Making The Transition To A Retirement Home

Making a transition from one home to another can be difficult, especially if your new home will be your retirement home, which must be appropriate for your long-term lifestyle, well being, and health care needs.  I am familiar with that transition having assisted my parents in locating a Continuing Care Retirement Community ("CCRC"), which they decided would be appropriate for them. A CCRC is a retirement community which offers its residents independent living, assisted living and nursing home care. Residents transition from one level of care to the next, as needed.

Armed with the most recent "Consumers' Directory Of Continuing Care Retirement Communities", published by The American Association of Home and Services for the Aging, but no care plan, my parents visited a number of CCRC's in search of a home where they could spend the rest of their lives. It was a frustrating and time-consuming experience as we did not know what to look for when evaluating the communities we visited, nor had we developed a care plan for my parents. My parents search was successful however, as they were fortunate to have close friends who had relocated to a CCRC which they were satisfied with. After visiting the CCRC, my parents relocated to that community and have been pleased with their selection.

If I were asked to assist my parents today in locating a retirement community, I would utilize the resources currently available in making that transition. First, I would encourage my parents to consult with a Geriatric Care Manager. Geriatric Care Managers are generally trained and experienced in any of several fields related to care management, including, nursing, gerontology, social work or psychology, and focus on issues related to aging and elder care.  A Geriatric Care Manager can be retained to perform an evaluation of a person's mental, physical, social, financial, and legal functioning, and with the appropriate expertise can develop a "care plan".  In addition, with knowledge of the resources available in a community, a Geriatric Care Manager can refer clients to individuals or organizations who can provide services to them so that can continue to remain in their home, or if needed, transition to a community.  As with the selection of other providers, a Geriatric Care Manager can be located through   recommendations of friends and family, or by visiting the website of The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers at http://www.caremanager.org,  and clicking"Find A Case Manager", to locate a Geriatric Care Manager in your community.


Published in the September 2010 issue of Generations newspaper