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VIDEO: How to Take the Uncertainty Out of the Transition

Brightwater Living is an independent senior living retirement community in the heart of Myrtle Beach. I met with Barbara Gans from Brightwater because there are so many questions on how the transition of moving from a home to a facility like Brightwater transpires.

According to Barbara, interested parties should look at as many independent living communities as possible. When you visit, there are many questions you should ask. We’ll look at three key ones. How do you like the community? Can you afford it and can you afford not to move to in? What about the “what ifs?”; what’s available if you need specialized care? Here’s a summary of the advice Barbara shared.

Question 1:  How does the community make you feel?

The best way you can figure this out is by experiencing the environment. You can do a tour, stay in a guest suite, participate in activities and enjoy meals there to see if you want to truly explore it. The best things you should look for you can’t taste and see. It all comes down to how the environment makes you feel. 

Question 2:  How much does it cost and can you afford it? 

Get all the facts and figures. To do so, ask lots of questions. Who owns the property? How long have they been in business? How are they licensed by the state? Ask for occupancy agreement templates to share with financial advisors, attorneys and family members. What are the home prices? What is the financial model? For example, there are many, such as life care, equity, and deed-based models so it’s very important to get all that clarified. Does the family have any liability when you leave the community? Make sure your salesperson is transparent. And, finally, ask for the complete cost analysis upfront. When you take into account all the services, you may be pleasantly surprised because it may be less than it is to maintain your own home.

Question 3:  What about the what-ifs?

What if you need a higher level of care? Be sure to ask about assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, long-term care and physical therapy. What do these areas cost? Can you use long-term care insurance and how does Medicare factor in? Tour these areas, even if you don’t need those areas now. At Brightwater we offer a full continuum of care.  

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