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Let’s say you’ve seen all that Still Hopes Retirement Community in West Columbia, SC has to offer.
Maybe your friends who moved here years ago had you over to the campus for a concert and dinner. Or you may have been coming to the Still Hopes pool for years while getting a glimpse of the lifestyle here from residents in your swim class. Or maybe you’ve even booked a tour and learned all about the countless activities and amenities.
Or maybe, you are just tired of cleaning your house, changing the batteries in your smoke detectors, mowing the lawn, or trying to locate the leak from your roof. And you’d rather spend your whole day playing golf, reading a book, enjoying nature, and joining in on clubs and activities with your peers.
These may be all the reasons why you are ready to move to Still Hopes, or some other continuing care retirement community (CCRC). But before you call the moving company, you just need to break the news to the kids.
Get ready. They may not be on board. And you might hear any of the following objections (and what they really mean):
“You don’t need an old folks home” (I am in denial that you are aging).
Suggested response: I need socialization, not the isolation that I currently experience in my home. I want to live in a vibrant community that will be engaging and meaningful, that I can enjoy with my peers.
Not to mention, Still Hopes and other CCRCs (also called “life plan communities”) aren’t an “old folks home.” Your kids might be thinking exclusively of skilled nursing homes, and while there is certainly a component of that in communities where the continuum of care is one of the benefits, most people make the move to a CCRC to enjoy all of the amenities that it has to offer in a beautiful setting among other older adults. Ask any of the residents and they’ll almost always tell you, they wish they’d moved sooner.
“It’s too expensive” (You’re spending my inheritance).
Suggested response: Why don’t we go through a financial cost comparison worksheet before I make my decision.
Most kids aren’t thinking about what their parents stand to gain. They shouldn’t write it off before they have a chance to evaluate whether or not it’s affordable. And most people are surprised to learn that many CCRC resident contracts are often called “wealth preservation” because a portion of it can be refundable back to the estate, depending on the contract terms.
“I can take care of you if you get sick” (Family takes care of its own).
Suggested response: I want to be your parent, not your patient.
It sounds nice when an adult child makes the offer, but how many really have the time, energy, and emotional resources to be the caregiver for their parent? This objection may come from a place of love, but it is certainly not rooted in reality. If the adult child has children of their own, plans to take vacations, works full-time, or just enjoys their free time in general, having a parent whose health suddenly changes can become a burden they weren’t counting on.
70-percent of people turning 65 will need some type of long-term care services in their lifetime.
Caring for a sick parent can be a 24/7 job and the caregiver can’t come and go as they please. Even if they have organized in-home care, being the point person is a huge responsibility. Making the decision to move to a CCRC is a gift to the child, as well as the parent, allowing them to maintain a healthy relationship with boundaries.
Why would you sell our childhood home? (“I am afraid of change”).
Suggested response: I’ll give you the first right of refusal - you can buy it yourself and turn it into a museum.
Just kidding, of course. But you may want to point out that the home has served its purpose. You’ve raised a family there and it’s time to put yourself ahead of the house. There are costs associated with the upkeep of homes, whether it’s a new roof, a new heating system, or a new coat of paint. Or you can do it all yourself but that’s usually not feasible as you continue to age.
Let’s face it. Your child’s opinion is definitely worth a lot. But life, on your own terms, is priceless.
Want to have a longer discussion? Still Hopes is happy to sit down with both parents and adult children to talk about all their options. Call Stewart Rawson, Director of Marketing, at 803-739-5040 to schedule an appointment or simply complete our contact form.