Category: Continuing Care
This week the Springmoor Residents offer their advice to Prospective Residents in Part I of our When to Move series.
Have you thought: Oh sure, I know one day I may need to move to one of those retirement homes. But now? Why would I want to do that now? “I loved my house BUT keeping up with my yard, paying for all utilities and real-estate taxes, trying to keep the A/C and furnace, hot water heater, dishwasher, laundry equipment, lawn mower and all that stuff in working order?! We had a 4,000 sq. foot house packed with all of our treasures. How could you possibly live in an 1,100 – 1,600 sq. ft. Springmoor apartment, house or villa without all of your wonderful, accumulated STUFF? Someday, sure!” said Springmoor resident, John Robinson. But why should you consider this NOW?
Probably most Springmoor residents have uttered these words, or at least had these same thoughts, before making the decision to move.
We did a lot of “foot-dragging” before making the decision to commit to a Springmoor move. BUT we also believed that there were a number of great reasons to consider making the move when we did. One reason is that it is much easier to do it earlier when health and strength make it less stressful and much less difficult. And experience shows that with each passing year the effort to make a move is more challenging and difficult. Another critical matter is the inevitable declining health that most will experience with advancing age. At our age, we have observed growing varieties of difficult health issues experienced by aging family members and friends. We have also observed that, for those not in a quality Continuing Care Retirement Community like Springmoor, it is harder (and HARDER) to deal with proper health care. Home health care can be very expensive and difficult to manage. Finding reliable, qualified home care often becomes a nightmare for those who have needed it. How wonderful it is to know that, in a place like Springmoor, a short-term health problem can be accommodated seamlessly with temporary moves into the rehab center. If more serious and chronic health problems or dementia develop for oneself or a spouse, long-term care is available right here.
If the health of a spouse becomes a serious problem, one can call on qualified and always available health care assistance. Such readily available care also is a gift to children and other relatives. It is a blessing to them that need not be burdened with worrying about, finding and providing health care to an aging or disabled parent or family member.
Happily, life at Springmoor is a liberated life! One can live as independently as one is able or cares to be. Further, if you need it, you can enjoy all of the benefits of a more nurtured and supportive living situation. It is not necessary to cook and prepare daily meals, although you can in fully equipped modern kitchens provided in every independent home. Most residents quickly elect to enjoy delicious prepared meals available every day or as often as desired. For health and recreation, a health club is on-site with qualified trainers available as needed. The Springmoor residents surround new residents with an expanded “family” of interesting people who share many of the same interests and hobbies. There are opportunities to learn many new skills and to participate in wonderful, interesting and fun activities that are available every day of the week.
Finally, and probably surprising to many, will be the discovery that when all costs of living in your present house or condo are considered, Springmoor living may be less costly! This can help to conserve financial resources for fun travel, more cultural activities and hobbies, and the increased ability to pass along financial resources to your favorite charities and family. (John and Martha Robinson, Springmoor residents since 2017)
In Good Health
I was in good health living alone with both children residing in other states. I realized that, if an emergency were to arise, they were too far away to respond. I needed to be where this would not be a problem, so I chose independent living at Springmoor. My children are thanking me for having made the decision as it would be much harder for them to choose for me.
The move to a retirement community should be done while one is still in good physical and mental health before the actual need arises. With failing health, the move will be much more difficult and burdensome for you, family, friends and others.
My advice: Make the move to a retirement community while you are still in control and can make the necessary decisions yourself. You will be much happier. (Larry Auld, Springmoor resident since 2016)
Wealth of Activities
There is such a wealth of activities at Springmoor in which you can participate. You need to move here while you are still physically and mentally able to take advantage of them. Because of my wife’s medical condition, her doctor advised us that she should be physically active and mentally stimulated and Springmoor offers many opportunities for that to occur. Springmoor is an incredibly friendly and giving community. We have made lots of new friends here. Because Springmoor is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), it gives us a real sense of relief that our daughter will not have to worry about either of us as Springmoor has the facilities to care for us as we continue to age. We feel that we made the right decision to move to the right place at the right time for all the right reasons. (Jim and Faye Bundy, Springmoor residents since 2013)
My husband and I started to feel as if we were getting further and further behind in keeping our yard in the shape we were accustomed to and things in the house stopped being “fun projects” and we put off chores. We looked at one another and said, “Why aren’t we moving into something smaller?” Why wait for another snowstorm or another pipe leak? We could be enjoying our life more and be worry free in something smaller with less maintenance. That’s when we started looking at retirement locations. When we toured Springmoor, we knew we had found our future home.
Our advice is to be honest with yourself. If you have had a particular day when you wondered about your future or who you would get to help as you grew older, then you should begin making plans now. A big mistake is to wait until you have no choice in making this decision. We have been here fifteen months and still agree it is the best decision we have made. We have met new friends and are doing things that we never had time for before our move. (Julie and Alex Lewis, Springmoor residents since 2016) Continue reading →
With a smile and a laugh, Michael and Ellen Rogers say this same question gets asked often. Why did you choose Springmoor? What put it at the top of the list? Residents of Eugene, Oregon, the two were here this week to make their interior selections for their new home. Ellen joins Michael in her retirement in a few short months and the two are moving across the country to enjoy all that Raleigh has to offer.
Starting with a Google search for the best place to retire, access to the best health care, availability of university libraries and activities, airports, climate and an uncongested metropolitan area brought Raleigh to the top of the list on almost every search. The two were very familiar with Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) and knew this was the first step in finding a place to retire.
Ellen’s grandparents, parents and extended family have all lived in CCRCs so they put this at the top of their search criteria. They were both amazed at the number of possibilities in our area. Most cities, they said, only had one community to consider and many cities had nothing at all to offer. Michael continued his research and picked five CCRCs in the Triangle area to visit.
US News & World Report ranks Raleigh and Durham on their list as the #7 Best Place to Live. Known for our research and technology roots along with the collegiate rivalries, the area offers a high quality of life. At the top of their list was access to university libraries and activities. They have both had careers in academia and wanted to continue this similar lifestyle. Universities typically attract well-known lecturers, musical performances and continuing education. An ability to access libraries for research, scholarly magazines and journals was an important factor for Michael. He was happy to also find the Triangle on the most educated city list.
Next on their list was access to the best health care programs. With Duke University Medical Center and UNC Health Care System as part of the triangle, they knew this area was exceptional for research and health care. The most updated medical facilities would be located within minutes of their relocation if Raleigh were chosen as their new home.
A small town feel with big city offerings was important to both Ellen and Michael. Having lived in San Diego, California; College Park, Maryland; Tucson, Arizona and East Lansing, Michigan, they both wanted all that big cities have to offer but without the headaches of traffic and congestion. Speciality shops, concert series, restaurants, sporting events and big city things to do can all be found in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. They loved the fact that the three cities are spread out keeping traffic to minimum but still offering so many options for its residents. A quick drive from one to the other usually takes no more than thirty to forty-five minutes. RDU’s International Airport also offers easy access for their friends from across the country to come for a visit. They don’t expect to travel much but do plan on entertaining many friends in their new home.
The average high temperature in Raleigh is 71° and the average low is 50°. Residents are quick to say that we are in an area of the country that has all four seasons. Sometimes even in the same week! Leaving Oregon and the cool temperatures to come to the East Coast was very enticing.
Having lived in many college towns, the two knew that sports brought out an exciting rivalry and camaraderie not found in all towns. We not only have one team to cheer for but we have THREE! And we are not only a UNC, Duke, and NC State basketball triangle but college football and baseball fill up the weekend tailgating schedules too. Besides college teams, we also offer two minor league baseball teams, a professional ice hockey team and professional men’s and women’s soccer teams. We look forward to asking the Rogers which team they have chosen to cheer for after living at Springmoor during a basketball season.
Michael has two daughters and their families living in California. One has begun their search for the empty-nest life style. After his granddaughter leaves for college, the family plans to downsize. Putting in different criteria, Michael’s daughter also found Raleigh at the top of her list. Ellen’s brother did his research and moved here only two years ago. They all put in different information and independently came up with the same results!
Top of the List
What was it that made Springmoor the top choice? Michael came by himself two years ago to tour the area. Ellen was working full-time and knew that they had easily agreed on homes with their other moves. When he pulled into the entrance, he was amazed at the landscaping and the hidden oasis he had found. There were no tall apartment-style buildings surrounded by parking lots. The residential neighborhood setting quickly won him over. He spent two afternoons walking around the Springmoor campus. He randomly ran into five different people and each of them shared their own story with him. They all were eager to tell him about the joy they continue to feel with their Springmoor choice for retirement. He said “the vibe” he felt from these residents sealed the deal. Continue reading →
The key feature of a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that distinguishes it from other retirement living communities is the type of contract available for your “continuum of care.” The continuum of care typically includes independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care.
CCRCs provide multiple types of living assistance as your health care needs increase. Moving to a CCRC assures that, as you or your spouse need more care or different types of care, you can stay in one community and have your health care needs met without another move. The five types of contracts available at CCRCs differ in the way in which the health care costs are covered.
You will want to explore the possibilities and ask detailed questions about each type of contract as they vary from one community to another. The cost of providing health care to an individual can be assumed by the community or by the resident. With an Extensive Contract (or Life Care), the fees for entry are much higher but the monthly service costs remain the same as you move within the community to higher levels of care. In other words, your health care costs are paid as part of the entry fee and before you may need them, much like an insurance policy. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a Rental Contract offers health care on an as needed basis. There is typically no entry fee associated with a Rental community and health care costs are paid at a full market rate.
The community in an Extensive Contract assumes most of the costs of the health care services. They can offer nursing care at a below market rate because of the higher entry fees. In a Rental Contract, the rate charged for health care is much higher and paid by the individual when it is needed. CCRCs typically have all levels of care within the community so a move into the community means that you can age in place. Rental properties do not always have skilled care so it is best to ask about all levels when you begin your search for your new home.
Type A: Extensive (or Life Care) – Extensive contracts provide housing, residential services and health-related services in exchange for a price, usually consisting of an entrance fee and a monthly fee. No additional fees are generally required as one moves from one level of care to another except for additional meals after a move from independent living. The trade-off in paying higher fees for independent living is that almost all residential services, amenities and health-related services, such as assisted living or skilled nursing care, are provided with little or no increase in monthly fees, other than inflationary adjustments. This contract pre-pays for some portion of health-related services that may be needed in the future. This ensures more predictable long-term expenses regardless of health care needs in the future.
Type B: Modified – Modified contracts provide housing, residential services and a specified amount of health-related services in exchange for an entrance fee and a monthly fee. It may include almost all of the same residential services and amenities that a Type-A contract offers. However, if assisted living or skilled nursing care is required, the resident will be responsible for some of the cost. Health-related services are provided at a subsidized rate or are free for a specified number of days.
Type C: Fee-for-Service – Fee-for-Service contracts provide housing, residential services and guaranteed access to health-related services in exchange for an entrance fee and a monthly fee. Contracts typically require the lowest monthly fees and possibly the lowest entry fees compared to the other types described above. Some or all of the same residential services and amenities may be provided, but if assisted living or skilled nursing care is required, the resident’s monthly fee will be provided at the going, full per-diem rate.
Type D: Equity – Equity contracts involve an actual real estate purchase, with a transfer of ownership of the unit. A monthly service fee will still be required. Health care is generally available at the on a fee-for-service basis at the full market rate or at a slight discount.
Type E: Rental – Rental contracts provide housing, residential services and guaranteed access to health-related services in exchange for a monthly rental payment and a monthly fee. There may be a nominal community fee at your entry. Contracts are often month-to-month and service fees may be higher than what you would pay in a comparable entry fee community. Residents under this contract may have priority access to the health care facility but not necessarily guaranteed access. In other words, access to a continuum of care may not be contractually guaranteed as it often is with entry fee providers. As with a Type C contract, the resident will pay the full market rate for health care.
Springmoor – A Modified Contract
As a CARF/CCAC (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and Continuing Care Accreditation Commission) nationally accredited Life Care Retirement Community, Springmoor is designed to provide active, independent retirement living while providing for existing and future health and personal needs.
The amenities and services, including the scheduled activities, entertainment and extensive Pathways Wellness program, are among the best and most progressive offered by any Continuing Care Retirement Community. Springmoor also offers their own Springmoor Home Care and Supportive Living as a bridge between independent living and more continuous care. All of this and more allows for an active, yet secure retirement lifestyle.
Springmoor’s onsite Stewart Health Center provides short term and continuing inpatient care including memory care, as well as a comprehensive outpatient clinic. Residents may also receive physical and occupational therapy on site as well as dental, optical, hearing, psychiatric and podiatry care. The standard for care assures that the residents receive nursing care and personal care that is among the best available. Continue reading →
Why should I put my name on the Wait List? It’s a frequently asked question during a Springmoor visit and tour. There are many advantages and one that you should ask about when you have made your decision about moving to Springmoor.
The high occupancy rate in our community is the first reason you should consider the Wait List. We have been working from a list for many years. The floor plan, the location and an anticipated move date will all be part of making your new home choice. There are a fewer number of the larger individual homes in our community making the wait time much longer. Many of our smaller units will come available in a much shorter time frame. Keeping your options open is the best idea for many perspective residents.
A deposit is required to put your name on the Wait List. The application fee is an administrative fee and non-refundable. The second fee (deposit) varies depending on the size unit you have requested and whether you are moving in as a single occupant or as a couple. This part of the fee is refundable at any time. You may say no to a unit if the timing or the size is not what works best and you will keep your position on the Wait List. We recommend that, if you are interested in moving within the next few years, you add your name soon as wait times have continued to increase each year.
Being on our Wait List will also enable you to participate in special planned events throughout the year. A Rightsizing Luncheon with a Senior Move Specialist helps answer questions about preparing for your move. A Round Table Event with the Springmoor Staff helps answer questions about the community. During this event you will meet our Dining Room Manager who will explain all of our dining options. Our Wellness Center Director shares information with you about the forty plus classes offered in the pool and in our exercise facilities. She will tell you about options for physical therapy and the outings offered each month for physical fitness. An expert from our Insurance Department explains how they are available to help file medical claims. Many other specialists are available during these informative events. These two helpful programs provide much needed advice prior to your move.
Those on the Wait List are also invited to participate in activities on campus. Lectures, book clubs, art classes and so much more are open to everyone on the Wait List. Our residents, of course, get first priority for off-campus events but we always welcome those on the Wait List if transportation is available. Meeting new neighbors while working in the garden is a perfect way to get involved before you move in. Joining a Fused Glass Workshop in the Meraki Arts Center, listening to a English Literature presentation with Dr. Elliot Engel or attending a concert with The Dixie Land Jazz Ensemble are wonderful events and a great way to make new friends with similar interests.
The Wellness Center
Many on our Wait List will join an Aqua Fitness Class or come by each morning to use the exercise equipment in our beautiful Wellness Center. Riding a few miles on the exercise bike or jogging a few miles on the elliptical trainer will get you into a healthy routine while meeting a few of your soon-to-be neighbors. This is an excellent perk for adding your name to the Wait List at Springmoor!
If you ask a Springmoor resident, they will all tell you, “Move before you think you need to or before you have to. Come early so you can enjoy all the activities that are available.” Currently 15% of the United States population is 65 years or older. That number is expected to grow to 21% by 2030 and wait times will become even longer. Continue reading →
There are two options and many questions to ask when looking at Independent Living Campuses. Choosing between a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) and a Rental Community without all levels of care will be the first two options to consider.
A CCRC offers a resident a community for life. A resident may move within the community as more care is needed but will never have to leave. A CCRC offers Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Memory Care on the same campus. An entry fee or real estate purchase plus a monthly fee will be required. Independent residents can continue to participate in activities outside of their home and leave the meal preparation, housework, security and maintenance to the community. This gives the resident freedom to enjoy every minute of their retirement!
A second option is a rental community where all of these amenities are taken care of for the resident but the next levels of care will vary between communities. Choosing this option requires only a monthly fee (no entry fee is required). If you were to run out of money and the facility has no Medicaid beds available, you would be asked to make other living arrangements at a new facility. When Assisted Living, Skilled Care or Memory Care is needed, most likely the resident will need to move to another community. Hiring your own home care is sometimes an option in a rental community.
Choosing an Independent Living Community is much like buying a home. There are many questions to ask and consider. Your family and your financial planner may also need to be a part of the decision making process. Choose a few communities in your area or close to your family and begin with a tour and your list of questions.
Start with the financial questions on your first visit to the community.
- What is involved in the application process?
- Is the apartment owned or rented?
- Does Medicaid, Medicare or any other long-term insurance cover costs?
- What happens if a resident out lives their money?
- Who makes the decision to move to the next level of care?
- Do residents retain control of their finances? Is there assistance available?
- What is the present occupancy rate?
- How much is the entrance fee and is it refundable?
- What are the monthly fees?
- What happens if my spouse and I need different types of care?
- How has the monthly fee increased over the past 5 years?
- What are the costs for higher levels of care?
Ask for an overall description of making a move to the campus.
- How many homes/ apartments are there on the property?
- What types of home are available and how long is each wait list time?
- How do you get on the waiting list?
- What is the occupancy rate?
Next ask about the list of amenities.
- What amenities are included in your monthly payment: TV, phone, housekeeping, transportation, meals, activities, maintenance, etc.?
- What social activities are available each month?
- Is there a Fitness Center on campus? A pool?
- What services are available: a laundry service, a bank, a hair salon, a grocery store?
- What businesses, parks and medical professionals are located in the neighborhood?
Medical options should be next on your list.
- What doctors are available on campus?
- Can a resident continue to see his or her own doctors?
- Is Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy available to residents?
- What health care costs are covered by the Resident and Care Agreement and what must be paid out of pocket?
- What emergency procedures are in place throughout the community?
As you begin to understand the options, you will also want to ask about the specifics of your home and your dining options.
- How many floor plans are available?
- What appliances are included in each apartment?
- Do I get to make any decorating selections when offered an apartment?
- Are pets allowed?
- Explain the meal plan and dining room options.
- Is there a dietician available for special needs?
- Can families dine with a resident at any time?
- Are there to-go services and/or a grocery store available?
- Can arrangements be made for a prospective resident to have lunch or dinner with a resident?
This week, Bill Marley, one of Springmoor’s newest residents shares his journey to Springmoor – his new home and his new extended family.
Many thoughts come to mind as Frances and I reflect on our journey to Springmoor. This journey actually began in quiet conversation one evening a few years ago as we discussed the notion of downsizing. Many “empty-nesters” tend to do this after growing weary of rattling around in a big house, climbing stairs to the second floor, and constantly attending the responsibilities of property ownership.
We were very independent, but had a few developing health issues. This led us to consider moving to one of the fine retirement communities in Raleigh. We are blessed to have our two sons and their families living in the Raleigh area. They would gladly provide all the assistance needed as we grew older. However, Frances and I wanted to spare them of that responsibility and the effect caring for us would have on their lives.
Being Raleigh residents, we were well acquainted with Springmoor. Many friends were living here and Frances had performed for the delightful Springmoor Residents many times as a member of the Cardinal Singers.
A Springmoor Marketing Counselor became our guide along this journey. It was an easy decision to choose Springmoor as our future home. We both had a comforting feeling of relief the afternoon we sat with her and signed papers placing us on the wait list for residency. Just having our names on that list gave us an immediate sense of belonging to this community.
After moving here four months ago, the feeling of belonging has grown stronger. Everyone has welcomed us into the Springmoor Family with open arms. We enjoy seeing old friends more often now and meet new friends almost daily. Frances has benefited tremendously from the expert physical therapy sessions at the Stewart Health Center. I enjoy being a cashier at Springmoor’s Little Corner Store one morning a month. Becoming more involved in activities and volunteering our services as much as possible is something we are looking forward to in the months ahead.
I want to express the thought that “comfort” and “relief” are defining words in our lives since becoming Springmoor Residents. This is particularly true for me. Frances uses a walker and depends on me to be her “legs” and perform more than the usual “chores” expected of husbands around the house. Her safety and well-being are first and foremost. When living in our Raleigh home, I carried on my shoulders the responsibility of being first responder by calling 911 and then doing all I could awaiting the arrival of help. The weight of that responsibility has been significantly lightened now that we are Springmoor Residents.
Before Springmoor, I was always uneasy leaving Frances alone at home when I had to make an occasional day-trip out of town. I made certain she had everything needed close at hand, including medicine, a charged cell phone, and list of emergency numbers. I scheduled my trips when one or both of our sons would be in Raleigh and could come to help, if needed. I then called throughout the day to make certain she was all right. I was always uneasy there would be a certain delay in getting help to her if she had any trouble.
Now I am “comforted” and “relieved” in knowing that if Frances needs help while I am away, she can dial zero, pull the security cord, or press the pendant and help will be at our door in a brief minute. On a recent 12-hour round trip to Bryson City in the far western mountains, I knew Frances was safe in our Springmoor home. I was much more at ease driving in the heavy I-40 traffic without an urgent feeling I needed to get back home as soon as possible. That night, as I turned off Sawmill at the end of the trip, the double driveways at the lighted Springmoor entrance were like two outstretched arms welcoming me home again. I knew Frances was awaiting my return, safely inside the community. Continue reading →