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Archive for February, 2013

Why We Lie to Ourselves About Retirement Living

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

The aging process happens whether we want it to or not. Unfortunately, many in North America worry about the loss of independence as well as the potential to lose touch with their loved ones. It is in that nervous space where many people try to make decisions about retirement living. In many cases, the elderly can end up hurting themselves and ruining their golden years.

Levels of Care and Their Necessity

There are three basic types of retirement living facilities: independent apartments, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Some new centers have all three options on one campus, but seniors generally need to take a close look at what kind of care they need.

Generally speaking, those who may want to interact more with people their age do well at senior-centric apartments or communities. If showering or getting dressed is difficult, assisted living facilities can help as long as residents do not need medical care and can afford the monthly costs. In the U.S. it is important to note that personal aides who don’t provide healthcare assistance are not covered by Medicare.  In Canada, there are both government subsidized and private assisted living facilities.

Finally, nursing homes are alternatives for those who need frequent medical attention and cannot remain with their loved ones through the use of home healthcare aides. Medicare and Medicaid both cover these services for lengthy periods in the United States, and there are both private and government subsidized options in Canada.

Distance From Loved Ones and Home

Speaking of remaining in place for one’s golden years, many of those considering retirement living are acutely aware of cost of living differences in the various states and provinces. Unfortunately, many seem to think that they will be able to handle a move of hundreds of miles even when that simply is not the case.

Many Americans, for example, move frequently throughout their lifetime. Going from Connecticut to Florida may be easy for people who have spent time in Texas or Tennessee. Many families do not, though, with parents who’ve been in the same home for decades and who grew up nearby as well. Their entire worldview is based on a relatively small area.

Instead of moving out of state, it may require more careful budgeting and perhaps moving a few counties over rather than such a long distance. Still, it requires the self-awareness to understand that moving long distances can lead to severe loneliness and depression. Moving into a retirement living facility of any kind can be unnerving, doing so without the normal support network can be very difficult.

Budget Issues and Retirement Living

Costs change, and for many seniors the sense is that if they choose the right housing, they will do just fine. Budgeting does not always work that way. Catastrophic illnesses and injuries occur, and home repairs or vehicle maintenance can add up too. Senior citizens may not be able to create a financial cushion, but it is a critical component of maintaining the quality of life one wants during his or her golden years.

This article was prepared by Jonathan Rosenfeld of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers. Jonathan is an attorney in Chicago who represents families in cases which involve nursing home negligence.

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