As we age, we accept that we will encounter a number of changes. We accept that we’ll no longer be working–in fact, we probably relish it. The phrase social security is no longer some distant program you have been hearing about for decades, it’s something you actually need to know about! We understand that our children and grandchildren may be on the move during this time. And we even accept the aching joints and fuzzy hearing that accompany aging.
But what most of us don’t want to deal with is a change in our address. For many of us, our homes represent a lifetime of memories, hard work, and careful financial management. We just don’t want to leave them during the time of our lives when we expected to spend the most time in it.
The real issue, though, isn’t so much leaving home. It’s where we end up going, and for many seniors, that means a skilled nursing facility. Many of us are very clear with our adult children: Don’t let me end up in a nursing home. Do whatever you can to let me stay in my house. And the kids agree: Mom and Dad are better off at home.
What’s missed in that conversation is the prospect that staying at home as long as possible can actually accelerate the need for skilled care. Most of us built or bought homes with little regard for how livable it would be for us in our 70’s and 80’s. As a result, we have staircases, doorways too narrow for wheelchairs, and floor coverings that can cause falls. Altering your home to meet the needs of your later years can be time consuming, challenging, and expensive; it’s like building a new home within your existing one.
In addition, we may struggle to cook nutritious meals, stay on schedule with medication, and get enough exercise and social interaction. The impact of these shortcomings can be an accelerated decline in health that leads to a nursing home–a decline that could have been avoided.
The better option is to make a move into a retirement community while you’re still able to do it on your own terms. Landmark Senior Living is one such facility, with differing levels of care depending on your needs. In addition, it includes dining, exercise, and social provisions to help make sure residents stay well-nourished and active.
There is a great benefit in having professionals plan and prepare meals for you. For starters, it’s the end of your concerns about going out grocery shopping. No more fighting traffic, fretting over icy roads, or standing in long checkout lines. Meals are served restaurant-style, with a strong dietary foundation to help you feel your best.
Activity is equally well-planned. The options of yoga classes, strength training, and aerobic workouts will help prevent and manage conditions like arthritis and osteoporosis. And again, everything is professionally designed for the best results along with injury prevention. Proper fitness will ward off everything from depression to cardiovascular disease, and Landmark will provide a path to reach that goal.
But the benefits extend beyond just the physical and mental. With staff handling the upkeep of the entire facility, you’re relieved of concerns over everything from mowing grass to fixing plumbing. That helps you manage your budget more effectively with fewer surprises and stresses.
Another great benefit is the opportunity to live around folks like yourself. Instead of struggling to feel at home in your neighborhood as longtime neighbors move and are replaced by very different ones, you’ll be among people in a similar demographic situation to your own. You’ll never have to worry about the house next door selling to a family with an aspiring rock drummer or a messy collection of disabled “antique” cars.
We all understand that our golden years won’t be quite the same as 30-something or even middle age. And when we focus on an issue like where we’re living, it can be easy to get anxious about what’s ahead. But a careful analysis of the facts makes it clear that sometimes, the best way to have the life you want is to live it in a place that will support your health instead of eroding it.
The extra expenses you may incur during retirement while on a fixed income can be offset if you take out a special kind of loan. The special loan type, which is only available to people of retirement age, is called a reversed-loan mortgage. It is referred to that way because, if you obtain one, you can receive installments each month and use the money to fund your retirement, rather than you having to make monthly repayments as you would after obtaining a regular mortgage. However, your reverse mortgage lender will be able to call in the loan if you move out of the home. If you pass away before the loan is repaid then your family can pay the balance, but if they choose not to then your home will be sold.
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