Choosing A Retirement Community

What is a retirement community?   Generally speaking, it is a kind of housing complex, or community, designed for older adults who may or may not be able to care for themselves.  These communities provide medical care, when needed, and provide activities and socialization opportunities to help keep minds and bodies active.
Choosing A Retirement Community
These communities cater to those individuals who are financially secure who can afford the expected high-end cost of a worry-free, maintenance-free life-style.

Types Of Retirement Communities:

— Active Adult Communities:  These actual neighborhoods cater to active, robust adults who have a zest for life.   Lovely homes abound with beautiful clubhouses, golf courses, swimming pools, fishing ponds, bike trails and much more.  These residents are totally independent and enjoying the amenities is an enviable way of life.

— Independent Living:   Residents of this type of retirement community are, also, independent and totally self-sufficient.  Community members are very capable of accomplishing daily activities which would include shopping, cooking meals, driving or using public transportation, taking medications safely, etc.  Apartments or apartment-like residents offer complete safety and security.

— Assisted Living:  Once it becomes evident a senior is feeling challenged by daily routines such as dressing, bathing or eating, it’s important to seek outside help.  Here, medical staff and other professionals are available, if required.   These seniors are still quite healthy and mobile but assistance is always provided for those who may need some aid with getting ready with settling in for the evening, for example.   Outings to local festivities are enjoyed and communal transportation is one of the amenities provided.

— Memory Care:  These communities are specialized to serve residents who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia.  This is a permanent option and safety and quality of life are the ultimate focus.   Private or semi-private living areas offer comfort and security.

—Continued Care:  Continued Care Retirement Communities are known as CCRC’s.  Here, a variety of retirement options are located on one single campus.  Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care and Nursing Care can all combine, with each entity existing as its own, separate community.  One big advantage of CCRC’s is mobility from one level of care to another.   If an Independent Living resident shows signs that increased supervision is a safer option, the move to Assisted Living can be made while remaining on the same campus, within familiar surroundings.  This can avoid anxiety and concern.

How Are Retirement Communities Paid?

The costs of retirement living will vary according to the type of community involved as well as the geographic location of the community.   The bottom line, however, is the fact that the financial investment is not a cheap one.  Roughly speaking, a one bedroom Assisted Living Community might cost an individual $27,000 a year while the same circumstances in a different state could cost well over $40,000.

Some individuals are fortunate to have substantial retirement incomes which are, now, ear-tagged for retirement care and housing costs.

In some situations, Medicaid may pay for retirement community expenses.  This will be determined by the individual and his or her particular circumstances.   Though this is not typical, it’s certainly worth checking into.

Long-term care insurance will cover Assisted Living, Independent Living, and Memory Care.  This coverage, however, would need to have been purchased before any kind of residential care was ever determined.

If a person’s only insurance coverage is Medicare, yet that person purchased a product called Medigap from a private insurance company, then Medigap can help with retirement costs by covering some expenses that Medicare doesn’t.

Choosing the appropriate retirement option is vitally important; and gathering as much information ahead of time for yourself or your loved one is a first step in the right direction!

Karen Carlson is enjoying her recent retirement from teaching and playing with her grandchilren.  However, she also enjoys writing, and, when she does find the time to write, she tends to write a lot on the topic of Texas retirement homes.