It begins with a plan.
You work for a living. You raise a family, build a legacy, create a home that houses not just the people and possessions you value most, but all the memories you cherish. Then, just when you finally have the time and means to enjoy and appreciate what you’ve planned for, someone suggests a change of plan—moving.
The very idea of relocating to a Senior Living community is difficult for most of us to contemplate at first. But as you measure what you might be gaining against what you worry about giving up, you will be surprised at the advantages—social, cultural and especially financial—that you will realize if and when you make the move. And you may be equally surprised at all the worries and expenses you’ll be leaving behind.
Plans change. People don’t.
Life Plan Communities (also known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs) offer the best opportunity to continue to live as you do now. In a place such as Revel Creek, on the campus of Heritage Community of Kalamazoo, your residence will be spacious and beautifully appointed with room for much of your furnishings and décor. You will enjoy the same freedoms to come and go, travel or stay home and entertain friends and family that you do now. You’ll also find more opportunities to pursue your passions and forge new friendships through classes, cultural and entertainment programming and excursions.
But along with that active lifestyle you’ll be making a canny investment in your future. Because as a resident of a Life Plan Community like Revel Creek, you will be assured that future medical care, if and when you need it, will be provided for you on the campus where you live, and covered under the terms of your monthly fee at a cost far less than what you would pay for those services elsewhere.
Of course, you have more questions about how Life Plan Communities work and what you can expect to experience, and to pay, should you choose to move to one. This page was designed to help you answer those questions so you can make an informed decision and arrive at the best choice for your future.
Anatomy of a Life Plan Community.
A Life Plan Community offers residents a chance to age in a place with the full continuum of living services on a single campus. Typically, individuals or couples live independently in the residence of their choice, with a full spectrum of care options which, in many cases, is included in the cost of their Residence and Care Agreement.
As we age, we often find ourselves increasingly isolated in our homes and neighborhoods. But at a Life Plan Community, you can make a home within a new neighborhood. You can mix and mingle, travel and entertain, cook in or dine out. You can take classes, attend concerts and shows. And do it all without the burdens of home maintenance, utility bills, real estate taxes or homeowner’s premiums.
Not moving is your first choice, but is it your best?
The advantages of aging in the place where you feel most at home are self-evident. If your home is paid for, it likely seems to be your best financial option as well. But studies show that in almost every home where an individual is aging in place, someone else—often an unpaid family member—works full-time to manage the cooking, feeding, bathing and dressing, cleaning and paying bills; providing a high stress situation. Even for paid caregivers, there is almost never health insurance or other benefits, and for caregivers with spouses and children of their own, the pressures can be intolerable.
What to look for in a Life Plan Community.
Selecting a Life Plan Community requires time, patience and usually a collaboration between family members. In many cases, families find that they are drawn closer through the experience, gaining respect for one another and for the industry as a whole.
When you visit a community, be sure to ask your contact to show you all the available residences that meet your needs. Be sure to visit common areas, including the health care spaces. Are they clean and bright? How close do the staff members and residents appear to be? Is there laughter in the halls? Are activity rooms active?
To live well is to be well.
Beyond simple good health, wellness is an all-encompassing approach to life that includes, but transcends, physical fitness. As you explore Senior Living options, consider how each community might contribute to the aspects of wellness that constitute a full life:
- PHYSICAL: Improve balance, strength and cardiovascular health through fitness classes and personal exercise goals. Be motivated by neighbors and friends who share those goals.
- SOCIAL: Build close, supportive and stimulating relationships through community activities.
- INTELLECTUAL: Expand your knowledge by participation in cultural events, book clubs, lectures, discussion groups and classes.
- VOCATIONAL: Vocational: Share your knowledge and experience through volunteering, gardening, craftsmanship and the arts.
- SPIRITUAL: Pursue a connection with inner values through outer-community opportunities such as weekly services, discussion groups and volunteer activities.
- ENVIRONMENTAL: Find happiness in your surroundings, enjoy outdoor activities and excursions to nearby natural, cultural and recreational amenities.
- HEALTH SERVICES: Rest easy in the knowledge that comprehensive health services such as wellness clinics, physical therapy, assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing care are present and available.