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Signs You Should Move Out of Your 55+ Apartment into a Senior Living Community

Senior excited at table while playing bingo

If you’ve reached a point in your life where you’re considering a move from your family home to a senior living community, there are many options to choose from. You may be making the decision to free yourself of the costs and obligations of the repair and maintenance of a large house, especially if your kids are grown and no longer living with you. A choice that many people consider at this stage is a 55+ community.


There are a lot of positive aspects of a 55+ community that make it an attractive option, especially for people who are newly retired. The resort-style amenities offered by these communities give you many activities to choose from. As someone who is newly retired, you may not have serious healthcare needs, and can take full advantage of this style of independent living.


What Is a 55+ Community?


In 1968, the Federal Fair Housing Act made it illegal to discriminate against housing based on many factors, including race, gender, religion, disability and age. But the act was amended in 1988 to allow for housing options specific to the needs of senior citizens. This is when 55+ communities came to be. 


To allow for the benefits of living among other young retirees, there are typically rules that must be followed. For instance, at least one resident in the household must be at least 55 years old, and no children under age 18 are allowed permanent residence. There are, of course, exceptions to these rules almost everywhere.


The Downside of 55+ Communities


Unlike some other senior living options, a 55+ community doesn’t provide any on-site medical assistance of any kind. The homes are designed to be rightsized  and comfortable, but their appeal lies mostly in the maintenance-free lifestyle, active social life and resort-style amenities. As you age, if you begin to need more regular medical care, monitoring, or any in-home healthcare, you’ll need to arrange it and pay for it entirely on your own.


If you’ve purchased your home in a 55+community, rather than rented, and  there comes a time to find a new home that provides an increased level of care, you may discover it’s difficult to sell your 55+ community home. First of all, your group of potential buyers is by definition much smaller than the general open real estate market. You need to find someone looking specifically for a 55+ community home. Also, since so many of these types of communities are new and developing, many buyers prefer to purchase a brand-new home rather than one that’s been lived in.


Looking Ahead


Planning for your future doesn’t stop once you retire. At that point in your life, you’re likely healthy, active, and excited to take full advantage of newly found and hard-earned free time. But you still must plan for 10, 15 years down the road, and beyond. There can be a great deal of uncertainty when it comes to the cost of living in the years to come. In particular, future potential healthcare  costs are very difficult to determine. You don’t know what your health status will be in 10 years, and the cost of healthcare in the U.S. is certain to be even higher than it is today. 


A major health crisis can be financially devastating, and can wreak havoc on your retirement income. But there are steps you can take while you’re healthy and your medical expenses are relatively low. One option to consider when planning for your future can bring you real peace of mind – a Life Plan Community.


True Worry-Free Living


A Life Plan Community, also known as a continuing care retirement community, or CCRC, offers healthy and active seniors many of  the same amenities and lifestyle choices as a 55+ community. You’re free of home maintenance and repair costs, and you have access to myriad on-site  resort-style amenities . You have total independence to spend your days as you please.


The major advantage of a Life Plan Community is that it gives you the peace of mind of knowing your future is secure, no matter what your healthcare  needs or costs may be later on. If you’re temporarily sick or injured, you can receive short-term rehabilitation right within the community. And if at some point you require assistance with activities of daily living or need 24/7 care, s, you can transition to assisted living or skilled nursing seamlessly, without having to move away from your established community and friends. So, how do Life Plan Communities work?


H2: A Life Care Contract


A Life Plan Community may offer only one type of contract option, or it may offer several. Presbyterian Homes Life Plan Communities offer all three: Type A Life Care, Type B Modified Plan, and Type C Fee-for Service. Type A Life Care requires the highest entrance fee and monthly fees, but if you ever need any type of long-term care – assisted living, skilled nursing, rehab or memory support – you’ll have priority access for life to this on campus, and you’ll pay virtually the same monthly fee you did in independent living. It’s also important to note that you can get a Life Care contract only if you qualify medically to move into independent living, with no immediate need for healthcare of any kind.  With a Type B Modified Plan, your entrance fee and monthly fee will be somewhat lower, and you’ll have access to all the same care, but there will be an annual limit on the “free” days in the healthcare center. After that, you’ll pay an ongoing minimally reduced rate. Type C Fee-for-Service is exactly what it sounds like: You have priority access to all the healthcare on campus, but you’ll pay market rates for that care. If you choose a Type A or Type B contract, you can also choose a 0%, 50% or 90% refundability on your entrance fee. 


A Life Plan Community is a great option to consider for people who want independent living and a maintenance-free lifestyle now, and the peace of mind of knowing they have a plan in place for their future.


Presbyterian Homes offers Continuum of Care services to residents in their retirement communities. You can join us as an independent living resident,  knowing we have a comprehensive healthcare  system in place, should you ever need it. We offer assisted living, skilled nursing, rehab and memory support to our residents, all on the same campus.


With us, you can find a continuum of care in the Chicago area that’s right for you. Our various communities each offer their own unique atmospheres and services, so contact us to find out more.