Category Archives: Assisted Living

TimeShare or Senior Continuum Care Communities

The current model of healthcare services provided for our elderly who require assisted living or skilled nursing is not only passe but depressing.  Anyone who loves their loved one who is faced with having to make a decision concerning where they will spend their golden years understands the heartbreaking options that await them.  Our current Medicaid system needs a revamp and Capitol hill is far behind on making the changes that are necessary to meet the growing need of care.  If you haven’t done any shopping in what the cost is for getting skilled nursing I would highly encourage you to begin shopping.  One of the major changes that need to take place is the choke hold that skilled nursing facilities has on medicaid provision as well as long term care insurance options.  Today, there are better options available to those who fall between the areas of skilled nursing and assisted living and quite frankly the cost for services of the better option comes with a much more reasonable price tag.

It makes more economic sense and common sense, especially if Medicaid is supposed to serve the people rather then the industry to encourage elderly people in need of assistance to stay in an assistant living facility as long as it is possible.  By leveling the playing field and widening the market as far as options the competition would actually push more skilled nursing facilities to provide higher levels of service recognizing that families get to not only choose between skilled nursing, but also assisted living and memory care facilities.  This provides a greater incentive for nursing homes to fix their own internal problems and fine tune their services.  Those who have persevered in working to build this country and make it what it is today deserve better then a place to hold them until they die.  A place that neither our loved ones want to be and their families want to visit them in.  After years of toiling and turning, making a way for your children and sacrificing to meet their needs it seems unfitting that the end game would lead to seclusion in a skilled nursing facility where your basic needs of health are neglected unless micromanaged by your family.

We who are in the working class need to have a shift in our priorities.  Rather then spending our money on a timeshare that gives you one week a year to escape the hustle and bustle of life we need to begin shifting our extravagant vacation fund into retirement property.  Obviously setting aside funds that can’t be touched such as a funeral trust or funeral insurance that would need to be at least $10,000 if you plan to be buried underground with a tombstone and as low as perhaps $6000 if your goal is to be cremated.  Whichever one you decide this needs to take high priority because you are not guaranteed to live long enough to be old and enjoy retirement living, but death is almost a certainty for most of us and having funds set aside to accommodate that need is key to having your wishes honored.  However, if you do live long enough to make it to old age, or even if you find yourself falling prey to a debilitating illness it is important that you be prepared for what the cost of living is for aided care.  This is a topic that many of you know I have been passionate about ever since my loved one suffered a debilitating sickness.  The options out there are few and far between and the compromises you have to make especially if you are not financially prepared for such a catastrophe is quite limiting.

The baby boomer generation are all reaching a point in their life where retirement services of some sort on some level are almost guaranteed to be a must.  Driving may become taxing or due to vision and reflexes could be completely out the question so being in a community that has other transportation options available will be very important.  Cooking and cleaning is another chore that many of our elderly people are less able to do, whether vertigo becomes a problem making looking up or down a challenge, or energy levels fluctuating causing the chores of doing daily tasks difficult, but you’re still able to use the bathroom, bathe yourself adequately, and the like then a senior community is an ideal situation to be in.  Having had to look for out of the box answers to meet caring for my loved one who lives hundreds of miles away, while meeting their desire to stay out of skilled nursing we had to  consider every possibility within his budget to provide for his care.  What I have found is that many places are heading in the right direction, with of course the most important ingredient to success being having quality workers who desire to provide quality care.  However, probably the perfect marriage between this rental based living is a full continuum care community that extends its reach to not just providing rental property, for assisted living and memory care residents but providing purchasable real estate property for self sustaining seniors who can still live independently or with their families in a 2 or 3 bedroom home.

Let’s face it many of us who are in the working class now live a certain lifestyle that we are accustomed to and certainly we aren’t working ourselves as hard as we are to end in the corner somewhere at a institutionalized nursing home if we can help it.  Thus, the next wise development would really be to provide senior living communities that incorporate short term rehab, nursing home, assisted living, and memory care within a housing community that also extends itself by providing cottage style housing options.  While assisted living apartments and memory care apartments would not be purchasable real estate property, many seniors would enjoy the amenities and environment of being in a senior community, but a steak they can actually buy not just sink their teeth into.  Which is where patio homes or cottages around the enclosed community would be an ideal situation.   This housing would require that selling of the property must be only provided to residents who meet the age criteria, but otherwise is a place that their children could inherit as they get older or as they require senior care needs.

As stated one thing is for sure we will get older and our ability to go up twenty stairs everyday will change, these luxurious garden tubs will become a pain, and cooking and cleaning well that will become as old to us as we are.  Having the ability to have a retirement community that extends its housekeeping, therapy plans, dining options, and community resources to those who own homes within the community is a major plus.

After selling your home nobody wants to find themselves in a rental situation again, and should your health decline the advantage of a senior living continuum care community is that your one time community fee paid when you first entered the community provides for you to transition to whatever level of care your physical state requires without having to pay a hefty fee when you are least financially prepared to do so.  By being proactive in your downsizing you have made it possible to be exactly where you need to be when changes occur and membership has its privileges as you would be able to easily transition to the next level of care at a membership rate, and because entrance is both limited and exclusive you have access to the most prime property which means that should you not financially be able to afford the next level of care, selling your home on site provides financial security for your transitional level.

Also, by being proactive by buying property onsite and paying your one time community fee at closing or at an age when you are receiving steady income versus a fixed income you forgo the community cost that is sure to go up over time to make the shift.

This model allows for greater affordability for even the middle class savvy senior to get in. By downsizing on a home that you may have paid off or come extremely close to paying off your equity plus your principal travels with you which will put you at a major advantage when starting fresh in our new community.  You could easily find yourself in a position where your new home could be bought out right or at least completely paid for before you are 65 if you move in at 55.

Resort style living in safer locations.  Smart shopping for property would require looking for land that allowed for turning a forest into a goldmine with natural water features, and fertile land, being a plus situated in an area that is not prone to natural disasters being more ideal.  Let’s face it as beautiful as Florida is the constant threat of hurricanes and other natural calamities make it a recipe for disaster when you mix that in with seniors and especially senior citizens with disabilities.  So, the ideal spot for this senior continuum care community would require paying close attention to safe locations.

Everyone should have choices and a senior care continuum community ought to be able to offer that and that should extend beyond the walls of the assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing unit.  For this cause the next level of senior continuum care communities should include the following:

  1. Home Ownership for independent structures.
  2. A sliding scale association fee based on the amenities you choose to partake in. A base fee which covers the cost of the common area grounds, as well as your personal property, and in and outside home maintenance warranty, as well as supplemental services that can be added on for an additional fee.  This service can be added on a monthly or yearly basis.  Monthly services being able to be cancelled at any time and yearly services at a discount but nonrefundable.  Supplemental services such as:
    1. Weekly housecleaning
    2. Meal Plans (both dining in and carry out services)
    3. Personal Fitness Programs
    4. Club Activities (i.e. bridge club, golf club, pool club, etc…)
    5. Utility package – (Pay a one size fit all fee monthly for electricity, water, internet, landline phone service, and water)

Again the grounds should also offer some form of recreation, as we age we become less mobile so having things available at arms reach is key to keeping our baby boomers, booming with active, vibrant, and healthy lives.  For this reason these communities should offer shopping options, recreational options, and services.

  1. Shopping Options
    1. Dollar store
    2. Gift store
    3. Fresh market
    4. Bakery
    5. Clothing boutiques
    6. Video Store
  2. Recreational Options
    1. Pond for fishing
    2. Golf course
    3. Miniature golf
    4. Botanical garden
    5. Walking trail
    6. Park
    7. Movie Theatre
    8. Library
  3. Services
    1. Medical services on site (vision, hearing, dental, general practitioner, chiropractic, naturopathic doctors, o.t.,p.t., s.t., therapy)
    2. Spa & Beauty Salons
    3. Personal Fitness Services

These options are optional and should be based on the interest of the seniors of that area and should be considered on the front end of construction. The more rural the area the more likely you will have to provide services in house, the more centrally located the less amount of services you would need to provide onsite.  Consideration of location and the interests of the people in your area should always be the priority when planning.

The baby boomer generation has a much greater appreciation of home ownership and having something to pass down to their children, even if their children aren’t particularly interested in what they would like to pass down.  Nevertheless, this is a noble thing, and one thing for sure if their children keep living they will live long enough to appreciate the benefits of functional housing that is handicap accessible especially when in combination with a luxurious touch.  If children are too young to take advantage of living in a senior community then renting out the property to other seniors in need of the space is also an option.  Which in the end still makes this property a worthwhile investment attractive to anyone who fits the age criteria.  By having the amenities that are available at arms length they can decide whether or not at any given time if they would like to add on services, and those services will be billed to them beginning that next month for those still independent they still will enjoy the basic services of carefree living, not having to concern themselves with mowing, or major maintenance issues.  Either way this way of thinking and investment in Senior continuum care living is simply a wise choice offering amenities and options for both the independent senior and the assisted needs senior.

If you would like to continue to receive correspondence on this topic and dream with me just a little while longer in aging with dignity follow my blog.  I will be posting more food for thought on this topic as well as reviews of facilities that I have visited.  If you would be interested in investing in building a senior continuum care community also join in on the conversation, at some point it will be time to take what is being written on a blog and see it come to life on land.  The first phase being to invest in land, and the second phase being to invest in architecture and landscaping.  Finally, if financial investment is not something you can do you can begin changing legislation.  Start making your voice heard concerning widening the use of medicaid to include assisted living and memory care as viable placement options or some sort of voucher program for Seniors requiring 24 hour care to be made available for assisted living and memory care facilities.

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When Caught Between A Rock And A Hard Place Concerning Your Loved Ones Care

Its a strange thing having to make decisions for the person who made decisions for you for the first eighteen years of your life, and frankly I wouldn’t wish an ailing parent on anybody.

Learning how to respectfully disobey their desires when what they desire defies reason and puts both your life and theirs in jeopardy is like walking a tight rope.   Trying to make a wise decision in these circumstances are overwhelming, and when the problem is related to partial memory loss the situation is amplified times 1000.

If you would have asked me before I married, moved 12 hours away from home, where my parent would stay in the event of illness the answer was easy, but also because in my mind I never considered memory loss nor the impact caring alone for an individual with memory loss what it took.  Yah  gives you glimpses as I have been blessed to see a family member who has had to be a caregiver for her husband walk it out, but with sons, in-laws, and grandchildren to assist with some of the load.  Of course, they also had the added benefit of living in the area that this person lived their entire life which does assist with at least slowing down the rate of confusion and dementia that a complete separation from home turf could cause.  But when that person would have to move away from everything that is familiar to them to live with you, it is a wild card to say the least.  The support of living siblings become a lifeline, but somewhat out of reach when they are spread out as well.

The fairy tale of reliving dreams, reminiscing over old times, and even enjoying watching television together is replaced with frustration, irritation, and confusion.  The person you confided in, at times even debated, but overall loved and respected looks and sounds like a stranger.  The hope for even a moment of clarity and any spark of connection becomes the straw you grasp for.  It’s a bleak reality, that is compounded all the more if you’re not prepared. Imagine if your parent literally was lost in their own mind and this all happened overnight.  I’m talking a parent who lived alone most of your adult life, they live States away from you, and your siblings and suddenly they have taken ill.  Your status instantly updated from being their child to also becoming their caregiver, what would be your course of action?

Unfortunately, many of us have absolutely no plan mapped out and about the only thing we do know and make known to our loved ones is we don’t want to be in a nursing home. So what are the options? Does a family move across the country to accommodate the wishes of the one parent, at the risk of their family?  Does the ailing parent suffering memory loss move from the only familiar surroundings they know including the people they have known their whole lives to go to a strange land where all they have is you?  And then what do the siblings who also are spread out have to do to see their parent-travel to this new land which could be across country for them? Then, if you do move them only to require more help then you can provide and in the end they still end up in a nursing home, from your home or in their home state.

The mental and emotional challenges are more exhausting then the myriad of paperwork and planning that it takes to make the transition from home to nursing home.  But make no mistake no matter which choice you make your full involvement will be required.

As crazy as this sounds I thank God that even in this tragedy He is opening my eyes to an issue that in the day in and day out of living I never took time to think about.  I wish it didn’t take what it took to open my eyes, but the reality is we are no longer in the society of close knit large families.  In this nation most people stick to the 2.5 children and Lord really be with you if you have less.  The strain and stress of trying to keep up with the Jones’s has caused many of our children to be total strangers to us as they age being more mindful of video games they played, television shows that raised them, and outings with peers because family simply was too busy to raise them.  Babysitters, grandparents, unwed, single, without children siblings pitching in here and there, but parents have spent most of their lives attempting to acquire the “American Dream”.

So what is the mindset of children who were raised by this system when tragedy strikes their parents?  They are equipped to return the favor, alleviate the burdensome situation by placing their parents into the system that they were desperately working so hard to get out of and to free their children from.

Does the child see placing their parent in a nursing home as the opposite of love?  Of course not, if all indeed was done for the sake of the children then as the child grows up this mentality doesn’t change it evolves, and its evolution ends in “let the professionals handle this.”  After all that is the reason why some of us who are not chasing the American Dream won’t pull our children out of the institutions of school and teach them ourselves.

Our generation has not been trained to handle when major problems arise, we can google answers, we can look it up in a book, or ask Sirius, so what should you expect from a mechanical age other then a mechanical answer.  For those of us who would attempt to take in our loved one we live in a society where support from spouses, financial situations, and homes don’t accommodate those with disabilities, and the finances and time that it would take to bring it up to specs still leaves your loved one who needs help now in limbo.  Bottomline, is whether you would take in your parent if you could, or their sickness requires more care then your home could adequately provide and a skilled nursing facility is required whatever your situation is do an assessment, not just for your loved one, but also for yourself.

While you are of sound mind have the conversation with your children or whoever you would entrust your estate to concerning your wishes should that time occur for you.  Also, be reasonable, if you have spent the majority of your life alone with occasional visits from your family, but you have enjoyed your solitude and although you like your kids and family lived your life privately, plan wisely.  Unfortunately, we have not maintained the communal mindset that once was prevalent in this country.  Most people barely speak to their neighbors much less engage in bartering, visiting, and looking out for one another.  So if you are a private person who have an independent rather then co-dependent mentality it is imperative that you take this time to begin looking at options available to accommodate you and the lifestyle you have grown accustomed to.

Living in a nursing home requires living in a community environment and even with the “system driven” mentality that we have been ingrained in we have always kept a clear separation between being involved in systems from without and being a recluse from within.  One thing the American Way has trained us in is having our space, and one of the reasons why the idea of a nursing home rubs us the wrong way if we are honest is the communal aspect of it.  This isn’t the whole but if we are honest we have grown accustomed to having our way, our space, and our privacy.

How do you plan for future changes that must occur because of your health?

  1. Begin having the conversation, first with yourself about what sort of communal environment you would be willing to live in should the need arise.  Don’t be dogmatically against the notion.  Begin considering under what circumstances you would be willing to go to one and begin researching the options that are available based on your income or services in your area.
  2. Be able to articulate to your loved ones your wishes and come together to discuss what role they should play in this process. Remember, you are not in this alone, be vocal with your family and friends what your expectations would be in terms of their involvement with you.  Such things as if home visits would be allowed, if they would be willing to take you to church service on Sunday’s or commit to have a visit from family at least twice a week.  Who you would want to be in charge of finances, your personal effects, etc…  By simply having this conversation while you are in your right mind your brain may have a record of the updated conversation on the issue.  Because if we keep meditating on our past response on the issue, and our adamant opposition to it we will be less willing to concede to it if we are faced with the reality of our condition.  The leading cause of death in nursing homes are Alzheimer’s/Dementia.  Its a disease that’s vastly affecting lots of people and even with the best of care, at the root of the disease is what is left to live for when you remember nothing?  We stay connected primarily because of the people we are connected too.  When we lose that connection life cease to have much meaning to us, and thus for all intense and purposes we are alive, but dead, here but not.  This disease takes its victims while their bodies are still warm, but what accelerates dementia?  Or should I say can it be accelerated?  This may be the only foreseeable means by which you would be comfortable with living in a nursing home.  At this point I am not sure that you would necessarily be willing, but more appropriately less able to vocalize your complaint.  Which unfortunately also puts loved ones at a more vulnerable position, and requires family to be even more attentive towards that persons care for that reason.  Being willing to go to a nursing home is not the same as you actually being required to go to one.  But your willingness to go, and your preparation to go does assist your loved ones should one be required or needed.
  3. Be open minded.  If you are mentally closed off to the possibility then nowhere you go will be good enough.  Research requires that you do some investigating and there are a few things you should keep in mind when investigating.
    1. Make an impromptu visit to local facilities, and particularly on the weekend.  Healthcare is a business like any other so be wise, these places want your business even if they are filled with a waiting list.  In this industry people can be well one day and in the grave the next and just that quick a bed is available.  So recruitment is always fair game. By visiting during off hours you get a chance to see how the unpolished services flow, things like staff attentiveness, treatment of patients, availability of needed services, security, and you get to communicate with people whose check isn’t based on commission or job dependent on recruitment.
    2. Ask other people you know who have had to use these facilities what their experience was like.  If scouring the reviews on the internet is not reliable enough for you then ask your friends.  Chances are someone you know has had to use these facilities for someone or know someone who has.  They can tell you the pros and cons and can save you time and energy in checking these places out.
    3. Begin thinking in advance should the worse occur and your level of care requires more then your family could reasonably handle where you would want to go.  Knowing how bad it can get means it is important for you to know how well the facility meets the needs of its patients.  How clean and happy do the patients who are there look? What does it smell like?  Make sure that you are in the skilled nursing area, we have been to places where the rehab section smells good and looks gorgeous and then when you see the skilled nursing side it is scary and uninviting.  Be sure that if you do an impromptu tour that you are led to the area that would be your home should you be required to stay.
    4. Review all the options of care based on your level of health.  If you were in reasonably good health, such that your family could house you, but you were still fairly independent and know that this would not be something you would be comfortable with on a continuous basis, find out what independent living or assisted living homes would be within your budget and to your liking.  This would have to be an ongoing process. But make sure you journal your records and keep those who you care about updated as you make changes
    5. Write in Pencil.  As stated this industry changes rapidly so don’t get too comfortable and stay connected. Stay regularly aware of changes in management, rotating personnel of your top list contending facilities, these are things you should keep tabs on.  Thankfully, technology does allow for you to get e-mails from some of these places, I encourage you to get them and read them.  If the activities and news you hear doesn’t excite you now then chances are it wouldn’t be of interest to you if your health was impaired. Which means you have to keep that in mind when laying out before your family your desires.
    6. Don’t choose alone.  Its good to have someone to go with you for moral support as you make decisions as well as to think of the things you won’t.  It’s a different thing when you are shopping for yourself, even if it is just for the possibility.  Be able to articulate what you do and don’t like, consider it a buddy system thing, because again the person who is going with you might be looking for you, but by going they are also able to assess somethings for themselves as well.
    7. Top Contenders do a tour.  Those places you are really considering you should do a full tour.  Come again and get the tour of amenities, philosophy of the place, pricing, and options available.  Many of these tours include a meal.  This is very important, for many people the taste of the food can be a deal breaker so knowing how they rank in that arena also is important.

You don’t think about things like this until your faced with the situation and so it wasn’t until I was faced with the situation that I begin to analyze the fact that this can happen to anybody at any given moment and no one is exempt so we can’t afford to be dogmatic that we wouldn’t be willing to go to a nursing home especially if our loved ones are not in a position to care for us.  To the child who would like to take in that parent, but that parent doesn’t really want to stay with you either, or even if they did want to stay with you, your living situation wouldn’t accommodate it find a suitable compromise.  I believe at the heart of the issue with skilled nursing facilities is getting a good one, and indeed that is challenging.  You will have to make some compromises and if your parent’s memory is gone enough that they don’t know who they are or where they are then you may want to consider moving them into a facility near you or near a relative who would have the time it would take to visit them regularly, develop rapport with the staff and hold their feet to the fire.  Otherwise, if left with no one to visit there is no telling what condition your parent will be in when you do finally visit.  This is an area where micromanagement is needed. Also, depending on their level of care you may want to consider having them in a nursing home, but taking them home with you for weekend visits or short vacations.  Done regularly and consistently one can achieve the benefits of assisted quality care and spending quality time with their parent that when they were well was probably not spent.

Please be advised I am not bashing anyone who finds themselves between this rock and a hard place, because I am there with you.  I had to really pray to God and be at peace about the possibility of having to put my loved one in a skilled nursing facility.  The same questions I am posing I had to ask, should I bring them where I am or leave them where they are.  I wish I could tell you I had a definitive answer, but the answer is still in the making, but I can say that I have a peace now that should I need to place them in a facility, I can be okay with that decision.  You have to know your parent, know yourself, and know what is first in their best interest, and finally what is reasonably within your ability to do.  Just make sure that you do for your loved one what you would want someone to do for you.

We don’t know how we are going to leave this life the only thing we know is that we are going to leave it and so it behooves us to do a little bit of preparation for the unlikely but possible event that could cause us to live before we wake up, and that’s if we do.  There are loved ones who have outlived some of their children with Alzheimer’s, and many times the caregivers leave before the ones being cared for.  We invest in funeral insurance and life insurance policies but we don’t invest what is most important to invest in while you are still alive, in the event that we don’t peacefully die in our sleep before losing our minds or our health.  We don’t invest in spending time at nursing homes visiting those who have been put away, forgotten, never realizing that if it wasn’t for the grace of God we could be in the same situation, and as long as we are still living we don’t realize that there is no guarantee that this reality isn’t in our future.  I am not saying all of this to get you fixated on any of this, by all means I am not suggesting make this your life’s work searching out a place you can be placed in the event sickness strikes.  The greater message I hope to convey is while you are well, spend the time you have with the people you would want to spend time with if you were sick.

The greatest inheritance you can pass down to your kids is not houses, cars, or stocks and bonds, but the gift that keeps giving compassion, and love.  Trust me if you should find yourself in this situation there are going to be people who you will want to care for your loved ones as though they were their loved ones, and trust me money doesn’t guarantee the best service.  You can spend good money on someone caring for your parent and your parent be treated as subhuman, but it would be that person who gets paid the least, but loves your parent the most that will give you that priceless service.  These are the things that the American Dream can’t buy for you, only loyal family and friends, and love and favor from the Lord.

I am working on a book/documentary called “If I Should Live Before I Wake” if these articles are blessing you and you want to be kept aware, I encourage you to follow me and as the articles drop you will be notified.

High Security to Your Own Demise: The Side Effects of Behind the Times Banking

Had I known the challenges that awaited us in banking with a company who has chosen to be left behind in the dark ages.   I know for many especially the elderly it is comforting banking with smaller banks that have chosen NOT to crossover to the more technologically advanced systems we have today.  There is a blatant distrust of the security of all these fancy high tech options that are now available at our fingertips, and the ability to have that hospitality of the good ole days and that constant contact with that family feel of banking in person, well it is nostalgic, and definitely provides a more personal touch and can make for a more high security atmosphere, at least one would think.  However, with most things in life for every pro there are considerable cons and if you are prone to sickness which tends to be par for the course with the loveliness of aging this antiquated way of handling business can become a serious crutch.

The first thing I would like to point out is if you are aging, and especially if your children or the one who you would entrust to make decisions concerning your welfare in the event of an unexpected illness should occur I would recommend you get a joint account.  This should be done no matter who you bank with.  One sure way for things to go aerie with your credit, your possessions, and potential trouble with the IRS is to be in a situation where no one can access your cash.  However, I will say that if the unexpected sickness occurs and your recovery takes longer then a month’s billing cycle then you can put your family in a very compromising position and these out of date banks can add strain to an already strenuous situation for those responsible for handling business in your absence.   Bottomline, no matter how sweet and courteous your local banker can be, make no mistake they are going to abide by the established bank guidelines and regulations set up by their employers and unfortunately that could mean that if family doesn’t have the discretionary income to cover your short fall that you are going to be in serious trouble with a lot of people and may even find yourself if the illness prolongs beyond expected in a situation where you could be homeless.  Having said that there are several things that my experience in this situation has caused me to consider and questions you would be wise to ask your banker if they provide.

  • What does a joint bank account give my joint account holder access too?
  • If I do not have an ATM card or debit card, and I become too ill to come into the bank myself can my joint account holder apply for an ATM card on my account to access money for me?
  • What type of legal documentation would be acceptable for conducting business concerning my account and what type of changes would this documentation provide for them?

Most of us would like to think that we will always have our wits about us, but the reality is this is not a guarantee.  Read the statistics yourself to see what can happen in your future.  Look at your own genetic history and uncover the incidences of diseases that affect mental health in your family.  The more extensive that is the more prone or susceptible you are to suffering from similar diseases of the same kind.  Unfortunately, we don’t take time to think about these things and when tragedy strikes it is too late to retro-activate anything and believe me the strain of a financial burden on your loved ones who already have to cope with the emotional and mental stress of your health situation makes a bad situation desperate.

Other important options that your bank need to offer is online access.  Of course this would be archaic if such a bank existed and didn’t offer it, but beyond that there are a few things that any potential bank should give you access too..

  • Bill pay options – This option should allow for you to pay people directly as well as set up accounts for monthly service payments. Make sure autopay is also available, again, a loved one shouldn’t have to be caught between caring for their loved one and remembering to pay your bills on time.  Auto access alleviates that for them.
  • Mobile access – We live in a society where we are constantly on the move. Having access on a mobile phone means that I am not bound by buildings, nor have to be home to handle affairs quickly and promptly for you.  Making things easier on the caregiver means that they have more time to focus on what is most pressing, your care.  Mobile access also means that any checks that must come to your caregiver who may not live where you do can make it possible for them to deposit cash in your account remotely, and quickly.  Mobile deposits for many banks show up the same day you deposit it.

Finally, I realize living in a global society that identity theft and hacking is a real serious threat to our financial security and our piece of mind.  However, I would encourage you not to fear using these avenues, but instead educate yourself in learning how to safely use these tools.  Remember, there is no bank that does not use the internet as a tool to access your account information.  If they can find a safe way of protecting your identity while accessing your information online, certainly so can you.  These are just a few tips  from a series of information I will be providing for those who are interested in having the conversation we need to have on preparing for our golden years.  This article is part of a section that will be in a book, and perhaps at some point a documentary called, “If I should live before I wake.”

High Security to Your Own Demise: The Side Effects of Behind the Times Banking

Had I known the challenges that awaited us in banking with a company who has chosen to be left behind in the dark ages.   I know for many especially the elderly it is comforting banking with smaller banks that have chosen NOT to crossover to the more technologically advanced systems we have today.  There is a blatant distrust of the security of all these fancy high tech options that are now available at our fingertips, and the ability to have that hospitality of the good ole days and that constant contact with that family feel of banking in person, well it is nostalgic, and definitely provides a more personal touch and can make for a more high security atmosphere, at least one would think.  However, with most things in life for every pro there are considerable cons and if you are prone to sickness which tends to be par for the course with the loveliness of aging this antiquated way of handling business can become a serious crutch.

The first thing I would like to point out is if you are aging, and especially if your children or the one who you would entrust to make decisions concerning your welfare in the event of an unexpected illness should occur I would recommend you get a joint account.  This should be done no matter who you bank with.  One sure way for things to go aerie with your credit, your possessions, and potential trouble with the IRS is to be in a situation where no one can access your cash.  However, I will say that if the unexpected sickness occurs and your recovery takes longer then a month’s billing cycle then you can put your family in a very compromising position and these out of date banks can add strain to an already strenuous situation for those responsible for handling business in your absence.   Bottomline, no matter how sweet and courteous your local banker can be, make no mistake they are going to abide by the established bank guidelines and regulations set up by their employers and unfortunately that could mean that if family doesn’t have the discretionary income to cover your short fall that you are going to be in serious trouble with a lot of people and may even find yourself if the illness prolongs beyond expected in a situation where you could be homeless.  Having said that there are several things that my experience in this situation has caused me to consider and questions you would be wise to ask your banker if they provide.

  • What does a joint bank account give my joint account holder access too?
  • If I do not have an ATM card or debit card, and I become too ill to come into the bank myself can my joint account holder apply for an ATM card on my account to access money for me?
  • What type of legal documentation would be acceptable for conducting business concerning my account and what type of changes would this documentation provide for them?

Most of us would like to think that we will always have our wits about us, but the reality is this is not a guarantee.  Read the statistics yourself to see what can happen in your future.  Look at your own genetic history and uncover the incidences of diseases that affect mental health in your family.  The more extensive that is the more prone or susceptible you are to suffering from similar diseases of the same kind.  Unfortunately, we don’t take time to think about these things and when tragedy strikes it is too late to retro-activate anything and believe me the strain of a financial burden on your loved ones who already have to cope with the emotional and mental stress of your health situation makes a bad situation desperate.

Other important options that your bank need to offer is online access.  Of course this would be archaic if such a bank existed and didn’t offer it, but beyond that there are a few things that any potential bank should give you access too..

  • Bill pay options – This option should allow for you to pay people directly as well as set up accounts for monthly service payments. Make sure autopay is also available, again, a loved one shouldn’t have to be caught between caring for their loved one and remembering to pay your bills on time.  Auto access alleviates that for them.
  • Mobile access – We live in a society where we are constantly on the move. Having access on a mobile phone means that I am not bound by buildings, nor have to be home to handle affairs quickly and promptly for you.  Making things easier on the caregiver means that they have more time to focus on what is most pressing, your care.  Mobile access also means that any checks that must come to your caregiver who may not live where you do can make it possible for them to deposit cash in your account remotely, and quickly.  Mobile deposits for many banks show up the same day you deposit it.

Finally, I realize living in a global society that identity theft and hacking is a real serious threat to our financial security and our piece of mind.  However, I would encourage you not to fear using these avenues, but instead educate yourself in learning how to safely use these tools.  Remember, there is no bank that does not use the internet as a tool to access your account information.  If they can find a safe way of protecting your identity while accessing your information online, certainly so can you.  These are just a few tips  from a series of information I will be providing for those who are interested in having the conversation we need to have on preparing for our golden years.  This article is part of a section that will be in a book, and perhaps at some point a documentary called, “If I should live before I wake.”

 

Unhealthy Attachments

In a society that teaches us to value things as much or in some cases more than people we find ourselves easily giving way to developing unhealthy attachments to stuff. Looking at our attachment to places, and things that we have today, when I think about Abraham’s ability to be obedient to Yah in moving from the place he called home, and not just the place he called home, but also the city he grew up in to follow God I am inspired. The challenge we face today as we grow older in the place that housed our memories of yesterday is being able to leave when the home that cherished our accomplishments and memories has outgrown or overgrown its usefulness and practical benefits. Realizing the seasons of life that we all must make, the notion of a “forever home” seems limited and counterproductive to having life and being healthy.

Unhealthy attachments are no more apparent then the hoarder in us who holds on to every single thing. The thought that we would miss it once it’s gone although we do nothing with it while in our possession. The concern of others taking that very thing that we aren’t using but in effect burying it is better than putting it in the hands of someone who can make something out of it. We’d rather that thing die with us then live for someone else. Not realizing that we are liken unto the person that Jesus condemned who had one talent and buried it rather than see it prosper in the hands of somebody else. Ultimately, what was Jesus response? He gave it to the person who had five talents and did something with it and condemned the person who had the talent and buried it into outer darkness. (Matt. 25:14-30) This person Jesus called wicked and slothful, harsh words, yet daily I myself am convicted with all the stuff I accumulate and continue to hold on to but not finish. Bottom line we at some point must ask ourselves questions about the things that are in our life and begin to assess why they are there otherwise we will continue to accumulate things and have more and more tasks undone.

Anything ignored long enough in our lives will decay

Many of us have held on to homes like trophies, as though they are a statement of a battle that was won by us. Yet, like decade long trophies that have been won we neglect them. Homes that we spent many years in and collected many cherished memories from have become worn, dusty, and neglected in some cases not even mirroring it’s former self. A sad picture of winning a battle and finding out that the fight was not worth it. Almost indicative of all the effort and resources put into fighting in the Vietnam War, and soldiers who altered the course of their lives coming back worn, beaten, and emotionally wounded faced not a heroes return, but an ambush from the very people they served.

So what is the answer? If indeed we are of the Seed of Abraham then why aren’t we doing what Abraham did? As I consider more and more the stance he took in light of the challenges we face today, his ability to leave his home, the place he grew up to go somewhere not knowing where he would end up I am amazed. Many of us even when it is economically, physically, and functionally impractical for us to live in our homes would rather die than leave. Based solely on emotional attachments that we develop over stuff. Many of us if we only had 10 minutes to pack and get out of our homes to save our lives wouldn’t know what to leave behind. We value so many things that really hold very little value that we would rather die with our stuff then access what was really important then leave the rest behind. In a digital world we have the ability to digitize pictures of all the beautiful artifacts we have gathered over time and hold all those memories for future generations on a disk that we can fit in a purse. Allowing ourselves to free our minds and our space of furniture that is no longer useful to us, as well as homes that have served their purpose. However, I implore you to think differently those who will not make it in the times that we face ahead are those who would rather die living in yesterday rather then live today with a ready to change mentality to grab hold to tomorrow.

I believe our society is structured to dismantle families. We have communities that cater to segments of society rather then expanding to accommodate all of society. This is what I mean by an integrated approach to living. Scripturally we see that our Lord and Savior is preparing a place for His bride. Notice that this place accommodates multiple generations. As He is describing a house for us that is within the huge space that will be shared with the owner of the house being His Father. (John 14:2) Of course we are talking about a community that will have none sick, but you get the picture. Why aren’t communities built to accommodate sustaining relationships through time? Why aren’t relationship building the pinnacle point of the community? I don’t know the answer for why this isn’t the norm, but I do know the solution for sustainable change. Building a community that is sustainable to allow for those who purchase to acquire space that meets their lasting needs. We know that all of our lives are in cycles. No one knows this better than those who are much older than myself as they have entered every cycle of life. Yet, this is not how our society functions. On one level it really bothers me that my parents who have had the steadiness in their life to achieve home ownership and live amongst the neighbors that built the community they reside in from its conception find themselves in a position that as they are now getting older and the needs that they have, have changed may have to find themselves leaving that community for no other reason then the community did not consider the aging factor of it’s inhabitants.

This had to be something they knew as homes even during my parents time was built on 30 year mortgages. Which implies that the resident at least plans on spending 30 years in that house if not more. Or at least the potential to do so is there, yet developers didn’t have the fortitude to consider that at some point these people would have children who would be grown and leave, parents who would get old and no longer need to have these huge monstrosities, yet would develop an attachment to not only the space, but the place of their home because of those who would be around them.  Relationships are the appropriate things to build and to establish and maintain, at least if they are healthy ones. Yet, even this can’t be an excuse not to move when the writing is on the wall. Again, we see with Abraham that his directive from God was to leave his fathers house, and his kindred.

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

Gen 12:1

Our unwillingness to move when it is so clear that God is directing us to can shorten more than our attention span, but our lifespan. We say things like “you’d have to carry me out of here in a body bag.” Should we really be that attached to a piece of property, especially when it’s not the land that was promised to us. Now please, don’t get it twisted for the right piece of land I think we ought to fight for, but the land that we reside in is far from the Promise Land that has been given to us, so the question is why are we fighting to own real estate in Egypt when the Promise Land is over the Jordan? Those who don’t properly assess the time we are living in and the place that we are, and the attitude we should have about the place we reside may find ourselves eating wholeheartedly the words that we speak and literally die in that home in which we are being told to leave.

Then again perhaps that is the plight of the Baby Boomer generation. During a time when there was such a struggle and a fight for every inch of anything that was owned. Especially in the African American community when we finally had a chance to own something, to reach a status that had been denied to the generation before them, how could they not get attached? I get it, the facade that we could ever really own something here is the brass ring that our ancestors for generations and generations have striven to achieve, and perhaps only now in my generation is there a beginning of a call back to home. An understanding that no matter how hard we fight, no matter how many pennies we save, the reality is the American dream will always be simply that a dream. The reality is while this dream has affected us psychologically for a longer period of time than many other nationalities represented the truth of the matter is the dream hasn’t been realized by those rich or poor, neither white nor black. Simply put because an injustice to any people is an injustice to all people, and while we may like to compare ourselves to other nations and measure our successes by their failures, the truth is we have a lot more dirt that has yet to fully surface to deal with. While it is true that we provide a land of opportunity for so many nations that face impoverished situation, we are still a far cry from living up to the eloquent words penned on the papers that our founding fathers wrote.

The reality is it was necessary for us to come to this complete circle to only find the tug at our hearts for more then these borders can hold, and realize there is a world outside of this country without walls that we have yet to explore. Quite simply a call home, once again as in the time of Abraham God is calling his children out of the systems of this nation, out of the comforts and conveniences of the lands that we have inhabited, and bringing us into the wilderness. Only those with a tenacity and determination like Abraham will be able to weather the emotional and physical roller coaster this journey will take us on, it is not a journey for the weak or unprepared. But for those who are diligent and determined to achieve great things for the Kingdom of God.   As Paul described Demas, we ought not to love this present world as some will do and forsake the brethren, but strive to build the world that is to come. (2 Tim. 4:10)

I believe that world will be an integrated community where the only litmus test will be do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God? Are you His bride or a guest at the party? Will you be given keys to the Kingdom or will you be one who must knock at the door with limited access? Which kingdom are you trying to build? Are you like Abraham who was looking for a city whose builder and maker is God or are you building your own kingdom in this life? Are you chasing dollars, chasing dreams, or chasing God? We cannot serve two masters either we will serve God or mammon. Either we are working for the unrighteous mammon or for the righteous Manna that came from heaven? We ultimately must decide what is really important and make that our priority.

A New Reality for Assisted Living

In the wake of considering the current situation we have and will have in our future it has helped me to re-evaluate what I would like to see in our world. Since I am old enough to have to face this reality for those I love who are older than myself, yet young enough to begin putting some thought and parameters in place to make my own decisions I would like to share my dream with you. Let’s face it those of us after the Baby Boomers are going to be in big trouble as we age. Our emerging machine oriented environment has neither equipped us nor our children with the social skills and emotional skills necessary to cope with what will be a major problem as I get older and those below me. Care and concern for the elderly is getting more and more callous and old school ability to stick it out and care for your loved ones till death do you part, well that is a thing of the past. Leaving us in situations where we are going to be more and more dependent on some sort of system to provide for the growing group of people who will be dependent on assisted living for one reason or another.

We are living longer now then any other time in modern history, we are told, but what we are not being told is the condition of the lives we are living as we age? We are not being told the cost of dying slowly and the misery involved as we age and our children and loved ones pretty much cast us aside to the professional doctors and nurses who are paid to care for us. This concern is however, emerging in an around about way for those of us in our twenties and thirties who are beginning to make better choices as it relates to food purchases, and investing in exercise plans. However, many of us based on our savings alone if we had to depend on it to ensure that we could age in a place that would provide for our needs in a way that we can maintain our dignity and not suffer from depression would be in big trouble. As we work we live the lives we want to live, and do the things we want to do, and it sets us up for a major let down if we had to face the reality of growing old in a government supported facility.

 

I submit to you, what if there was a way that you can plan for your retirement and live in a serene environment where your years of life on this earth would be both celebrated and put to use? If you could wake up every morning in a beautifully decorated home that gave you easy access and allowed you to have the independence you have always had, but in a resort like environment? If you could have healthy meals prepared, naturopathic doctors assisting you in prevention and traditional doctors available for routine maintenance at your fingertips, would that appeal to you? You wouldn’t have to worry about cleaning, cooking, or having access to relaxing amenities which allowed you to socialize when you like or retreat when you like. Enjoy the lively sounds of nature, the calming movement of water, and beauty that surrounded you at every angle. That would be the life, and it can be a reality for an affordable price for those forward thinking enough to start planning now.

 

I propose investing in an affordable fire extinguisher for your future. If you are not aware of the potential dangers involved in NOT planning for your golden years then I highly recommend you read my article, “Dangers of Throwing Caution To The Wind: How We Should Be Planning Ahead For Our Golden Years”. There I share some sound advice for those in the valley of decision concerning purchasing a family home and things you should consider to make wise decisions that can benefit your future. In it I propose questions you should consider, but saved planning options for your retirement for here. I personally became interested after my own family was faced with making such decisions and in my research on purchasing LTC (Long Term Care) insurance I begin to see the horror stories that befell so many people who have loved ones who paid years and years into a policy that they were unable to benefit from, based on technicalities, loopholes, and the outdated policies that did not cover the shift in current societal needs. Policies our parents purchased when they were our age didn’t anticipate the growing need for memory care and how that type of care could be financially draining. Insurance companies are probably easily getting bombarded with the growing influx of not only old, but younger than expected patients are depending on those policies to provide.

As it relates to traditional options for the growing needs of aging parents there are no remedies, cures, or options for reversing or slowing down the effects of aging ungracefully. However, the emerging naturopathic field is making great strides in using alternative, non or minimal invasive methods for either slowing down the rate of declining health trends and for some reversing diseases that had been considered terminal by traditional medicine. What needs to occur is a return to whole, organic, non “substantially equivalent” or also known as GMO foods, fresh air environments, and plainly put simple living facilities that don’t wreak of the havoc of our stressful environments. Even for those who are retired everything in our world is geared towards go, go, go. After spending 30 or more years working now our elders need a place they can retire in peace and enjoy the laid back life away from the constant bombardment of living. We have become so accustomed to irreversible diseases that traditional medicine, and nursing home, and assisted living facilities no longer even attempt to focus on getting people well enough to live independent of them, but has instead grown comfortable with the idea that those who enter their doors will be there for life. While I don’t offer you a utopia that will ensure that your loved ones will regain the life they once had, or promise that they could get well enough to ever live on their own, I submit to you that I do envision a place where that is the goal. The goal is not just to make you comfortable until you die, but to help you live a full life, and should you die here you can die with your life full not empty. Your years of wisdom tapped into, captured, put into use, and passing on so that your life has meaning till the day you die, and continues to live on through those you were able to impact until your last breath. While people can die even doing everything they should do, the ideology of naturopathy is vastly different then that of allopathic medicine. Every individual should have access to both, a naturopath that will focus on helping you reach your best, and the allopathic who will keep you from dying. You need someone who will you find out the root cause of your sickness, and you need the person who will keep you from dying as a result of the immediate damage an unhealthy lifestyle has caused.

 

I submit to you that it is possible however, to have the best of both worlds and the way to do that is to apply some of the principles of the time share model to what I call the life care model. Purchasing a timeshare is frivolous, but it gets its support from those who see the economic benefit in buying a service that allows them to have access to a resort that they intend on using year after year without having to pay retail pricing. Essentially buying your vacation time in installments versus lump sum payments. This too is one reason why insurance is usually so favorable. We trust the insurance companies to do what we typically are not disciplined enough to do ourselves hold our money for us until we need it. The problem comes when stipulations and access to get that money out has to meet insurance policies. What I am proposing is similar to a time share in that you are buying over time into a system that has shared investments based on need of use. The difference is unlike a timeshare should you need assisted living it will become the place you stay for life, not for a week or two. However, the shared part of this equation has more to do with how this system can function at an affordable cost and can be passed down to other members of the family based on need. Which is what makes it an investment. You would be in effect paying two mortgages in a way. At first more aggressively paying for the building of your structure, and then as you get older less aggressively paying for the amenities and the property that it lies on. The only benefit to this approach is if you don’t need it, and if no one in your family needs it, you can elect to rent your space out to someone who could use it now. Since most people haven’t prepared in advance for such a need you having a spot in an exclusive and progressive assisted living residents makes your property prime real estate for a family in desperate need of a good home for their loved one. This means you have the option as the owner to rent it out at what you pay or more at your discretion which would in effect mean you would be paying off the principle for your property before you actually need it.

 

Imagine having a retirement home already ready to go with the ability to accommodate any growing needs you may have. A place that provides services to keep you well as well as address your immediate needs. Imagine that this possibility for your life could be paid for right now would you be interested in it? I am working on a proposal that will allow for you to plan for your families needs and for larger families to invest together in an assisted living haven that would be accessible should their parents, themselves, or their children need it in the future. Something that would be affordable, provide for 24 hour staff, quality care, alternative care, and accommodate the lifestyle that you worked so hard to acquire, even when you can’t do for yourself. This would be a viable alternative for those concerned about current insurance policy loopholes that could limit your option for you and your loved one, and bleed your bank accounts dry. These facilities would provide state of the art care, luxurious facilities, residing in a retreat like atmosphere.

 

Those who think they might be interested in this proposal please fill out the form below and you will be kept up to date as this plan is put in place.

The Danger of Throwing Caution to the Wind: How We Should Be Planning Ahead for Our Golden Years:

Nothing is more heartbreaking then having to prepare for the inevitability of growing old not so gracefully. The sting of haphazard lifestyle choices and “treating ourselves” with unhealthy eating plays a toll even more as we get older. For those of us who live long enough and are just strong enough to require assisted living the traditional options ring of a bleak existence. The growing issues of dementia and the possibility of becoming disabled due to too many falls have made the need for either home care, nursing homes, or assisted living a reality that doesn’t just affect our parents, but also impacts how we must live in the wake of our parents aging.

 

However, having our parents dependent is still preferable to not having them at all. Anyone who has had good parents, want their parents to have the best, if we are not freed up to care for our loved ones we want the next best thing for them. Which in many cases requires assistance from outside of our home to accomplish. Smaller families with less children means for a growing trend to have to depend outside of the nucleus family for help. As I watch my parents and Aunts and Uncles age and many suffer from the unfortunate mishaps life can bring I am seeing the difference it makes in having a large family. My mom’s family there exists ten siblings and nine surviving and most of them still live in the town they were born and raised in. Having this large family structure meant that my grandmother could finish her days living in her own home, even with dementia, being cared for by her children with home health care being provided in assistance with the family surrounding her. My uncle who is not even the oldest who suffered some medical trauma himself that required him to be admitted to a facility for therapy has the benefit of several siblings who are popping in and out to ensure that he is getting quality care and encouragement. For my immediate family such a buffer doesn’t exist. As for my mom she only has two of us and as for my dad he only has three of us to depend on in which all three of us live a considerable distance from them in the event they were in need. Our circumstances would require that either our parents would have to leave the place they called home to stay with us, or would have to depend on their remaining siblings and/or facility aided care.

 

It’s heartbreaking and emotionally draining, as children you would like to be the one caring for your parents who brought you in this world and cared for you, and what’s even more disheartening is when they haven’t prepared for what could possibly happen to them during their golden years, so while you would like for your parents to have the very best possible care and living situation, your finances may at worst put them in a predicament where they could be miserable and neglected. This has caused me to re-evaluate a lot of things, not just for my family, but for myself, if God forbid I find myself in a future situation that would require me to have to make such decisions. I personally could find myself on my own since I have no biological children which is really causing me to analyze my future options and weighing how I should plan for that possibility.

 

While I have always been an advocate for living healthy so that you can live until you die, and this of course is the best way to avoid many tragedies that befall those who become sick due to auto-immune disease, the reality is it doesn’t protect you from a plethora of other things that could happen that can cause you to have to live out your days in an assisted living situation. Tragedy can strike in multiple ways in which diet, exercise, and proper rest can’t prevent. We all know that person who ate healthy, exercised, and slept on a clock who either died young, or tragedy struck. On the other hand we know that person who smoked a pipe, ate ice cream every night and lived to be 103 having no need of assistance. So I say that to say nothing is for certain, and no one is untouchable as it relates to sickness, disease, or the potential for disability.

 

For those of us who bought into the belief that less is better and cut our family down to one or two, or if you are one of those unfortunate enough to not have children then even more so you’d better start planning and saving for the facility that you would like to go into should you find yourself in need.

 

There are several options available for the financially prepared that may be most comparable for an assisted living situation should you not find yourself in a completely dependent state. You can opt to have in home care if you were wise enough to own a home that is already set up or easily convertible for handicap assistance. This may be the most affordable option for those who are in a limited financial preparedness situation. If you are in a situation where you are in your early thirties or forties I would encourage you to consider these factors when choosing a house. Many of us purchase homes with stairs and many of those stairs are needed to access places that are essential to daily living. Such as kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms being located between or at the top of the stairways. If this is you expect that you will probably have to move should your lifestyle situation have to change due to impairment. If you own the house this would only be a temporary setback, which can be major if you don’t have a spouse, living children or trusted people to care for you.   If you live in a house that is loft style or open concept then making the adjustment will be relatively easy to live out your days or as many of your days as possible within your home with daily assistance or home care provision.

 

Unfortunately none of us know what our future holds, obviously advance notice could allow for us to prepare for the future more carefully and would possibly change the way we live our lives in the here and now. But since we don’t know, the smartest option is to install the fire extinguisher in our lives. Fire extinguishers hopefully will never have to be used, and in many homes it isn’t, but unfortunately there are times when it is needed and there is far less damage when one is there then when it is not. If you know that you have limited income and you don’t expect to win any lotteries nor have any rich uncles or aunts who just love you to pieces then you should consider when purchasing a home or moving into neighborhoods what would be the fire extinguisher necessary in the event you should find yourself in need of medical attention or assistance.

 

  1. Buy a home that is in close proximity to the hospital you would want to be admitted to in the event tragedy struck. Many times we don’t think about this as being an important factor in choosing where we live. We focus on school zones, but the reality is after you begin looking for a home that will suit your needs not just a family home the most important thing you want to ensure is that you live close to a hospital you would be okay with going to in the event assistance is needed. Many places don’t let you choose the hospital you go to when EMT is dispatched. You are forced to go to the nearest hospital and the nearest hospital might not be the best option for you or the one you would like to be admitted to. But this is critical because it is nearly impossible to get transferred once you’re there.
  2. Choose your home style wisely. When you buy a house you aren’t thinking necessarily about future possibilities, but in the midst of you falling in love with the kitchen, décor, flooring, and grand entrances, make sure that you look at things like how open is the area? Do I have to go up stairs to access main areas of the home like the kitchen, bathroom, etc… Is there at least one bedroom or an area that could be a bedroom accessible on the main floor? Are there stairs outside the home? These are things that may not cost you a lot in purchasing, but can cost you your life or your lifesavings in the event that you had to function at limited capacity in that home.
  3. Do I live in a desirable neighborhood? More important than having the fancy home is living in the fancy area. Even if your house value depreciates due to wear and tare, if you live in a sought after area, you would still be able to quickly sell your home if that became necessary to move into an assisted living facility. This is critical because unless you have $20,000 or more stashed away somewhere if you had to move into an assisted living situation tomorrow, this is not a scenario that would be cheap. Depending on the assistance you need and where you live you can easily be looking at anywhere from $2000 to $5000 a month. While that covers all your necessity of life living expenses it certainly doesn’t leave most money for anything else, and since your working days would be over having cash on hand will be essential and being able to sell your home quickly will be as well.

For more information on assisted living planning, please read my article A New Reality For Assisted Living.