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Senior Living on the Rise in
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The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
Senior Living in Northern New England
By Toby Watterson

When you think of retiring, Northern New England doesn’t immediately
come to mind. Generally, most people envision spending their golden years
surrounded by warm weather, their toes in the sand and waves lapping at
their feet.

However, more and more seniors today are foregoing Florida in favor of
staying near family and friends, are returning to their Yankee roots or are
choosing New England to be near one of their children or grandchildren.

Why could the senior populations of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine
soon rival Florida’s senior population?

It’s been widely documented that people are living longer, which means the
elderly population is growing. Soon, millions of baby boomers will start to
retire and many are choosing Northern New England.  Why? Because it is
affordable and peaceful.  It has the beauty of the four seasons and the safety
of smaller towns with less crime. Combine this with the attractiveness (or
necessity) of staying close to family and friends, and Florida starts to seem
like a world away.   

The rise of seniors retiring in New England has caught the attention of
builders as well, spawning a number of new senior living communities,
many of which offer types of care not previously available in the region.

Today, there exists a number of different of options so that seniors can retire
affordably, safely and in comfort.

Independent Living/Retirement Community

For active seniors with some level of self-sufficiency, independent living
options offer retirees the greatest amount of freedom and flexibility.
Generally for those 55 and over, independent living consists of private
apartments or homes that are compact and low maintenance (or none at all).

While most of these communities are for seniors in fairly good health, many
of them can bring in healthcare services working with a home healthcare or
visiting nurse organization.

Assisted Living/Residential Care Community

Assisted living or residential care communities are for seniors who need help
with daily living activities, such as taking their medication, bathing, eating or
dressing, but not the intensive care provide in nursing homes. Nurse’s aids
deliver these services to seniors. Generally, an assisted living community
consists of private and shared apartments with residents paying a monthly
rental fee for their dwelling, as well as additional fees for each hour of care
delivered. However, not all assisted living communities follow this model.

Nursing Home/Skilled Nursing Facility

Nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities are for seniors who need constant
nursing care, but do not need to hospitalization. Most of these facilities
provide nursing as well as rehabilitation services to people with illnesses,
injuries or disabilities. This is the type of senior living that most people
today are familiar with and these facilities are plentiful all over Northern
New England.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

A continuing care retirement community
generally provides all three types of care—
independent living, assisted living and nursing
home care. Akin to checking into a hospital
or medical center, a CCRC is designed to meet
residents health needs as they change over time,
but under one roof. Residents sign a long-term
contract and pay a deposit (some as high
as several hundred thousand dollars) along
with a monthly rental fee. Some facilities go
beyond three types of care.

Northern New England has become the ideal place
to retire. However, seniors, along with their
children or grandchildren, need to weigh out their options to determine
which option is best for them given their health and finances.

About the author:  Toby Watterson is the Executive Director of
Commons at Keene, New Hampshire, an independent senior living
community. For the last 23 years, he has successfully managed resorts and
hotels throughout Florida and Tennessee. In early, 2008 he returned to his
Keene roots and to his extended family.
©The Heart of New England online magazine
...celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont!
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