What Boomers Look For In 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?

PRISONS GET GRAYER, BUT EFFORTS TO RELEASE THE DYING LAG

PRISONS GET GRAYER, BUT EFFORTS TO RELEASE THE DYING LAG (via City Limits)

Phil Lyons sat with four other inmates, shackled and handcuffed inside a dark blue windowless van with no air conditioning. It was 2010, New York’s hottest summer in history. While they roasted in the van, according to the story that Lyons told his…

[Read more...]

About Us

The Senior List Senior Care DirectoryThe Senior List® is a community-driven portal focused on linking families to quality products and senior services online. The Senior List was founded by a team that believes that transparency is the key to finding quality senior services in local communities. The problem is that most people just don’t know where to start. They usually thumb through the yellow pages, spend unproductive hours searching online, or make phone calls to friends or family. The Senior List cuts through the clutter. This is a great place to start when looking for peer-to-peer feedback on local eldercare products and services. We invite you to join the conversation by commenting and/or providing ratings & reviews throughout our site.

The Senior List also sponsors a Senior Care Directory. It’s driven by real people, just like you. Our user community voices their opinions by way of customer testimonials, ratings and reviews. By doing so, the best service providers rise to the top (and get noticed)! Businesses on The Senior List Eldercare Directory range from Senior Housing Providers, to Professional Services, and even Ancillary Services. We hope that you’ll find The Senior List to be a valuable resource. If you do, please share us with a friend!

 

Amie Clark- Co-founder of The Senior ListAfter starting The Senior Resource Network (A leading Portland Oregon adult placement service), Amie Clark, B.S.W. turned her attention to helping families nationwide. Amie (and her team) created a website to link her clientele with the best local senior-service providers in the greater Portland Oregon area. With that, the idea for The Senior List was born. She has been a champion for seniors since graduating from the University of Montana’s School of Social Work. In 2006 she co-founded The Senior List, and the site has grown into one of the leading eldercare brands online today. Amie loves everything outdoors including; horses, gardening, long hikes, running, camping, and family time spent on the Oregon Coast

 

Chris Clark- Co-founder of The Senior ListChris Clark, Co-founder of The Senior List® has spent the last 20 years working in healthcare and related fields. He has held numerous executive positions in sales and marketing, and has worked with many of the top hospital/healthcare organizations across the USA. He is passionate about consumer empowerment (especially by way of technology) and the leverage it provides to buyers AND sellers. Chris graduated from the University of Montana with a B.S. in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Marketing. Chris loves spending time outdoors… He enjoys fishing, hiking, biking, spending time on the boat with his boys, the Oregon Coast, the Portland Trailblazers, and writing.

 

The Senior List partners with senior care providers

Business Owners: Participating on The Senior List Provider Directory can provide significant benefits. There’s a great deal of online research indicating ratings and reviews influence consumers to act. Inclusion in our directory gives you the opportunity to generate direct leads, enhance your web presence, and manage your online reputation. You also have the option of purchasing an enhanced business listing to showcase your business. Our goal is to bridge the gap between eldercare providers and consumers, so that consumers can find what they’re looking for… And businesses can be found! Savvy business owners will invite their clientele to provide ratings and reviews on The Senior List. A December 2009 study by emarketer.com showed that 49% of baby boomers use online ratings and referrals to make purchase decisions. Add your business to The Senior List directory today.

 

We invite you to poke around The Senior List and come back often. We’d love your participation by way of consumer reviews, and comments to our blog posts (and product review areas). This site was built for user-participation. As you can imagine, there are millions of people just like you who are eager to start a conversation, especially when it comes to products and services for loved ones. Please take a moment to share your two-cents!

Boomers Moving Out Of Suburbs Into Cities

Courtesy-of-SalFalkoWhen the kids are gone baby boomers are headed for the city, not just hanging out in the suburbs.  Delaware Online reports that affluent boomers are trading in lawn mowing and commutes for easier access to restaurants, shopping and the theater.  For some there’s a bit of sticker shock when it comes to life in the high-rise.  Going from a 2400 square foot home in the burbs to an 1100 square foot condo downtown doesn’t always mean money in the bank.  For some it means paying through the nose… Living in the city isn’t cheap, but for many it’s worth it.

In July we wrote about the increasing trend of boomers and the money they’re spending on dining out.  It all makes sense… Boomers have the money, many are retiring early (or enjoying semi-retirement), and many are empty-nesters for the first time in a long time!

Click thru to read why the Hoexters and the Solymossys made the move from the burbs to the city life!

Pre-Retirement: Where To Move Before You Retire

moving boxesBefore you retire, you might want to think about a strategy that many boomers are considering and implementing right now.  That strategy is called pre-retirement.  An interesting article in Forbes recently caught my eye.  It was entitled “The Best Cities For Boomers To Pre-Retire“.  Forbes’ notion was that “If retirement is closing in, you might want to move to an alluring metropolitan area where you can work full-time today and then switch to part-time down the road“.  Think of it as a test drive for permanent retirement…

My spellchecker doesn’t recognize the word pre-retirement, and maybe you don’t either.  Our definition of pre-retirement is a strategy of setting yourself up for your later years.  It involves planning and analyzing each of the variables that allow you to live (the life you want to live) in retirement.  Things like; What kind of car do you drive (or want to drive)?  How often can you afford to dine out?  And, where should you live when you retire?

Forbes cited a recent posting from Nerdwallet.com that lists their top 10 “Best Places For Baby Boomers“.  It was based on some pretty smart criteria.  Things like affordability (based on cost of living index), healthcare accessibility, the ability to lead an active social life, and public transportation services.  Here are their top 10 places for baby boomers:

  1. Pittsburgh, PA
  2. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio
  3. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.
  4. Baltimore-Towson, MD
  5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
  6. Louisville/Jefferson County, KY
  7. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
  8. St. Louis, MO
  9. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI
  10. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA

Make sure to visit Nerdwallet to understand their criteria, and for further information on their top destination cities for boomers.

Senior Placement Agencies Find Their Niche in Portland Oregon

Senior Placement Agencies advocate for familiesThis weekend’s Oregonian featured an informative article entitled “Senior placement consultants help clients find care communities that fit their needs“.  It’s a story about how placement and referral services can help families find senior housing, and act as expert liaisons between community and client.  Senior List co-founder Amie Clark (who also owns and operates The Senior Resource Network) was featured in the article, as was colleague Jennifer Cook (with Living Right Senior Placement).  The key to finding the right placement agency is to find an agency that has the best interests of the client at heart.  A placement agency needs to be well informed, aware of state filings, and personnel should be credentialed.  In the Portland metro area, there are over 250 assisted living/memory care facilities and over 1,000 adult care homes to navigate, so having an expert on your side makes all the difference.

“Finding the right fit between our clients and a community makes all the difference in the world” says Clark.  “We do the leg-work for the client ahead of time, like reviewing state records, understanding the level of care provided, and in some cases policing monthly service costs.  Even the little things like how good the food is, or social/recreational services become big things when your loved one moves into a care community.”  Amie and Jennifer are both members of OSRAA, The Oregon Senior Referral Agency Association.  The association regulates local agencies by requiring member agencies be in business for 3 years minimum, AND meet standards and ethics requirements.  Click through to read how placement and referral agencies can help find senior-housing solutions in your local area.

Senior Housing Referral Companies- What you Need to Know

Senior Placement and Referral Agencies; Explained

A senior housing referral company helps clients locate appropriate senior housing in a given geographic area.  A reputable placement and referral service can save you time and energy in your search for senior housing. They should know which communities can supply appropriate care and be able to refer their client to all types of communities. To validate the reliability of a referral company, ask them if they work only with communities that they have contracts with or if they will also refer you to communities that won’t sign contracts. Also, make sure they have personally toured each of the prospective communities and see if they collect information on both substantiated and unsubstantiated complaints. Finally, when looking for a referral agency, choose one that provides you with a list of suitable living options and will escort you on visits to the properties at your request.

Referral companies who do not charge clients for their services will expect the client to work with them exclusively; referral companies gather similar information, so there is no need to work with more than one. This type of referral company receives a “finder’s fee” from the community that the client chooses. Other types of senior referral companies may charge for their services at hourly or set rates. When working with a fee-for-service company, make sure to get the charges in writing before you begin the referral process.

When working with a referral company, let them know your needs, preferences, comfort levels, and expectations. Be honest and straight forward. The more information you provide to them, the better they can serve you and find a place that will best suit your needs.

Choosing suitable housing for a loved one is an important decision for you and your family. Utilizing a referral company will help ensure you find a great place.

Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

We all want the best care for our aging loved one, but getting that care can be frustrating. If you have an aging loved one, you know what it’s like to drive your loved one from appointment to appointment; to manage all of their medications; to deal with doctors who don’t talk to one another; and you struggle with leaving your loved one at home, alone and without the supervision, the company and the  interaction they want (and need).

It doesn’t have to be this way. Thousands of families across America have found a different and better kind of care for their aging loved ones – PACE.  Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provide comprehensive health services for individuals age 55 and over who are determined to be “nursing home eligible” by their state’s Medicaid program. The care model is centered around the belief that it is better for the well-being of seniors with chronic care needs and their families to be served in the community whenever possible.

What do we offer?
PACE services include primary and specialty medical care, medications and medical supplies; all emergency medical, surgical and hospital services; social services; therapies (occupational, physical, speech, recreation, etc.); day health center services; home care; transportation to and from the day center, medical appointments and PACE organized trips; minor modifications to the home to accommodate disabilities; and anything else the program determines is medically necessary to maximize a member’s health.

Who do we serve?
PACE programs enroll only the very frail–a patient population for whom prevention and health promotion makes a significant difference.  Most PACE members have multiple diagnoses, with an average of over 7 diagnoses per member. Among the most common are cardiac problems, diabetes, hypertension, and vascular disease.

How do we do it?
At the core of the PACE care model is the interdisciplinary team. This team is made up of doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, social workers, caregiver aides, chaplains and others. Primary care providers and other caregivers are trained in working with seniors and are focused on treating the whole person. They work together with the participant and any appropriate family members to create an individualized care plan. PACE programs provide high levels of preventive services, such as frequent check-ups, exercise programs, dietary monitoring, programs to increase strength and balance, and more.

PACE programs organize their services in a “PACE Center”. These Centers have a Day Health Center, physician’ offices, nursing, social services and rehabilitation services, along with administrative staff, all in one site. Members attend centers from rarely to daily, depending on their care plans. Most members attend about 2 days per week.

Where do our participants live?
Participants may live in their own home or with a family member and receive in-home support from a PACE employed or contracted caregiver. Others live in some type of care facility such as an adult care home, assisted living facility or residential care facility.

Moving Mom Into A Nursing Home

In elder or dementia caregiving, one of the hardest decisions to make is to move your loved one out of his or her home (or your home) and into a more institutional setting.  Making the move bearable for your loved one may not always be possible.  They may stand firm… They’re staying put, and that’s that!

It may help with the transition if you can remember some significant changes from your own life:

Questions to consider before moving mom into a nursing home:

  • What did it feel like to you as a child when your family moved to a new home in a new location?  Think about those first few days of trying to find your things, especially if some of them had to be left behind.  Try to recall what your emotions were when you went to the new school the first time—all those strangers and you didn’t know anyone.  Did your parents’ logical explanations and promises that “everything will be alright” make any impact on how you felt?
  • What did it feel like as an adult when you went to a new job for the first time?  Managing to learn a lot of new names in a short period of time was stressful, wasn’t it?  The same was probably true of learning new work rules—written and un-written—so that you weren’t creating problems right off the bat.
  • Can you remember what it felt like to give up control of your life when you went into the military or other organization?  You know, when someone else told you what to do and how to do it… You were probably a bit resentful, even if you managed to comply.  Most of us find small ways in which to act out that rebellion—sneaking a forbidden treat, making jokes about the people in charge, etc.

“For emotional preparation, the prospective resident should be involved in as much of the decision-making as possible. Fear of the unknown can make an admission more difficult. Both the caregiver and resident should be able to spend some time in the facility, with the staff, other residents, and other family members until some kind of comfort is developed.”  Peter Silin, MSW, RSW

I think you get the point.  Moving your loved one puts them into the emotional pool I’ve just asked you to swim in.  By answering these questions, you can begin to experience some of what your loved one is experiencing.  This sense of loss of the familiar, confusion in the new place with new people, and new regimes is especially heightened if your loved one is suffering from dementia.

Stretch your imagination far enough to strategize ways to ease the transition and AND the emotional upset it will engender.  There’s a terrific article by Peter Silin, MSW, RSW entitled “Moving Into a Nursing Home: A Guide For Families“.  Take a look at it if you’re in the process, or if you can see this in your future down the road.  It can be a big help in easing the stress for you and your loved one.

Blessings, Joanne

*Photo: Bardaga via flickr

Downsizing To Community Living- What To Bring With You

The Senior Resource Network is a leading placement and referral agency in Portland Oregon.  Amie Clark (owner/operator of The Senior Resource Network, and co-founder of The Senior List) wrote a helpful post entitled “Downsizing To Community Living- what to bring and what to let go”.  It contains some valuable tips that we’d like to share with you here on The Senior List.  Here is a list of what to bring with you.  For the list of what to leave behind, click through to the original article.

What to bring to your new senior community:

  • Bed- Generally, beds are not furnished (the exception would be an adult care home), unless your insurance is paying for a hospital bed.  Depending on the size of the bedroom, a twin, double, or full-sized mattress is best.  You want to make sure there is plenty of room around the sides of the bed to maneuver safely, especially if other furniture is in the room.  A foot-board and headboard may be desired, depending on the space.
  • Chairs and Sofa
  • Shower curtain and rings- Most communities supply the rod.
  • Towels- Several (2-3)complete sets of towels.  If housekeeping is done weekly, this should be plenty.
  • Sheets- At least two sets, unless the bed is changed frequently, most housekeeping is weekly that includes laundering sheets.
  • Bedspread, blankets, and pillows
  • Laundry Basket
  • Garbage cans- In a retirement or assisted living setting, a small garbage in the bathroom(s) and kitchen area are handy.
  • Clothes Hangers
  • Personal Items & Toiletries- toothpaste, toothbrush, denture products, comb/brush, soap, shampoo, shaving products, incontinence supplies*, glasses, hearing aids.
  • Clock, personal photos, and decorative items- familiar items in your new home, like curtains, artwork, and houseplants can make a world of difference to make your new accommodations feel more like home.
  • Telephone (optional)
  • TV/ Radio
  • Dresser/ Nightstand
  • Clothing- Garments that are washable- commercial washing machines can be very harsh on clothing, I would limit dry clean items, and comfortable for everyday use.  Perhaps a few dressy items for special events.

*Some communities will assist in ordering incontinence supplies as they may be able to purchase in bulk at reduced prices.

For a list of local placement and referral specialists in your community, check out the agency listings on The Senior List Eldercare Directory.  Be sure to look for ratings and reviews as they can be a helpful tool when deciding who to work with.