The Importance of the Continuum of Care at Generations

Charlotte, North Carolina, is a popular destination for those considering senior living locations. Whether you’re familiar with Charlotte, live here now, or you’ve never been, the many different senior living communities in the area attest to how exceptional it is for independent living.

If you’re interested in senior living in Charlotte, Generations at Shalom Park is a community that touts “at the heart of community is unity.” The vision for this close-knit community that celebrates each individual’s differences may be just what you’re looking for. The care options available are extensive and fit every need based on you or your loved one’s situation.

The Continuum of Care

When looking for a new place to retire, you might be looking at amenities, location and the kind of people that might live there. But one of the top characteristics seniors look for in their next home is the healthcare options. At Generations at Shalom Park, the continuum of care is a very important part of our retirement experience.

A continuum of care means as you age and require additional assistance and services, they are available to you. Our extensive and supportive care includes many different options based on what’s right for you, including in-home care, assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation and skilled nursing. If you’re not sure what each of these levels entails, get a better understanding of each one below or a team member can work with you to provide more details.

  • Independent Living is ideal for those who are capable of living on their own but want to spend their days without the responsibility that goes along with owning a home. Join your peers in a community full of exciting opportunities in a private residence with many amenities. If and when you need more assistance in the future, the continuum of care will be available to you.
  • In-Home Care is the next level of care when seniors are able to continue to live in an independent living residence but may require a bit of assistance. A team from Aldersgate At Home is dedicated to providing help in the senior’s home with tasks such as grooming and dressing, cooking or meal delivery, and medication reminders. They can also assist with light housekeeping, accompany you to appointments, and provide transportation when necessary.
  • Assisted Living: is for those who require assistance with daily living and prefer to receive that assistance in a dedicated residential space, we offer the option of assisted living at Aldersgate. Situated just moments from the Generations campus, residents receive 24-hour access to care and a robust variety of life-enriching amenities.
  • Memory Care is available for those who require support beyond the care within their current scope due to Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Generations provides a nurturing residential environment focused on individual attention and is
  • Rehabilitation takes place in the Asbury Health and Rehabilitation Center to help residents get back to their lives after dealing with an injury or surgery. This Health Center has a certification of Wound Care Centers of Excellence.

A Day in the Life

The Continuum of Care will ensure your needs are taken care of in every phase of your retirement life, and that includes doing what you love. Every level of care offered at Generations provides the opportunity to participate in the programs and activities you desire. Centrally located in Charlotte, there are many exciting events in the area for you to be a part of. But right within Generations itself lies a world of possibilities. Shalom Park’s 54-acre campus has so much to offer and will provide you with the tools you need to live a life as comfortable as you deserve.

If intellectual values and cultural programs are your speed, worship, study, social and environmental, and community-building opportunities are available to you. For those who want to break a sweat, the extensive fitness center has top-of-the-line trainers waiting to work with you and is equipped with two gymnasiums as well as an indoor and outdoor pool.

The Cost of a Continuum of Care

The cost of living in a Life Plan Community varies from one community to the next, but at Generations at Shalom Park, it includes an entrance fee and a monthly fee. As you learn more about the cost of senior living, keep in mind your current cost of living. Be sure to keep track of your expenses in your daily life. You may find a senior living community is a more fiscally responsible choice at this point in your life.

Entrance Fee

The entrance fee secures your choice of residence as well as your contract agreement, which states the care you’ll be receiving at the community. In most cases, the entrance fee is either partially or fully refundable, allowing you to leave it to whomever you choose when you pass on. The entrance fee can also make a difference in the monthly fee.

Monthly Fee

The monthly fee covers all that you will enjoy at Generations – your daily expenses including utilities, amenities, services, housekeeping, groundskeeping, meal plan, fitness and your health care services. One of the main appeals of a Life Plan Community is all of these expenses are combined into one monthly fee. Staying in your own home, these services become costly and add up quickly.

Your long-term care policy will coincide with your care as a resident of Generations, and you will be paid earned benefits as the policyholder in most cases. A Sales Counselor and other team members at Generations can help you better understand your policy.

About Generations at Shalom Park

Generations at Shalom Park is retirement living with a difference, and it’s our differences that make life rich. While some retirement living communities may look for the same type of individuals, we pride ourselves in looking for those with diverse philosophies, skills and talents. These ideals will create an enriching environment and a community that yields meaningful connections.

Learn more about how joining Generations at Shalom Park in Charlotte, North Carolina, can awaken your spirituality and bring you closer to yourself and others. It’s the perfect step to your future. Visit us at generationsatshalompark.com or call us at 704-532-5400.

A Comprehensive Guide to Senior Living in Charlotte, NC

Choosing a senior living community is not as complicated as it may seem, as long as you do your homework and make a plan. This process can also be surprisingly fun as it’s all about making decisions that suit your desires and your needs. This guide provides you with essential terminology and explains the various retirement living options available today. We’ll also help you determine where to start and the steps that will help you find a home that suits all your needs.

Retirement Living Options: The Big Picture

When considering your retirement living options, there are three overarching choices:

  1. Aging In Place (staying in your own home)
  2. Single Service Rental Retirement Communities (also called “free-standing” communities)
  3. Comprehensive, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (also called “blended” communities or Life Plan Communities)

Aging In Place: Know The Risks

Aging in place is defined as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” The keyword in this definition, and the word that hides the complexities of aging in place is “ability.”

Aging in one’s own home provides seniors with many benefits, particularly the comfort of what’s familiar. A neighborhood support system, nearby friends and family, and established routines all help us feel safe in our home. Emotional ties to one’s home and the wealth of memories made there can make the thought of moving quite frightening.

But, as needs change, there are some clear disadvantages to staying in one’s home. Here are some of the most common risks to be aware of:

  • The burden of homeownership: As we age, the physical challenges of cooking, housekeeping, and frequent maintenance projects can become overwhelming. Bringing in outside help can provide relief, but the costs can be daunting, particularly if maintenance projects have been delayed or overlooked.
  • Isolation and loneliness: Many seniors lose the ability to drive as they age, requiring them to rely on others. Not wanting to be a burden creates a greater likelihood of isolation which can lead to loneliness.
  • Slips and falls: Falls are one of the major causes of injuries among seniors. Slips and falls occur because of poor bone health, low metabolism, and decreased brain health. The greatest danger when a fall occurs is the inability of a senior to get immediate help, or even reach a phone if they live alone.
  • Lack of skilled care: Being a family caregiver is often an involuntary role that adult children take on out of necessity. But it is not an ideal solution. Hiring professional caregivers to come into the home on a regular basis can alleviate much of this burden, but the costs add up quickly.

 

Single Service Rental Communities: Pay for What You Need

Single service retirement communities offer monthly rental options. These communities fill a need for seniors that want short-term, relatively affordable retirement housing.

The biggest downside of single-service retirement communities is that if your health needs exceed what is provided, you’ll need to find a different community that can meet those needs. Finding your next single service retirement community can be challenging if desired communities are full or have a long waiting list. The impact of moving several times is tiring and costly. Learn more about the different types of rental communities and the associated costs below:

  • Rental independent living communities do not provide nursing or medical care, therefore they are not regulated or licensed by the state in which they operate. Monthly rental fees are 100% private pay or “out-of-pocket.” As rental ILCs do not offer assistance with daily activities or healthcare, it can often be a short-term move for many seniors.
  • Rental assisted living communities provide assistance with “Activities of Daily Living” (ADLs) which include bathing, dressing, and grooming. ALCs charge a one-time entrance fee or community fee. The monthly fee is higher than in independent living communities because ALCs are staffed with licensed caregivers who provide medication and low to moderate levels of health care. ALCs are state-licensed and are inspected regularly.
  • Rental memory care communities are dedicated to providing a secure, physically safe, and emotionally and socially supportive environment to residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. MCCs provide very low resident-to-caregiver ratios, which makes their monthly cost higher than in Assisted Living.
  • Skilled nursing communities provide short and long-term rehabilitation and medical care. The overarching commitment of SNCs is to help residents return to home or to their retirement community. Most, SNCs accept Medicaid payment. Even if residents pay out-of-pocket or with long-term care insurance, due to the high cost, some may eventually “spend down” their assets while living in skilled nursing. Therefore, it’s important to know if the SNC you chose will accept Medicaid.

 

Life Plan Retirement Communities: All You Need And Want, In One Place

Life Plan retirement communities (also called CCRCs, or continuing care retirement communities) are comprehensive, full-service, lifestyle-oriented retirement communities. They are dedicated to providing residents with security and choice by offering a continuum of care and a commitment to active living and wellness.

What is a Continuum of Care?

A continuum of care simply means that all levels of health care one could need are offered by one community. By providing a continuum of care, seniors have the assurance of knowing that their health care needs will be met no matter how their needs change as the years go on.

While most residents move into a Life Plan Community at the independent living level, they have priority access to higher levels of care – in-home assistance, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, or rehabilitation care – in the future, should they need them.

How Do Life Plan Communities Offer Financial Security?

Another reason that Life Plan Communities have become synonymous with security is that many strive to provide a home and assistance for residents even if the senior is unable to meet their financial commitment to the community. In reality, the chances of a resident requiring financial assistance from a Life Plan community or a CCRC are relatively low, because most require financial qualification before moving in.

Many people fund the entrance fee with the sale of their existing homes. Furthermore, many Life Plan communities offer a partial or fully refundable entry fee, meaning it can be returned to you or your estate. Read more about the specifics in our blog post, Understanding the Cost of Senior Living.

Location: Choosing WHERE You Want to Live

When evaluating retirement options, one of the most important considerations is location. While some seniors choose to stay in their home state or city, many decide to move to a destination retirement community. With its mild climate, accessible location, and dynamic sports, cultural, and dining scenes, Charlotte, NC easily sits at the top of lists of best places to consider for your retirement.

Boasting a rich history and a thriving economy, Charlotte is the cultural, economic, and transportation center of the surrounding metro area. Top universities, banks, and medical centers combined with a lower than average cost of living, and reasonable housing and real estate prices make Charlotte hard to beat and a good investment.

A mild climate, four distinct seasons, and the gently rolling hills of central North Carolina are undoubtedly some of the reasons that Charlotte boasts six Life Plan or Continuing Care Retirement Communities in the metro area, including Generations at Shalom Park.

If your retirement plans include watching sports, you might be surprised to know that Charlotte is home to nine professional and semi-professional sports teams, including the NFL’s Charlotte Panthers, and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. And if you love NASCAR, well then you will truly be at home in Charlotte!

If you prefer to do the sporting yourself, Charlotte is blessed with an ever-expanding unique web of parks and green spaces. Over 30 miles of greenways have been developed over the past several years, and almost 150 miles are still being planned. The greenway system is quickly becoming the country’s finest and proudly welcomes people of all ages to walk, run, bike, hike, and more.

For those whose ideal retirement experience includes dining out as often as possible, Charlotte’s reputation as a gourmet destination will make their mouths water. Charlotte is home to the famed Johnson & Wales University, known for its award-winning culinary programs. Students and graduates from the university are often employed by local restaurants, making Queen City’s cuisine hard to beat.

 

Staying Healthy: What Does Wellness Really Mean?

For many people, retirement opens up time and opportunities to get moving, keep moving, or try new ways to get fit and have fun. But staying healthy isn’t just about eating well and getting exercise. Life Plan communities are dedicated to incorporating the seven key dimensions of wellness into all aspects of the community.

Because comprehensive wellness is a driving force in Life Plan communities when you visit them online and in-person you will notice that every one of the dimensions of wellness is incorporated into the community’s design, management, and operations.

From extensive fitness centers with one-on-one guidance to continuing education classes taught by local educators, to multiple dining options and beautifully landscaped campuses that welcome walking and exploring, Life Plan communities truly offer a cornucopia of life-enhancing pursuits.

 

Planning Your Move: It’s More Than Just Downsizing

Making a smooth transition into senior living requires patience and planning. If you have chosen your retirement home or are still narrowing down your choices, here are some tips on making the move as easy as possible.

  • Be gentle with yourself. The transition from a home you’ve known for many years to a new senior living community can be emotionally challenging. It’s important to remember that all feelings are perfectly normal. One of the best ways to process these feelings is to talk them over with those you love and trust. Sharing your fears and concerns will go a long way to reducing worry and apprehension.
  • Take another tour. Visiting your chosen retirement community once or twice may very well not be enough for most people. Taking another tour will allow you to meet other residents, and become more familiar with the layout of the community.
  • Attend activities and events. One aspect of senior living that many new residents look forward to is enjoying a whole new array of activities and special events. It’s never too late in life to discover something you love.
  • Plan for visitors. There is no doubt that you will be meeting new friends and neighbors quickly. But it’s important to have some familiar faces join you for lunch or dinner within your first week. Set up a few dates before you move in.
  • Make a plan for downsizing. Let’s face it – no one likes to move. But planning ahead with plenty of time can help you get through downsizing and moving with ease.

 

To learn more about the unmatched offerings at Generations at Shalom Park, visit us online at https://generationsatshalompark.com/. Generations is affiliated with Aldersgate Life Plan Services, a renowned senior living provider in the Charlotte region.

Set to open in 2024, Generations at Shalom Park will be a culturally Jewish Life Plan Community that inspires, comforts, and rejuvenates while embracing and honoring residents of all faiths, backgrounds, and ages. Call 704-532-5400 today to learn more about us, and about becoming a Charter Member.

 

Understanding the Costs of Senior Living

Senior Couple Determining the Cost of Retirement

Whether you’re starting to think about retirement planning or you have actively begun to research different senior living communities, the first thing most people ask is, “How much will it cost?” We get it! You just want to know what you will pay, what you can afford and what you will get in return. This guide will give you a clear understanding of the various costs inherent in moving into a Life Plan Community (also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC), what it does not include and what financial benefits you can receive as well.

 

The Entrance Fee

In a Life Plan Community (another name for a CCRC) like Generations at Shalom Park, residents will typically be required to pay an entrance fee and a monthly fee. The entrance fee locks in your choice of residence and ensures your access to the full continuum of healthcare services. Depending on your specific contract, the entrance fee may be highly refundable, meaning it can be returned to you or your successors when you leave or pass on. The entrance fee can also serve to reduce the amount of your monthly fee.

Entrance fees for senior living communities vary greatly and, in North Carolina, can run between $150,000 and $1 million. The amount of your entrance fee depends on the location and size of the residence you’ve chosen and may also provide a certain amount of coverage toward your future healthcare. Many seniors fund the entrance fee to a Life Plan Community or CCRC with proceeds from the sale of their current homes.

 

The Monthly Fee

The monthly fee covers the cost of utilities and all the services and amenities offered to residents, from housekeeping and groundskeeping, to meal plans and fitness programs. Fees can vary but usually are between $2,500 and $5,500 per month in North Carolina. Monthly fees are affected by the type of residence you’ve chosen, the contract you’ve signed and the amenities that are available. The monthly fee also covers your access to the “continuum of healthcare,” which, simply put, is the several levels of care offered on one campus.

In many cases, the monthly fee in a Life Plan Community compares favorably to the monthly expenses of living in one’s present home — especially when you factor in homeowner’s insurance, utility bills, property taxes, home and lawn maintenance — in short, all the headaches of homeownership. At Generations at Shalom Park, our dedicated Life Plan Counselors will carefully walk you through a side-by-side comparison of monthly expenses to help you make an informed decision.

 

What Is NOT Covered

Sales Counselors are well trained to help you understand what your existing health insurance plan and any supplemental insurance cover. Supplemental insurance may include Medicare, veterans benefits and long-term care insurance. These may help cover the following list of healthcare items that are generally not covered by Life Plan Communities:

  • Doctors’ visits
  • Diagnostic testing
  • X-rays
  • Medical equipment
  • Medications
  • Mental health services

 

Tax Advantages

While tax laws are constantly evolving and always subject to interpretation, current IRS guidelines allow residents of Life Plan Communities to deduct the portion of their fees that pertains to healthcare. We encourage you to consult with your tax adviser for additional information.

 

The Value of Choosing the Right Life Plan Community

When considering a move to a Life Plan Community or CCRC, it’s important to understand not just affordability but also value. It’s interesting to note that Dictionary.com defines price as “the amount of money or its equivalent for which anything is bought, sold or offered for sale.” Cost is defined not only as “the price paid to acquire something” but also as “sacrifice, loss or penalty.” And value is defined as what you believe a product or service is worth.

The price of moving into a Life Plan Community can seem reasonable when compared to the cost of not having a retirement plan at all. For the price of the refundable deposit and monthly fee, the costs potentially alleviated are:

  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Lack of daily emotional and physical support
  • Feelings of being a burden to family and friends
  • Being separated from a spouse if one’s physical or emotional state changes
  • Being tied to daily chores that are no longer manageable
  • Being at risk for falls at home
  • Inability to take medications on time and eat well and regularly

 

Many residents find the true value of choosing the right community includes:

  • Knowing they have a secure plan in place for their futures
  • Being cared for and respected among like-minded friends and neighbors
  • Living a healthier lifestyle
  • Giving family and friends peace of mind for the present and future
  • Staying close to their spouses if physical or emotional changes occur
  • Feeling and being safe
  • Having unlimited choices of social, spiritual, intellectual and physical pursuits

 

Learn More!

Coming to SouthPark in 2024, Generations at Shalom Park is a new vision in active independent living that is Jewish in spirit, making it open to all. To learn more or to discuss your financial options, call 704-532-5400 or visit generationsatshalompark.com.

Six Reasons to Retire in Charlotte

Beautiful Skyline Image of Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina – a Top Retirement Destination

As dreams of a relaxing and fulfilling retirement start to become reality, many seniors decide they want a completely new place to live – a retirement destination. With its mild climate, accessible location and dynamic sports, cultural and dining scenes, Charlotte, N.C., easily sits at the top of the list of best places to retire in the U.S.

 

No. 1: Charlotte is a highly sought-after destination.

Charlotte, North Carolina, is consistently ranked by Forbes as one of the best places in the U.S. for people ages 55 and up to retire. Boasting a rich history and a thriving economy, Charlotte is the cultural, economic and transportation center of the surrounding metro area.

As home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and Truist Financial, Charlotte is well known for being the second-largest banking center in the U.S. It is also home to several leading colleges and universities, including The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Davidson College, Queens University of Charlotte, Winthrop University and Belmont Abbey College.

With a lower than average cost of living, and reasonable housing and real estate prices, Charlotte boasts six Life Plan Communities (or Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs) in the metro area, including Generations at Shalom Park.

 

No. 2: Leading-edge healthcare is supported by top teaching hospitals.

The Charlotte area is filled with several magnet hospitals, making it possible to find medical specialists for anything you might need.

Carolinas Medical Center is the flagship hospital of Atrium Health. It serves as the region’s only Level 1 trauma center and is an approved transplant center for the heart, kidney, pancreas and liver. It has been named a Best Regional Hospital by U.S. News & World Report four years in a row, making it Charlotte’s best-ranked hospital. They also serve as one of North Carolina’s five Academic Medical Center Teaching Hospitals, providing residency training for more than 200 physicians in 15 specialties.

Other top hospitals in Charlotte include:

  • Carolinas Healthcare System Pineville.
  • Carolinas Healthcare System Union.
  • CaroMont Regional Healthcare Center.

 

No. 3: A mild climate, four seasons and endless outdoor activities.

When it comes to climate, Charlotte offers ideal weather with few extremes. Moderate and pleasant with an annual average daily Fahrenheit temperature of 71 degrees (high) and 49 degrees (low), Charlotteans are big on the outdoors and enjoy their four distinct seasons.

The gently rolling hills of central North Carolina offer breathtaking places to explore and plenty of things to do in and around Charlotte. Here are just a few …

McMullen and Lower McAlpine Creek Greenways: Mecklenburg County made a decision years ago to unite the city of Charlotte via a web of parks and green spaces. They’ve poured lots of money into the project, and the result is something beyond amazing. Over 30 miles of greenways have been developed and almost 150 miles are still being planned. The greenway system is quickly becoming the country’s finest and proudly welcomes people of all ages and abilities.

Lake Norman: With 520 miles of shoreline and a surface area of more than 32,475 acres, Lake Norman is where Charlotte’s water lovers come to spend summer weekends. Located just north of Charlotte off I-77, it is the largest man-made lake in North Carolina. Fishing abounds, but if you’re not having any luck, several “float-up” restaurants are easy to find.

The Charlotte Museum of History: The museum educates visitors about the settlement of the Carolina Backcountry and the ideas and events that led to the American Revolution. As the steward of The 1774 Hezekiah Alexander Rock House & Homesite, The Rock House is the last home of a framer of North Carolina’s 1776 Constitution and Bill of Rights and the oldest surviving house in Mecklenburg County. It is consistently ranked as one of the top places to visit in Charlotte.

 

No. 4: A vibrant, diverse and award-winning dining scene.

There’s plenty to “do” in Charlotte, but if your idea of fun is a great meal in a welcoming spot, then you will love it here! One of the main reasons behind Charlotte’s reputation as a gourmet destination is it is home to the famed Johnson & Wales University. Culinary students from the university are often employed by local restaurants, making the Queen City’s cuisine hard to beat.

The best culinary reviews testify to Charlotte’s outstanding cuisine. Check out these articles and be prepared to drool!

 

No. 5: Charlotte’s professional sports scene has taken off.

In 1988, the Charlotte Hornets debuted as the area’s first NBA basketball team, changing the reputation of Charlotte as only a NASCAR town. Then in 1995, the Charlotte Panthers became the area’s first NFL team. With the buzz around Michael Jordan buying the Hornets in 2010, and the Panthers making it to the Super Bowl in 2003 and 2015, sports fans are waiting not-so-patiently for a major championship win.

Charlotte soccer fans have also been doing a bit of waiting – for the first season of the Charlotte Football Club. Originally expected to start in 2021, CFC fans will have to wait until 2022, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, to see their team’s long-awaited first kickoff.

In total, nine professional and semi-professional sports teams call Charlotte home, including the Charlotte Knights, a minor league baseball team of the Triple-A East and the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. Other sports you can find in the Queen City are hockey, lacrosse, indoor lacrosse, women’s soccer and indoor football.

 

No. 6: You’ll have plenty of reasons to welcome visitors!

One other reason that makes retiring in Charlotte a smart idea is it is close to so many other towns and cities with other endless lists of things to do. Here are the approximate driving times from Uptown Charlotte:

  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport – 15 minutes
  • Asheville, N.C. – Two hours
  • Blowing Rock, N.C. – Two hours
  • Brevard, N.C. – 2 1/2 hours
  • Chapel Hill, N.C. – Two hours
  • Durham, N.C. – Two hours
  • Myrtle Beach, S.C. – 3 1/2 hours
  • Raleigh, N.C. – 2 1/2 hours
  • Sugar Mountain, N.C. – 1 1/2 hours
  • Wrightsville Beach, N.C. – 3 1/2 hours

Whether you want to host friends for a long weekend or take a family vacation, living in Charlotte puts you close to mountains, cities, the country or the ocean. As the saying goes, you’ll only run out of things to do if you want to! As a senior living destination, Charlotte should be at the top of your list.

Myths and Facts about Senior Living Communities

Seniors in Retirement Laughing Together

When exploring retirement options, it’s a good idea to research several senior living communities – both online and in person. But sometimes fears, misconceptions and myths play a part in delaying that research. We’re going to tackle several myths head-on so you can relax and enjoy your retirement exploration. After all – this is YOUR life! Enjoy it!

 

MYTH No. 1: Retirement Communities are sad and scary places.

FACT: Active, independent living communities encourage residents to thrive!

If you ask most seniors who live in a Life Plan Community (also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC), they will tell you they were initially – and pleasantly – surprised at how dynamic, warm and enjoyable it is. But why were they skeptical? To be fair, many seniors may have unpleasant memories of their parents’ “old folks home” or may remember stories of unregulated nursing homes. But times really have changed, and our old mindsets need to change too.

Life Plan Communities and CCRCs offer two big benefits. FIRST: A continuum of care, or several levels of care available whenever they need it, whether it be on or off campus. SECOND: The not-so-secret added benefit of Life Plan Communities is their dedication to offering just about everything today’s seniors need and want to create as active and independent a retirement lifestyle seniors want.

 

MYTH No. 2: Retirement Communities don’t help seniors stay active.

FACT: Today’s Life Plan Communities encourage seniors to live well and live purposefully.

One of the biggest perks of living in a Life Plan Community is that everything is included. Residents enjoy maintenance-free living in their choice of residences. Meals, transportation, home maintenance, housekeeping, laundry, security and healthcare are all provided, which frees residents up to enjoy retirement and explore new opportunities. From social, spiritual and intellectual pursuits, to joining friends for a swim or a walk through the community, many seniors report they “had no idea!” there was so much to do. Many seniors report that they are more active when they move to a retirement community.

 

MYTH No. 3: I’ll be lonely and isolated if I move to a Retirement Community.

FACT: Life Plan Communities provide residents with access to a social network.

Residents have access to a large social network of people with shared interests. Particularly for single or widowed seniors, the social benefits and sense of community can be a huge draw. Many communities offer a variety of social activities, like outings, mixers, clubs and organized travel. There’s always a friend around, and many seniors like having a sense of community  while still maintaining their private living spaces. Life Plan Communities also welcome family and friends to visit as often as they like (when we’re not in a pandemic, of course!).

 

MYTH No. 4: Residents are dissatisfied with senior living.

FACT: Residents live happier, healthier lives than seniors living at home.

For many years, research has shown that seniors are overwhelmingly happy with long-term care retirement living options. However, the groundbreaking five-year Age Well Study by the Mather Institute, in conjunction with Northwestern University, has knocked the lid off of any lagging reservations that skeptics may have had about the benefits of senior living communities.

Here are just a handful of stats from the Age Well Study that are truly eye-opening:

  • CCRC residents tend to have greater emotional, social, physical, intellectual and vocational wellness than the demographically similar control group from the sample drawn from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) conducted by the University of Michigan.
  • Over two-thirds of residents surveyed said moving to a CCRC “somewhat or greatly improved” their social wellness, a concept that encompasses a person’s sense of connectedness and belonging within their community.
  • Residents who live in CCRCs or Life Plan Communities had lower levels of depression, better diets and better overall health than seniors living in rental communities.

 

Myth No. 5: My health will deteriorate if I move to a Retirement Community.

FACT: Comprehensive wellness is a driving force in Life Plan Communities and CCRCs.

Senior living communities are leaders in the healthcare industry. One of their greatest accomplishments has been their dedication to incorporating the seven key dimensions of wellness into all aspects of retirement community design and operation. When visiting CCRCs or Life Plan Communities, one can’t help but notice their commitment to the health, well-being, longevity and enjoyment of their residents.

From extensive fitness centers with one-on-one guidance to continuing education classes taught by local educators to multiple dining options and beautifully landscaped campuses that welcome walking and exploration, today’s Life Plan Communities truly offer a cornucopia of life-enhancing pursuits.

Seven Dimensions of Wellness

 

Myth No. 6: Life Plan Communities and CCRCs are expensive.

FACT: They are more affordable than you think.

Moving to a retirement community isn’t like it was decades ago. You retain control of all of your assets, and it is your decision what to do with them. In fact, there are plans available  to fit whatever your financial situation is ̶  whether your financial strengths lie in assets or income. Communities that have entrance fees may offer refundability options, and the monthly fees are often tailored to fit your needs.

By visiting Life Plan Communities online and in person, you will put to rest a lot of fears and misunderstandings you may have about retirement living options. After all, your friends and family can give advice, but until you explore options yourself, you won’t fully appreciate the life-enhancing benefits that are offered at today’s retirement communities.

 

Learn More!

Generations at Shalom Park has collaborated with Aldersgate Life Plan Services, a renowned senior living provider in the Charlotte region, on the construction of 125 new independent living residences unlike any other in the Charlotte area. Call 704-532-5400 today or visit us online to learn more about us.

Life Plan Community or Aging in Place: What’s the Better Option?

Senior Women At a Lake

As a society, one of the most cherished freedoms we have cultivated over the past century is the freedom to choose how and where we will live in our retirement years. Since 1900, the number of Life Plan Communities (also known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs) in the U.S. has increased from a handful to more than 2,000 today — with more to come! However, many people still have a limited understanding of the basic attributes and benefits of Life Plan Communities and CCRCs.

As a result, a lack of understanding might make it easier to just stay where you are — what is commonly called “aging in place.” Although aging in place may make good sense for some seniors, it also has its challenges. It is important to understand what a Life Plan Community offers by comparison. Being well informed will make the work of retirement planning a lot simpler, and more fun, for you and your loved ones.

 

Common Risks of Aging In Place

Aging in one’s own home provides seniors with many benefits, particularly the comfort of the familiar. But as needs change, there are some clear disadvantages. Here are some of the most common risks seniors and their loved ones need to be aware of in order to ensure safe and healthy living.

 

The Burden of Homeownership

Yardwork, shoveling snow, even fixing a leaky faucet can frustrate most people. But for seniors, taking care of a home can become next to impossible. In addition to paying utility bills, the physical challenges of housekeeping and frequent maintenance projects can become overwhelming. Bringing in outside help can provide relief, but the costs can be daunting, particularly if maintenance projects have been delayed or overlooked for several years.

 

Lack of Skilled Care

Being a family caregiver is often an involuntary role adult children take on out of necessity. Besides not having the proper skills and training, it’s easy to lose objectivity when caring for one’s relative. Although hiring professional caregivers to come into the home on a regular basis can alleviate much of this burden, the costs can add up quickly.

 

Isolation

In addition to isolation, especially during the pandemic, many seniors lose the ability to drive as they age, requiring them to rely on family, friends or paid transportation providers. Not wanting to be a burden to others creates a greater likelihood of isolation and fewer opportunities for socializing. At the same time, friends may have moved, passed on or are unable to visit. With reduced opportunities to see friends, eat out or simply go grocery shopping, seniors aging at home may face challenges with isolation, loneliness and even malnutrition.

 

Slips and Falls

Falls are one of the major causes of injuries among seniors. Slips and falls occur because of poor bone health, low metabolism and decreased brain health. The greatest danger when a fall occurs is the inability of a senior to get immediate help, or even reach a phone, if they live alone.

 

Life Plan Communities An Essential Vocabulary

Continuum of Care: Life Plan Communities, like Generations at Shalom Park, offer a continuum of care to residents, meaning residents have access to Assisted Living, Memory Care and Skilled Nursing if and when the need arises. Most Life Plan Communities promise you will never have to move out or leave the community to receive healthcare, other than critical or emergency hospital care. Residents are assured that all current and future healthcare needs are met.

Independent Living means just that. You live independently in your choice of an on-campus home, cottage or apartment. Although you may not require assistance with regular activities, you have the assurance of knowing help is there, when and if it’s needed. Independent residents reap the benefits of the unlimited social, cultural, physical and spiritual amenities on the campus of a Life Plan Community. Many people don’t move into a community early enough to enjoy all that Independent Living has to offer. Those that make the move sooner rather than later are able to enjoy the benefits for years before needing higher levels of care.

Assisted Living provides assistance for what is called the “Activities of Daily Living.” ADLs include bathing, dressing, eating and more. Staff is trained to help determine the amount of Assisted Living care a resident may need. Assisted Living in a Life Plan Community is warm, supportive and offers seniors a variety of residential and recreational options.

Memory Care provides a secure, physically safe, and emotionally and socially supportive environment to residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Memory Care offers very low resident-to-caregiver ratios. The mental, physical and social well-being of each resident is of paramount consideration in Memory Care.

Skilled Nursing in a Life Plan Community provides both short- and long-term rehabilitation and medical care. Staff members are trained medical professionals, including licensed nurses, doctors, and physical, occupational, and speech therapists. Whenever possible, Skilled Nursing caregivers strive to help their residents return to their homes in Independent or Assisted living. In some communities, rehabilitation services may be offered in a separate setting from Skilled Nursing.

 

The Benefits of Choosing a Life Plan Community

Life Plan Communities (also known as CCRCs) are dedicated to providing two overarching benefits — security and choice. A continuum of care on one campus provides the security that your healthcare needs will be met no matter what. Choice is what sets Life Plan Communities apart, making them often incomparable among retirement offerings. From selecting your residence to discovering social, spiritual, physical and cultural venues, the choices are practically endless. Life Plan Communities provide much more than quality healthcare. They dedicate themselves to the total well-being and fulfillment of their residents, along with peace of mind that they will be cared for no matter when their needs change.

 

Generations at Shalom Park Is Coming Soon!

Generations at Shalom Park has collaborated with Aldersgate Life Plan Services, a renowned senior living provider in the Charlotte region, on the construction of 125 new Independent Living residences unlike any other in the Charlotte area. Coming to SouthPark in 2024, Generations at Shalom Park is a new vision in active Independent Living that is Jewish in spirit, making it open to all. To learn more, call 704-532-5400 or get a closer look at generationsatshalompark.com.

A Smart Guide to Comparing Retirement Communities

Retired Couple Laughing at Home

When people start to consider their senior living options, they often find Life Plan Communities — also known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities or CCRCs — offer a lot more than staying at home or “stand-alone” single-service retirement communities.

One of the best parts about doing your research is taking the opportunity to visit several communities in person. Life Plan Communities have a lot to show you and tell you. This guide gives you a list of all the best questions to ask when you visit communities you are interested in. Use this guide to compare your options and pick the perfect community for you or your loved ones!

Location:

  • Do you love the setting? Whether you are looking to stay in your hometown or are considering a “destination retirement community,” you want to LOVE where you live. Does the setting comfort you, delight you, and is the environment, location and weather what you want?
  • Do you want to be near family and friends — or not? Where you go is your choice. But remember that friends and family may not have the time, resources or inclination to visit as often as you think they should.
  • Are there nearby medical facilities? Is the community close to a good hospital? Is your doctor nearby, or are there medical professionals close by that you can consult?

 

Residences:

  • What type of independent living residence will best meet your needs? Most Life Plan Communities require that you move in when you are still able to live independently. Independent living options include cottages and houses as well as varying sizes of apartments. People are often quite surprised to discover how carefully designed residences are. From open floor plans that promote mobility, to American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible bathrooms and showers, to kitchen counters placed at accommodating heights, independent living residences are often quite easier to live in than one’s home.
  • How much of your furniture and possessions are you taking with you? Any move is challenging, particularly when you are downsizing. Be vigilant with yourself and your spouse about how much space you really need and want relative to your health and social expectations.
  • Can you decorate or upgrade your residence according to your personal tastes?
  • Does the community provide extra, on-site storage if needed?
  • Is covered resident parking available? Is there adequate visitor parking?
  • Are pets welcome? What happens if you become unable to care for a pet?
  • Also, make sure you take the time to visit residences in higher levels of care. You may never need to move to a higher level of care, but seeing them firsthand and understanding that they are residential in look and feel rather than medical is reassuring and comforting.

 

Amenities:  

Which amenities are important to you? Truly, the list of amenities offered at Life Plan Communities can be endless. But what’s most important is do they offer enough of what you want. Below is a list of commonly offered services and amenities for you to consider.

Dining & Shopping  

Casual Dining Options

Formal Dining Options

Coffee Shop

Catered Dining

Gift Shop / Minimarket

Physical Wellness  

Fitness Center

Swimming Pool

Beauty Salon/Barbershop

Yoga

Massage

Tennis / Golf

Biking / Hiking

Walking Trails

Intellectual Wellness

Speakers’ Series

Theatrical Venues

Continuing Education Courses

Teaching / Mentoring Opportunities

Technological Assistance & Learning

Library / Book Clubs

Art Galleries / Art Studios

Social / Spiritual Wellness   

Outdoor Gardening

Transportation Services

Dog Parks

Intergenerational Opportunities

Planned Social Outings

Religious Services / Spiritual Center

Dating / Matchmaking Services

 
 

Do They Offer a Full Continuum of Care? 

Life Plan Communities, like Generations at Shalom Park, offer a continuum of care, which simply means there are several levels of care on the same campus. Inherent in that “continuum” is the promise that you will never have to move out or leave the campus to receive any healthcare other than critical or emergency hospital care. Residents are assured that all current and future healthcare needs are met in one community.

In regards to healthcare, here are some questions to ask about nursing and caregiving staff:

  • What is the ratio of resident to caregiver in Assisted Living? In Memory Care? In Skilled Nursing?
  • Do staff members undergo screenings and background checks prior to employment?
  • Does staff receive continuous training on lifesaving procedures?
  • Does staff receive continuous training for medical emergencies, natural disasters and other crises?
  • Ask to meet a few staff members! That will tell you a great deal.
  • What if a resident has a complaint about a staff member? How is that handled?
  • How has the staff handled the COVID-19 pandemic?

 

What Is the Community’s Guiding Principle or Mission?

Beyond whether it is for profit or not for profit, the mission of a Life Plan Community tells you what makes it unique and different from its competitors. At Generations at Shalom Park, our guiding principle is “L’DOR V’DOR.” As a faith with a history of almost 6,000 years behind it, Judaism prizes both the wisdom of elders and the curiosity of youth. In families and communities, it is a sacred responsibility to pass down the knowledge, lessons and traditions from the previous generation to the next. This principle, known in Hebrew as L’dor V’dor or “from generation to generation,” is a cornerstone of the Generations community. Knowing the background and values of any community will help you get a sense of what it would be like to live there.
 

Current Resident Satisfaction:

One of the most important conversations you can have when you visit a senior living community is with a current resident – or two or three! Make it a point to interact with other residents and their family members. Ask questions. This is a terrific opportunity to find out from actual residents what you really want to know. And if the community hasn’t been built yet, see if you can speak with residents of an associated community.

  • What can they tell you about the community?
  • How long have they lived there?
  • Why did they choose this community?
  • What do they love about living here? What would they change?
  • What surprises did they encounter when they moved here?
  • What advice would they give you?
  • What do their family members think about the community?

 

Learn More!

To learn more about the offerings at Generations at Shalom Park, take a look around our website or give us a call to set up an appointment.

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