Peach Tree Times
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Peach Tree Times
Trying to decide which senior community is right for you or your loved one can be a daunting task. It's important to know all of the details about each facility so you can make the right decision.
Here are a few questions to ask the staff when touring a senior living community.
What living options are there?
Most senior communities offer a range of apartment sizes, locations, and layouts. You should ask about how much privacy there is, what kinds of items you can or cannot bring, and what limitations there are on visitors.
Consider where in the community you'll be happiest. Do you want to be in the center of the action or in a quieter part of the building? Can the staff provide a floor plan of your potential apartment? If so, this can help you determine which of your possessions will fit in the apartment.
You should also ask what utilities are included in the rent. Is cable included? What about Wi-Fi? You might want to know if you will be sharing Wi-Fi with the whole community and visitors or if there are separate networks.
What activities are offered?
Many seniors chose to move to a retirement community because they're starting to feel isolated in their homes. What kinds of activities are available? Are there any eligibility requirements for these activities? When are activities offered?
How do you keep residents safe?
It's important to know what a community does to ensure the safety of you or your loved one.
Ask questions such as:
Are there emergency pull cords in rooms?
What kinds of things are there to make the bathroom safer (grab bars, non-slip surfaces, rails, walk-in tubs, etc.)?
What happens if there is a medical emergency? Is staff available 24/7?
Are fire drills performed regularly?
How do you know if residents are accounted for?
Can residents request safety checks?
What happens if a resident has a complaint?
No community is perfect, so it's important to have ways to encourage and address feedback from residents, families, and staff. Who does a resident talk to if they have a concern?
Is there transportation?
Many communities offer some form of transportation. Is transportation included in rent or is it a separate charge? When is transportation offered? Does it include the places you personally want to visit? If you still drive yourself, ask about the parking situation. Do you have to pay for a parking spot? Where is parking located?
What are the meal options?
When are meals served? Is it cook-to-order or cafeteria-style? What kinds of food get served? Ask if you can get a copy of the menu. What happens if a resident doesn't like what is on the menu for that meal? How do they handle allergies? Do residents have assigned seats or do they choose where to sit?
Are pets allowed?
Many senior living communities are pet-friendly, but not all. If you have a pet, it's important to know whether or not they will be able to be with you when you move.
How much does it cost?
Many people feel awkward or rude when talking about money, but it's an important factor in the decision. Once you've determined a particular community is high on your list of choices, you should ask for a cost breakdown.
Some things to consider:
What's the base price per month/year?
Will the cost change over time?
What amenities are included in the base price? What add-ons do you have to pay for and how much do they cost?
How does the community communicate with residents and their families?
Ask what the community does to keep you and your family in the loop. What social media platforms do they use? Do they send out announcements via email? Is there a weekly or monthly newsletter or email list? How do residents give their input on potential changes?
How is the transition to the community made easier? Is there a welcoming committee or resident orientation?
How does the staff know who to call when something happens? Can you designate a family member as a contact person?
Choosing a senior living community can be a difficult decision. Don't be afraid to ask as many questions as you need. By asking a bunch of questions, you are better equipped to choose the right retirement community for you or your loved one.
Moving can be challenging, exciting, and exhausting at any age, and, when you're an older adult there are some additional things you have to consider. Whether you're moving into a retirement community, assisted living facility, or simply downsizing, you'll want to make it as easy of a process as possible.
When is it time to downsize?
Knowing when it's time to downsize can be difficult, but there are a few tips and guidelines.
Packing and moving can be physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. Ease the pain by starting early and giving yourself plenty of time to go through your belongings and make choices. By giving yourself extra time, you make it easier to determine which items you want to keep and what you want to do with the rest, whether it's donating, selling, or discarding.
Reduce your belongings
Moving from a large home to a smaller one calls for reducing your possessions to some degree. Reducing your belongings doesn't mean getting rid of things you love - it just means keeping the things you find useful or meaningful. Start by donating or selling clothes, furniture, and other possessions that you no longer need.
If you're having trouble getting rid of something, look for these signs:
Moving can be overwhelming, especially when you have lived in one place for many years. But, a move can be a great opportunity for positive changes, such as meeting new people and fostering new hobbies. Keep a positive attitude and your move will usually go smoother.
Follow a sorting system when going through your belongings. You could use different bins for donate, sell, and give away, as well as a list of who is getting which items.
Start with large items and work your way towards smaller ones. Going through larger furniture pieces first will help build momentum for smaller items such as clothes and books. It will also help you to be realistic about what you keep, as you'll know how much storage space you'll have in your new space.
Focus on one space at a time. Not only will this help when it comes to unpacking your boxes, but it will also help keep you from being overwhelmed by trying to pack your entire house at once.
Start in the parts of your home that don't see as much use, such as a guest bedroom. This will be less disruptive to your daily life.
Day 1 Box
Have a specific box or suitcase that has all of the items you'll need for your first few days. It should have a few changes of clothes, some dishes, towels, sheets, and any toiletries you'll need within the first few days. This will keep the things you need where you can find them, saving you from digging through boxes to find what you need.
Moving into a senior community can feel a bit like the first day at a new school. You're new and might not know anyone there yet, while others in the community have pre-established friendships. It's normal to be nervous.
Retirement communities often have a variety of scheduled activities and events. Find a few that interest you and prioritize going to them. Whether it's painting, exercise, bird watching, or a coffee social, you're sure to find someone who shares your interests.
In many communities, mealtimes are the time of day where you see the majority of the residents. Use mealtimes as a time to get to know your fellow residents. Invite people you meet during the day to sit down and share a meal with you.
Get to Know the Staff
Having staff members that you know and trust has multiple benefits. You'll likely be seeing them on a regular basis, and if you have any concerns then you know who you can ask.
Additionally, getting to know the staff can give you more opportunities for friendships with other residents. If a staff member finds out you have a certain hobby, they might introduce you to another resident whom you may not have known that has similar interests.
Keep a Good Attitude
Attitude is everything. If you go into a new situation with a positive outlook you'll be shocked how easy it can be to meet people.
Smile at the people you pass in the hall, or chat by the coffee machine. Take a risk and initiate conversations instead of waiting for others to make the first step. Ask questions, and don't be afraid to talk about yourself. Current residents are as curious about you as you are about them.
Independent retirement offers a housing arrangement specifically for older adults. Many independent living communities offer a variety of activities, services, and amenities, but generally do not provide medical care like an assisted living facility would.
Different independent living communities offer different living arrangements - from studio apartments to single-family homes. Some facilities are multiple buildings with multiple floors. You almost always provide your own furniture and decorations.
At Peach Tree Retirement Center we offer three apartment layouts: studio, one-bedroom, and one-bedroom deluxe. We're also all on one level, so you don't need to worry about stairs.
Activities & Amenities
Because there is such a wide range of independent living communities, there is also a large range in the level of services and amenities they provide. For example, in some retirement communities, meals are an additional charge, while other places include meals in your rent. Some independent communities offer free transportation and others don't.
Peach Tree offers a range of services, such as housekeeping, maintenance, 3 meals a day, and scheduled transportation. We also host activities like crafts, movie nights, and socials.
Why Choose Independent Living?
Independent living allows you to maintain your independence while enjoying your retirement. Living in a retirement community simplifies some of the hassles of daily life, such as cooking, cleaning, and maintaining a house and property.
Independent retirement also helps you strengthen your social connections by providing you with opportunities to make friends with your fellow residents through formal or informal get-togethers.
Retirement homes and assisted living facilities are very different. Knowing the difference between the forms of senior housing will allow you to make an informed decision about where you or your loved one will be living.
What is a retirement home?
Retirement homes are housing options for people who are retirement age. Most retirement homes require residents to be 55 or older.
Retirement homes come in different varieties, such as studios, one-bedroom apartments, and two-bedroom apartments.
Each retirement community offers different kinds of housing and amenities. Some offer a community garden, activities, a salon, a pool, a dog park, and more.
At this level of senior living, most communities do not offer medical care. However, they do offer a friendly community and freedom from home maintenance. Usually, you can hire a home healthcare service to assist you with your medical needs.
There are a variety of retirement homes and independent living communities, so there's sure to be one that fits your lifestyle. Some communities even offer amenities that are comparable with many of those offered by assisted living facilities.
What is assisted living?
Assisted living offers a level of medical care that retirement communities don't. These communities offer assistance with medication management, dressing, laundry, and transportation, among other things.
When moving into an assisted living facility, there will usually be a health and wellness check. A care plan will then be created based on your needs.
Peach Tree Retirement
Peach Tree Retirement Center is an independent living retirement home but offers similar amenities to most assisted living facilities. We provide weekly housekeeping, 3 meals a day, maintenance, and transportation. However, we do not provide any assistance with medication or healthcare.
Retirement Homes vs Assisted Living Facilities
As you can see, there is a variety of differences between assisted living and retirement communities. It's important to do the research to determine the best fit for you or your loved one.
There are many things that can make it difficult or even dangerous to navigate through your home as you get older. Here are some strategies to make your house safer for you or your loved ones.
Secure your pets:
As much as we may love them, our furry friends and their toys can sometimes be a serious tripping hazard.
If you have animals in your home, make sure you know where they are while you're moving around. If you live with other people, it may help to have them hold on to the animals while you move from room to room.
If you're visiting a family member or friend that has pets, you can always ask them to leash up their dog or put their cat in another room for your visit.
Keep floors clear:
Throw rugs can be a hazard, especially for people using walkers or scooters. The front wheels of mobility aids may make it over bumps that the back wheels get caught on.
Clear up any clutter on the floor. This includes things like loose papers, extra shoes, and clothing.
Consider changing doorknobs:
Typical round doorknobs can be difficult for seniors to use. Consider swapping them out with lever-style door handles.
Modify the bathroom:
The bathroom is often one of the riskiest rooms in a senior's house. Some easy ways to make it safer include plugging in a nightlight, adding non-slip mats inside the bathtub and shower, and adding a shower chair. Additional improvements might be things like installing grab bars in the shower and next to the toilet, replacing a traditional bathtub with a walk-in model, and getting a raised toilet seat.
Keep emergency numbers handy:
If you have a home phone, keep a list of numbers near it. If you have a cell phone, keep it somewhere you'll remember, like the fridge. Make sure to have the information is written large enough for you to easily read in a hurry.
This list should include things like emergency services (911), poison control (1-800-222-1222), your doctor's office, and a friend or family member.
Have someone check in regularly:
Especially if you're living alone, it's important to have someone drop by regularly. Whether it's a friend, family member, or a neighbor, it's important to have the peace of mind someone will notice if something happens.
It would also be a good idea to consider getting an alert necklace or bracelet so you can call for help in an emergency.
Oftentimes people are reluctant to consider moving to a retirement community or independent living community. This is often because of the misconception that senior living communities are the same as nursing homes. However, senior communities offer a variety of services and amenities while still allowing residents to maintain their independence.
Choosing when and where you want to move can be a difficult process.
Some Factors to Consider
Home maintenance & chores:
As you get older, it becomes more difficult and tedious to do the chores you once found easy. Alternatively, you might just be tired of performing the chores you used to do without complaint. This includes everything from cleaning out gutters, washing windows, and clearing snow from driveways to cleaning bathrooms and washing dishes. Senior communities provide relief from the constant battle of home maintenance.
A study published in 2014 showed that people who eat healthier spend an average of two hours a day just preparing and cooking food. All that time investment might make you want to avoid cooking altogether, leading to skipped meals and poor nutrition. Retirement communities often provide 3 nutritious and delicious meals a day. Food always tastes better when you don't have to cook it.
Security & Safety
Consider the safety and security of your home. In the long run, what kinds of modifications would you need to make in order to remain there. Would you need to add grab bars, ramps, or even stairlifts? Do you have a way to call for help if you need it? Senior communities are built with aging in mind. They usually have staff on-site for emergencies, as well as emergency pull strings, grab bars elevators, and ramps.
Life is more fun when you share it with friends. Having a network of friends not only feels good, but it's also important for your well-being. A study from the National Institute on Aging links loneliness in older adults to health risks like high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline. The opportunity to make new friends is one of the benefits of moving to a retirement community.
Hobbies & activities
Making plans for the day and engaging in hobbies helps provide a purpose in life. Many communities provide a variety of daily activities such as bingo, movies, crafts, and exercise programs. Not only do these help keep you occupied while you're doing them, but you might also gain friendships when you join.
If driving has become difficult for you, you might have to rely on family, friends, or public transportation to do the things you want to do, whether it's shopping, appointments, or visiting friends. Most retirement communities provide some form of regular transportation.
Americans are no longer interested in buying mega-mansions but are opting for smaller properties, which cost less and require less upkeep.
For seniors, downsizing to a more compact house has significant advantages. They can enjoy their retirement years without spending as much time on chores like yard work. They also have to spend less on maintenance costs, which is significant since money troubles can be an issue after retirement.
Before you downsize, ask yourself these questions to figure out what you will do with your old property and ensure you have the money to purchase a new one.
Is Now a Good Time to Put Your House on the Market?
When you’re looking to unload your old home, the most obvious answer is to sell it. You can take the money you make and put it toward your new house.
Before you list your house, however, get a sense of what it’s worth. Look specifically at homes in your neighborhood that are a similar size.
If you do decide to go ahead and sell your home, put in the time and effort to make it as marketable as possible. For example, you should hire a professional photographer to take photos. Studies show that pictures make a huge difference in selling real estate, and can help a house sell faster and at a higher price.
Would You Prefer the Steady Income That Comes with Renting It Out?
If you find that the real estate market in your area isn’t great, hold off on selling. Property prices are projected to increase, so you may be able to close a better deal in a few years. Instead, consider renting out your property. This allows you to collect a monthly income, which you can use to put toward the mortgage payments on your new property.
If you want to maximize your rental income, keep the furnishings in the home: Furnished spaces command a higher monthly rent. Given that your new house will be smaller, you likely won’t be able to fit all your current furniture inside it. So, make sure you secure a reliable tenant who will pay on time with a thorough vetting process. This should include in-person interviews and a request for pay stubs to prove their income.
Could a Family Member Step In and Take Care of the Property for You?
Perhaps the real estate market is bad or you don’t want to deal with the hassle of tenants. In this case, consider asking a trusted family member if they want to take over the property.
You can have them live there rent-free or charge them rent, depending on your financial needs. With this arrangement, you can entrust them to take care of day-to-day maintenance and rest easy knowing you can visit the old home whenever you want.
Since you probably won’t charge your loved ones the full rent that you would a stranger, this arrangement will not be the most lucrative financially. You thus have to make sure that you will still have the funds needed to afford the down payment on your new home.
Take the time to calculate how large a down payment you need; about 20 percent of the property’s sale price is usually suggested. Then make sure that the monthly payments won't exceed 25 percent of your monthly income. Set your house shopping budget accordingly and stick to it.
Downsizing is a big decision, one that requires careful consideration, especially when it comes to financial planning.
Take the time to go through the above questions thoroughly and be realistic about your money needs. You don’t want to join the ranks of stressed-out Americans who are worried about insufficient retirement funds. Follow the above guidelines and you will be able to come up with a solution that best suits your needs.
Article author: Jim Vogel of Elderaction.org
For additional information, click on the link above for Elder Action.
Photo Credit: Pexels
If so, it is VERY important to choose a safe, vibrant place that adapts well with your lifestyle.
More Americans are staying active into their older years. Want to know why? A growing number of seniors are more alert and health conscious to realize that an active lifestyle can prolong their lives. Many seniors are more active and enjoy recreational opportunities near their home. There should be easy access to all enjoyable activities. Check how far each one is from your new home. Taking part in social activities can provide open opportunities for new friendships. At Peach Tree there is Bingo, Bunco, daily activities, card games, table games and MORE!
Still need a little research?
Before making a financial commitment to a living facility, make sure you consider all the aspects there are before finalizing your decision.
This is a must! As we do, seniors get company too. So having a lot of parking space is good. At Peach Tree, our guest parking is right in front and also our residents get assigned parking.
Each community should have a safety plan in place. Peach Tree practices fire drills, have railings in hallways and emergency pull cords in all restrooms. Pull bars are in the showers and by the toilet as well.
Many communities are recognizing the health benefits that come along with having pets. Peach Tree Retirement Center is Pet Friendly! If they enjoy walks, we are on 4 acres of pure animal fun!
This is extremely helpful to seniors who are no longer able to drive. Personal shopping, appointments or just because, Peach Tree provides transportation for your convenience!
The most important thing is you feel confident in the community you choose that fit your needs and lifestyle. You will feel welcomed and warm as you enter our home.
How do you know when you’ve found the right retirement community to call your forever home? There are many factors to look at and important guidelines that will clearly help you make the right decision. Finding a suitable independent, assisted living or memory care facility is incredibly important to you and your loved ones. The decision should not be taken lightly or without some research and planning. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for the right senior living solution.
There are many questions to ask yourself and a community when looking for the right retirement, assisted living or memory care facility. Remember that no question is a bad one. Take a tour and get to know the people and location. Ask questions, research the community online, read reviews and call with any questions before making your final choice.
Works cited: Ridgewood Senior Living October 27, 2016