It seems as though every few weeks we run across a new option for senior housing. As we always emphasize with our clients and in our seminars, the choice of housing is one of the most important ones we’ll make as we age. After all, no one wants to be a burden to his or her loved ones, and we all want to maintain our independence as long as we can. But aging often forces seniors to make big adjustments to how and where they live.
That’s why a recent article in the New York Times caught our attention. It tells the story of a single man age 71 who was caring for his 95 year old mother with a range of health conditions. In order to maximize his own independence and also be available for his mother when needed, he made an unorthodox decision: he moved into the same retirement facility where she lived!
You can read the entire article by clicking here.
Both mother and son have their own one-bedroom apartments. Because he is younger and healthier, the son is able to get out and enjoy a more independent life. By his own description, he also gets along well with his more elderly neighbors. And he is forever free from yardwork and home maintenance. For him and his mother, living in the same retirement facility works.
The New York Times article quotes Philip Sloane, an expert on aging from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about this concept of parents and older children living in the same retirement community. “It’s remarkably common for children to make big adjustments to take care of an aging parent,” said Sloane. Sharing a continuing care community, he said via email, represents “a new but logical aging services model.” Where costs are reasonable, “it may well catch on,” he added.
Is this idea for everyone? Definitely not. First of all, many boomers have no desire to move into a community filled with people 20 or 30 years older than they are – that’s why the average age when people move into a retirement community is often 80 or older. Also in many areas of the country the costs of living in a retirement community may be prohibitive for the adult children.
Nevertheless, as you evaluate your own options for housing in your future, sharing a facility with your parent or parents may be one more choice worth considering!
For a full discussion of senior housing options, along with a review of other areas vital to your retirement planning, we invite you to attend one of our upcoming LifePlanning Seminars. You can click on the Upcoming Events tab to find out the dates, times and locations. These free seminars have helped thousands start on the road to a solid retirement plan, and we’ll look forward to seeing you at a LifePlanning Seminar soon.
Or if you prefer a personal appointment, please contact our office. It will be a privilege to serve you.
(Originally reported at www.nytimes.com)