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Downsizing Steps You Don’t Want to Overlook

When you’re getting ready to move to a retirement community, one of the greatest challenges you’ll face is downsizing your current home. While you already know where you are going, you’ll face decisions in the coming months on what to keep and what to bring along with you. Today, the Mayo Clinic’s Charter House shares a bit of insight that may help you streamline the moving process.

What to Do With Your Home

The first decision that you’ll have to make when downsizing, is what to do with your current home. Your options here include:

  • Selling. Selling your home may be a smart move if you want to cash out a large sum all at once or if you no longer desire the burden of homeownership.
  • Giving to the family. You can give your property to your children in a few different ways. However, if you want them to avoid major tax backlash, consider leaving it in a will or adding it as an asset to a trust.
  • Renting it. Becoming a landlord gives you an opportunity to maintain your home in your name, gain equity, and have a revolving income. There are many pros and cons to this, so make sure that you partner with a property management firm that can handle the day-to-day operations.

How to Downsize Your Belongings

Once you have made a decision on what to do with your home, you’ll have to evaluate your personal property. While you know that you will likely need to get rid of most of your furniture, there are other steps you can take to avoid bringing too much to your continuing care community home. Tips here are to:

  • Digitize your paper records. Don’t let the term “digitized” scare you off. This is a fairly simple process. If you have access to a camera or scanner, you can quickly and easily create files to go into a PDF. It’s not difficult to learn how to edit a PDF, and doing so will help you organize and merge receipts, photos, and other important paperwork.
  • Get to know your future amenities. Depending on where you plan to move, you may not need to bring along things like your dartboard, woodworking tools, or exercise equipment. Charter House offers you access to these and more.
  • Cash out your valuables. Something you may not be prepared for is that your children probably don’t want your belongings. NOLA explains that most adult children these days no longer want the collectibles you held onto over the years. A better option is to have potential valuables appraised so that you can cash out and enjoy the benefits of a little extra cash.

Address the Emotions

Although you may be excited about living an independent and hassle-free life moving forward, it is still an emotional process. This is especially true when your children don’t understand why you hold such sentiment for your home or family heirlooms. This is not the time to push your feelings down. Be open to accepting that this is a journey and that there will be emotional highs and lows. You might wish to schedule frequent visits with your children and grandchildren until you get settled.

Downsizing is never an easy task. And, although this is an exciting time, it’s very easy to overlook certain steps, which can make the process that much more daunting. The tips above, from digitizing your paper documents to choosing what to do with your home, can help you make your move seamless and stress-free.

-Millie Jones

Choosing the Perfect Community for Your Senior Life

couple looking at one another

The decision to move into a life-assisted community can be both an exciting yet difficult experience for both the retiree and their family. The perfect place can be found, it will just take a little bit of looking around.

For more than 30 years, Mayo Clinic’s Charter House has been the choice for those who value an active and independent lifestyle, as well as the convenience of maintenance-free living. Get in touch today!

Levels of Care and Lifestyle

Before you move to any life-assisted community, you’ll need to conduct extensive research about your options. There are several types of retirement communities available:

Active Adult

Active Adult is for older adults who are seeking a low-maintenance lifestyle but don’t require access to senior care services. It’s geared for adults who are capable of managing daily household and personal care tasks on their own without any support from an aide or trained healthcare professional.

Independent Living

Independent living residential communities offer an active lifestyle and freedom from the hassles of home maintenance. Options include apartments, freestanding cottages or villas, duplexes, and townhomes. At Charter House, we have several floor plans available.

Assisted Living Communities

Assisted living communities help residents maintain their independence while providing assistance with the activities of daily living. This can mean help with eating, bathing, dressing, and maintaining good hygiene. People in assisted living typically pay monthly rent for a private apartment or room and an additional fee for the level of care needed. At Charter House, those accessing Assisted Living are moving from our Independent Living.

Group Homes

Group homes are residential homes that provide a homelike environment for usually under 10 seniors to reside. Some are licensed assisted living, while others do not provide personal care assistance but do provide support. The homes have round-the-clock care and provide activities and homemade cooking.

Memory Care & Nursing Homes

Both memory care and nursing homes provide 24-hour care, supervision, and meals. Staff members also help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. Memory care — sometimes called dementia care — is specialized for people with memory loss. This focuses on enhancing the quality of life for people with dementia in a secure environment to minimize confusion and the dangers of wandering.

Costs

It’s important to plan early for the anticipated costs of living in older age. The rise in costs is mainly due to the increase in demand for communities that provide services. More people are opting for these types of facilities because they offer a good quality of life with reliable services and a better standard of living.

A long-term care insurance policy can be a responsible way to offset the costs of long term care. It can provide you with peace of mind as you age knowing that part or all of your care costs will be covered for a period of time.

Selling your home can be a viable option for helping you cover the cost of assisted living. When calculating how much you can make from a sale, you’ll need to take into account realtor fees, your outstanding mortgage balance, and average sale prices in your area.

Medicare

Medicare will pay for twenty days of care at 100% of the cost for Skilled Nursing Facilities. For the eighty days following, Medicare requires care recipients to pay a portion of the daily cost. If you subscribe to a Medicare Supplemental Insurance plan, the secondary insurance will pay the remaining cost for the last eighty days of coverage. Neither Medicare nor Medicare Supplemental Insurance will pay for skilled nursing care after the 100-day maximum is reached.

With the proper research into the levels of care available, you’ll be able to find the community that best suits your needs. Calculating the cost of the sale of your home can also help you decide on the facility you can choose.

The benefits of life-assisted communities are many – they can provide you with the independence you desire while still having the safety net provided by caretakers

-Millie Jones

Your Senior Years: A Chance to Take Control and Improve Quality of Life

Healthy aging doesn’t happen by accident, it’s a conscious choice. Fortunately, when you have decades of life experience under your belt, you have many of the tools you need to drive your retirement in whatever direction you choose. If you are an active senior looking for tips on how to improve your quality of life, today’s post is for you.

Where You Live Matters

One of the most important decisions that you’ll make as a senior is where to live. When you choose Charter House, you’ll have access to a wellness center, full-service salon and spa, multiple dining venues, games and recreation, and, on the days you choose to slow down, a full library with more than 4000 books. Where you hang your proverbial hat is so important that the American Senior Housing Association even has a website full of nothing but senior living resources.

Do You Want To Work?

You’ve retired, but that doesn’t mean that you have to exit the workforce completely. If you want to stay busy and fulfilled, consider starting your own business. The benefits of doing so now are that you can start small, focus on your passion, and, potentially, leave a financial legacy for your children and grandchildren. If you have never been an entrepreneur before, spend some time researching the process. This includes forming a tax-advantageous business structure, such as an LLC. Depending on where you live, you may have different steps to take before LLC formation in Minnesota, so do your research. Then, look for a recruiter that can help you hire the exact right people to turn your post-career endeavors into a long-term success.

Hello, Hobbies

One of the best things about retirement is that you have the time to enjoy all the things you didn’t when you were busy raising your kids and supporting your family. As 60+Me explains, there are many things you can do now, including volunteering, sports, mentoring, and exercising to keep you busy and mentally and physically engaged. You can even start a hobby, like woodworking, drawing, cooking, or weightlifting. The possibilities are endless, and you are only bound by whatever limitations you impose on yourself.

Know Your Nutrition

Your senior years come with visible changes, like gray hair and wrinkles; however, there are a few more subtle ways your body changes. One, in particular, is your dietary needs. Your body may not be able to absorb nutrients as effectively, and, if you are a woman, you’ll likely experience bone loss. Now’s a great time to re-evaluate how you eat and focus on high-quality proteins and high-fiber foods.

Socially Savvy

Do you remember when your children were little, and you made friends with their friends’ parents? Or when you were in high school, you likely navigated toward the students that liked the same things as you did. No matter what season of life you were in, you’ve likely had friends that complemented it. Don’t change that now. Although, as Salmon Health acknowledges, opportunities to socialize are fewer these days, you need people now more than ever. Don’t be afraid to make friends with everyone you see. You never know who you might spark up a relationship with that will enhance your life in ways you could not imagine. Plus, you’ll have more people who can go on a last-minute road trip when you’re ready for an adventure.

Your entire life has built you up to this moment. Everything you’ve learned can help you make better decisions today so that you can truly enjoy your senior years. Take this wisdom to choose where you live well, start a business or hobby, or just make friends. Remember, it’s your life, and you are in full control to live it your way.

When you value your independence but no longer want the burden of maintaining a home, consider Charter House. As a full-service Continuing Care Community, you’ll have access to a full suite of lifestyle amenities that will help you live your best years on your terms.

– Millie Jones, SeniorWellnessInfo.com

Protect Your Hearing

May 31st is National Save Your Hearing Day.  This serves as a great reminder of the importance of our hearing.  Use this as an opportunity to learn about risk factors along with the steps you can take to protect your hearing.

Hearing loss can occur from damage to the inner ear, infection, a ruptured eardrum, and even earwax build up.  Risk factors include age, heredity, exposure to noise, and illness.

Symptoms can include hearing muffled sounds along with an inability to block out background noise.  You may find yourself asking others to repeat themselves or turning up the volume on your phone, TV, or radio.  Some of those with advanced hearing loss withdrawal from social situations as communication becomes too difficult, which can result in isolation.

Mayo Clinic provides us with the following steps that can prevent noise-induced hearing loss and avoid worsening of age-related hearing loss:

  • Protect your ears. Limiting the duration and intensity of your exposure to noise is the best protection. In the workplace, plastic earplugs or glycerin-filled earmuffs can help protect your ears from damaging noise.
  • Have your hearing tested. Consider regular hearing tests if you work in a noisy environment. If you’ve lost some hearing, you can take steps to prevent further loss.
  • Avoid recreational risks. Activities such as riding a snowmobile, hunting, using power tools or listening to rock concerts can damage your hearing over time. Wearing hearing protectors or taking breaks from the noise can protect your ears. Turning down the music volume is helpful too.

If hearing loss is affecting your everyday life, it may be time to reach out to your doctor to learn about your options.  Visit Mayo Clinic’s hearing loss page to learn more.

Do you have hearing loss?  If so, join the discussion with Mayo Connect’s hearing loss group.

Best of the Best 2021

We are happy to announce Charter House has been named winner of the Post Bulletin’s 2021 “Best of the Best” award for Best Senior Living Community in Rochester. This win marks the 5th year in a row for Charter House to have this honor. We want to thank all of our residents, staff, and friends that support us. We are so proud to do the work that we do each day because of you. Thank you!

VOTE Best of the Best!

Charter House is once again in the running for the Post-Bulletin’s Best of the Best Award! We would very much appreciate your support in helping us be recognized for this prestigious award. To vote, follow the instructions below, and thank you for your support!

1). Visit the website: https://bit.ly/2XqtUVs
2). Click on the “Home & Lifestyle” category
3). Click on the “Best Senior Living Community” category
4). Click “Charter House” and submit

Annual Sidewalk Sale 2021

You’re invited to our 32nd annual Sidewalk Sale!

Friday, August 20, 2021

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Charter House – 211 2nd St NW, Rochester, MN 55901

 

Join us for one of Rochester’s largest annual sales!  Find furniture, appliances, antiques, décor, books, paintings, and much more.  Since we were unable to hold our Sale last year, this year we have DOUBLE THE ITEMS!

Sale proceeds will benefit local nonprofits: Rochester Public Library Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, Thrive Child Care and Family Resource Center, and Family Promise Rochester.

Find our event on Facebook.  Sale will be held rain or shine.

Vaccine and Testing Update

Resident Vaccination

On January 5, 2021 Thrifty White pharmacy staff partnered with Charter House Health Services to administer the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to the residents living within our Short Term Rehabilitation Center, Assisted Living and Supportive Living. The second dose of the vaccine will be scheduled for the first week of February 2021.

We have confirmed the date of January 19, 2021 with Thrifty White pharmacy to partner with Charter House Health Services to administer the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to our residents living within Independent Living.

Staff Vaccination

Charter House staff have been offered and many have received the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine through the Mayo Clinic employee COVID-19 vaccine process.

For additional information about the COVID-19 vaccines visit:
https://mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19

After the Vaccine

Even after receiving the vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) state we will need to continue to wear masks, maintain physical distance, avoid being with others who are ill and hand sanitize frequently. Loosening restrictions will be based on guidelines from CDC and MDH as well as the positivity rate we see in our community, county and state.

Testing

All Charter House staff continue to get tested for COVID-19 twice weekly, and have since October 2020. We continue to test residents living within our care venues weekly for COVID-19.

HappyGram!

Charter House is now a proud user of HappyGram! HappyGram is a free card-delivery service for senior living communities.

How to Use HappyGram

You can use HappyGram to send messages to your loved ones just as easy as you would send a text or an email. Simply click here and fill in the information to find Charter House.  Then you can submit your message – you can also attach a picture. Your entry will be created by HappyGram and sent to Charter House to print and deliver to your loved ones.

This service gives a personalized message from you that can be held and cherished by those that receive it. We hope you enjoy using HappyGram to brighten the day of someone you love!

Vaccine and Testing Update

The information below is related to COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration at Charter House.

Vaccine

We have partnered with a local pharmacy for vaccine administration to our residents living within our care venues. Administration of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is currently scheduled for the first week of January 2021. Charter House Health Services RNs will administer the vaccine. The second dose of the vaccine will be administered 28 days after the first vaccine dose.

Due to state mandates for prioritization, residents living within our independent living will receive the vaccine after it has been administered to residents living with our skilled nursing facility and assisted living. We continue to work with our local pharmacy to arrange for vaccine administration for independent living residents.

Charter House staff will be vaccinated through the Mayo Clinic employee COVID-19 vaccine process. Long term care staff are in the first phase for receiving the vaccine. The vaccine is recommended but not mandatory for staff. For additional information about the COVID-19 vaccines visit: https://mayoclinic.org/coronavirus-covid-19

Testing

All Charter House staff and contractors have undergone twice weekly COVID-19 testing since October. We will continue this process into the new year.