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LI’s retirement homes allow you to age in place and in style

When Sara and James Garretson began to think about their future, they thought of their own mother. Years earlier, both of their parents “kicked the box,” Sara said, postponing decisions about their retirement years until later in life so that it was ultimately up to the Garretsons to take these decisions for them.

“We have decided not to put our own child in this position,” she said.

Activities and peace of mind

Now both 79, the Garretsons decided four years ago to move out of their Manhattan and Orient residences and move to the same place their mothers lived, Peconic Landing in Greenport. Their cottage is on a bluff that overlooks the water, and the amenities offered there rival any luxury community. James, a retired architect, swims six days a week in the indoor pool, and Sara, a retired nonprofit executive, loves circuit training and yoga classes.

Like many other retirement communities, there are many programs to choose from, from art classes to educational science and history lectures. There are 145 acres of rural land, walking trails, half a mile of waterfront, and an Italian style mansion for special occasions.

“We have a sailboat and a marina within walking distance,” said James Garretson. “We did a great sail yesterday.”

They also have the peace of mind of knowing that in the event of the need for intensive health care, they will be able to get it on campus, with the cost included in what they have already paid.

Continuum of care

Peconic Landing is one of only three retirement communities on Long Island’s continuum of care. CCRCs, also known as Life Plan Communities, are designed to move their owners from independent living to all types of more specialized care – from assisted living to temporary rehabilitation to memory care and homes. nursing care, while remaining on the same grounds and ensuring a seamless transition. The cost of specialized health care is included in the initial price. The costs, which include the accommodation and care plan, range from $ 200,000 to almost $ 1 million.

On Long Island, 17.5% of Nassau residents are 65 and over. In Suffolk it is 16.5%. Over the past few years, many housing units for people aged 55 and over have sprung up, many of which also offer luxury amenities and social activities, meeting the need of older people who want to stay active for as long as they want. they can.

In Life Plan communities, however, the focus is on well-being across the lifespan. And unlike other senior-focused communities, they are promised a lifelong on-campus welcome and care plan, whatever their needs. The plans are specifically designed for future needs, and in most plans offered, the costs of the care plan do not increase with the need for more care. These lifelong care communities are operated as not-for-profit organizations and are tightly regulated by New York State. All have residents on committees who participate in on-site decision-making.

“The life plan communities are regulated by the Department of Health and the Department of Financial Services,” said Bob Caulfield, president and CEO of Jefferson’s Ferry in Setauket, another CPAB community. “It’s very different from any other real estate transaction.”

A generation of planners

People who buy into the concept and the community are planners, officials say. Communities see a lot of teachers and others with lifelong pensions, and financial transparency is very appealing to those who choose the plans.

For Angie Daly, 82, moving to Jefferson’s Ferry eight years ago from a 55+ community in Ridge was “the best decision we’ve ever made.”

In addition to amenities and “not having to shop”, the continuum of care became important when, about two years ago, her husband, Bill, 90, owner of an insurance agency at the retirement, had a seizure and had to move into a living that also offered rehabilitation, which the community included.

“I’m still living on my own, in my same unit, and I can go see him,” said Angie, a housewife. “We are in the same building.

She spends the day with him between appointments and often goes to his unit to watch television with him in the evenings.

“I would have had a nervous breakdown if I had to take care of him on my own,” Angie said.

She understands that she has no financial worries other than the monthly fees. All housekeeping, utilities, meals, fitness and social activities are included.

Since 1988, the Gurwin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Commack has offered nursing care, eventually adding assisted living facilities. He will soon be opening an independent life stage called Fountaingate Gardens on his land, making it Long Island’s fourth CCRC.

Fountaingate Gardens, which sells pre-build units, will have amenities such as an indoor saltwater pool, fitness center with personal trainers, clubhouse, pickleball courts, dining room and a coffee. According to experts, healthy eating and activities go a long way in helping residents live longer and better lives.

“We have a resident who moved in 20 years ago,” said Stuart Almer, President and CEO of Gurwin Healthcare System. This resident “was 80 years old then and is now 100. They can grow old here with us.”

“This generation is fiercely independent,” said Jennifer Kennedy, vice president of integration, who oversees the construction of Fountaingate Gardens. “They are planners. They want to know that they have a predictable expense for the rest of their life.”

Another CCRC community on Long Island, Amsterdam at Harborside in Port Washington, offers the same type of amenities as the other two. Last month, the retirement community filed for creditor protection for the second time in seven years. In a recent Newsday article, CEO James Davis said there would be no layoffs or cutbacks in services, and noted that financial problems were exacerbated by the pandemic. He is always open for business.

Caulfield, of Jefferson’s Ferry, said that these types of communities, which encourage socialization and physical health “greatly contribute to longevity.”

The Garretsons find this way of life and being able to age in place reassuring.

[It’s] “Knowing that in this transition you will not be separated, knowing that we will not place a burden on our only child,” said Sara Garretson. “Every family is different, but here there is a lot of support in managing these decisions.”

How it works

Prices for life plan communities may vary from location to location, but representatives are on staff to guide potential residents to the best purchasing plan for them.

Like buying a house in a typical community, these houses have different prices. The purchase price a resident pays for a home, typically ranging from a small one-bedroom to a large two-bedroom home, is refunded to the buyer or estate in the event of sale or death. The cost includes lifetime care.

The monthly fee covers all household expenses – housekeeping, maintenance, utilities, meals, fitness and social activities and more.

Prices are subject to change. Check each community’s website for details.

Jefferson Ferry, South Setauket With 248 apartments and cottages, 60 assisted nursing apartments and 60 skilled nursing beds, there is enough stock that residents never run into a waiting list, representatives said. New apartments, a pub and more dining options are in the works as part of an expansion. A one-time entry fee and a house contract are 90% refundable. Homes range from $ 228,000 to $ 800,000. The monthly fees are $ 3,600 to $ 5,000. jeffersferry.org

Amsterdam to Harborside, Port Washington The more than 300 residences are located on 10 acres of walking trails near the village of Roslyn and the harbor of Hempstead. Entrance fees based on house type start at $ 750,000, with 75% refundable. Monthly fees start at $ 3,200. theamsterdamatharborside.com

Peconic Landing, Greenport Entrance fees range from $ 300,000 for a one-bedroom unit to $ 990,000 for a cottage overlooking the Long Island Sound, with up to 90% refundable. Monthly fees start at $ 4,400 and go up to $ 7,800. A second person costs an additional $ 2,082 per month. peconiclanding.org

Gurwin Fountaingate Gardens, Commack With 17 amenities and plans, Long Island’s newest community Life Plan has entry buy-out costs of $ 330,000 for small apartments, up to $ 500,000. Another one-time fee of $ 68,000 pays for lifelong care. A second person pays an additional $ 930 per month. The monthly fee is approximately $ 3,200. gurwin.org


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Rodney N.

The author Rodney N.

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