Johnathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, said, “Everyone wants to live a long time, but no one wants to get old.”
No truer words have been spoken. So how long do you think you will live? And what does your idea of growing old look like? Do you automatically think old age means dependence on others, assisted living centers, or nursing homes? Or do you have a more optimistic view of aging?
Do you think of having more free time to pursue hobbies? Maybe you think of downsizing to eliminate lots of home maintenance. Do you see a time in your future when you could be surrounded by people to develop new friendships even if you are alone? Or maybe just thinking of letting someone else do the cooking and housework appeals to you. Senior living comes in many sizes and shapes and offers a great deal of freedom and flexibility to its residents.
While we don’t know the answer to the length of time we have, we do have choices about how we want to spend that time. Do words like active living, lifelong learning, and social engagement appeal to you? All of those things are available in senior living communities.
Almost 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day.
The famed generation, defined as those born between 1946 and 1964, is causing something of a stir as they reach retirement age in droves.
Among seniors over 65 there is an emphasis on aging in place, but that does not necessarily mean staying in your current home. Mary A. Languirand, PH.D., co-author of How to Age in Place, says, “The aging in place movement promotes senior self-reliance and can mean continuing to live in one’s own home or moving into a quasi-independent or assisted living community.
Languirand encourages seniors to be proactive about planning for retirement, including “thinking about how they might need to change their lives or their environments in order to ensure that they’re going to be able to retire and live comfortably where they want to live and be doing what they want to be doing.”
Senior communities offer many benefits that may become more difficult to maintain if you live in your own home.
Many people feel like staying in their own homes is vital for their independence, but that is not true. The responsibility of home ownership, deferred maintenance, and deterioration of some neighborhoods may make a move more desirable. Going to an active senior independent living community is a great choice. While homeownership may have been a great investment, there comes a time when converting that investment into a monthly rental apartment may be wise.
When we met Gladys and George, they were in their early 80s, but they were newlyweds! They mutually decided that they wanted to move into McCrite Plaza’s senior independent living apartments and sell both of their homes. They had minor health issues but wanted to live out their years free of homeownership stress. They were like lovebirds walking down the hallway for lunch, holding hands. The two of them enjoyed happy hours and chef-prepared meals, but they also had their separate activities. George never missed a men’s coffee clatch or a pool game, while Gladys joined the women for painting classes and book club. That move was ten years ago, and they are still thriving!
Statistics tell us that 66% of seniors will need additional healthcare support in their lifetime.
Even with good planning for retirement, two-thirds of older adults still need some form of assistance to go about their daily lives, according to a new study by the University of Michigan researchers published in the American Journal of Public Health. The need for assistance, however, varies.
Although services like home health agencies, in-home care, and private duty care are available in most communities, they are costly and very dependent on the quality of the caregiver. In addition, it may take several attempts to get the right fit for both the caregiver and the resident needing care.
Being a part of a full continuum of care provides every level of support; it’s otherwise known as a CCRC.
McCrite Plaza provides every level of care and is, thus, considered a CCRC. Www.Seniorliving.org defines a CCRC as follows, “A continuing care retirement community, also known as a life plan community, which delivers independent living and an amenity-rich lifestyle with access to onsite higher-level care should medical needs progress. This continuum of care ensures residents have the stability of remaining in the place they call home.”
Without this availability of a single campus that has all levels of care, it may be necessary for a resident to move to another community to receive the care they need. So why not consider a single move that takes care of the future? The beauty of McCrite Plaza is that it offers the rich experience of independent living but also has multiple levels of additional care when needed.
Iona moved into McCrite Plaza when she was an active independent senior. She enjoyed all of the available amenities. She faithfully attended daily exercise classes and outings to maintain her physical abilities. In addition, she participated in many social events to maintain her excellent cognition. There is no doubt in the minds of her family members that the McCrite lifestyle increased her longevity, but there came a time when she moved from independent living to an assisted living apartment and then eventually to the McCrite nursing home center. But all the time, she could be with familiar companions and staff, and her family was always there with her. She lived out her years and was always at home at McCrite Plaza.
The goal is to always remain as independent as possible!
Johnathan Swift also said, “Old age is always 15 years older than I am!” It is so good and appropriate that we see ourselves as younger than our actual age. Research tells us that having a positive attitude about our age can give us 7.5 additional years of life.
Becca R. Levy is a Professor of Epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health and a Professor of Psychology at Yale University. Her new book, Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs About Aging Determine How Long and Well you Live, confirms that our beliefs are the key to enjoying our golden years – and maintaining our health.
Planning is the key. Although we may feel like we are 15 years away from being ‘old’, now is the time to enjoy your health and vitality and prepare for the best future possible. So give us a call at McCrite Plaza and schedule your personalized tour of our amazing independent retirement communities!