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Aging In Place

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Many older Americans will continue to reside in the home they raised their families, or buy a home in their later years with more than enough bedrooms to accommodate their needs. But as people age, their activities, family composition and financial resources alter. If the majority of older Americans wish to live in their homes, certain modifications need to be considered as their ability to be independent may diminish. Ideally, they should be able to find housing of the type and location that best suits their particular evolving situation. But too often, many older adults go straight from their home to a nursing home or assisted living care facility, and there appear to be few options in-between.

CCRCs are age-restricted, amenity-rich places where you live independently with additional services available should the need arise for care. Costs and payment plans vary and may include an entrance fee or a possible rental option.

CCRCs are retirement living communities with an important added benefit: lifetime care, which ensures that you can “age in place” if you have planned ahead.

If you’re ready to start looking at Continuing Care Retirement Communities, below are a few questions you may want to ask when touring and researching them. Also, be sure to speak with the residents themselves.

• What services are included in the monthly service fee?

• How much are the monthly fees adjusted if more services or care are required?

• What happens if the fee increase is greater than the ability to pay?

• Is the entrance fee refundable and if so, when?

• What type of employee training programs are implemented?

• Is there a resident handbook that outlines policies?

• Is there a residents’ association and how does it function?

Brenda Becker, Vice President of Marketing for The Lutheran Village at MILLER'S GRANT, and newly appointed to the Ellicott City Senior Center Council highlighted amenities and services that residents will have including: Concierge Service, Transportation service to shopping and medical appointments, flexible meal plans, convenient grab and go groceries and a full time wellness coordinator.

CCRC is a retirement living option worth considering. Living in a CCRC helps people improve their health and reduce their risk of disease and disability. Many have attributed these noticeable benefits to the more active approach that CCRCs take toward wellness, including:

• promoting a dynamic lifestyle

• supporting social involvement

• helping ensure proper health care

• providing good nutrition

The concept of Aging in Place is gaining popularity and new products and services are available to allow older adults to live well in their own homes. Aging in place refers to the desire of seniors to stay in a particular residential setting as long as possible, even as health care needs increase. Aging in place at one’s home, while already a stated preference among the vast majority of older adults, is becoming more common as seniors can afford less and more feasible as cost‐effective and innovative solutions emerge.

Areas to consider when deciding to remain in one’s home: the cost‐effectiveness and availability of home care services include private duty and government reimbursed home health, home retrofitting services, long term care insurance and transportation as well as socially engaging relationships are all important factors.

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