You’ve shown some interest in senior living communities, but haven’t committed yet. That’s OK. We understand this is a decision that takes time and careful consideration. This guide is designed to help you think through how you want to enjoy your retirement and how the senior living lifestyle might match up with your goals. We hope it helps you take the next steps toward ﬁnding the right ﬁt for your future.FINDING YOUR FIT: A PRACTICAL GUIDE
2IT’S YOUR TIME — HOW DO YOU WANT TO SPEND IT?Choosing a senior living community means you’re giving yourself more time and opportunities to dive deeper into your passions and interests, and to discover new ones. So how do you spend your time now? And how would you spend it if you could do things differently?What I Want to DoI want convenient access to: (Check all that apply.) Music: singing Painting Personal trainer Pottery Religious services Running/Walking Sporting events Swimming Tai Chi Theater/Symphony/Ballet Travel Volunteer opportunities Weight training Woodworking Yoga Other Art appreciation Book club Bridge/Poker/Card games Continuing education Cultural excursions/Activities Dancing Discussion groups Educational presentations Exercise classes Fabric arts Fitness equipment Gardening Golf Hiking Library Music: playing an instrument
3 Interior maintenance Exterior maintenance Yardwork Snow and leaf removal Housekeeping Cooking OtherOnly about 1% of existing homes are conducive to aging in place. Questions to Ask: • How much yardwork needs to be done, and how easy is it for you to do it? • What kinds of house repairs are needed? Are you willing or able to do them all? • Even if you enjoy ﬁxing things and taking care of the yard, will you still want to do it all in three to ﬁve years?What I Want Someone Else to DoStaying in your own home is appealing, but there are some homeowner responsibilities — and expenses — that can be a burden and might be smart to let go of.What household tasks would you like someone else to do? (Check all that apply.)
4LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATIONWhere you live impacts how you live, so it’s important to prioritize which elements of a location are most important for you. Take a few minutes to evaluate some key factors in choosing the location that will suit your lifestyle.VeryStay in or near my current neighborhoodLive near family membersConvenient entertainment and shoppingClose to cultural venuesA warm climate year-roundSeasonal weatherNear a university or collegeCity/downtown locationSuburban locationClose to a lake or the oceanA mountain or rural locationConvenient travel hub (airport, cruise port, etc.)SomewhatImportantNot VeryImportantVeryImportant
5PRIORITIZING HEALTH CAREWhile 70% of people ages 65+ will use some type of long-term care services, only 35% believe they’ll need such care. Hopefully, you and your spouse/partner will stay healthy. But do you have a plan in place in case your health needs change? Ask yourself: • Where will I go for rehabilitation after illness or surgery? • What will happen if I need daily care after a heart attack or stroke? •What if I need assistance with dressing, bathing or managing medications? •Who will provide care if I develop dementia or other form of memory loss?The Costs of Family Caregiving. Many seniors assume their adult children or another relative will take care of them if the need arises. If you’re thinking about family caregiving as an option for your future, you all need to understand the challenges that come with that loving gesture. Here are some questions to ask yourself: • Do they have the knowledge and training to manage necessary medications, medical equipment and in-home screenings? Is that a responsibility you want them to shoulder? • Are you comfortable asking them to help you with bathing, dressing, toileting and changing an adult brief? • Do you want them to run errands, shop for groceries, prepare meals, and take care of chores like laundry, dishes and cleaning? •Do you want to count on them for all your transportation? •Will they be physically able to lift you?There are ﬁnancial challenges to being a family caregiver as well. Family caregivers spend an average of $7,400 per year of their own money taking care of their loved ones. For those who live more than an hour away, that cost rises to about $12,700.By choosing a community with a continuum of on-site care, you can enjoy your independent lifestyle even more because you’ve taken control of your future. And you free your family from the worries and burdens of ﬁnding or providing care for you.92% of seniors surveyed have never discussed key long-term care topics with their adult children.
6WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN A COMMUNITY?There’s no one-size-ﬁts-all when it comes to senior living communities. You’ll ﬁnd everything from compact campuses with apartments to sprawling acreage with a mix of apartments, stand-alone residences, duplexes and townhomes. And the range of services, amenities and health services varies as well.Take a few minutes to think through what aspects of senior living communities are appealing — and important — to you.What Matters MostSenior living has beneﬁts beyond convenient amenities and services. How important are these beneﬁts to you?VeryBeing part of a friendly communityHaving plenty of privacy when I want itHaving quality health care available if I need itHaving predictable living expensesMaking my own choicesFeeling true peace of mind about the futureProtecting my estate for my loved onesHaving purpose and fulﬁllmentTaking care of my mind, body and spiritSomewhatImportantNot VeryImportantVeryImportant
7Community Must-HavesNot every community offers the same services or approach to senior living. Some communities don’t allow pets, for example — and that’s an understandable deal breaker for some people. Think through your priorities. What are the must-haves for you to consider a senior living community? (Check all that apply.) Now that you’ve evaluated what matters when it comes to senior living, it’s time to take a closer look. Based on your priorities, contact your top community choices to learn more about them. Bring this guide with you — we’re happy to discuss it with you over a meal. We’d also love to show you around and let you meet with residents so you can get a clearer idea of what it’s like to live here.Give us a call at [XXX.XXX.XXXX] to schedule your next visit.Sources The Age Well Study, Mather LifeWays InstituteU.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesOur Family, Our Future. Genworth Financial/Age WaveFamily Caregiving Out-of-Pocket Costs (costs adjusted for inﬂation and reﬂect 2019 dollars) Eco-friendly practices Religious services Religious afﬁliation/ownership Resident voice in community activities and events Continuum of on-site care Outdoor spaces for gardening, walking and recreation Nonproﬁt business model 24/7 security Transportation services Other Pet-friendly Multiple residence types (apartments, villas, townhomes, etc.) Housekeeping Home maintenance services Freedom to make my own schedule Variety of menu choices and dining venues Emphasis on multiple dimensions of wellness Activities that interest and/or challenge me Fitness classes at a variety of skill levels