1. The Graying of America: Moving into Retirement Options

    August 2, 2011 by Editor

    Very recently our attention has been drawn to the elder members of society who are finding unique retirement options which have become much more diverse in the fairly recent past.  One of those options is known as a Continuous Care Retirement Community, or CCRC.  The premise for such communities is to have well-planned access to amenities that concur with the lifestyle preferences of older Americans.  A significant portion of those amenities incorporate a transitioning flow of healthcare options and facilities that adjust with the needs of the members of such communities as they age and their needs change accordingly.  A common comment from those seeking out these communities is “We just don’t want to be a burden on our children as we grow older.”

    What is most enlightening about these developing communities is the detailed attention to seniors and the common affects to every aging member of society that are beginning to emerge.  Early in life, typically we exert great efforts in education and preparation to become professional, self-sustaining and self-reliant members of our communities.  Now encouragement for those same kinds of efforts is being brought to our awareness in preparing for the latter years of life.  Awareness is key so that options for preparation can be sought out and implemented well in advance of potential difficulties.  That preparation essentially eliminates the fears of what to do when life takes these turns and twists.  There many professionals who have made concentrated efforts to really identify the options in great detail so that well-informed choices can be made well in advance so that proper and seamless preparations can be made.

    So often, seniors are hit with life changing events that they know are coming but really do not prepare for them mostly because, as the adage goes, they don’t know what they don’t know.  It’s no wonder that they don’t know the questions to ask.  So where does one learn the questions?  What resources are available that can help senior citizens set the direction could consider?

    On a local level, many communities have public organizations oftentimes referred to as Aging Services, Senior Community Centers, Elder Services Programs to name a few.  National associations have been organized to set ethical and reliability standards to which legitimate service providers can attach themselves.  Well founded professionals are engaged in this dedicated effort.  They want to assure senior citizens they will not fall prey to scam artists that are intent on bilking them of their carefully prepared savings for life’s latter years.  One such organization is called the National Association of Senior Move Managers; NASMM for short.  They are easily found on the internet and are a tremendous resource that can help find the right questions to ask or consider.  Another more generalized association is the National Association of Personal Organizers (NAPO).  These professionals are more diverse in the services they offer.  They are particularly useful for those whose lives are so busy in their professions that they require assistance in handling the personal details of their lives thereby reducing significant stress and bolstering their confidence in timely execution of important details, events, objectives, etc.

    CCRC’s have recognized just how valuable these professionals are and endeavor to align themselves with these professionals when establishing these community developments and working with their prospective clients.  For those of us in the moving industry, there is emerging a great need for these kinds of services.  The question now is whether senior citizens in our communities actually want to acquire the services of these professionals.  We are taking a good, hard look at what these professionals can offer and how to integrate these kinds of services into moving.  One of the saddest things we see fairly often is when a spouse dies and the surviving spouse is left with a whole house full of memories that have been acquired over a lifetime and the assumption is that the surviving spouse can pick it all up and take it with them when the move in with children or, at least, into a residence near family.  That can be a very painful reality when suddenly faced with the prospect of having to downsize and having to leave many of those memories behind.  This is a major transition in life that when properly approached and addressed, can be a greatly relaxed, albeit difficult experience.