These days, there are plenty of options for senior living: 55+ communities, assisted living communities and Life Plan Communities, just to name a few. But when you’re looking for the ideal place to spend your years after you downsize from your family home, it’s often difficult to know what you want now, and to determine what you may need in the future. When looking at senior living options, many share some similarities – beautiful grounds, a community center, and an apartment you can make your own. But often, that’s where the similarities end.
For some, 55+ communities may seem like the perfect option, because you’re moving to a community that you expect to be social and that will support you as you age. What many people find, however, is neighbors who are similarly aged, but who are not engaged as a community. The grounds are well-kept, but the home is yours – your maintenance, your upkeep, your remodeling. If you should get sick or need care, you would need to move again, and pay for that, as well.
Assisted living communities are rental communities that also provide care for a specific time of your life. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that assisted living communities are needs based. Often, you’re downsizing to a one-room suite or small apartment, and activities and meals are provided. Care is also readily available; if you need help with some activities of daily living, you’ll be able to stay in your apartment, and services will be provided. If, however, you need more complex care, you’ll need to move to a rehabilitation or nursing care center.
Life Plan Communities are independent living communities for those 62 and older, offering the best of all worlds with a focus on the health, engagement and well-being of their residents so they never feel alone. Luxurious apartments and facilities, beautiful grounds, a Clubhouse with every imaginable amenity, and life-enhancing social and wellness programs that are based on residents’ interests create a unique environment that fosters wellness and an active lifestyle. One of the main benefits of the Life Plan Community is the future security it provides. Once you move in, it could very well be the last move you make, because many levels of care are available on one campus. Financial security is also achieved, with the benefit of defined expenses for the remainder of your stay, regardless of the level of care needed.
As an active adult, there are important factors you should consider when planning for your future home:
-Do residents have meaningful connections both with their peers and campus staff?
-What level of technology is available on campus?
-Does the programming offered provide for a wide range of interests?
-Do the amenities support a healthy and engaged lifestyle?
-Does the community offer a safety net of care levels should your health needs change?
-Is your financial well-being considered, and is there a plan for the future? Remember – there is a difference between paying for care and accessing care.
You’ll find that a Life Plan Community can check all the boxes for active adults who are seeking the perfect solution for the best of their lives.
The process of joining a Life Plan Community is easy. It is not a real estate transaction, so there is no home purchase, and no apartment to sell should you move out. Generally, there is a one-time entrance fee based upon apartment size and community, which has varying levels of refundable contract options, along with a monthly service fee that includes all home maintenance, taxes, activities and facilities. Should you need to move through the continuum of care, your monthly service fee stays the same (with minimal yearly increases approved by New York State), so you can plan for future healthcare costs at a significant savings compared to if you needed to pay for these services separately.
Changing times call for a change in how we view optimal retirement living. A Life Plan Community offers the safety and comfort of your own apartment home, a secure future, and the ability to be part of a community built with your health and engagement in mind. If your current lifestyle no longer fits your needs, today might be the day to make the leap to the best of your life!
Michele Biggart is the Director of Sales at Fountaingate Gardens, a soon-to-be-built Life Plan Community in Commack, Long Island, on the campus of the Gurwin Healthcare System. A certified Geriatric Care Manager, Michele has more than a decade of experience in the active senior living industry. When not helping retirees explore future housing options, she is busy raising two children and engaged in helping her own parents plan for the next chapter of their lives. Contact Michele at 631.715.2693 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn about Life Plan Community living. www.fountaingateli.org.