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Knowledge of Unusual Senior Living Options Can Solve Seniors’ Present and Future Needs

My clients are a couple ages 78 and 80. The couple’s daughter had called me and tearfully related the story of how her parents were looking at senior living options, most of which would not fill their long-term needs. Like many of my clients, they had lost a significant amount of money in the most recent economic crisis, and they were living in a condominium where they could not afford to stay. The daughter feared that they would run out of money and be forced to move to a Medicaid community in the future. She pleaded with me to call her mother and set up an appointment to talk to them.

When I called, her mother curtly told me that they were still driving, had their faculties, and were able to evaluate the senior living communities on their own. Furthermore, they couldn’t afford services like mine. I assured her that I have lots of flexibility with the way my services are structured, and I could design a consultation that fit their budget. She said “no thanks,” and hung up.

When I relayed the situation to the daughter, she said that she would convince her parents to set up an appointment with me. To this day, I don’t know what the daughter said to her parents, but within a few days, I had an appointment set.

Much to my delight, the couple was living in a lovely condo. They were nicely dressed, were ambulatory, and had all of their faculties. Within seconds of my sitting down with them, the father pulled out a beautiful spreadsheet that spelled out their financial picture. They each had a long-term care policy that paid a small benefit should they need help with their activities of daily living. They also presented me with a list of at least 15 communities they had visited, along with a list of amenities they preferred a community to have. Since their doctors were in Chicago and the northwest suburbs, that is where they preferred to relocate.

Upon quickly assessing their circumstances, I was able to recommend several Continuing Care Retirement Communities where they could rent without paying an entrance fee, enter at the independent level, and have assisted living and skilled care available if they should ever need it. Off they went on the tours.

Ten days later, they requested another meeting with me. During the meeting, I was informed that they liked the CCRCs I recommended, but the costs would leave them with no money for their entertainment (plays, going downtown to museums, etc.). They asked if I knew of anything less expensive that could fit their needs. They told me if there was nothing else, they were going to sign a contract and put down a small entrance fee at another community they had looked at previously. I quickly thought of two other places that could work for them. One of my suggestions was a building that was strictly independent living, but was located on the same campus with common ownership of a skilled nursing community. While it lacked the assisted living component of a Continuing Care Retirement Community, this community would allow their long-term care insurance to be used to cover non-medical, in-home assistance in their apartment, should they ever need help with their activities of daily living. Their current and future long-term care needs could be met.

I was very pleased to get a call from the Admissions Director from the community I just described, that the couple had sold their condo and were moving in two weeks. I was happy for this couple being good planners and forward-thinkers; but, at the same time, it was gratifying to know that ADSLA’s years of experience could help them not only assess every option inside the box, but also think clearly and creatively outside the box!

For all of your senior living needs, contact Andrea Donovan Senior Living Advisors. Call us at (708) 415-2934 or at Please visit our website. Please watch my video to learn how the process works and learn what some clients have to say.