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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 19328  
Subject: CCRC Date: 10/2/2012 8:23 AM
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My wife and I visited a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) about 90 mintues away from where we currently live. They have apartments, cottages, and full-size condos, along with all the other stuff. They also have assisted care and nursing facilities for later in life. Lots of open space and forested areas, and it's located in small college town. It's a non-profit, with an "A" rating from Fitch, so it's financially solid. If you pay the entrance fee, they can't throw you out even if you run out of money 20 or 30 years from now. It's been open since the mid-1980s. I've never thought about these places before, but several friends said that they had gotten on the waiting list of the same or other similar places, which is about 5 years minimum. While I don't see us moving to a place like this anytime soon, we gave a $1K deposit and got on the waiting list. It sure is strange thinking about things like this, but I guess it makes sense if you can afford it, and we have enough money, so why not at least keep it as a reasonable option for later years. Because of some health issues, I need to be closer to the Medical Center where I get treated and followed, and this retirement place is only 20 minutes (versus the current 2 hours) away.
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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17862 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/2/2012 9:07 AM
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While I don't see us moving to a place like this anytime soon, we gave a $1K deposit and got on the waiting list. It sure is strange thinking about things like this, but I guess it makes sense if you can afford it, and we have enough money, so why not at least keep it as a reasonable option for later years.

When my father died 10 years ago there was lunch at the church I grew up in after the cemetery. I was talking with the lunch coordinator, whom I've known my entire life. He was telling me that they had just moved into independent living in a complex such as you describe. I'd estimate he was in his mid 70's. My response was, "Your children will thank you." Not long ago I sent his widow a condolence note.

Of all the coulda woulda shoulda's as I look back on my parents' latter years, the biggest is "I wish they'd gotten out of that house while they still could adjust." We were lucky that they had enough money that we we able to hire enough help to get them to their dirt naps from home. Just barely.

Your children, if you have any, will thank you for keeping this option open.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool

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Author: TwoCybers Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17863 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/2/2012 10:38 AM
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The sales pitch is hard to resist for folks like yourself who plan ahead. We have had some experience with a CCRC in Nashville, TN. The issue we ran into was simply the organization was very ready to move folks from one level of care to the next. Since they rent in Assisted was greater than Independent and the Nursing Home costs exceeded Assisted, I can see a motivation for such moved.

The person we are responsible for eventually left the Assisted part of the program, because they were forcing her into the skilled nursing unit. Hilda did not want to share a room or be confined to a hospital bed. She has managed quite well for over 5 years in another Assisted facility.

Lastly I worry about any place that to use your words, they can't throw you out even if you run out of money 20 or 30 years from now. Any private facility has to complete in the market place -- i.e. there is a limit to what they can charge the paying customers. So at the end of the day, they will have to limit the funds they spend taking care of folks who "run out of money" or else everybody is going to be sitting on the curb.

The Long Term Care Insurance industry made some serious actuarial errors and has burned a lot of people who bought lower cost policies in the early 90s. I would be very cautious and consider alternative options to cover running out of money. Maybe single pay annuities. Yes there will be less for your estate, but you will have monthly funds for life. You can also, all be it expensive, but unlimited LTC policies.

Gordon
Atlanta

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17864 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/2/2012 1:18 PM
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I looked into one of these places for my mother a few years ago. I found they had a "prospectus" that was over 100 pages. Reading the fine print, they have the caveat that their promise assumes you have long term care insurance. And you will be billed to additional services.

You are supposed to get your initial deposit (usually of 2 or 3 yrs rent) back when you leave. But of course, your deposit goes first when you run out of cash.

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17865 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/2/2012 1:24 PM
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My mother went to an independent living facility. She enjoyed the activities and the social aspects. Too many stay in their homes to long. When you get to an age where driving is difficult and your friends also find it difficult to travel, you would be better off to be in independent living.

Homeowners should sell their homes and move. They can almost break even by investing their equities. Plus you save on taxes, insurance, and the services like lawn care and housecleaning etc, that you otherwise pay for.

Most would be better off to move to independent living younger. Then they can better enjoy activities. And there are those who have cars and golf and go on vacation. But you don't have to worry about meals and housekeeping.

Independent living at the place my mom chose had only two rules. 1) You had to be able to find the exits in a fire alarm without assistance. 2) Meals were cafeteria style. You had to go through the line (but assistance was available for extra cost.

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17866 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/2/2012 1:32 PM
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People should also be aware of HUD housing. My mom's place was 2/3 HUD housing and 1/3 market pricing independent living.

HUD apartments were one room efficiencies with only a hot plate and refrigerator rather than a kitchen. But HUD rates are based on income. Whereas one bedroom market rates were paying abt $1800/mo at that time HUD people were paying about $500/mo.

So those living on Social Security can afford to live in independent living with HUD. But they had a waiting list for HUD apartments. I think they used the market rate apartments to keep HUD units full.

This is a little known alternative.

As for additional care, as skilled nursing, HUD residents probably depend on Medicare recovery when they are hospitalized or ultimately on Medicaid.

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Author: dbphd Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17867 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/2/2012 1:37 PM
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My 99 year old mother lives in a very nice retirement community in Santa Barbara. The facility had been a luxury resort. After a serious fall last year they moved her from independent to assisted living, where she lives in a deluxe one bedroom 1.5 bath apartment, enjoys dining with her friends, attends lectures and recitals, and participates in an exercise class. I understand they have an endowment so folks who run out of money aren't thrown out on the street. It seems a nice way to sunset.

db

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Author: malaoshi Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17868 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/2/2012 1:59 PM
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We have been looking at these CCCRs for a couple of years now, so that our daughters will never have to worry.

Have two tours planned at different facilities on Oct 24. I'm pretty sure that one is too expensive for us. DH loves yet another one that is next to a Jewish Community Center but I don't like it so much because they bus you out to another facility for skilled nursing and the place is ugly to look at , although new and very functional. It is also at least 25 minutes away.

The one we already had money down on, close to our house, same friends, community, choir etc as now, could not get enough funding to build ( it was 3 years ago) even though their reputation and other simmilar facilities in other states are terrific...we got our money back...we are still very sad about that one, as we were really firmly decided it would be perfect.

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17874 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/2/2012 5:20 PM
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Downsizing and moving into independent living is a major change. Dealing with all the accumulated property--sorting, giving things away, estate sales, etc, etc--can be a lot of work (or people can be found to do it for you).

It is a big adjustment. Getting it right. Staying close to friends and relatives can make it easier.

Its not so easy, but for most of us its the right thing to do at some point.

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17876 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/2/2012 5:54 PM
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Dealing with all the accumulated property--sorting, giving things away, estate sales, etc, etc--can be a lot of work (or people can be found to do it for you).

Like your children.

So, here we are hard at work cleaning out my parents' house. I managed to get open an overstuffed dresser drawer and found "greeting cards not from family." On top was a note in my mother's distinctive hand saying, "By now you're probably thinking 'she never threw anything away.'" I muttered, "Honey, you're about six drawers too late."

Cousin Barbara got the "best find" award. It was she who came across my paternal grandmother's canceled checks tucked in a corner of the garage in a cigar box. Perfectly reasonable story for how they got to the garage. Right after I got out of high school my childhood home was mortally wounded by a tornado. Mom was in the hospital, the house was fixin' to fall into the basement, and friends and family came to help box up everything that could be salvaged and get it into storage. After my parents moved into their new home everything came from storage into the new house, and that particular box must have made its way to the corner of the garage, never to be seen again.

That did not explain, however, why on June 8, 1966, the date of the tornado, they still had the canceled checks of my grandmother, who died in 1946.

Pitch, folks, pitch!

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17878 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/3/2012 8:39 AM
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I've been unable to persuade my almost 87-year-old mother to consider a CCRC. And there's a great CCR about a mile from her house. She'd really enjoy "eating out" every day in company, but her independent streak is a mile deep and wide. She likes arranging for things like yard care, cleaning service, HVAC service, handymen and enjoys paying all her bills (she used to be a bookkeeper).

She moved into this house a couple years after my father died, and doesn't want to go through everything again so soon. She's never sold possessions and is uncomfortable about it happening while she's alive. Plus she doesn't want to "live with old people"--even though the ailing elderly are segregated at this facility. Or in a situation that smacks of poverty/socialism (group home) so she'd only consider one of their patio homes, not one of the smaller apartments, which is what she can afford. I think she doesn't want to appear to be the poorest at the place, which she probably would be. She grew up poor and has spent a lifetime escaping that. She also looks at the monthyl fee at the CCRC and compares that too her mortgage-free home with low property taxes. Although I've explained several times that the buy-in price is maybe half the value of her home, so she could add to her investments, and that the CCRC would cover some of her current expenses like landscapers, maintenance and repair, utilities, and even their exercise facility with personal trainers is included in the fee, she doesn't seem to get it.

At least she's finally gotten comfortable with the idea that her current car is her last one--and it's 14 years old, but meticulously maintained, every scratch fixed promptly. While her bridge friends drive her to those events, not sure how it will go for other things. I live right here, but travel a lot and may move away. My brother is also here, but runs a business and can't be available on a daily basis (and she does like to leave the house every day). The CCRC takes you out on your errands plus on fun outings. And they host concerts, plays, and lectures. Plus it's located on pretty grounds right next to an outdoor mall with her favorite restaurants, a grocery store, etc.

I couldn't even get her to take a tour with us, so DH & I took a tour and were impressed. I'd sign up myself, but we're out of town a lot, plus my children/grandchild are far away so I don't want to commit here.

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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17879 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/3/2012 9:06 AM
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I've been unable to persuade my almost 87-year-old mother to consider a CCRC. And there's a great CCR about a mile from her house.

I believe that there is an age beyond which seniors/elderly simply can't pull the trigger and make a decision to leave their home for a retirment community of any type. The age isn't a fixed age, but I think the range is somewhere between 75 and 80. In other words, if they don't make a move prior to that age, they are likely to fight tooth and nail to stay in their home until they are taken to the hospital to die or die in bed. The fact that their decision makes a total mess of the lives of their children and grandchilder doesn't matter after they pass the point of no return. Of course, there are many exceptions to this rule, but I think it's a decent rule of thumb, at least based on what I've seen and experienced over my life. This is why I think people (in this case, me and my wife) need to make arrangements and execute on those arrangements prior to 75. My wife is like her mother, who is currently being dragged by her two daughters (my wife and her sister) out of her house and into a retirement home at age 87. She can no longer live alone, and she knows it. Her solution is for one of her daughters to come and stay with her for long weekends every weekend, and for them to take care of everything. She doesn't care what this means in terms of time and expense, since both daughters live a plane flight and rental car distance from her home. I'm unlikely to make it to 75, but my wife is likely to make it far into her 90s or even beyond 100. We have only one son, who won't be able to provide any financial support for her, nor will he be in a position to spend a lot of time looking after her. In addition, my wife absolutely abhors the idea of taking advice or instructions of any kind from our son. Bottom line: We need to plan for the future and execute on that plan at an appropriate time, which would be while I'm still on this side of the ground. This is what motivates me to look at CCRCs. I don't know what we'll do, but I know we need to do something at some point in time.

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17880 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/3/2012 9:16 AM
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Your 87 year old mother has my total admiration and respect.
Good for her. She wants to remain independent as long as she possibly can. That's a good thing. The time will come when she needs to make other arrangements. I suggest you take one day at a time. She is happy.
She seems to be doing just fine.

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Author: TMFPMarti Big funky green star, 20000 posts Home Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17881 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/3/2012 9:19 AM
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This is why I think people (in this case, me and my wife) need to make arrangements and execute on those arrangements prior to 75.

To me what you want to avoid is a crisis-based move, as recently happened to my 83 year old aunt. She was bound and determined to live alone in her house for the duration and wouldn't even talk about any other possibility. When my cousin found her on the floor on a Thursday it was a frantic scramble over the weekend to figure out where she would go on Monday when the hospital would boot her. Her doctor had said absolutely no way she could live alone.

I'm 63 and hope to wake up dead in my own home many years from now. (My neighbor is on my emergency contact list as "body finder.") But I'm seriously thinking about options if the day comes that I can no longer live alone. I'd rather be prepared for something I'll never need than have to deal with decisions made on the fly. Of course, short-notice availability in a desired facility is a major consideration in postponing an actual move.

Phil
Rule Your Retirement Home Fool

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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17882 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/3/2012 9:36 AM
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Of course, short-notice availability in a desired facility is a major consideration in postponing an actual move.

The CCRC we visited on Monday has over 400 people/couples on the waiting list. At any given time, only a relatively small percentage are actively desiring to move, so the CCRC simply skips over them and goes to the next person who has indicated that they are ready to move. The current estimated wait for someone who wants to move immediately and who just got on the waiting list is about 5 years. The most expensive residences take a little less time. They don't take direct admits to assisted care or skilled nursing. Based on my reading and personal experience with family members and parents of close friends, the waiting time to get into a nicer assisted care or skilled nursing place is at least a year, sometimes 2 or 3 years. The Medicaid only skilled nursing homes have a much shorter waiting time, but many/most of those places aren't exactly nice places to visit, much less live. The bottom line is that it's very hard to make quick moves when an acute event takes place, thus making it necessary for someone to provide 24-7 home care until an appropriate slot opens somewhere. For those who haven't looked into the costs, it costs a fortune to have 24-7 home care, and it's not easy to arrange so as to have reasonable quality caregivers. Many folks simply can't afford to move into any type of place, so planning in advance might not be worth the effort. It's a hard world out there, so good luck to us all.

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Author: Bobcatkitty Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17884 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/3/2012 10:48 AM
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This is one thread/topic I wish I could have avoided, but truth is, sometimes life throws us curves we don't expect.

My Dh has been diagnosed with state 3 kidney disease, and has other medical issues all related to Agent Orange. Today we travel to the VA medical center to start the prostate cancer possibility.

Me? I'm an 18 year breast cancer survivor who has a slight heart problem.

We are both 68 and have retired for 16 years. We are now confronted with decisions I really don't want to make. We have a 6 y/o 3000sf 2 level house in a small town. I would like to sell this place (even though what we have in it would never be returned) but it does not mortgage. I'm ready to head for Fayetteville, Ar. which would put us within 3-4 miles of the VA medical and my PC physician who has just moved her office there. Our favorite townhouse area currently has 3 homes for sale, and just a little north is a new over 55 community where we could build the smaller house of choice.

Dh on the other hand wants to go straight into an apartment. After 40+ years of non-apartment living, I dread the thought of going back to that.

So, since this appears to be a Mexican stand-off, here we will likely stay until next spring at least.

There are over 500 homes for sale in our town, and prices have continued to drop due to the number of foreclosure that have sold in the range of $25.00 (yes that's right) to $80 s.f. Therefore, we know that the likely hood of selling quickly would/could mean a losss of $100K.

Who ever said "growing old gracefully" and these are "our golden years" doesn't have any idea what they were talking about.

I will leave the situation with my 92 y/o Mother for another day.

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Author: ChiliChild Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17886 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/3/2012 11:09 AM
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My in-laws moved into one of these places in their early 70s. The non-refundable buy-in seemed high and the monthly maintenance seems exorbitant, particularly for the area they are in. TBS, it is a fantastic idea, IMO. Even if the resident(s) run out of money, they cannot be turned out, which explains the high up-front cost.

FIL died a couple of years ago at 85 and he is the one who wanted to move to that area. MIL is now stuck. She doesn't like the heat and misses the winters up north. (I think she should spend January and February 'back home' and she, at 86, might change her tune.)

As far as their kids are concerned, though, that move was wonderful. We live close enough now that ChiliSpouse, the oldest, can get down there to help her out at any time. But there are no worries about continuing care.

I'd move into one of those places in a heartbeat in 15 or 20 years if it's in a better location.

Chili

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17887 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/3/2012 11:16 AM
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I believe that there is an age beyond which seniors/elderly simply can't pull the trigger and make a decision to leave their home for a retirment community of any type. The age isn't a fixed age, but I think the range is somewhere between 75 and 80. In other words, if they don't make a move prior to that age, they are likely to fight tooth and nail to stay in their home until they are taken to the hospital to die or die in bed.

Thanks for your reply. I think you're right. I tried to get Mom to consider the great CCRC place when I successfully persuaded her to downsize and move closer to town when Daddy died (I did wait a year to broach the subject). She was 78--perfect, right?! And she was getting rid of stuff anyway. But at the time she was still hosting dinner and bridge parties and had the occasional house guest. But now the only entertaining is us 4 immediate local family maybe 2-3x a year, and we fit at the kitchen table.

Why she wants a 2200 sq ft house at this point, I don't know. I guess the space makes her feel secure, but it's not like she has a lifetime of memories there. Now she only uses the master BR & bath, a fraction of the home office just to log into her computer for a few minutes every couple of days and enjoy the memorabilia displayed there (she recently showed me a letter I wrote from my summer at music camp--heh, DD said it sounded just like me!), doesn't use her den any more as she watches TV, listens to music, and reads in the anti-gravity chair in her bedroom that my brothers and I got for her after surgery a few years ago. And she could easily manage with a wee kitchenette for what she does in there these days--heating takeout, scrambling an egg, slicing fruit and cheese. And I know she's lonesome for company--all her close friends have died or moved away. sigh.

The best I can do for her now seems to be having her over to dinner regularly, taking her out to lunch & a movie occasionally (she only likes super-sweet rom-coms...oh, the sacrifices I make!), and my new deal of getting facials and taking her on trips to NYC every year to see family and her old stomping grounds. Lest you think the relationship is one way, we are out of town a lot, and she picks up our mail and calls about anything interesting. You know, I think I'll see what movies are playing and if she wants to go to lunch and/or the outlet mall tomorrow!

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Author: alstroemeria Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17889 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/3/2012 11:29 AM
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{{{Bobcatkitty & Mr Kitty}}}

I wish you both well with your health issues. Your husband deserves the best care available as part of our gratitude for his service.

Given the circumstances, I guess I agree with your husband about the apartment--or assisted living, which DH may need soonish. A small, one-story home in the senior community sounds very appealing, too. Does the VA provide in-home care?

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Author: Bobcatkitty Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17890 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/3/2012 12:43 PM
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Thanks for the hugs!!

The VA has different levels of services offered depending on the percentage of the disability. Dh is currently @ 40%, but has 2 claims pending that will take him to at least 70%.

There is something called Aid & Attendance that kicks in, but I'm not sure at what percentage it is or the disability required,. He does qualify for nursing home care due to his disabilities, and there is one in Fayetteville. We currently live 35 miles north, so that is not a trip I enjoy doing.

Navigating the VA medical system and getting the benefits our soldiers have earned is difficult at best. A Veterans Service Officer is usually needed to file the claims, but often times the claims don't get processed for years without intervention from your Congressman. Some have pending claims from 2006.

This situation is a national disgrace (but I digress).

We'll see what next spring brings, at least it's good to know we have options, but at this point Assisted Living is not one of them.

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Author: Follydolly Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17897 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/4/2012 11:52 PM
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The fact that their decision makes a total mess of the lives of their children and grandchilder doesn't matter after they pass the point of no return.

My mother stayed in her home till she died at age 89. I wanted her to move from NY to Ohio where I live. We have a lovely CCRC here in my town. It would be perfect. She could have her own place, but also have me in the same town. It never happened. My daughters and I cleaned out her home, drawers of checks, shopping bags saved for God knows what. But I enjoyed it. It brought her life closer, found many photographs and momentous of her life and family.

Sometimes I look to that same CCRC myself, especially now I am almost 77. But I know I will not leave my colonial house on five acres that I dearly love..plus I still have five corgis!! The people that live in the CCRC are old...they eat at 5 pm and nap in the afternoons. Not for me!

So if I leave a mess for my family...tough. I've helped them out throughout the years..they can clean up my total mess and count their inheritance.

Birgit

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Author: Brooklyn1948 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 17898 of 19328
Subject: Re: CCRC Date: 10/5/2012 6:17 AM
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Good for you! You are only 77 years old. Those five Corgis will keep you alive and well for a very long time. I live in the city and there is a woman in our building who is 90 years old. She gets up every day, puts on her makeup and takes her little dog for a walk. She looks fabulous and she loves to engage this 64 year old in semi heated debates whenever we run into each other. She usually wins!
I have been a good parent and an even better grandparent. My husband and I have never asked anyone for anything and if my children have
to clean up our mess at the end of our lives, so be it.
I saw a bumper sticker a long time ago on a fancy old Cadillac and it said "we are spending our children's inheritance".
I thought, wow, way to go!

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