Retirement frees you from all the responsibilities of the working world, giving you time to live fully on your terms and to fill your days with your favorite activities. But you still must plan for what to do if your health needs change. According to the Administration for Community Living, as many as 70% of older adults may need some form of long-term care.
Here at Vinson Hall Retirement Community, we offer a continuum of care for our independent living residents, giving them peace of mind in knowing they will be taken care of should their needs change. Our long-term care residence, Arleigh Burke Pavilion, is here to help you live as independently and safely as possible when you can no longer perform everyday activities on your own or need assistance in doing so.
If you are still making your plan for long-term care down the line, here are 5 risk factors to consider:
1) Age: As you age, your chance of needing long-term care increases. Many independent living residents say they wished they’d moved sooner so they could make the most of years living in a community. To modify a line from Ernest Hemingway, the need for long-term care arrives “gradually, then suddenly.”
2) Gender: Women generally live longer than men, putting them at higher risk for needing additional care as they age. Married couples in particular should keep this in mind as they are planning ahead. We recommend talking with an estate planner or elder care attorney to ensure family finances are in order.
3) Marital status: In addition to the statistical likelihood of wives outliving husbands, single people are more likely to need some form of long-term care. One advantage of retirement communities is that you have a built-in support network of friends and health care professionals just steps from your front door.
4) Lifestyle: Your lifestyle affects your risk for long-term care, and healthy habits such as a balanced diet and regular exercise will also boost your quality of life as you age. The habits you form in middle age affect your health in older age, and it’s vital for seniors to participate in wellness activities to maintain mobility.
5) Health and family history: While you can’t control your family history, knowing your hereditary health risks arms you with important information about longevity. Additionally, routine wellness exams will help you spot any health concerns early.
As with anything in life, you can never predict for sure what is around the corner. The above risk factors offer some guidance as you plan for long-term care, knowing that the best plan is a proactive plan. To learn more about the health care services and amenities at Vinson Hall Retirement Community, contact us any time for a tour or to learn more.