Work In Assisted Living Facilities

Work In Assisted LivingEver thought about working in a senior living facility?  Ever wonder what it might be like?  We found a great video detailing what it’s like to work in assisted living facilities.  The people that work in assisted living facilities are dedicated, caring individuals that are doing a great service for our aging loved ones while making a living doing so.  I know what you’re thinking, and yes we’ve all heard horror stories… But for the most part this group of dedicated professionals provides love and care all day (and all night) long.

What is Assisted Living?

An assisted living residence or assisted living facility (ALF) is a housing facility for people with disabilities. These facilities provide supervision or assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs); coordination of services by outside health care providers; and monitoring of resident activities to help to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. – Wikipedia

Assisted Living Facts and Figures

  • Number of U.S. assisted living communities: 31,100
  • Number of apartments: 475,500
  • Number of residents: 735,000
  • Average length of stay: 36 months
  • Percentage of residents that receive help with three or more ADLs: 40%

*Source: National Center for Assisted Living

Work In Assisted Living Facilities

Senior Housing Trends For 2015

Senior Housing Trends in 2015As you can imagine, senior housing is an important topic for boomers and seniors today.  Where to live and perhaps more importantly, how to live, are important considerations when one is no longer able to live independently in their own home.  The senior housing (or as some call it, senior living) industry is also BIG business for some.  There are big bets being placed on what regional markets will be the next best city where you can retire for less, and how to provide services that meet local demands.

One of the interesting trends we’re seeing is the movement out of the suburbs and into the cities for some retirees.  Unfortunately for those that want to move in close, there is much demand but little supply.  The Washington Post reports; “Today, relatively few viable residential options for seniors exist within central cities or densely developed urban areas near city centers. Most senior housing is located instead in low-density suburbs or in small towns, where land is cheap and development costs are lower.”  That means that both private and public investment will begin to focus on this area as the incredibly affluent boomer market will begin to force their hand.

Senior Housing Trends

A recent report by Senior Housing News also identified some interesting senior housing trends for 2015, most notably:

  • The role of technology and services that allow people to live independently will skyrocket.  (See our reports on medical alert systems for an example of technology in demand.)
  • Cost effective senior living solutions are more important than ever.  As folks live longer, their savings become stretched and stretched.  Many are unprepared for the high cost of senior housing, and the role of inflation on their budgets.
  • Remote monitoring technology for those that are aging-in-place will continue to grow.  These solutions provide connectivity to those that choose to remain at home, and/or live independently. The “services market” around connectivity solutions like GrandCare Systems, HealthSense (and others) is going to explode.
  • Employee turnover at senior housing facilities matters.  Not only can it affect the bottom line (employee recruiting, training/re-training), but it also affects the moral of the residents, AND can adversely affect patient care.
  • Brand management is a bigger deal than ever before.  Consumer trust today is paramount, and the internet makes it easy to help or hurt a senior housing community’s reputation in the local (or national) landscape.

What senior housing trends are you seeing in your local communities?  Tell us in the comments below!

The Future of Senior Care: Villages & Robots

Paro Robot Seal future of senior care

Photo Credit- parorobots.com

For the last decade, I have worked closely with families who are trying to find the best senior care facility for a loved one. I am fortunate to work in an area (Portland, OR) that offers a plethora of senior housing options, from traditional Retirement Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care Communities. Portland also boasts an impressive 900+ Adult Care Homes (aka Adult Foster Care or Adult Family Homes) for folks who want/ need a smaller family-style setting.

Future of Senior Care

People often ask me what I think the future holds for elder care. I suspect this question stems from fears of what their own future holds or (most likely) that they are terrified of facing their later years in the current senior care model (which is becoming quickly outdated by the social and medical needs of the boomer generation).  The following ideas and companies are my picks for the “out of the box” thinkers, movers and shakers, and emerging models that are redefining the world of senior care.

Sharing is Caring: Elder CoHousing

While not a new model by any means, cohousing and elder cohousing continues to grow. Cohousing, at it’s core, is intentional, collaborative living in which residents participate in the planning, design, and daily operations of sharing indoor and outdoor spaces.   Cohousing creates strong communities, reduces costs, builds sustainability, and enhances the quality of life for those who can fully immerse themselves into a world of sharing.   Elder cohousing can assure residents that they will be fully supported in the later years by a community that has been established and is prepared to to meet the medical and social needs of the last 20-30 years of life.  To find a cohousing community near you, check out the directory of cohousing.org.  I was surprised to see how much this list has grown in just the last five years.  To learn more about cohousing check out the following resources:

Keeping it Normal: Dementia Village

Dementia Village is a community specially designed (think “The Truman Show”) to incorporate all the concepts of normal daily life for seniors with mid-to-late stage dementia.  This beautiful space is located in the town of Weesp near Amsterdam, Netherlands.  It was built in 2009 and has 160 residents.  The residents are broken up into groups of 7 who have similar lifestyles, interests and backgrounds.  Each group manages their own “house” and residents have their own private space.  Daily tasks like grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking and participating in the lifestyle in which the resident has been accustomed to all happen with the assistance of permanent staff for each house.  A theater, supermarket, restaurant and an out-patient care unit are all elements that keep the residents leading busy, normal lives with a dementia diagnosis.  One very unique element from a traditional “memory care” setting is that residents are allowed to move freely inside and outside of the house and through the village, while remaining within a protected environment.  You can see pictures and learn more at the Hogeweyk Dementia Village website.  I was very excited to learn that the first U.S. location for Dementia Village is underway in the SLO, CA area.  It will be called Mahal Cielo Village and will be the first of its kind in the U.S.  The video below is an extensive inside look at Dementia Village.

Resident Centered: Elite Care

Perhaps models like Elite Care exist in other parts of the country, if they do, I am unaware of them.  Elite Care is a Portland, OR based senior housing company who has redefined how senior care is delivered in my neck of the woods.  Elite Care communities are built with the resident in the driving seat, not the staff or company stockholders. Similar to elements of Dementia Village, the mid-sized communities are broken up into small “houses” that are designed to promote safety with autonomy.  While not a “locked” memory care, residents are supervised and monitored through technology, small settings,  and free-to-roam campuses.  In addition, Elite Care puts great emphasis on family involvement through monthly gatherings, free visitor meals, and rooms to rent for out-of-town guests. Walking paths, resident-maintained edible gardens, and on-site chickens are also stand-outs in an industry of structure, regulation and corporate policies.   Elite Care also made my “Best of Portland, Oregon” list last year based on online reviews.

Coming Very, Very Soon: Robots

I write about technology that keeps seniors as independent as possible in their home.  The aging-in-place drumbeat gets louder with each new company and piece of equipment that becomes available.  From medical alert systems, appliance sensors (my review on these coming soon), to full-house activity hubs and interactive software, the list is growing for senior care technology options in the home.  And very soon, Robots.  Robots are already being used in places like Europe and Japan for senior care.

  • Giraff: Think of a mobile Skype robot.  The robot is one part of a complete home-based system that uses a network of sensors to monitor activity.  As of 2014 Giraff is being tested in real homes around Europe.
  • Paro Therapeutic Robot: Cute, cuddly, and oh! those eyes.  Paro is an interactive robot that espouses the benefits of animal therapy.  The robotic seal has several kinds of sensors that can detect sound, being touched, light, and temperature. You can purchase your own Paro for $6,000.
  • “Hector” from The Companion Able Project: Another integrated home robot that interacts with its human about medication reminders, to-do lists, and social interaction prompts like missed calls from loved ones.  Trials and demonstrations currently ongoing in Europe.

Have you seen the future of senior care?  I want to hear about it- leave your comments below!

Best Assisted Living New York

Best of The Senior List Assisted LivingThe Senior List® set out to find the best assisted living facilities in New York, New York.  We compiled reviews from the top senior housing review websites to pull together our “Best of” list.  Click here to read about our methods, and interpreting the List.  All ratings are based on 5 stars.

Best Assisted Living New York | Who makes the list?

For those who have lived in New York and who decide to stay in the city through the later years, there are a variety of options for Assisted Living, from extravagant to homey.  New York boasts some of the best hospitals in the U.S.,  three of the top ten hospitals (Mount Sinai Medical Center, Hospital for Special Surgery, and NYU Langone Medical Center) in the country for geriatrics are located in New York.  Below are our findings for the best assisted living communities in New York, New York.

Atria West 86 | New York

atria west 86 assisted living in new yorkAtria West 86 offers Independent and Supportive Living Options in New York.

Caring.com-  11 reviews- Average Rating 3.5
SeniorAdvisor.com- 23 reviews- Average Rating 4
GoldenReviews.com- 16 reviews- Average Rating 4.6

What they liked: very clean, felt new and fresh, accommodating staff, staff are friendly and respectful, located in a nice area, close to Riverside Park, long term care insurance accepted, first class facility, sophisticated program, well appointed, respiratory therapist on staff, well trained caregivers, good food, fancy, transportation to physicians, contemporary style.

What they didn’t like: rooms are small, high cost, not enough outdoor activities, small elevators, have to walk to tables at meals, was asked to stop playing the piano by other residents watching TV, mediocre care, were not happy with communication once move-in took place, care charges not fully explained in brochure, not set up for frail population.

Carnegie East House | New York

Carnegie East House assisted living new york new yorkCarnegie East House offers Assisted Living in New York.
Caring.com- 10 reviews- Average Rating 4.0
SeniorAdvisor.com- 4 reviews- Average Rating 4.5
GoldenReviews.com- 20 reviews- Average Rating 4.3

What they liked: spacious rooms, clean, privately owned, good food, staff are nice, modern bedrooms, home-like environment, engaging activities,  variety of activities, caring employees, RN on duty 7 days per week, activities are well organized, picky mother has no complaints, creative-type residents, computers with internet connection, in-house salon, library.

What they didn’t like: Ongoing subway construction, didn’t like staff, food.

 Hallmark Battery Park | New York

Hallmark Battery Park Assisted LivingHallmark Battery Park offers Independent and Assisted Living in New York.

Caring.com- 31 reviews- Average Rating 4.5

What they liked: fresh fruit, nice rooms, modern and cozy, culturally diverse activities, hotel atmosphere, nice area of the city, professional staff, outdoor cookouts, great location, large rooms, clean, attentive staff, pool, nice dining area, security, impeccable view, quiet neighborhood, fitness center, arts and crafts studio, wellness clinic.

What they didn’t like: Expensive.

The 80th Street Residence | New York

80th Street Residence Assisted Living 80th Street Residence offers Assisted Living specializing in Memory Care in New York.

Caring.com- 6 reviews- Average Rating 4.5

What they liked: safe, caring environment for those with cognitive impairments, staff who become like family, in-house beauty salon and barber shop, friendly staff, nice sized rooms, wonderful care, high quality entertainment.

What they didn’t like:  We couldn’t find any negative comments for this facility.

 VillageCare | New York

village care assisted livingVillageCare of New York offers a variety of services from Independent Living, Assisted Living, Long Term Care, and Skilled Nursing Care in their settings located in New York.

GoldenReviews.com- 14 reviews- Average Rating 4.45

What they liked: comfortable and affordable facility, friendly staff, residents seem comfortable and happy, cooperative and caring staff, social activities, relaxing spa therapy rooms, meditation rooms, close to subway

What they didn’t like: low quality of food.

 The Esplanade | New York

the esplanade assisted living in new yorkThe Esplanade of Manhattan provides Assisted Living and Retirement Living in New York.

Caring.com- 5 reviews- Average Rating 4.0

What they liked: large apartment, affordable, nice and caring staff, activities, escort services to doctor’s appointments, outdoor garden, outings, clean.

What they didn’t like: small kitchen area, repetitive food choices, kosher style but not kosher.

Lott Residence | New York

lott residence assisted living in new yorkLott Residence provides Assisted Living in New York.

Caring.com- 3 reviews- Average Rating 4.0

What they liked: less expensive, great location on Central Park, beautiful facility, rooms are cozy and clean, staff is helpful and friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

What they didn’t like: We couldn’t find any negative comments for this facility.

If you have experience with any of the above Assisted Living New York communities, please provide some feedback below in the comments section!  You can also submit your own reviews to any of the senior housing review websites listed above.  Do you know of an Assisted Living facility that should be on our best of New York, New York list?  Let us know by commenting below!

Assisted Living Documentary

Assisted Living DocumentaryEver wondered what it’s like living in an Assisted Living Facility (ALF)?  Dick Weinman, professor Emeritus at Oregon State University pulls back the curtain in a new assisted living documentary entitled “The Thin Edge of Dignity”.  Dick say’s “It takes a village to accompany the elders on the final journey of life.  But in today’s fragmented and mobile society, families no longer live together in a single household.  Once it took a village… Today it takes an ALF.”  This no-holds-barred exposé is an emotional roller coaster, and gives us a view that few outsiders get to see.

Boomers, I sense this is a call for a mobilization.  One of Dick’s goals is for a “cultural shift in long term care” and after watching this assisted living documentary you may want to join the brigade.

“An independent man of 80 years, disabled in a traffic accident, who strives to maintain his independence enclosed in the world of dependency of an Assisted Living Facility” – Dick Weinman

The Thin Edge Of Dignity – By Richard Weinman

Mr. Weinman, was an incredibly active broadcaster until injured in a tragic 2005 auto accident.  Dead at the scene, he was resuscitated and “put back together”.  He currently writes a column for AARP Oregon aptly entitled The Thin Edge of Dignity.  Dick’s column is a bi-monthly column featuring “an independent man of 80 years, disabled in a traffic accident, who strives to maintain his independence enclosed in the world of dependency of an Assisted Living Facility”.

Let us know what you think of Richard (Dick) Weinman’s Assisted Living Documentary in the comments below.

Best Assisted Living Portland Oregon

Best of The Senior ListThe Senior List® set out to find the top 10 best assisted living facilities Portland Oregon.  We compiled reviews from the top senior housing review websites to pull together our top 10 list.  Click here to read about our methods, and interpreting the Top 10 List.  All ratings are based on 5 stars.

If you would like personalized help finding the best Assisted Living in Portland, fill out the form at the bottom and a consultant will contact you shortly.

Best Assisted Living Portland Oregon | Who makes the list?

Portland, Oregon makes for an excellent retirement city with plenty of assisted living options for seniors.  The city contains a robust public transportation system, mild weather, and excellent hospitals.  Portland has always been a nationwide leader in the eldercare field and continues that trend today.  Below are our findings for the best assisted living communities in Portland, Oregon.

#1 Cherry Blossom Cottage | Portland Oregon

cherry blossom cottage best assisted living portland oregon

Cherry Blossom Cottage provides Residential Care and Assisted Living Portland Oregon.

Caring.com 7 reviews – Average rating: 4.5
Golden Reviews 6 reviews – Average rating 5
SeniorAdvisor.com 13 reviews – Average rating 5

What they liked: Smaller size, “homey” feeling, not institutional, warm, caring staff, fun and educational activities

What they didn’t like: traditional food for the elderly, activities are basic, old but well-maintained building

Read More: Cherry Blossom Cottage Assisted Living in Portland Oregon

#2 Hearthstone at Murrayhill | Portland Oregon

hearthstone at murrayhill best assisted living portland oregonHearthstone at Murrayhill provides Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care apartments in Beaverton, an area just west of Portland.

Caring.com 5 reviews – Average Rating 5
Senior Advisor.com 3 reviews – Average Rating 4
GoldenReviews.com  4 reviews – Average Rating 5

What they liked: family business, activities, good sized rooms, volunteer opportunities, shuttle for shopping and appointments, attitude of staff, multiple levels of care, helpful staff, well maintained facility, attention to details, great food, clean, feels like a cruise ship, management is quick to resolve issues, residents treated with respect and dignity, staff aware of changes in residents, beautifully decorated, down to earth, family oriented

What they didn’t like: high cost, odoriferous

Read More: Hearthstone at Murrayhill Assisted Living in Portland Oregon

#3 Avamere at Bethany | Portland Oregon

avamere at bethany best assisted living portland oregonAvamere at Bethany provides Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care apartments in Portland.

Caring.com 4 reviews – Average Rating 4.5
SeniorAdvisor.com 3 reviews – Average Rating 4.5

 

What they liked: cleanliness, activities for residents, bright, upscale, garden area, spacious apartments, ice cream parlor, on-site beautician, welcoming staff, beautiful grounds, close to golf course, very good food, happy hour weekly, smells fresh

What they didn’t like: bland meals, would like to see more activities

Read More: Avamere at Bethany Assisted Living in Portland Oregon

 

#4 West Hills Village | Portland Oregon

west hills village best assisted living portland oregonWest Hills Village provides Independent Living and Assisted Living apartments in Portland.

Caring.com 1 review – Average Rating 4
SeniorAdvisor.com 3 reviews – Average Rating 4.5
SeniorHomes.com 6 reviews – Average Rating 5

What they liked: feels elegant and sophisticated, rooms are large sized, “fine dining” lives up to the promise, friendly and caring staff, many opportunities for residents including volunteering in the community, variety of room sizes and options, low turnover, prompt assistance, open dining (7am-7pm), rehab next door, very active place

What they didn’t like: too fancy

Read More: West Hills Village Assisted Living in Portland Oregon

#5 Elite Care at Oatfield Estates | Milwaukie Oregon

elite care at oatfield estates best assisted living portland oregonElite Care at Oatfield Estates provides an alternative to Assisted Living in Milwaukie, an area south east of Portland.

Caring.com 2 reviews – Average Rating 4
SeniorAdvisor.com 3 reviews – Average Rating 4.5
SeniorHomes.com  1 review – Average Rating 5
GoldenReviews.com 4 reviews – Average Rating 3.7

What they liked: locally owned, LEED certified, inclusion of technology, residents are encouraged to participate in daily activities like preparing meals, small environment, focus on memory care, unique amenities and features, gardens, large grounds (6.5 acres), accessible walking paths, high quality food, organic food grown on site, individualized care,  caring staff, feels like home, intimate feel, breathtaking views, quiet location

What they didn’t like: high cost, turnover in upper management, no Medicaid option

#6 Russellville Park | Portland Oregon

Russellville Park Assisted Living best assisted living portland oregonRussellville Park provides Independent, Assisted Living and Memory Care apartments in Portland.

Caring.com 2 reviews – Average rating: 4
Golden Reviews.com 3 reviews- Average rating: 5
SeniorAdvisor.com 14 reviews – Average rating: 4
SeniorHomes.com 6 reviews – Average rating: 4

What they liked: modern, clean facilities, activities programs, good sized apartments, food, centrally located

What they didn’t like:  food, levels of care that didn’t meet the needs of a loved one, lack of transparency of costs, not enough parking, high cost

#7 Emeritus at Park Place | Portland Oregon

emeritus at park place best assisted living portland oregonEmeritus at Park Place provides Assisted Living apartments in Portland.

Caring.com 9 reviews- Average Rating: 4 stars
SeniorAdvisor.com 3 reviews- Average Rating: 4.5

 

What they liked: facility is neat and clean, friendly staff, numerous activities, “old school” diner, great food, good value for the money, near park with walking paths,

What they didn’t like: felt lonely, juice bar is not running 24hrs/ day, needs improvement in cleanliness, limited parking

#8 Pacifica Senior Living Calaroga Terrace | Portland Oregon

pacifica senior living calaroga terrace best assisted living portland oregonCalaroga Terrace provides Independent and Assisted Living in Portland.

Google+ 6 reviews – Average Rating: 4
Caring.com 4 reviews- Average Rating: 4
GoldenReviews.com 5 reviews – Average Rating: 4.77
SeniorAdvisor.com 10 reviews – Average Rating: 4

What they liked: food, views, close proximity to downtown Portland, clean facilities, location, friendly staff and residents, 24hr nursing supervision, near public transportation, nice rooms and dining areas

What they didn’t like: food, no kitchens in apartments, elevators, railings on apartment balcony, age of building, nursing concerns

#9 Courtyard at Mt. Tabor | Portland Oregon

courtyard at mt tabor best assisted living portland oregonCourtyard at Mt. Tabor provides Independent, Assisted Living and Memory Care apartments in Portland.  

Caring.com 7 reviews – Average Rating: 4
SeniorAdvisor.com – Average Rating 4
SeniorHomes.com 2 reviews – Average Rating 4

 

What they liked: activities, view, friendly staff, food, nice buildings, active peer group

What they didn’t like: overselling regardless of care needs, cost

#10 The Springs at Tanasbourne | Hillsboro Oregon

the springs at tanasbourne best assisted living portland oregonThe Springs at Tanasbourne provides Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care apartments in Hillsboro, an area just west of Portland.

Caring.com 6 reviews- Average Rating 4
SeniorAdvisor.com 5 reviews- Average Rating 4

 

What they liked: beautiful facility, movie theater, indoor pool, putting green, personal storage areas, clean, modern, no foul odors, supportive staff, concierge service, men’s group, park next door, shopping next door, upscale,

What they didn’t like: high cost, large facility, long hallways

If you have experience with any of the above assisted living communities, please provide some feedback below in the comments section!  You can also submit your own reviews to any of the senior housing review websites listed above.  Do you know of an assisted living facility that should be on our best of Portland Oregon list?  Let us know by commenting below!

If you are an Assisted Living community that made our list, feel free to access widgets to share your accomplishment on your website, newsletters, and emails.  Click here to access the widget gallery for best assisted living in Portland, Oregon.

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Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

Looking forward to retiring in the same community you slaved away in for 40+ years?  If not, you may be dreaming of life in a cozy beach community where the idea of fresh air, fresh fish, and fresh adventures await!  If that’s the case, here’s a list of the best beach towns in America for retirement.  Enjoy your golden active years near the many relaxing beach communities we have right here in our own backyard.

Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

#1 Manzanita (Oregon)Best Beach Towns in America: Manzanita Beach

This sleepy little community boasts a wonderful mix of full timers and part time residents.  With 7 miles of sandy beaches, Manzanita offers lots of room to run, walk, surf, or chill out.  The Oregon Coast Visitors Association maintains that “Manzanita possesses the third most photographed scenery in Oregon”.  Add in a local golf course, and a few nice restaurants/pubs and now you’ve got a full plate!  Located just West of Portland (and south of Cannon Beach) Manzanita has less than 1,000 full-time residence and at the time of the 2010 census just 315 households.  If you’re looking for a simple living this qualifies as one of the best beach towns in America for retirement.  Median age in the city is 59.9 years young.  –photos courtesy of jamesonf via Flickr

Best Beach Towns in America: Manzanita Beach Walk

 #2 Santa Cruz (California)

Best Beach Towns in America: Santa Cruz CA

Santa Cruz is a throw back town.  Having just spent our spring break there this year, we loved every minute of this surfer’s paradise.  Looking for something a little laid back and dog friendly?  You just found it.  Add in a mix of fine dining, and local eateries (where the food is fresh and affordable), you won’t go home hungry.  2011 census pegged Santa Cruz at just over 60,000 residence with 32.1% of the population between the ages of 45 and older.  Median age in Santa Cruz is 29.9 (wikipedia).  Beach dwelling, wine tasting, museums, and a university add to the cultural appeal of Santa Cruz, and it’s a sure draw for those looking for an active retirement.  –photos courtesy of Thomas Hawk & Hudheer G via Flickr

Best Beach Towns in America: Beach at Santa Cruz CA

#3 Beaufort (South Carolina)

Best Beach Towns in America: Beaufort SC

Beaufort SC was named Coastal Living Magazine’s Happiest Seaside Town in 2013.  This alone should qualify it as one of the best beach towns in America for retirement!  Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands.  Water, history and culture surround this area, and it’s about as friendly a town as you’ll ever come across.  “Chartered in 1711, it is the second-oldest city in South Carolina, behind Charleston. The city’s population was 12,361 in the 2010 census.  It is a primary city within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort Metropolitan Statistical Area.” (Wikipedia)  As of the 2010 census there were just over 12,000 people residing in the city of Beaufort.  A full 30% of the people in Beaufort SC are over the age of 45.  –photos courtesy of scarter392 & Henry de Saussure Copeland via Flickr

Best Beach Towns in America: Beaufort SC

#4 Friday Harbor (San Juan Island WA)

Best Beach Towns in America: Friday Harbor WA

Friday Harbor is a gorgeous little island community available only by ferry service (or float plane).  With just over 2,000 residents, it’s not easy to get lost around Friday Harbor.  Census data notes that 44.8% of the city is 45 years old or older.  Lots of things to do on San Juan Island including hiking, biking, fishing, walking, kayaking and sampling the many local eateries and coffee shops around town.  Summertime brings in quite a number of tourists, but everyone is interested in fresh air and the active outdoor culture that abounds here.  –photos courtesy of Chase N. & Mike Kelley via Flickr

Best Beach Towns in America: Friday Harbor ferry

#5 Steilacoom (Washington)

Best Beach Towns in America: Steilacoom WA Sunset

Located 45 miles SW of Seattle, Steilacoom (pronounced “still-a-come”)seems to move in slow motion and that’s just how the 6,000 or so full-time locals love it.  The 4th of July celebration brings in over 18,000 visitors, and all come for good eats, good conversation, and fireworks over Sunnyside Beach.  This Puget Sound community boasts a median age of 45.4 (as of the 2010 census) and 39.3% of folks are 45 years of age or older.  –photos courtesy of L-M-E & camknows via Flickr

Best Beach Towns in America: festival in Steilacoom WA

What Boomers Look For In A Retirement Community

Finding a retirement community: Boomers on computerMedia Post’s Engage Boomers Blog wrote a nice piece on the 5 things boomers are looking for in a retirement community and we thought we’d pass a few of these tidbits along.  There are a few obvious features, and a couple not-so-obvious.

Today’s baby boomers are looking for pet friendliness, spacious living quarters and sustainability (environmentally functional) just to name a few.  Boomers today live active lifestyles, and their not looking to get bogged down!  Lot’s of activities are a must in any modern day retirement community, and a quality food menu is an absolute essential!!!!

The article doesn’t mention it, but it goes without question – staff friendliness, attentiveness and professionalism rank extremely high among the attributes of top retirement communities.  People really do make the difference.  What are you looking for in a top rated retirement community?

Top 5 Dementia Articles for 2014

Articles on Dementia: canstockphoto1476746We thought it fitting to provide you with a new top 5 list to ring in the new year.  Listed below are the top 5 articles on DEMENTIA for this, the first week of 2014.  We hope you find it both interesting and informative.  As always, if you have comments, suggestions, or additional resources to add we invite you to participate in our comments section below!

Top 5 Articles on Dementia

1.  Bringing Dementia Patients Back To Life (The Atlantic; Jan. 5, 2014):  This article focuses on the many misconceptions of a dementia diagnosis, and it focuses what dementia patients CAN DO, not what they can’t.  Money Quote: “In some cases, unresponsiveness may say less about a patient’s disability than a failure on our part to offer something worth responding to.”

2. Heart Disease Could Be Tied To Dementia For Older Women (Reuters; Jan. 2, 2014)  Reuters reacts to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association entitled Cardiovascular Disease and Cognitive Decline in Postmenopausal Women: Results From the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study.  This study looked at the relationship between heart disease and cognitive decline in elderly women.  Researchers confirmed the association noting that “Women who’d had a heart attack, in particular, were twice as likely to see declines in their thinking and memory skills”.  Money Quote:  “Understanding the connection between heart disease and dementia is important because heart disease is reversible but Alzheimer’s disease is not, O’Brien said.”

3. What Is The Global Impact Of Dementia (CBS News.com; Jan. 4, 2014)  CBS News VIDEO discusses the global impact (including economic implications, human implications and potential therapies). Money Quote: “Where we’re really lacking – is drugs that can hit that inflammation response where the brain’s immune cells are turning against it.  We really have nothing that can help you.  Ibuprofen and current anti inflammatories won’t do it.”


4. A Daily Dose Of Vitamin E Slows Ravages Of Dementia (Daily Express – UK; Jan. 1, 2014)  For the first time, US researchers have found a benefit of adding Vitamin E to the diets of mild to moderate dementia sufferers.  Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital and the Veterans’ Administration Medical Centers in Minneapolis are reporting that “the annual rate of functional decline among dementia sufferers was reduced by 19 per cent thanks to a daily vitamin E supplement”.  This particularly study noted that those taking Vitamin E were able to carry out everyday tasks for longer periods of time.  Money Quote:  “Now that we have a strong clinical trial showing that vitamin E slows functional decline and reduces the burdens on care-givers, vitamin E should be offered to patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms.”

5. The Younger Face Of Dementia: Ottawa Man Shares Wife’s Battle With The Disease (CTV news.ca- Jan. 6, 2014)  When people think of dementia they think of it as an older person’s disease, but as Matthew Dineen explains – his wife was just 41 when she began exhibiting signs of the disease.  Today, Lisa Dineen lives in the secure wing of a Ottawa nursing home, a stand-out among the elderly residents there.  A year ago she was diagnosed with FTD (Frontotemporal Dementia) a devastating brain disorder for which we know no cure.  Money Quote:  “We have people who get a divorce … their families leave them because some of them start acting very inappropriately. They don’t understand that it is a brain disease, they don’t understand that they are not doing it on purpose.”

Long Term Care Insurance Advice: Video

Last year Suze Orman reported that she was paying around $30,000 per month for 2 full time in-home care nurses.  She’s doing this for her (then 96 year old) mother because she loves her very much, AND because she can afford it.  In this brief video, Suze offers advice on Long Term Care Insurance, and recommends that you get involved with your older parents money before it’s too late.

 “If you have older parents, and they’re not talking to you about what they’re doing… I’m asking you to get involved with they’re money!” — Suze Orman

What is Long Term Care Insurance?

Wikipedia has a tight and concise definition that I like: “Long-term care insurance (LTC or LTCI), an insurance product sold in the United States and United Kingdom, helps provide for the cost of long-term care beyond a predetermined period. Long-term care insurance covers care generally not covered by health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.”

“Long-term care insurance generally covers home care, assisted living, adult daycare, respite care, hospice care, nursing home and Alzheimer’s facilities. If home care coverage is purchased, long-term care insurance can pay for home care, often from the first day it is needed. It will pay for a visiting or live-in caregiver, companion, housekeeper, therapist or private duty nurse up to seven days a week, 24 hours a day (up to the policy benefit maximum).” — Wikipedia on the benefits of LTC Insurance

Long Term Care Statistics

According to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance:

  • 8.1 Million Americans are protected with long-term care insurance.
  • 322,000 new Americans obtain LTC insurance coverage in 2012.
  • $6.6 Billion in LTC insurance claims paid (2012).
  • Over 264,000 individuals received LTC insurance benefits (2012).