Imagine what your life would be like if you broke your hip and could no longer do the things you take for granted…like shopping, cooking or driving a car.
This subject might make you squirm, but it’s crucial to prepare for a future that might include health challenges, especially if you’re in your 70s. Otherwise, you might be forced to hastily move into a more supportive environment, which can be exceedingly stressful (not to mention money-losing if you need to accept a low-ball offer for your house). Another factor to consider: if you wait too long, changes in your health might prevent you from medically qualifying for independent living.
So, even if you’re in tip-top shape today, it’s not too early to consider a Life Plan Community (also known as a CCRC), where you can start out in an independent living apartment and smoothly transition to assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing care if–and only if–the need arises. Furthermore, if your spouse has different healthcare needs you can still live together on the same campus, both receiving the right level of care.
There are many other advantages to joining a Life Plan Community.
Save Time, Money, and Worry
It may sound counter-intuitive, but moving to a Life Plan Community can be financially beneficial, even if you’ve paid off your home. That’s because monthly Life Plan Community fees include property taxes, housekeeping, home security, and basic cable and internet services. On top of this, you could let go of car payment and insurance costs as amenities like fitness centers and hair salons are offered on-site as are transportation services.
Not only that, you will no longer need to pay snow shoveling or house painting services and you can sidestep hefty maintenance bills (and headaches) dealing, say, with burst pipes or toxic mold. You also can avoid sinking money into home renovations, like adding a bedroom to the main floor, should your mobility decrease as you age.
As well, mundane chores like washing windows or dusting will become a thing of the past—you don’t even have to cook unless you want to, as Life Plan Communities offer on-site dining. With all this saved time, you can volunteer at a meaningful organization, take painting classes or plan a trip to Italy!
Increase Your Social Circle
Another benefit of moving to a Life Plan Community –you get to live in a close-knit community where you can easily and quickly develop friendships with like-minded people. Living in a house or condo, can be isolating, especially if you live alone or your social circle has dwindled. (Research increasingly shows that loneliness can be a hazard to your health.) In a Life Plan Community, there are many opportunities to bond with others, whether over a meal, hanging out in common areas, or taking part in social events like Hawaiian dinner parties.
In fact, living in a Life Plan Community guarantees you’ll have a whole range of recreational or cultural activities at your fingertips—everything from jazz concerts to yoga to crafts groups. You also can participate in lifelong learning classes and go on outings to local art galleries or parks. Keep in mind you can always offer suggestions for activities and outings, and, if you prefer solitude, rest assured, no one will pressure you to get involved.
Even if you don’t have to move to a Life Plan Community now, it’s a mistake to focus solely on what works for you today. Instead, try to envision how your life will be as you age and make prudent preparations.