Planning for Home Health Care and Senior Assisted Living

DennisandMargieCasey

As we plan to relocate to the Southeast with our spouse at retirement, careful consideration should be given to the moment in time when we find ourselves alone. The time no one wants to think about, when our spouse has passed away ahead of us. What will our daily life feel like at this point in time? If we were married, our entire world revolved around our spouse prior to this crossroad. No doubt, the house would become quieter, nights feel longer and daily tasks overwhelming.

New challenges present themselves when it comes to retirement health care. If you own a home in a remote area, who will take you to the doctor when you are unable to drive yourself? How friendly will you be with your new neighbors if you decided to relocate? Could you rely on your neighbors when you need them? 

If you're considering relocating to the mountains or the coast, master planned communities can offer you added value not found in a bricks and mortar. Priceless to many, a strong sense of caring and compassion among residents and neighbors. Whether you are married or single, companionship is important.

SOCIAL CLUBS: As our monthly visits take us across the Southeast, we pay particular attention to real estate communities with active social clubs. Why? Social clubs are the perfect opportunity to share hobbies with peers and provide the chance for residents to become friends. To us, social clubs are important t the complete package a real estate community can offer you.

In 2010, we visited Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee Georgia for a few days. Reynolds Plantation is a well planned established golf and lake community with a lengthly list of amenity lifestyles for residents to enjoy. Residents were quick to welcome us at dinner and share impromptu stories of the new friendships and social connections they have made since relocating to Reynolds Plantation. Residents told us about the pouring out of compassion within the community, caring for one another after a spouse dies or when one is struck with personal hardship. 

Reynolds Plantation is not the only place where we see this close sense of community. During your search, we hope you notice these loving environments and recognize the added valued.

ASSISTED LIVING: Today, it is estimated one third of baby boomers are already caretakers of their elderly parents. As we find ourselves caring for our parents, it makes sense to have our parents live with us, if possible. Because we love them, they receive better retirement health care from us and we in return, have the opportunity to spend more time with our parents. Like it or not, there may come a point when our parent's health care becomes unmanageable for us and out of our expertise. Even with the best of intentions to care for our parents, senior assisted facilities become a necessity.

We see a new amenity trend; real estate developers adding or planning assisted living facilities inside their master planned communities. It makes sense, this amenity becoming more important to Baby Boomers relocating who want to be in close proximity to their aging parents. In fact, this may sway a buyer to choose one community over another, if a senior assisted living facility exists on property providing retirement health care.

HOME HEALTH CARE: Consider this. We all know this country is deeply in debt. Sooner or later, the government's spending cuts may include Medicare. Medicare provides health care to persons over 65. Medicaid provides health care to low income, disabled, nursing care, children under 19 and pregnant women. Many times, a senior over 65 will qualify for both.

Currently in legislation, there is debate over where people are sent by Medicare and Medicaid in the event someone is hospitalized for a stroke, fall or rehabilitative injury. Medicare and Medicaid primarily pays for nursing home care. But what if you want to rehabilitate and care for yourself at home? Home health care is not automatically covered by Medicare or Medicaid. Ironically, home health care can be more affordable to all. We've heard sad stories of single seniors without family members nearby, never going home after an injury because of Medicare and Medicaid restrictions. Take the case of 79 year old Edith Masterman from Wilton, Maine. Medicare denied her home health care benefits because she couldn't demonstrate improvement after skin graft surgery and three months of rehab. She has been paralyzed from the waist down from an accident years ago and has long term diabetes, both unrelated to the skin graft surgery.

Plan ahead. Talk with your attorney about a Health Care Power of Attorney. In the event you become incapacitated, you could still control your retirement health care by providing the authority in advance to a trusted friend, permission to bring you home for home health care.

As carefully as you consider which master planned community in the Southeast you are interested in, include social clubs, assisted living and home health care in the list of important amenities you seek.

Live well, Margie Casey Founder

Master planned communities with Senior Assisted Living facilities in the community or in the planning stages:

Chattanooga, Tennessee - Greenbriar Cove 

Franklin, Tennessee - Westhaven

Ocala, Florida - The Villages

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