Brad Breeding of MyLifeSite spends a lot of time travelling around the country, speaking to groups of people about senior living options, including Life Plan Communities such as Beatitudes Campus. During his travels, he mentions that he’s fortunate to meet people who live in these communities, as well as people who may be considering a move to a Life Plan Community or other type of senior living community; it’s always eye-opening to hear the perspectives of both personas.
I sometimes hear people say that they are hesitant to move to a retirement community because they aren’t ready yet or don’t want to be around a bunch of “old people,” maybe because they saw a few of the residents using assistive devices, such as walkers or scooters.
For some, what they may really be saying is that they prefer to live in an intergenerational environment, meaning a community with people of all different ages. That’s an understandable wish. Fortunately, even though, by definition, they are age-qualified, more and more senior living communities are developing intergenerational programs. These initiatives offer numerous benefits to both the residents and the younger generations involved with them.
But for many other seniors who say they don’t want to live with other older people, I can’t help but wonder if, on some level, they are saying that they are worried about catching the “old disease.” I’ve even heard people well into their 80s and beyond express that they feel they are too young to move to such a community. Even if it is on a subconscious level, it’s as if they feel that if they’re around people who have experienced physical decline as a result of a health condition or the natural aging process, they too will become older and frailer—like a contagious disease.
For seniors who voice concerns about living among “old people,” perhaps they’ve been fortunate enough to have lived a long and healthy life thus far by remaining active, eating well, AND staying young-at-heart. But does that mean being around other older adults will stifle that? In Brad’s experience visiting nearly a hundred Life Plan Communities, he states that he has not found much evidence of this.
“People who are active and have healthy habits when they move to a Life Plan Community or other senior living community are likely going to remain that way, if not more so. In fact, many residents feel they are far healthier and happier than they would have been otherwise. Are there exceptions? Sure, but in my conversations with Life Plan Community residents across the country, I hear far more positives than negatives. This is due, in large part, to the wide variety of ways Life Plan Communities further enable and enhance this active lifestyle among their residents. From fitness classes and wellness centers to healthy menu options; from social gatherings and cultural excursions, to affinity groups and lifelong learning—there are countless (but of course, optional) ways to stay physically active and mentally engaged when you live in a Life Plan Community. Of course, residents are not restricted in any way from doing any of the same things they did previously, such as eating out, travelling, attending dinner parties with friends, etc.
So, for those seniors who are opposed to living in a Life Plan Community, or other retirement community because they don’t want to be around other “older people”, isn’t this, on some level, agism among peers? Or does it speak to a more deep-seated fear and/or disdain of aging that is common among Americans?”
A 2013 Pew Research Center survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, examined people’s views of aging, medical advancements and life extension. While modern medicine is helping people live longer lives, not everyone views this as a good thing. Survey respondents were asked how long they would like to live? Less than 10 percent of people were hoping to live to be 100 or older. 20 percent of respondents said they wanted to live into their 90s. 32 percent said they would like to live into their 80s. 30 percent of survey participants said they didn’t want to make it past 80. Interestingly, on the flipside, this survey also revealed that 41 percent of respondents believed that “having more elderly people in the population” is a positive for society.
I find the results of this survey intriguing. Even though older adults are viewed as a positive force within our country, nearly two-thirds of people in this survey didn’t want to live to be 90. This seems like a fascinating paradox.
Do you have friends thinking about planning for their future?
Brad Breeding, CFP®, Senior Living Expert and author of “What’s the Deal With Retirement Communities” and the go-to expert seen on NBC’s Today Show, published in Kiplinger’s, and the Wall Street Journal will be on campus this week to share valuable information on lifestyle options, reveal today’s best choices for meeting senior’s financial goals and answer questions about life plan communities. If you have friends or family you would like to invite, stop by the Marketing Office to pick up tickets for you and them in Administration, or by calling 602-560-7994 to RSVP.
In addition to the great information that will be given, remember that for every successful referral you provide as an existing resident, you earn a $1,000 fee on up to $1,500 for your third. Feel free to invite those from your church, service group or volunteer organization to come enjoy delicious refreshments and get advice from the expert!
Your choice of two sessions on Thurs.,
Session 1 @ 10AM or Session 2 @ 1:30PM
RSVP by November 19th for yourself and a friend:
602.560.7994 or register online at BeatitudesEvents.org.