plus years of excellent service! We are proud of where we’ve been and where we’re going. Click the link above to read more about our memories from 2019 and our plans for 2020.


The Effects of Not Having a Will

When a person dies without having made a Last Will and Testament, and they have property titled in their name alone, whether it is a boat, house, bank account or a motorcycle, there is a good likelihood that they have made life more difficult and more expensive for their surviving spouse or children. Click the link above to learn more about the effects of not having a Will and why it is important to prepare one ahead of time.


New Year, New You – 2020 Resolutions for Seniors

The New Year has officially kicked off and for many, this is a time to set new goals and to plan for the year ahead. Health is typically one of the main areas people focus on once January rolls around, and while it may be a more obvious goal in the younger generations, it is just as important for our seniors as well.

If you are planning to focus on your health in 2020, set goals that will benefit both your physical and mental health. Typically, there are small changes and adjustments that can be made to your regular routine that will have a lasting, positive impact overall. Below, we’ve included some New Year’s Resolutions you may want to consider.

  1. Exercise for 20 minutes every day.

As we all know, physical fitness is a key component for a healthy lifestyle and while it may seem intimidating, setting aside even just 20 minutes a day to get your body moving will have added benefits. At The Wesley Communities, there are many physical activities available through our Wellness Centers. Try water aerobics at one of our pools or chair yoga in one of our exercise studios. The front desk receptionists are always available to give you more information on the classes we offer, as well as memberships. If formal classes aren’t something you’re looking to participate in, try taking a regular, brisk walk to get your body moving and your heart pumping.

  1. Spend more time with family and friends.

Being around those we love is proven to have a positive influence on overall health. They are the ones that mean the most to us, they lift our spirits, they are there to lend a listening ear and, in most cases, can provide a dose of laughter when it’s needed most. Make sure you prioritize to give the folks that are important to you the time both you and they deserve.

  1. Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.

Of course, adding more nutrient-rich food into your diet can sometimes be easier said than done but have no fear, there are quick and easy ways to up the fruits and veggies such as grabbing a banana as a mid-afternoon snack (rather than a bag of chips) or picking a side salad rather than French fries while out to dinner. By making easy adjustments like these, you’ll be surprised when looking back on your week at the quantity of fruits and vegetables you were able to incorporate.

  1. Volunteer in your community or neighborhood.

Getting involved in other interests outside of your normal routine has many benefits especially for emotional well-being and socialization. Look for activities offered at local churches or senior centers that will give you the opportunity to be around other, like-minded people. At The Wesley Communities, we have many activities and life enrichment events for our residents and their friends. From participating in a weekly current events club to picking up a weekly game night with their neighbors, it is all available. Also, use the networks around you to find volunteer opportunities in the local community. Giving back is two-fold in that it makes a difference not only to those you’re helping, but also to you.

  1. Strengthen your brain.

As we age, exercising our brains is just as important as exercising our bodies. Make sure to participate in regular “brain activities” such as crossword puzzles, simple math equations and regular reading to keep your mind sharp and healthy/ For even more brain health, consider being a volunteer on our Brain Fitness committee – contact Peg Carmany, CEO of The Wesley Communities to join.

  1. Plan for your future and help others plan for theirs.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to look at the aspects of your life to make sure you are planning appropriately for any future events and situations that may arise. Are your finances where you’d like them to be? Are your appointments, including doctors scheduled for the year? Take this time to reevaluate how the previous year went and the areas you’d like to improve on to ease your mind of any worries for the future. And, be a helping hand to those around you who may need help getting organized for 2020. If you or a friend are looking ahead to retirement, consider learning more about continuing care retirement communities. We are always here to provide more information on our communities and the services we offer, and we invite you to come for a tour or for lunch with our staff. It is never too early to plan for your future and what better timing than now?

 

The above article was written by The Wesley Communities Marketing Communications Coordinator, Allie DeBor


A Neglected Part of Retirement Planning

The term “retirement planning” is frequently used in the financial industry and in the media. But what does it really mean? For some, retirement planning includes strategies for saving and investing to prepare for a future retirement. For others, it may focus more on various methods for tax efficiency and generating income during the retirement years. Of course, to others it may have less to do about money and more about the psychology of transitioning into retirement. Clearly, “retirement planning” is a broad topic. Click the link above to learn more about how to plan for retirement and the many items that should be considered.

 


Tip #21 of 50 – Holiday Memories and Traditions

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 #21 of 50 – Holiday Memories and Traditions

I have some very powerful memories of the holidays as a child, and I bet you do, too. Click the link above to learn more about Peg’s holiday traditions and why, at The Wesley Communities, you don’t have to give up yours.

 


How CCRCs Can Ease Retirement-Related Fears

One subject that is frequently voiced among prospective residents of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs or “life plan communities”) revolves around the stress associated with envisioning and planning for the future, and indeed, it can feel like a daunting task since none of us have the luxury of a crystal ball. The results of a recent survey speak directly to some of these concerns. Click the link above to learn more about the results of the survey and how CCRCs may ease the fears related to retirement.

 


Caregiving Tips for the Holidays

Help a Caregiver You Know

  • Offer to help clean and cook, wrap presents, go shopping, or pick up the kids.
  • If your family is caregiving, suggest a potluck holiday meal or secret Santa gift exchange to save time and money.
  • The best gift you could give a caregiver is help. Give them the day off!
  • Remember to say “thank you” to a caregiver and let them know they are appreciated.
  • If a member of your family is caregiving for a relative this holiday season, send a thank you gift.

Click the link above for additional tips for those caring for a loved one during the holidays.

 


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