Carpe Diem: Or, Why to Choose a Community Based on Your Needs Today
The hot button for senior living today is “a continuum of care,” and we get it – there’s a real comfort in moving to a community you know you’ll never have to leave because every health service you need is right there. But let’s think about that for a minute. How sure are you, really, that you’re going to need a full continuum of care? Do cognitive issues run in your family, or are you planning ahead “just in case?” Will you be paying for peace of mind without ever getting the benefits from it?
Think of choosing a senior living like buying a new home. You make your “must have” list and your “nice to have list,” which you then have to weigh against your price range. Do you really need five bedrooms when there are only two of you living there? Is an outdoor kitchen with a fire pit a must-have or would a nice patio and a grill work just as well?
You can compare this to picking out a senior living community. Yes, you can choose a CCRC (continuing care retirement community), but if you’re an active, healthy senior with few health problems (nor a health history of serious illnesses), do you need all those health bells-and-whistles? Is it possible that a community that doesn’t offer everything – but offers a lot of other benefits – would be a better fit for you? Especially at this stage in your life?
Here are some of the reasons why choosing a community based on your needs today – and not tomorrow – may help you live your best life.
It’s more affordable. Have you seen the price tag for some of these CCRCs? Most of these types of communities require an incredibly hefty buy-in, anywhere from $100K to upwards of $500K! So, basically, once you choose to live there, you stay there – even if maybe you’re not 100% happy. However, a rental community where you pay-as-you-go can be a lot more affordable and give you more flexibility. If, for example, your kids are in another town and you decide you want to be closer to them? It’s a lot easier (and cheaper) to pick up and move this way.
It gives you more choice. A CCRC gives you peace of mind knowing care is always there. But you may be hemmed in to only the care that’s available right there. What if your community’s rehab center isn’t top tier but the independent one down the road is? What if there’s a specific memory care community you want to move to in the event that you need it? A rental community allows you to pick and choose where you’d like to go when additional care is needed, and doesn’t force you into what’s already there.
It’s easier to find the perfect fit.
Having a lot of “must haves” on your list is tough, because no place is ever going to be perfect. (Not even Melrose Meadows!) But taking a continuum of care off the table and instead looking at what’s right for you right now opens up a whole new world of possibilities. You can find the best of everything you want – dining, amenities, location – without having to sacrifice your present quality of life for your future. After all, your retirement is now and you’re ready to enjoy it now – so shouldn’t you pick the place that’s best for you now?
CCRCs are fantastic options for some people, and if that’s the right choice for you, great! However, many of our residents chose our community specifically because it’s not a CCRC, and we think that’s pretty awesome. We do everything we can to make our residents happy in the now, and build relationships with other high-quality service providers in our area so we can make recommendations if and when our residents need more care than we can provide.