Guest Contributer: Pam Fultz, Community Relations Manager, Vi at Bentley
Making the decision to move into a Lifeplan Community can be one of the most important and rewarding decisions that you make as a retiree in Southwest Florida. The quality of life at these communities is enhanced by social opportunities, beautiful amenities, quality dining, and resort style service. With so many options in the area, it’s important to shop around, work with trusted advisors, and compare options before making a decision to commit.
To begin the selection process, it’s a good idea to create a plan and to do it while you are still healthy. Make sure to consider these questions.
- Where do I want to live?
- What lifestyle do I want to maintain?
- What are my current and future needs?
- How much can I afford?
- Who do I trust to provide care, advice, and assistance?
Even though most of us like to think that we will remain healthy indefinitely, the reality is quite different for those of us over the age of 65. According to Morningstar, four of ten older adults will need to spend time in a skilled nursing facility, with one in ten of them staying for five or more years. In 2000, nine million people required long-term care, but that number is expected to skyrocket to 12 million by the year 2020.
Why is a plan for your retirement care important? These statistics show it is not a matter of if you will need care, but when you will need care. Putting a plan in place now will ensure your transition to a senior living community is smooth and predictable. Without a plan in place, you may place unintentional emotional and financial burden on your spouse, children, or other family members.
There are many good senior living choices in Southwest Florida, so it is best to compare all of the options thoroughly. Make a list of the communities in which you are interested, take tours of the available homes, ask questions of their sales counselors, bring your family to visit with you, and take your time. This is an important decision which should not be taken lightly. Make sure to consult with your financial and legal advisors if you have questions regarding the community’s contracts. It’s always a good idea to join current residents at the community and ask for details that the sales team might avoid. Ask for community financial information in order to better understand the financial strength of the community. Above all, make sure that you compare the different contracts at each community because each contract can include vastly differing services, charges, and coverage options. No community is the same and as such, each contract will differ greatly.
Lifeplan Communities are geared toward active adults over the age of 62, and they offer a variety of services, amenities, and care levels. These communities aim to provide an environment which offers activities to keep you mentally, socially, and physically active and engaged. They also provide a continuum of care including, Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing, and Memory Support. They offer all of the amenities of a gated community, plus the guarantee of care for life. Choosing a Lifeplan community can lead to a retirement of happiness, friendship, and peace of mind. If you haven’t taken steps to begin your research, there’s no time like now to begin the journey by reaching out to the many options in South West Florida. Just remember, you can be years and days early, but you can’t be a moment too late.