Sunday, April 5, 2009

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Like it or not, we’re all getting older. As a “young” Baby Boomer, I’m one of a number that is set to skyrocket. In 2006 there were an estimated 37 million people in the U.S. were were 65 years and older. That number is projected to become 71.5 million by the year 2030.

Finding residences that allow for independence but also provide needed care down the road will be a challenge for my age group. We need to realize that it’s not too soon to begin considering retirement options that allow for lifestyle changes as we age. One very interesting concept that promotes aging in place is the Continuing Care Retirement Community.

I recently read about a fabulous Continuing Care Retirement Community in Pennsylvania called Kendal at Longwood and Kendal at Crosslands. The many opportunities for growth and development in these Pennsylvania retirement communities are guided by Quaker values.

As a Physical Therapist, I can appreciate the 18,000-square-foot Health and Wellness Center which consists of an aquatic area, massage room, and fitness center. Attached to this is the rehabilitation department including an occupational therapy simulated living area as well as a physical therapy gym. The wellness and rehab staff use a team approach to make sure residents can remain within the community.

This Pennsylvania retirement community recognizes how important being active is in terms of stimulating the mind and body. Residents have access to a variety of activities within the community such as producing plays, assisting with the community’s local cable TV station, shelving books in the library, and repairing furniture in the woodshop. Active residents enjoy tennis courts, putting and chipping greens, and endless walking/cycling trails throughout the campuses. There are more than 85 activity groups that encompass everything from crafts studios complete with looms, kilns and easels, as well as classes in horticulture, photography, and interior decorating. There is a ballet bar, yoga room, and a “pets and plants” area. This allows residents to enjoy the social aspects of a community garden, as well as having access to birds, dogs, and cats without having to care for them 24 hours a day in their own cottage or apartment.