I get to Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community (VMRC) to visit my parents about every two weeks. Each time I drop by the Woodland Park construction site to see how the Green House Homes are coming along.
The hope is for new residents to move into at least some of the homes in January. As I’ve chatted with a few of the residents who may be the initial community members, I detect a sense of excitement, reticence, nervousness, and just a bit of awe — feelings that just about everyone has when moving is a possibility. And the homes continue to rise.
Construction of the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community Green House Homes at Woodland Park is moving along. On two of the buildings the outside stonework will be completed soon. The stonework was so lovely that I shot a close-up with my camera.
These tips for adult children and their families look like common sense suggestions. Often however, when family members seek an assisted living community for an elder parent, they need to make decisions quickly without much time to read all of the fine print and ask the less obvious questions. Sometimes time constraints can put common sense at the bottom of the list.
Check out item number eight in the Smart Money list, “We pay people to put you here.” A family needs to know a lot about the placement service itself before considering its recommendations for an assisted living community.
Our family was most fortunate to discover Chesterbrook Residences in Northern, Virginia, where my husband’s mother lived for nearly two years. Their policies were transparent and clear.
The other night we went to see the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and boy, did we enjoy ourselves.
A group of British retirees, most seeking lower costs and a bit of adventure, ends up as the guests in a seedy, formerly grand hotel in Jaipur, India. In fact, the hotel is terrible. It’s not what they expect, but the endearing, entrepreneurial proprietor draws them in. As the movie zooms in on the characters’ personal stories we found ourselves gazing through familiar late-in-life prisms. Did I mention some of the fairly obnoxious adult children?
Marigold introduces a woman who was let go after training her own replacement, the parents who invested in their daughter’s start-up (yes, boomers everywhere are giving lots of money to their kids), and the woman who trusted her beloved husband who then left her in debt. We become acquainted with a retired attorney, drawn back to the place of a great love affair, and several others who just want to be less lonely. Because these are British characters, the frustrations tend to be understated — but frustrations, none the less. The Indian characters are just as engaging, fully developed, and far more exuberant.
Read Prime Targets for Spam Artists, Paula Span’s April 20, 2012 column over at the New Old Age Blog. The fact that victims may not report fraud due to embarrassment is troubling and of special concern to adult children. Span posted her second column on the topic, with fraud fighting suggestions, on Monday, April 23, 2012,
In response to the huge number of phone calls and strange e-mails received by my parents and my husband’s parents, I’ve written a number of times about scams and seniors. Our family’s most irritating scam interactions are the phone calls made by Rachel at credit card services, though I suspect “she” has changed her name, given the large amount of venting about these calls on the web.
The earliest part of construction, right now after the groundbreaking, is the most challenging time for everyone to watch, because we want to see more than we are seeing. It’s that way with any construction project.
Holes are dug, concrete footings are laid, and I even observed some pipes here and there. We all want to see buildings, but they are not rising up just yet because foundations must be firmly installed before the rest of the structures are built.
The Bible mentions the need for strong basic infrastructure in Isaiah 44:28, “…and its foundation shall be firmly laid.”
I recommend checking out this short piece, Help Seniors Stay Connected Through Technology, published in The Tennessean. Written by Ann Bishop, the article suggests ways to help seniors and I might add, aging parents, engage with technology and take more advantage of communication opportunities.
Technology should be a two-part gift, where in addition to giving the equipment, loved ones give the gift of their time to help seniors learn how to use it. Show them how to open up an email account, sign up for Facebook or answer their smartphone. Be patient, focus on ease of use and be ready for lots of questions every time they log in until they figure it out. Understand that it will take time and will require repetition before a senior is comfortable.