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Map out your retirement's long term health care picture

While some want to "age in place" for as long as possible, there are other housing options should seniors want or need them.

While some want to “age in place” for as long as possible, there are other housing options should seniors want or need them.

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Long-term health care, like any other part of life, requires a plan in order to be ready for anything that may happen, and to be comfortable.

While some want to “age in place” for as long as possible, there are other housing options should seniors want or need them. Poor health or health issues, disability, and lack of mobility can make it hard for some to stay in their longtime residence.

Seniors in the greater Houston area have excellent housing options, with many retirement communities that offer independent as well as assisted living, with a continuum of health care options available. There are also a growing number of apartments and homes geared for those age 55 and older.

“As a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), Eagle’s Trace provides residents with the benefit of an integrated health and wellness model that delivers convenient, personalized and high-quality care,” said Pamela Burgeson, director of sales for Eagle’s Trace. “Our residents gain a team of providers who specialize in senior health care and work seamlessly to support the well-being of each resident.

“Not only does our community feature an on-site medical center, a fitness center and wellness programs, but also assisted living, memory care, long-term care and rehabilitation neighborhoods should their needs ever change. This provides peace of mind and familiarity for residents and their family members.”

Another option is The Buckingham, which is a CCRC with all levels of care; independent living, assisted living, memory support, skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitation.

“Seniors who choose to live in a community take the path of helping themselves age successfully. The Buckingham is a Masterpiece Living community and it is proven that our residents become stronger and more resilient,” said Pam Ortiz, sales counselor, The Buckingham. “We support our residents by providing health clinics, training, and lifestyle and mobility reviews. These tools are used to gauge improvements or decline. We then set action plans for improvement. Finding the proper level of care can benefit those with health concerns. The goal is to help them live the best years of their lives.”

Aging in place

For those who a plan to “age in place” within their homes, to be safe, it’s helpful to go through the home, identify potential problems, and make any needed modifications. Keep in mind that The National Institute on Aging says six out of 10 falls occur at home.

For example, residents can change knobs on doors and cabinets to levers, and remove rugs to reduce the risk of tripping and falling, both in the main areas and baths. It’s also wise to install grab bars in the bathroom around the tub/shower area.

Community option

Retirement communities ultimately can help seniors stay very active, healthy, and independent longer. Friendships are especially important to seniors, who may be more vulnerable to loneliness. At senior living communities, seniors can build relationships and enjoy the benefits.

It’s possible that someone could initially move into the independent living section of a facility and eventually move to the assisted living section later. This provides a feeling of continuity for residents.