May. 9, 2011
Tagged with: armour oaks, brookside real estate agent, mary hutchison, senior housing, senior real estate specialist
May. 2, 2011
Recently the Kansas City Star newspaper did a series of in-depth articles, outlining the challenges older adults face as they try to 'age in place' in their homes. The authors did an excellent job of outlining current problems that will only get worse as the boomers age: lack of transportation for seniors that can't/shouldn't drive; home health care expenses; children having to take care of their parents when the 'children' want to retire themselves; and the options for seniors who want to move to a maintenance free lifestyle.
What communities did they feature for seniors? One was Mission Square, a new development at Martway and Lamar. Entrance fees to rent an apartment here begin at $66,300. Another retirement community mentioned was Tallgrass Creek at 138th St and Metcalf. The price quoted in the story was $165,000 to move into a very basic two bedroom apartment, with monthly fees at $1855 for one person. Sounds pretty pricey to me--and to many seniors as well.
There is a perception that senior housing is not affordable for most--and yet, it can be. I wish the article would have identified some of the lesser priced options available for seniors in the Kansas City area--the Brookdale Senior Living centers or Armour Oaks in the Brookside area. Not every community has high entrance fees. Most seniors I know have a very fixed income. Even after selling their home, coming up with these entrance fees (and having some cash left over) would be difficult for many older adults.
Working with seniors is a specialty market I really enjoy. The smart senior who recognizes it's time to leave the house for a downsized, simpler lifestyle in a safe, caring community doesn't want to have to worry about paying huge entrance fees to get into a clean, active and attractive community. And for their children who have to scramble and find a location in a hurry (because of a fall, a spousal death, failing health, etc.), they need reasonably priced options. The Star should have highlighted some of these communities as well as the expensive ones.
Thanks for reading my blog. If you know a senior who is thinking of downsizing--contact me for more information on how to make this an easier transition!
Sep. 2, 2008
Helping Elders Decide When to Relocate to Senior Housing-Part One
This is an event many baby boomers are facing right now: moving their parents to a senior living facility while selling their parents' current residence. Having worked with seniors who are making such a move, here are some tips for the seniors..and the children who are helping to make the transition a smooth one.
Tip #1: Start early planting the seed about a move.
Older sellers are often overwhelmed just by the thought of moving. It can be difficult to get them started to accept the decision that a move is in their best interest. They can feel like they are being 'forced out' of their home and resist even looking at options in senior housing. That's why it's best to start early, even a few years before it's 'necessary' to make the move. Open a dialogue with your parents about how they plan to live when the stairs are too much to handle, when the maintence of a house is too costly, when driving can be dangerous for themselves and others. Starting this conversation when your parents are still active and sharp will pay off later.
Tip #2: It's better to have the senior decide to move than having an event force the move.
Most seniors resent their children making life changing decisions for them. Even with failing health, they want to be in control of their own life direction. This is why it is so important to have the senior decide, before it's required, that a move will eventually be necessary. Talk about the safety issues of living alone when older; the importance of access to services and and assistance; the joy of socialization and greater independence without the burden of a house.
Tip #3: Ask the senior how s/he wants to live as the aging process accelerates.
Investigate various housing options with the senior and see where s/he will be the most comfortable. A location near children and grandkids? Someplace with lots of social actvities and outings? An apartment with a kitchen or a facility that provides all meals? Near a hospital? In a different climate or city? Senior living facilities vary in amenities, size of rooms, location, price, food quality, the list goes on. Visit different types and see which one is a good match for your relatives.
Tip #4: Financing the move--find out the particulars.
Many seniors feel they 'can't afford' to move, even if a move is necessary. Most senior living housing will try to work out a financial payment plan that fits the resident's needs. Often, the seemingly high monthly costs even out to the same monthly bills a senior faces in their home: car and home insurance, phone and utility bills, home maintence, grocery bills, property taxes, etc. In addition, the senior housing offers more services and piece of mind regarding safety and supervision. However, it is better to investigate the details of financing now rather than later, when an incident forces a move within just a couple of weeks' time. Be prepared by knowing how best to work out the financials of a move regarding assets, costs, and deposits in relation to needs.
The happiest seniors I know who have successfully transitioned to senior housing have one thing in common: they decided to make the move in advance and were not forced to move due to an accident or failing health.
Part Two of this blog will focus on tips for actually preparing for and moving the senior to their new home.
I welcome your comments! For a personal response, please email me.
Thank you for reading my blog.
Blog by Mary Hutchison
Prairie Village, Kansas
Comments and information regarding Kansas City real estate on both sides of the state line: MO and KS. Areas include Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village, Leawood, Red Bridge, Overland Park and others. Personal musings and random thoughts may be included as the mood strikes!
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