It’s hard to believe that yet another year is in the books. Like most years, 2022 had highs and lows: the launch of the war in Ukraine, the decrease in the number of COVID cases (followed by an uptick in recent weeks), soaring inflation, Artemis I’s successful mission to the moon, the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the first Black woman named to the Supreme Court, to name a few.
As we approach the end of 2022, it is an apropos time to recollect the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” Despite the ups and downs that are inherent to the passage of time, let us strive to focus on the abundance of good going on in this world.
2022’s top senior living blog posts
Let’s take a look back at the five blog posts that were most read by myLifeSite users in 2022.
Our popular “I’m Not Ready Yet” blog series took an in-depth look at some of the most common reasons why people put off a move to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) or other senior living community.
In this installation of the series, we examined the financial roadblocks — real or perceived — that people must overcome before they feel prepared to make their CCRC move. In particular, there is a common fear of running out of money.
While a CCRC can be expensive (depending on the particular community and your contract type), people must consider the X factor of unknown costs should they opt to remain in their current home and require care services. Once seniors crunch the numbers, factoring in the value of what you get when you live in a senior living community — and in particular the peace of mind that comes with living in a CCRC — the cost may be much more affordable than you realize.
This was also a popular post from our “I’m Not Ready Yet” series. Another common refrain we hear voiced by people who say they aren’t yet ready to move to a CCRC or other senior living community is the belief that they are “not old enough.” In fact, in surveys of prospective CCRC residents, we have found that roughly half of respondents cited this as a top reason they’ve not moved to a CCRC.
Examining the difference between chronological (actual) age and subjective (felt), Pew researchers found that nearly half of survey respondents age 50+ said they felt at least 10 years younger than their chronological age, and among those 65 to 74 years old, a third responded that they felt between 10 and 19 years younger than their chronological age. This finding may account, at least in part, for people’s belief that they are “too young” to live in a CCRC.
But it’s important to bear in mind that moving to a CCRC at a younger age has numerous benefits including easing the transition, eliminating home maintenance concerns, taking advantage of the community’s many programs and amenities, the opportunity to build meaningful relationships, and much more.
Most people’s home contains a lifetime’s worth of memories … and stuff! The majority of CCRC units will be smaller than the home the resident is moving from, so decisions must be made about what to keep and what to let go of in order to fit in the new home. The thought of decluttering and downsizing can be daunting to say the least and is one of the most common reasons that people say they aren’t ready to make the move to a CCRC.
Let’s face it: Not only does sorting through and packing up all of one’s belongings seem like it will be physically exhausting, it also has a very real (and understandable) emotional component to it. So, how does one decide what goes in the “Keep” pile and what to get rid of? The key is to consider what you actually use, what items are most meaningful to you, and what things your loved ones may want after you are gone.
Once a CCRC move is complete, most residents find that the decision was absolutely the right one. Among the many benefits of moving to a CCRC is that they can continue to be surrounded by beloved possessions from their “Keep” pile while also enjoying the peace of mind that comes with having access to a continuum of care services should they ever need them.
The senior living industry is constantly evolving to attract new prospects and better meet the needs of existing residents. To this end, there are a number of trends that are making waves within the industry.
The pandemic brought an increased focus on health and wellness measures, and as a result, materials that are more easily cleanable have become a priority when selecting a CCRC or other senior living community’s furniture, flooring, and other high-touch surfaces. Wellness-centric designs also are becoming a key consideration to facilitate resident programs that foster exercise and access to natural light.
Residences of senior living communities also are evolving, influenced by the “age in place” model, with design choices intended to enable residents to remain in their independent living unit for as long as possible, as well as the “tiny house” trend, which favors smaller units that reduce both maintenance and carbon footprint.
Biophilic design is another trend gaining popularity within senior living, facilitating the connection between residents and nature. Design elements such as patios, water features, skylights, and natural building materials have been shown to have a positive impact on residents’ sense of wellbeing.
And our most viewed senior living blog post from 2022 was…
Massive “McMansions” are becoming a thing of the past as the “tiny house” architectural and social movement gains popularity with its “less is more” philosophy. The tiny house movement encourages downsizing and living a simpler life with tiny houses rarely exceeding 500 square feet (and in some cases going as small as 100 square feet!).
This trend is spilling over into the senior living industry as well with some CCRC residents finding the appeal of a smaller independent living unit. Not only is a smaller unit easier to keep clean and tidy, it will typically be less expensive while still affording residents with the same services and amenities as those residents who are paying for larger units — including access to a full continuum of care services, should you need them. Considering that many CCRC residents spend little time in their unit anyway, this can be a big win for your wallet with little downside!
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Each week, myLifeSite posts new blog entries on a wide range of educational topics that are important to seniors. Be sure to visit our main blog page to check out our most recent posts, sign up to receive a notification email when new posts are added, or search previous posts for information on topics that are of interest to you. And if you are researching your CCRC options, be sure to check out our free online community search tool!
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