Monday, October 10, 2016

Will your next home be determined by someone else? Part I

Dear Friends,

I hope you're well.

We've been amazingly busy and somewhat overwhelmed lately. I'll tell you in vague terms (to protect privacy) why and then I'll write about living options.

My husband and I are not yet retiring, but we have considered where we'd like to be for the next few years if we're in good health. What we were not thinking about was the possibility of a sudden need for other care - where would we go so we could both be in the same facility? What would we do with our home and possessions? How would we be able to make a good decision while under duress? Would our son pick a spot for us? If not, who will help us? My sister? A niece or nephew? The State?

We got a call that made it clear a close elderly family member (let's call this person "Terry") needed to go to the hospital, and while there, we learned it was not safe for Terry to go home at this time. Because Terry's home is a solo home in a retirement community almost 2 hours from us, it was best for us to have a houseguest while we gathered information so Terry could make some decisions.

Terry told us about some things that had happened recently, and any of those items might have raised alarms for us and certainly would have sounded alarms for physicians. Raised in a time when people didn't complain, when people were fiercely independent and would not share information with kids or other family, it's very hard for that generation to share anything that is personal and scary with others including physicians. That makes it even harder to get the right diagnosis early.

We've gotten a good education as a result on possible options, and I've learned that several acquaintances are looking into the same thing. I hope this information helps you.

I have some links on my Housing page and some information about Continuing Care Retirement Communities, aka CCRC.

A CCRC is one where you can start in independent living, obtain assisted living care, move to rehab or memory care units, and some but not all facilities have hospice care. These facilities are expensive and many offer some information about how to afford them.

The places we saw usually offer studio or one bedroom with a small living room. Meals are included and activities are plentiful. One of the hard parts is accepting that one needs help, that we are suddenly really one of "that" population. The other hard part for many people is that the things you saved for, bought, enjoyed and dusted for years are suddenly too many items for your new home. Things just have to go, decisions have to be made.

When you're a healthy person, it's hard to imagine yourself as one who really needs help, but it is important to think about your own options.

As a result of this experience, we have determined where we will move as the need arises. This is too important to us to not leave this decision to others.

If you have some comments, you are welcome to share. If it looks like spam or advertising, I will delete so it's pleasant for everyone.

Take care,


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