Seniors whose partners have passed on know that, sometimes, the golden years are lonely. And being widowed isn’t just a social challenge; it can be a challenge for retirement planning, too.
Single people are almost twice as likely as their married peers to feel “not at all” financially secure, according to a 2016 consumer survey by life insurer Northwestern Mutual. The company also found that singles are more than twice as likely not to have spoken with anyone about their plans for retirement.
Widowed seniors face unique issues when it comes to retirement — specifically when choosing senior living. They need to balance happiness and budget.
If you’re in a similar position, follow these three tips to choose the retirement community that’s right for you.
1. Find a retirement community that fosters friendships.
We humans are social animals. We don’t tend to do well on our own. That’s why we form partnerships and groups. It’s why many widowed seniors have a rough time of it.
Moving into an active senior community is a great way for older singles and widowed people to meet new friends in their own age group, and to begin to rebuild their happy social lives. Some communities do a better job of fostering socialization than others.
Here at Deupree House, for example, we host a newcomers coffee hour on the last Friday morning of every month, so that incoming neighbors can meet folks who already live here. More than one friendship — and probably a few romances — have started at those meetings.
We also have regular cocktail hour gatherings in the courtyard, schedule plenty of group outing opportunities, movie nights, game nights and dinners.
We believe that one of the most important aspects of person-centered retirement care is allowing seniors to meet and form lasting, rewarding friendships with each other.
2. Choose a community that can meet your current and future needs.
Many widowed people relied for many years on their partners; suddenly finding themselves alone and facing the future can be deeply unsettling.
Retirement care expert and AARP contributor Jan Cullinance noted that Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) like Deupree House give widowed, active seniors peace of mind that their health needs will be met as they age.
“Social support is part of the concept,” she told Fox Business, which is “an important consideration if you need to take responsibility for your own care for the rest of your life.”
CCRCs allow residents to progress along the continuum of care — from independent living, to assisted living, to skilled nursing or memory care — without having to move away from the home campus.
So, as seniors’ care needs change, the social setting they’ve become accustomed to needn’t change with it.
3. Make sure the retirement community you choose has a financial safety net program.
Seniors today — especially women — are living longer than ever before, thanks to wonderful advances in medicine.
But that creates an uncomfortable situation for older people whose retirement planning, 40 or 50 years ago, was based on a lower projected life expectancy. What happens if you outlive your resources?
Here at Deupree House, we’ve made a commitment never to ask a resident to leave due to financial hardship incurred by outliving a nest egg.
Are you a recently-widowed senior in the Cincinnati area?
Would you benefit from the social support and active lifestyle afforded by residency in a Continuing Care Retirement Community? If so, we’d love to show you what life is like here at Deupree House.
Contact us and arrange your tour today! Come see how we’re helping Cincinnati’s seniors — single, widowed and otherwise — live well into the future.