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Planning for Peace of Mind
From downsizing to professional care, estate planning and more, professionals provide valuable advice to help seniors enjoy their golden years.

by Carly Murray

In any aspect of life, it is beneficial to remain one step ahead for anything that the future may hold. While no one can predict what’s to come, preparedness is one step closer to achieving foresight that can provide older adults and their loved ones with security. The post-retirement transition is a different journey for every individual, and the variety of options available ensures the next stage is a custom-fit.

Suburban Family spoke with local specialists who are adept in helping people conquer the next chapter with ease, comfort and support. After all, the years to come are something to look forward to, especially with the ability to explore new opportunities and experiences.

What are the guiding principles or values that a senior and their family should look for when enlisting help for the next stage?
“There are four essential components that contribute to the highest quality of life. You want a community that has robust programming for mental stimulation, plenty of opportunities for socialization that facilitate rewarding friendships, exceptional clinical care that can adapt as the individual’s health needs change over time, and personalized care that makes them feel loved and supported. At Lions Gate, these four components are the very foundation of our community. Our care team forms a true partnership with each family, working together to provide residents with love, dignity and comfort.”
Meredith Becker, COO, Lions Gate

What are some of the reasons that people decide to downsize, and why is it beneficial?
“Downsizing is an attractive option, especially for older adults, as they consider several factors in their preferred retirement lifestyle. Many consider the following pros:
• Smaller homes require less maintenance, such as yard work, snow removal and repairs.
• Downsizing can offer retirees added convenience, especially those who have limited physical abilities.
• The opportunity to embark on a new chapter and create a new home tailored to your preferred retirement lifestyle.
Farryn Hart, Senior Manager of Community Sales & Marketing, The Evergreens

What are the benefits of in-home senior care, and how do they decide which option is best for their unique circumstances?
“Primarily, you get to stay in your own house… So when they hire people to come into their house, it gives them the extra support: somebody who might be able to do the cooking if you can no longer cook, could help you shower, or can just be somebody to talk to in the house – the human contact that you might not be getting on a regular basis… All of that is truly immeasurable, and most of the time when there's a good connection, the caregivers become more of a part of their family.”

Deborah Grady, Owner & President, Homewatch CareGivers

How is the shift to a senior living community or assisted living eased by amenities, care and programs offered?
“The transition to a senior living community can be made smoother by identifying what is most important to the person moving. At Brightview Senior Living, we have over 25 years of experience really listening to the needs and desires of our residents and families. Amenities such as Vibrant programming can offer a resident a better quality of life through all of the social events and interactions that they will have in a senior living community. Bus trips to the city or seasonal events are planned and really motivate that person who does not or can not drive anymore.  It is also important to assess the type of care that is needed. Brightview Senior living residents are able to maintain their independence while living and thriving in a beautiful community so they can enjoy their lives and their loved ones.”
— Stephanie McKeown, MA, CALA, CDP, Regional Director of Sales, Brightview Senior Living

What is the number one thing people should know about estate planning and why?
“The No. 1 thing people should know about estate planning is the importance of creating a will. You can’t argue with the statistic that one out of one people die. A will ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, minimizes potential disputes among heirs, and can help reduce the time and expense associated with the probate process. Without a will, state laws determine how your assets are distributed, which may not align with your intentions and can lead to complications and conflicts among surviving family members.”
Justin L. Scott, Esq., Principal Attorney, Scott Counsel Estate & Elder Law 

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 12.
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