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Senior Assisted Living Blog



Best Places to Retire in the USA

Joseph Coupal - Monday, February 26, 2018

Spring Arbor, Richmond, VATo identify the best places to retire, U.S. News analyzed data for the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the USA to assess how well they meet Americans' retirement needs and expectations. Top criteria include the happiness of local residents, housing affordability, tax rates and healthcare quality.

U.S. News analyzed 100 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Richmond, Virginia is ranked:

#24 in Best Places to Live

#32 in Best Places to Retire

If you're looking for a place to spend your golden years, why wouldn't you consider Richmond, VA. For more information on assisted living contact Spring Arbor.

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US News- Travel


Is Downsizing Your Home Right For You?

Joseph Coupal - Monday, February 19, 2018

Spring Arbor, SC, NC, VA, TNLast year was the best year for existing home sales in 11 years. That's quite an enticement for many homeowners to put their house on the market and downsize. It sounds like a smart move, but is it?

Once you get older and your children are no longer living at home, downsizing may sound appealing. Doing so could help simplify your life, reduce expenses, and possibly allow you to set more money aside for retirement. But before you make the move, you need to understand the pluses and minuses of downsizing for your particular situation.

The Upside

Moving to something smaller can definitely lead to a simpler lifestyle. And simple is good, right? Lowering your overall spending can also enhance your sense of financial security after retirement. Here are some other potential pluses:

  • Lower or no monthly mortgage payment
  • Reduced maintenance and upkeep
  • Decreased utility costs
  • Increased retirement stability due to expense reductions

Along with the quantifiable upside to downsizing, a reduction in stress will be inevitable if you are able to get better organized and toss items that you no longer want or need when moving to your new home.

There's Always a Downside

One common misconception is that downsizing means you'll have extra cash in the bank after you sell your larger home and purchase a smaller one. While this sounds logical, it isn't necessarily true. The cost of a smaller, newer house, featuring the latest amenities, often will cost more than you’ll receive from the sale of your existing home.

Setting a Budget Is Key

Put together a comprehensive budget for the sale, purchase, and move. You'll also want to include any anticipated expenses after you're settled in your new home. This will be key for enhancing your financial security now, and in the future.

If you've made a good move and have actually reduced expenses by downsizing, make sure you put aside an appropriate amount for future necessities before spending it on little extras or vast luxuries.

Summary

As with all major decisions, there's more to downsizing than the financial impact. The emotional, social, and physical well-being of you and your family is also important to consider. If downsizing is in your future, be sure to consider the pros and cons before getting serious about your move. If this could be your last move, make sure it's a good one!

For more information on senior living, contact Spring Arbor.

#HowYouLive

insideindianabusiness.com


Seniors Prefer Senior Living Communities

Joseph Coupal - Monday, February 12, 2018

Spring Arbor, Richmond, VAIf you haven’t visited a senior living community in a while, you may have some misconceptions — senior communities have changed significantly over the last few years.Why

Senior communities range from homelike to the luxury of a high-end cruise ship or hotel, and they definitely don’t feel institutional today.

Most seniors who have moved to assisted living or independent living communities report that they prefer life at their new home to living alone.

Here are some common reasons why:

1. An End to Stressful Driving

Driving can become more stressful as we age and our driving abilities may not be what they once were either. For these reasons, most residents prefer to take advantage of the free transportation that’s provided by assisted living communities. There’s no need to rely on a car any longer, although parking is available for residents who still drive.

2. Better Food

There are many seniors who are used to living alone and may not currently be eating right. At senior living communities, residents don’t have to worry about grocery shopping or meal preparation. Instead, they get to enjoy a fine dining experience every day of the week. The food tastes good, alternative meals are almost always offered and special diet needs can ordinarily be accommodated. It’s common for new residents, who had been eating poorly before they moved, to experience improvements in their health and well-being just from three square meals per day.

3. Feeling Like Myself Again

Living alone, we may not be able to participate in activities and games we enjoyed, that were both fun and helped keep us sharp. But senior communities offer a wealth of opportunities to keep us engaged. This can include favorite games like bridge, chess and poker, engaging reading groups and fascinating classes and lectures on every conceivable topic.

4. Feeling Safe

Residents can rest easy knowing that they are secured from ne’er-do-wells. Furthermore, residents enjoy the peace of mind that comes from the emergency response systems that are in each apartment, or sometimes on the resident’s person as a pendant. This alleviates fears about falling and becoming trapped for hours or even days, a scenario that’s all too common for senior’s residing alone. Certainly, there are seniors who live alone and are just fine. We recognize that senior communities aren’t for everyone. But it’s without a doubt that there are vast numbers of seniors living alone in unsafe or unhealthy situations who would benefit immensely from life in a senior community.

5. Improved Family Relationships

Older folks frequently become dependent on their grown children, or other close family members, for help of all kinds. Unnatural role reversals can strain relationships and foster unhealthy feelings of resentment, both by parents and their children. Younger family members are liberated from the role of full-time caregivers and are able to assure that time with their older loved one is high-quality and meaningful. Older residents are glad to return to the role of family matriarch or patriarch and often pleased that their grown children no longer have to “parent the parent.”

6. New Friends

Older adults who live alone often become isolated, which is unhealthy at any age. At senior communities, we can do things like make friends and share a meal with one another. On the other hand, those of us who are more introverted appreciate that our privacy is respected, but are still glad to have folks around.

7. No Stress Home Maintenance or Yard Work

Keeping up a home is hard, especially for those of us who have developed physical ailments. Mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, vacuuming— these become things of the past. But don’t worry green thumbs — residents are more than welcome to adopt a garden.

8. Vanquishing Boredom

Residents need never be bored at a senior living community. There’s something for everyone. All kinds of activities and entertainment are offered, both on-site and in the local community. Entertainment can range from visiting musicians and performers, to day trips that might include local landmarks, forays into nature or just an outing to the local art museum.

For more information on communities, contact Spring Arbor.

#HowYouLive

aplaceformom.com


Survival Tips for Moving Your Elderly Parents

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, February 08, 2018

Spring Arbor - VA, NC, TN, SCWhether moving a senior loved one across the country into a new home, or moving both parents into a senior community, the process can be challenging. Many scenarios require the need to move a senior parent from their own home, and their adult children will want to ensure the transition goes smoothly, tending to their health, finances and logistics.

These six tips can make this difficult process easier.

1. Communication and Choice

Seniors can be emotionally vested in the home they’re leaving, and it’s expected that there will be sadness and apprehension about the move. It can be a tough conversation to have with your aging parent, but give them time to grieve the change and talk about where they will be living and why they are moving, in order to help make the transition smoother. When seniors are asked to leave their longtime homes, a frequent cause of distress is their perceived loss of control, so give your loved one as much choice as possible as they plan and implement the move.

2. Plan Effectively

Before families begin the sorting and organizing process, it will help to have a visual of what they are getting into. What rooms need to be furnished? How many square feet is the new residence? We recommend plotting the floor plan of your loved one’s new home on graph paper, and suggests cutting out pieces to represent furniture.

3. Enlist Relatives

This will undoubtedly be a big job, so enlist help from your family. Encourage siblings or other close family members to take a few days off of work. Even children and younger members in the family can participate. Surrounding your senior parents with loved ones who are supportive and encouraging could help ease the emotional stress of moving as well.

4. Sort and Organize

Moving your elderly parents will involve downsizing. Go through the house item by item with your support team. You can categorize objects to make the process easier: items to be moved, keepsakes to be left with family, items to be sold or donated, and items to be thrown out. Don’t allow yourself to become a packing robot lacking feelings. Honor the emotional attachment to personal belongings and allow your senior parent to reminisce as you help sort out their possessions. Remember, these are not just things you’re moving; they’re memories. Also, be open to your own emotions, especially if this was your childhood home.

5. Clean and Repair

After the organizing and packing is complete, there is work that still needs to be done. Whether the house is going to be sold, rented or passed on to another relative — the general requirements are the same. The house should be cleaned, and they should consider making any required repairs now before any get worse. It’s better to take care of maintenance issues all at once rather than dealing with them later while the house is for sale (or after renters move in).

6. Plan the Moving Day

There are a few different strategies for moving your senior loved one into their new home. A full service mover is the easiest way to go, but also the most expensive. They will load everything, deliver to its destination and put things in place. Families can save some money on the move by using a self-service mover, which means their family will load the moving truck, but the cargo will be hauled by a professional mover. Then there’s the do-it-yourself (DIY) option where you can rent a moving truck or trailer. But, even the DIY option of renting a U-Haul or Ryder is not cheap.

This discussion of costs doesn’t even mention the most precious cargo of all: your loved ones. Most senior people have outgrown their road-trip days and probably wouldn’t be too keen on a 32 hour drive. So even if you do decide to haul everything yourself, consider arranging for your senior loved one to fly to their destination.

Of course, each family’s circumstances are unique, so we’re hesitant to give blanket advice — but we hope these tips help you better plan and execute your elder loved one’s next move.

For more information, contact Spring Arbor.

#HowYouLive

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Steps to Take When Your Parents Need Assisted Living

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Spring Arbor, VAIt can be a difficult moment when you come to realize that your dad or mom needs senior care in a setting like assisted living. Just as our parents kept us safe, sheltered and secure when we needed it — there comes a time when we’re called upon to return this same love to our parents.

Learn more about the next steps to take when you believe your parents need assisted living.

Some of us will provide care to our parents in our own home for a period, but this is not always possible for all families, or always desired by the children or parents themselves. Many families find themselves searching for assisted living, an intermediate level of residential care for seniors who aren’t safe living alone.

Ideally, your parents can be full participants in the search, but when your loved one is impaired by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you may have to proactively take more control of the decision making.

If you see that your parents need assisted living care, here are some steps that can help you find them the right care:

1. Get Your Loved One Involved

The more involved your parents are in the search, the better. Of course you can do much of the legwork for them, but have discussions with your parents about their desires and preferences and, ideally, present them with a range of options. If your parent is in denial about his or her need for care, read our article about overcoming resistance in the situations.

2. Determine What You Can Afford

Like it or not, money is going to be a factor in most families’ searches. Look at what your family can afford on a monthly basis. Our guide to financing senior care page could be a helpful reference. Look into veterans benefits and other creative ways to pay for care. Some seniors and families may have to consider difficult options such as pooling resources from the adult children, selling a family home or even cashing-in a life insurance policy.

3. Get Connected with a Senior Living Advisor

This really could have been the first step on our list, as you can call us at any point in your search. A good point for your initial consultation is after you have already done a little investigating into what your family can afford. That way your Advisor can provide a list of seniors communities that meets the needs and preferences you have already established, and ones that are in your price range. This list of communities is an excellent starting point for your search. From there, a logical way to proceed with the decision making process is through the process of elimination. For those families who ultimately cannot afford private-pay senior care and require state assistance in the form of Medicaid (not to be confused with Medicare), your Advisor will connect you with the appropriate liaison at the Area Agency on Aging so that you can get this process started.

4. Tour Senior Communities

No amount of time viewing photos, brochures, floor plans or reviews can substitute for an in-person visit to a community. Schedule visits for you and your parent at a minimum of three communities on your short-list. If you and your parent have the time and stamina, it may be helpful to view up to five or six communities as you narrow the search. A good time to tour is during a meal, such as lunch, for example. Potential residents can try the food and get a good sense of the community’s culture; as most of the residents will be out and about during a mealtime. Based on these initial tours, narrow down your search to two or three favorites. Perform follow-up tours, perhaps even unannounced, to get a good sense for the community you and your parent are considering. A Senior Living Advisor can make this process easier for you by arranging all your tours in one short call.

5. Come to a Decision

Whether your parent is choosing the community themself, or whether you need to make that decision for parents impaired by Alzheimer’s or dementia, try to make sure that everyone in your family feels good about the choice. When possible, have conversations with your parents discussing the pros and cons of each option and try to find consensus about the right option. You can always bounce ideas off of your Senior Living Advisor during your decision making process and get his or her impressions of communities on your referral list. Finally, you can also check the background of an assisted living community you are considering with the licensing agency in your state that monitors assisted living.

6. Make the Move

If you’ve come this far in the process, there’s no sense in delaying the move. It’s risky to procrastinate when a parent needs care, as the delay can lead to avoidable accidents and medical problems.

For more information on assisted living, contact Spring Arbor.

#HowYouLive

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