Embracing Generosity

While the act of giving knows no bounds, there is a special place where it can have a profound impact – a nonprofit retirement community.

Retirement communities are essential for our aging loved ones and can provide them with a quality home for their golden years. But simply having a roof over their heads is not enough. Nonprofit retirement communities place quality of life and the well-being of residents over the bottom-line profit. In fact, at a nonprofit community, all funds are invested back into the community providing elevated comfort, care, and quality of life for residents.

Nonprofit retirement communities thrive when enveloped in an atmosphere of generosity and kindness. Giving to a nonprofit community has numerous benefits for both recipients and those who give such as enhanced community offerings, a sense of belonging, and a culture of gratitude.

Enhanced Community Offerings

Financial contributions to non-profit retirement communities can allow for improved facilities and expanded services. This may include upgraded living accommodations, innovative solutions for senior care, and overall improved quality of life for residents.

Whether it is funding healthcare services, recreational activities, or educational programs, donations from the community play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life for seniors. These generous contributions enrich the daily lives of residents, providing them with opportunities for joy, laughter, and personal growth.

Creating a Sense of Belonging

Whether it is through donations, volunteer work, or simple acts of kindness – giving to a nonprofit retirement community like Maple Knoll Village provides a shared purpose. This sense of camaraderie can help combat feelings of isolation and loneliness by creating a supportive environment in which everyone feels valued and appreciated.

For those living in retirement communities, engaging in acts of kindness and philanthropy can boost self-esteem, reduce stress, and increase their overall happiness levels. Likewise, receiving support and assistance from volunteers and donors can uplift their spirits and instill a sense of optimism. This creates a positive atmosphere full of mutual respect, kindness, and empathy which fosters stronger relationships among residents and staff members.

A Culture of Gratitude

In a world where acts of kindness and generosity are more important than ever, giving to nonprofit retirement communities stands out as a profoundly meaningful endeavor. Knowing that they have made a positive difference in the lives of seniors can be a source of pride and fulfillment for donors and volunteers alike.

By giving to a nonprofit retirement community, individuals leave behind a lasting legacy of compassion and kindness. Their contributions not only make a difference in the lives of current residents but also pave the way for future generations to benefit from the same spirit of generosity. This creates a timeless gift that continues to enrich the lives of others for years to come.

If you would like to make a difference and contribute to the lives of seniors in our community, visit us online at https://mapleknoll.org/donate/.

Are Retirement Communities Worth It?

maple knoll village retirement community

Are you considering a retirement community for yourself or your loved one?

With so many options for senior living available, it can be hard to decide if a retirement community is the best fit for you or your loved one. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating the value of retirement communities:

Lifestyle Needs: Retirement communities often offer a range of amenities and services designed to appeal to a diverse population. They also supply a built-in social network of friendly neighbors to help combat loneliness and isolation by providing companionship. Communities such as Maple Knoll Village offer extensive amenities such as a fitness center, indoor pool, technology learning lab, certified arboretum with walking trails, travel opportunities, planned social events, and more.

If you value an active and socially engaged lifestyle, retirement communities can certainly provide you with a fulfilling and enriching environment.

Maintenance-Free Living: The older we get, the harder it becomes to safely maintain the upkeep of large homes and spacious yards. Retirement communities will often provide maintenance-free living services to alleviate the burden of house upkeep. These services may include housekeeping, landscaping, and maintenance. Maple Knoll Village also offers services such as security, snow removal, transportation, an onsite full-service salon, and more. The less time spent on the tedious tasks of upkeep, the more time available to spend living life to the fullest.

Long-Term Planning: Consider your long-term needs. Will a retirement community be better able to meet your needs as you age? Some retirement communities have a continuum of care that allows residents to transition to higher levels of care such as assisted living or skilled nursing when necessary. These communities are categorized as continuing care retirement communities (CCRC).

As a CCRC, Maple Knoll Village provides peace of mind for residents knowing they have found a place to call home for the rest of their lives, regardless of how their healthcare needs may change. If you or a loved one have specific health needs or anticipate needing more assistance with daily activities as you age, a retirement community with on-site healthcare services may be the best fit for you.

Financial Considerations: The cost of living in a retirement community varies widely depending on the location of the community, services offered, and your individual needs. 

Some seniors may choose to age in place in their home. But as they grow older, they may need to hire outside help for housekeeping, lawn maintenance, and personal care needs. It is essential to consider all factors when evaluating if a retirement community is worth the cost. Evaluate the initial entry fee, monthly fees, and services or amenities offered at the community. Compare these costs with the expenses associated with maintaining your current home and projected expenses as you age.

Having a financial plan in mind for future needs will help you make the best evaluation possible.

Research and Visit: The best ways to learn about a retirement community are to visit it in person, view their website or online resources, and speak to their current residents. Most retirement communities will have designated staff available to show you around and help you determine if their community is the best fit.

Many communities also will have social media sites that are great at giving you an inside look at what life is like at that specific community. Maple Knoll Village has a very active presence on Facebook and Instagram where you can see photos and videos of real resident homes, events, trips, and more!

Deciding whether a retirement community is worth it really is a personal decision based on your unique needs and wants. If you value amenities, peace of mind, and a sense of community, retirement communities like Maple Knoll Village are certainly a great option for you to live out your retirement years to the fullest.

Active Adult Communities vs. Retirement Communities: Understanding the Difference

a man on a bicycle

As individuals approach the age of retirement, they will often explore housing options that cater to their specific needs and lifestyle. Often used interchangeably, active adult communities and retirement communities present very different opportunities for older adults. Understanding the difference between these two living options for retirees will help you make an informed decision that fits your lifestyle.

Active Adult Communities

Active adult communities are designed for individuals that are seeking an independent lifestyle. These communities typically feature single-family homes, townhouses, or condominiums. Key features of active adult communities include:


One defining characteristic of active adult communities is the 55+ age restriction. These communities aim to create an environment where residents can enjoy an active and social lifestyle amongst their peers.  Age restrictions help ensure a sense of community and shared interests.


Geared towards an independent lifestyle, these communities provide an environment where residents are encouraged to pursue their hobbies, remain active, and socialize. While some residents of active adult communities may still work, others will spend their time organizing clubs and excursions with their neighbors. These communities do not typically have dedicated staff onsite to organize outings and activities.

Services and Healthcare

Maintenance and landscaping services are commonly provided to residents in active adult communities allowing them the freedom to maintain their own home independently. Interior maintenance of the home such as housekeeping services are not usually provided and would have to be contracted out. Healthcare and support services may not be readily available in the direct vicinity of the community. Should a resident’s health needs change, they may have to consider relocating to an assisted living or skilled nursing community.

Retirement Communities

Retirement communities are designed to provide a supportive and inclusive environment by offering a range of living options and care levels. A variety services are provided to residents based on their changing needs and independence. Key features of retirement communities include:

Age Diversity

Continuing care retirement communities like Maple Knoll Village are designed to allow residents to age in place by providing all levels of care. This includes independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. These different levels of care allow for a diverse range of resident ages and abilities.

Engaging Lifestyle

Retirement communities employ activity staff dedicated to creating engaging activities and excursions for residents. This fosters a sense of community and belonging by encouraging residents to socialize, connect, and participate in group activities. At Maple Knoll Village, each level of care has its own dedicated activity staff ensuring activities are personalized based on individual abilities. Our residents enjoy a variety of activities and excursions such as weekly happy hours, technology classes, cooking demonstrations, and scheduled trips to art performances, museums, and restaurants.

Focus on Services and Healthcare Support

Retirement communities ensure quality care and support is provided by offering on-site healthcare services or local healthcare partnerships. Services may include assistance with daily activities, medication management, wellness programs, access to medical professionals, and specialized memory care for individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

The nursing staff at Maple Knoll Village provide quality and compassionate care for residents with the bonus of an on-site clinic staffed by highly accredited physicians. The availability of healthcare services within the Maple Knoll community ensures that the changing health needs of residents are addressed promptly and effectively.

Retirement communities also provide a wide range of services such as: dining, housekeeping, transportation, landscaping, and maintenance. Residents of Maple Knoll also enjoy many on-site amenities including: a fitness center and indoor pool, multiple dining venues, a hair salon, technology lab, gathering spaces, and an accredited arboretum.

Making the Choice

Choosing between an active adult community and a retirement community depends on your needs and desired lifestyle. Active adult communities are ideal for those who live independent and active lives without fear of the future. Retirement communities are ideal for those who desire a supportive and inclusive community with options for different levels of care as their needs evolve.

When considering your retirement living options, it’s important to carefully consider factors such as lifestyle, healthcare requirements, and long-term goals. Touring different communities, talking to current residents, and consulting with loved ones can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your vision of a fulfilling retirement. To schedule a tour of Maple Knoll Village, please visit www.mapleknoll.org or call 513-782-2717.

Common Financial Scams that Target Older Adults


According to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), over 88,000 individuals ages 60 and up reported they were victims of an internet scam in 2022. This was a drastic 84% increase compared to 2021 reports, and monetary losses totaled over three billion dollars, the highest monetary loss compared to all other age groups.

As the number of financial scams targeting seniors continues to rise, it is important to educate yourself and your loved ones on common scams to protect yourself against them. Some of the most common financial scams that target older adults include sweepstakes scams, robocall scams, and impersonation scams.

Sweepstakes Scams

One of the most common types of financial scams, sweepstakes and lottery scams tend to follow a similar script. The scammer will call or email an older adult notifying them that they have won a prize of some sort. The catch is that the scammer will claim that to receive their winnings, the older adult must cover taxes or shipping fees by sending them gift cards or money up front. This can result in the older adult losing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Any type of request to send someone money to receive a prize should be considered a red flag. If you find yourself on the receiving end of what you suspect is a sweepstakes scam, hang up and consult with a trusted friend or loved one before complying.

Robocall Scams

With the development of modern technology, robocall scams have become increasingly sophisticated in recent years. Scammers can disguise the number they are calling from, making it seem that it is from a reputable organization. Some robocall scams will claim that your car payment did not go through, and immediate payment is required to prevent your car from being repossessed. Other robocall scams may claim they are from a law enforcement agency and request that you pay a fine otherwise you will be sued or arrested. If you ever receive one of these calls, it is important to contact local law enforcement to report the call and confirm if the information is true before taking any action.

Impersonation Scams

Scammers will often use a fake caller ID or email to pretend to be someone they are not such as your bank, utility company, or a government agency. They will use various high-pressure tactics to trick you into giving up information by playing on your emotions. They may claim that there has been fraud detected on your account or threaten you with legal action if you do not comply with their requests. While these tactics can certainly be scary, it is important to pause and evaluate the situation before reacting. If it seems abnormal for the company to contact you in this way or you were not expecting this type of phone call, do not give them any personal or financial information and hang up. If you think it might be a real phone call, it is still important to be cautious. Tell them you will call them back and hang up. Look up the customer service number for the company they are claiming to be from and give them a call to see if the request was legitimate.

Another type of impersonation scam that has become increasingly common is the “grandparent” scam. These phone calls can be especially scary as the scammer will call pretending to be the older adult’s child or grandchild. They may claim to be in trouble, in jail, or even kidnapped and will often demand you send them a gift card or money transfer. They may also demand that you keep this information private and request that you do not contact the authorities or your family about the situation. If you receive a phone call like this, it is only natural for you to feel scared and protective. However, it is extremely important to be careful and smart about how you respond. One way you can determine if it is actually your child or grandchild is by asking questions only, they would know the answer to. For example, if your child or grandchild does not have a brother named Ted, ask the caller if they have contacted their brother Ted. If they do not point out that they do not have a brother named Ted, you will know it is not your loved one. If you do fear that the phone call is real and your loved one is in danger, do not agree to send money and call the authorities immediately.

Scams can and do happen to anyone. They are designed to make us fall for them and can be incredibly sophisticated. Educating yourself and staying cautious are the best ways to protect yourself from scammers. Reputable organizations will never request gift cards as a method of payment, and you should never provide personal or financial phone via text or email.

Resources such as AARP, the National Council on Aging, and Ohio Department of Aging all provide great information and tools for protecting yourself against scams. If you feel you may have been the target of a scam, immediately report it to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

The Time for Seniors to Sell Their Home is Now

If you have been watching the housing market and wondering when the right time to sell your home is, the time could very well be now. According the Wall Street Journal, the real estate market is still strongly favoring sellers. Because of the high demand for homes and the low inventory available, the real estate market is experiencing a boom. Home showings often come with a long list of interested parties and buyers are often offering over the asking price to beat out their competition.

This has created the ideal environment for older adults to list their homes on the market and move into a more manageable living accommodation by downsizing into an active retirement community.

Selling Your Home

When starting the process of selling your home, it is important to consult a realtor. While realtors will typically collect a commission on each home sale, they also bring valuable knowledge and experience to the table that often greatly outweighs the cost. The right realtor can provide you with insight on minor improvements that can be made to your home to increase the value and attract more buyers. A realtor will also manage a variety of tedious tasks including scheduling and hosting tours, speaking with prospective buyers, fielding offers, and ensuring all appropriate paperwork is completed. Having an expert oversee the tasks you are not familiar with can alleviate much of the stress that comes with selling a home.

Homeowners should collaborate with their realtor to review the most recent comparable sales in their area to ensure they are setting a fair price that reflects the market’s current mortgage rates and inventory levels. “It is important to price a home correctly when it first lists as the longer a home stays on the market, the steeper the price cuts typically become” says Veronica Dagher from The Wall Street Journal.

“So far, all homes sold within 30 days in 2023 had an average discount of 7%”, says Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Relator’s chief economist. “Homes on the market over 120 days sold with 16% off list price”. With the right pricing, the equity made on the sale of your house can provide you with even more confidence as you move into your new home.

Deciding Where to Move

One of the most common roadblocks homeowners encounter when deciding to sell their home is having a new place to live lined up. Because the real estate market is currently a seller’s market, finding a new home that is not only available but also within your budget can be tricky.

Fortunately, retirement communities such as Maple Knoll Village provide peace of mind knowing that the price listed for your desired living accommodation is exactly what you will pay. The cost of living at a retirement community is generally allocated into one monthly fee that includes the cost of rent, utilities, maintenance, housekeeping, as well as added services and amenities allowing you to meet your financial goals without having to worry about added HOA fees and other surprise expenses.

Maple Knoll Village, offers a range of villa and apartment floorplans ranging in size from 590 to 4,000 square feet. This wide variety of living accommodations ensures there is something for everyone. The dedicated Marketing and Residential Services team ensure that you will be well prepared for your move to the community.

Moving Into Your New Home

The moving process can be tedious, emotional, and stressful for anyone, especially those who have lived in their home for decades. By starting early and having a well-organized plan, the moving process can become less stressful and even enjoyable.

Maple Knoll Village has numerous resources to make your moving process as seamless as possible including helpful articles on downsizing and partnerships with locally trusted senior moving companies such as Moving Matters

“In the moving industry, there is no typical day on the job. What I provide my clients with is the assurance that my 16 years of experience in both working for and now owning a small moving business has prepared myself and my team for just about anything” says Brendon Akey, Owner of Moving Matters.  

“Because clients who are looking to move typically have different amounts of cherished furniture and items, the timeframe for jobs varies. Some jobs can be completed in a couple of hours and are priced according to the hourly truck and fuel rate. Other larger jobs may require more resources including the full turn-key operation of packing, moving, unpacking, and hanging art on the walls. Most jobs can be completed in one day and are priced accordingly.

No one job is like the next and for that, I provide all clients with a free consultation. I have had the privilege of moving some incredible people, which is why I love what I do.”

If you are ready to start the moving process or just want to learn more about senior living, please visit us online at www.mapleknoll.org or give us a call at 513-782-2717.

What is Hospice Care? And why is it so important?

people holding hands

Hospice care provides physical, psychological, social and spiritual support for those who are in their last stages of a terminal illness. Typically, hospice care is suggested by a healthcare provider when a patient has six months or less to live. Many individuals who are experiencing terminal and chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, dementia and kidney failure use hospice as a way to prepare for the last stages of their journey. In addition, hospice care can help families cope with the forthcoming loss of a loved one through counseling and respite care. While hospice care is often focused on meeting the physical needs of a patient, many people are unaware of its robust offerings for both the individual receiving care and their family members.

What Does Hospice Care Provide?

Many hospice care providers take different approaches to services and types of support, however all hospice providers are required to offer certain services. According to the American Cancer Society, here are a few of the most common types of hospice services provided for patients:

Palliative care

Palliative care, or symptom management, is provided as a part of hospice and is designed to prevent or treat any symptoms related to an individual’s illness. Palliative care helps address any pain or discomfort in order to allow the patient to enjoy the last stage of life with their loved ones. The main goal of palliative care is to ensure the patient is comfortable and knows their options.

Home care

Most hospice care is given directly from an individual’s home. However, there may be some situations where hospice care needs to be given from a hospital or long-term care facility. A hospice team can arrange for care no matter where you are, and will be involved with your care plans and family members.

Spiritual care

In addition to managing pain and controlling symptoms, hospice care also provides an individual with spiritual or religious care, depending on their beliefs and preferences. Spiritual care can help an individual prepare to say goodbye to their loved ones to with planning a religious or spiritual ceremony and burial plans.

Family meetings

A hospice care team will meet regularly with family members and keep them informed about their loved one’s condition and help manage expectations. These meetings allow family members to discuss their feelings, ask questions and prepare for the death of their loved one. In addition, the hospice care team will share daily updates and make routine visits.

Coordination of care

The hospice care team is responsible for coordinating care for the individual and sharing information to those involved in providing medical care. This might include an inpatient facility, pharmacists, clergy and even funeral directors. Hospice care teams are also available anytime during the day or night if a question or problem were to arise.

Respite care

Caregiving can be extremely challenging for spouses and other family members. That’s why hospice services provide respite care. During respite care, an individual is cared for in the hospital or a nursing home so their caregivers can rest at home, attend to other responsibilities or simply take a break.

Bereavement care

After a loved one dies, the hospice care team will provide support to the family during the grieving process. Trained volunteers, clergy members or professional counselors will provide visits, phone calls, support groups or counseling sessions to members of the family. The hospice care team can also provide resources and other professional care when needed.

Who makes up a Hospice Care Team?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a hospice care team is made up of professionals ranging from healthcare providers to volunteers and home health aides. If you or your loved one is receiving hospice care, here’s who you can expect to be on your care team:

  • Doctors. Those who receive hospice care will be under the supervision of a primary care doctor, hospice doctor or medical director. Each patient will be able to choose their primary doctor who will oversee their care.
  • Nurses. Nurses will provide care in any setting, depending on where the individual is receiving hospice services. Nurses are also responsible for coordinating the hospice care team.
  • Home health aides. Home health aides provide additional support with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, eating and other routine tasks.
  • Spiritual counselors. Chaplains, priests, lay ministers and other spiritual counselors or advisers can help provide spiritual care and guidance to the individual receiving care and their family members.
  • Social workers. Social workers provide counseling, support, and referrals to other support systems and resources both for the patient and their families.
  • Pharmacists. Pharmacists provide medication management and offer suggestions on how to best relieve symptoms and manage pain.
  • Volunteers. Trained volunteers often provide a variety of services including respite care, transportation services and help with additional needs.
  • Other professionals. Speech, physical and occupational therapists can provide therapy when needed.
  • Bereavement counselors. Trained bereavement counselors offer support and guidance to family members after the death of their loved one.

Benefits of Hospice Care

Watching a loved one go through their final stages of life is hard for everyone involved. Hospice care provides comprehensive care that supports both the individual and their family members through this difficult time. While hospice can be provided in a hospital or long-term care facility, it can also be provided in the comfort of one’s own home, which allows patients to feel more comfortable and relaxed. Hospice also provides a comprehensive care plan, which takes the burden off of family members and allows them to spend quality time with their loved one without worry for the future. In addition, hospice care can be personalized to fit the needs of the individual and support their wishes for the future.

Long Distance Caregiving

people holding hands

For adult children with aging parents that need assistance, knowing how to provide support doesn’t always come naturally. Adult children who act as caregivers for their parents are often raising families of their own and many are still part of the workforce. To make matters even more difficult, a number of them live long-distance. In fact, of the 34 million Americans who care for older family members, nearly 15% are long-distance caregivers. Long-distance caregivers refer to individuals living more than hour away from those they are providing care for, typically their parents or other relatives. In addition to the same pressures and challenges that face local caregivers, long-distance caregivers have the added challenges of needing to coordinate care, hire help and take uncompensated time off of work and pay for travel expenses. While caregiving from afar can seem nearly impossible, long-distance caregivers successfully take on a number of different roles.

What Can Long-Distance Caregivers Really Do?

According to the National Institute on Aging, long-distance caregivers can support their aging parents or other family members in a number of different ways. Here are a few of the most common roles long-distance caregivers play within their family unit:

  • Managing finances and paying bills
  • Hire in-home care such as home health, professional caregivers or nursing aides
  • Locate and coordinate with assisted living or nursing facilities
  • Provide emotional support for the primary caregiver and offer respire care when needed
  • Navigate health insurance claims and benefits
  • Consolidate paperwork, medical information and organize important documents in the event of an emergency
  • Evaluate the house to make sure it’s safe for a loved one

Tips for Providing Care from Afar

One of the biggest challenges for long-distance caregivers is staying informed and confident that their loved one is in the best possible care. According to AARP, here are some important tips to consider if you are providing care for a loved one but live long-distance.

Establish Access

If you are the primary caregiver or a sole child of an aging parent, it’s crucial to establish good information channels to stay up-to-date on your loved one’s wellbeing. In addition, it can be helpful to have legal and financial authority in order to make sound decisions on behalf of your loved one. Discussing financial matters can be uncomfortable, but it’s important to understand your parent’s financial situation in order to plan for the future. Come up with a plan for how they will pay for health care along with other everyday expenses. This includes looking into their long-term care insurance policies and major payments such as housing and any active loans.

While creating channels of access, long-distance caregivers should also request access to any important information such as medical records, banking and insurance information, since you may become responsible for paying the bills in the future. It’s important to have this conversation with your loved ones as early as possible in order for them to clearly state their wishes. This may also be an appropriate time to ask your loved ones to designate a durable power of attorney for both health care and financial decisions. This will allow a designated person to make decisions on their behalf when they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves.

Long-distance caregivers should also create an emergency plan for their loved ones. This includes assigning a local and trusted individual to have access to your loved one’s home whether that is through a garage code or an extra set of keys. For individuals living at retirement communities including assisted living facilities and nursing homes, most facilities have 24-hour security staff who can perform wellness checks when needed.

Stay Updated

It is essential for long-distance caregivers to find ways to communicate regularly with their loved ones and their care teams. Utilizing different technologies like FaceTime, WhatsApp, and Skype will allow you to see your loved one and give you peace of mind or alert you to any changes in their physical health. At Maple Knoll Village, the Family App allows family members to stay in contact with staff members and sends alerts and notifications to important announcements and policy changes.

Plan Your Visits

In-person visits allow you to assess your loved one’s wellbeing and can provide insight that might otherwise be hard to gather when living remote. Experts suggest trying to stretch any in-person visit to allow time for doctor’s appointments and any other in-person visits. This might also be a good time to meet current and potential service providers including housekeepers, facility staff members, social workers or physicians. When visiting, make sure to assess your loved one’s home or living quarters to check for signs of abuse or cognitive decline. If you see old food in the refrigerator, unpaid bills or signs of financial misconduct, it could be a sign that your loved one needs more support or different care providers.

Supporting Your Family from Afar

Caregiving is a difficult responsibility and doing it from afar doesn’t make it an easier. A lot of families find peace of mind when their loved ones have a safe place to call home, such as Maple Knoll Village. Our staff is mindful that long-distance family members are doing their best to provide support in the ways they are able. Remember to be kind to yourself!

Downsizing Guide for Seniors

two people moving boxes

It’s common for seniors in their sixties to consider downsizing to a smaller home or moving to a senior living community. In fact, 51% of retirees over the age of 50 move into smaller homes. However, this decision can be a difficult one. Many older adults are faced with leaving their family home and the memories that come with it. While this can be challenging, choosing to downsize can make life easier and safer for many aging adults and their families. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to successful downsizing. While some adults may choose to live on their own, others may find comfort in residing in a Continuing Care Retirement Community that offers all levels of care such as independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing. In addition to deciding where to move, older adults must also decide if the timing is right.

Is it Time to Downsize?

Older adults choose to downsize for a number of different reasons. For some, aging is expensive, and downsizing provides a viable option to cut costs and reduce monthly expenses by lowering or eliminating mortgage payments, home insurance and property taxes. For others, things like stairs, multiple levels, a large yard and long walkways can become dangerous and limit one’s ability to age in place. No matter the reason for downsizing, choosing where and when to move are complicated decisions. If you or your loved ones are contemplating downsizing, there are some basic questions that can help you decide if it’s the right time to downsize:

  • Do you have unused rooms in your home?
  • Can you afford to stay in your current home for 10 or 20 years down the road?
  • Is your yard easy to maintain? Can you safely complete household tasks?
  • Do you feel isolated?
  • Do you have too much stuff to manage?

At some point, you may realize that your home isn’t the safest or most economical place to age. If you have a lot of wasted space or have difficulty maintaining your family home, it could be the right time to downsize.

Where to Downsize?

There are two very common options when it comes to choosing where to downsize. Many older adults are faced with deciding between moving to a residential community or aging in place. Generally speaking, residential communities include independent living, assisted living, or nursing homes. In addition, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, such as Maple Knoll Village, offer all three types of care. In a residential community, residents are not responsible for yard work, maintenance, and do not have to make mortgage payments. Traditionally, those living in a residential community pay a monthly fee that includes utilities, housekeeping and even some meals. Most communities offer onsite medical care, memory care, and offer social activities on and off-campus.

The second option, aging in place, can be an attractive option for those wanting to live independently for as long as possible. In addition, older adults often choose to age in place when they are in excellent health or if the facilities in their area have poor reputations or are too expensive. For those aging in place with minimal needs, a smaller home with less chores may be an attractive option. However, it’s important to consider how many years they are likely to still be independent. For those with complex medical needs, aging in place can be more difficult and require hiring outside help to provide care or relying on the support of friends and family members.

Tips for Stress-Free Downsizing

Once you decide where to go, you’ll have to start the physical act of downsizing your belongings. While it may feel overwhelming, there are many ways to make downsizing feel like a manageable task. If you or a loved one has a potential downsize in the future, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Start preparing early. Downsizing always takes longer than you might think. Giving yourself plenty of time to sort and pack your items will make transitioning into a new space much easier. In addition, moving companies often need advanced notice, especially if you are moving out of state.
  • Prioritize communication. It’s not uncommon for adult children to notice their parents having difficulty maintaining their home. If this happens, adult children may need to approach the topic of downsizing with their parents. Adult children may consider offering to help clean out the garage or sort through items in storage. As the topic continues, it’s important for children to reassure their parents that they have a say in the matter.
  • Set realistic goals. Downsizing can feel like an enormous task. The key to successful downsizing is to set small and attainable goals. You may consider starting with one room or one closet at a time. Before you begin, make sure you have all the necessary items like boxes, tape and markers.
  • Sort your items. Experts agree that sorting your items into separate categories for taking with you, gifting, selling, donating and throwing away can help you stay organized and efficient.
  • Keep the memories! One of the hardest parts of downsizing is having to part with precious memories and keepsakes. However, it’s possible for many items to be compressed. For example, photo albums and home movies can be stored onto DVDs or hard drives for easy storage. If you have a collection of items, consider keeping your favorites and donating the rest.

Making the Move to Maple Knoll Village

Our residents agree that one of the most difficult parts of transition into a retirement community is choosing how to downsize. However, the amenities, peace of mind, and sense of safety that comes with living at Maple Knoll Village is well worth the move. To speak learn more about life at Maple Knoll Village or to schedule a tour, please contact us at 513-782-2717.

Financial Resolutions for the New Year

a man reads a piece of paper

It’s not too late to make a resolution for 2022. While many people choose to focus on health-related resolutions, January is a great time to reevaluate your finances and gain financial control of the coming year. According to U.S. news, nearly 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. However, these four financial resolutions are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) and are simple enough to stick with all year long.

#1 Track and Prioritize Your Spending

Whether you’ve spent your entire life budgeting your money or are looking to get back on track, tracking your spending is a good place to start. You might consider starting by reviewing your spending habits over the last year, identify where you seem to spend the most money, and brainstorm ways you’d like to cut back. You can track your weekly and monthly expenses by hand, spreadsheets, or by using an app on your smartphone.

#2 Meet with Your Financial Advisor

Your financial advisor is the best person to give you advice and help you set financial goals because of their familiarity with your specific financial situation. You might consider reviewing your investment allocations and together set goals for the coming year. Some of your goals could include giving to your favorite charities, reevaluating your will, or making financial plans for a vacation in the next year. 

#3 Plan for Health Care Expenses
Health care is not only expensive, but it’s hard to predict exactly what your needs will be in the next several years. That’s why it’s a good idea to have both proper coverage and additional savings that can cover unexpected expenses. The best way to plan for your health care needs is by being proactive and staying healthy. Here are a few ideas to help keep you safe and healthy, while also avoiding hospital visits.

  • Use your pendant. In case of a fall or injury, your pendant is designed to alert Security and send help to you as soon as possible.
  • Get familiar with your health insurance. Whether you’ve just changed your Medicare plan or can’t remember the specifics of your policy, now is a good time to review the fine print.
  • Remember to get your exercise. Walking, building your muscles, and eating a well-balanced diet will help keep you safe, while also protecting you from unseen health care expenses.

#4 Protect Your Credit

Unexpected expenses can happen to anyone, no matter how prepared or careful you are with your finances. If something does happen, and debt is unavoidable, you’ll want to be sure your credit history is in a good place in the event you have to borrow. Here are a few ways you can protect and improve your credit score:

  • Make automatic payments for your monthly bills. This allows you to pay your credit card bills on time without having to write a check or pay online. One late payment can hurt your credit score.
  • Understand the safety measures set on your credit card and bank accounts. In the event your bank account or credit card is compromised, you’ll want your bank to call you and immediately freeze your card. You might consider keeping a contact number for your bank in a safe and accessible place.

However you decide to prepare for the New Year, we wish you health and happiness all year long!

Assisted Living vs. Private Duty Care: How to Make the Most of your Money

Teen Women With older women

There comes a time during the aging process where normal daily activities become more difficult and require more assistance. This often requires older adults and their families to make a decision about where they should be living and how to receive the appropriate care. However, many seniors fear losing their independence and are hesitant about leaving their homes. Often, seniors are faced with deciding whether to move to assisted living or pay for private care in their home. This situation can be a sensitive matter for many older adults, and one that involves many different factors.

Difference between Senior Home Care and Assisted Living

Senior home care is a popular option for older adults who need more assistance but don’t want to leave their homes. Depending on the company, most senior home care services offer assistance with daily living such as bathing, getting dressed, toileting, medication management and household tasks like meal preparation, cleaning and transportation to medical appointments. Many senior home care companies have minimum hour requirements for the week and minimum hour blocks for the day. Depending on the needs of the senior, these hourly rates can become quite costly. However, for those who require small amounts of assistance, home care companies might be a better financial option. Generally, home care companies charge between $25 and $30 an hour, with 3-4 hour daily minimums and a minimum of 8 hours per week.

Assisted living generally offers the same services as senior home care, but requires an individual to move from their homes. At Maple Knoll Village, Breese Assisted Living offers 1-2 bedroom apartments that are attached to the main building. Assisted Living services include three meals daily, full time activity staff, medication assistance, daily help with bathing, dressing, toileting, and bed making. AL staff also complete reassurance and spot checks every 2 hours even during the nighttime. In addition, weekly housekeeping and laundry services are included in the monthly rent. Most importantly, and unlike many home care companies, Assisted Living residents have access to a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, and state tested nursing assistants at all times.

Which Option is Right for You?

There is not a “one size fits all” solution to senior care. Each family and each resident have their own values and non-negotiables when it comes to deciding which type of care is the best fit. However, there are a few factors that should be carefully considered throughout the decision-making process. These include safety, access to care, ability to manage activities of daily living, financial resources and connections to other people and socialization.

Safety is a key element in deciding whether a resident should bring in home care or make the transition to assisted living. Some questions to consider include: Can I bathe, dress, and take care of my daily needs in a timely and safe manner? Does my loved one have the cognitive capacity to make sound decisions? Is my loved one at high-risk of falling?

While maintaining independence is an important part of healthy aging, it can also be misunderstood. If a senior lives independently at home, but is isolated and lacks daily socialization, it can have a profoundly negative impact on both their mental and physical health. In fact, according to the National Institute on Aging, isolation and loneliness are linked to higher risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, and even death.

Cost Comparison

It’s no surprise: Aging is expensive. Unexpected health needs can deplete financial assets very quickly. That’s why it’s important to know your options as you decide which healthcare situation best suits your needs. At Maple Knoll Village, the following services are included with Assisted Living:

  • 3 meals daily
  • Full time activity staff
  • Assistance with medications
  • Assistance with meal set up
  • Assistance with bathing twice a week and as needed
  • Daily dressing and grooming assistance
  • Assistance with incontinence care
  • Reassurance and spot checks 24 hours
  • Bed making, doing dishes, tidy-up, taking trash out
  • Reminders for meals, activities and personal care
  • Personal laundry weekly and as needed
  • Social and recreational programming
  • Weekly housekeeping
  • Assistance with arranging off-campus transportation
  • 24 hour emergency response by licensed nurses
  • Complete maintenance
  • Wheel chair escort throughout the building

While the cost of Assisted Living is higher than living independently, it’s important to consider your quality of life and the financial resources needed to fund private duty home care. As your need for care increases, the cost to provide at-home care can quickly surpass the cost of Assisted Living, which can often provide more comprehensive services.

Assisted Living at Maple Knoll Village

While we want all residents to live independently for as long as possible, Assisted Living can offer peace of mind for many residents and their families, in terms of finances, physical safety, and overall well-being. If you’re interested in learning more about Assisted Living or private duty care, please contact Erin Navaro, residential services manager at 513-782-2428.