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Myth busters

Clearing up misconceptions about retirement living options

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December 16th, 2014
Lantern Hill is Erickson Living’s new community coming to New Providence in fall 2015.
Lantern Hill is Erickson Living’s new community co

Not all retirement living options are the same. But that doesn’t mean people always see a clear picture when comparing them. 

One of the most commonly misunderstood retirement living options is the continuing care retirement community (CCRC). A CCRC offers independent living options for active older adults, skilled nursing care, and assisted living—care for all levels of health needs. Some even offer on-site preventive and medical care for when independent residents need it, bringing all services under one roof.

But people often categorize CCRCs with nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and associate them with a loss of freedom or personal identity. 

To shed some light on retirement living options, we turned to Lantern Hill, an Erickson Living community opening in New Providence, N.J., next fall.

Myth #1: “I can’t afford it.”

Erickson Living’s approach to retirement living has proven to be a healthy financial decision for most of its community members when compared to staying in their house. 

By bundling all monthly expenses—all utilities, a meal plan for the community’s three restaurants, use of all community amenities, full-time maintenance staff, underground parking, round-the-clock security, even weekly housekeeping and hospitality services—into one monthly service package, community members avoid unexpected costs and can trust their budget. 

Barbara Kouri, a former teacher who moved to an Erickson Living community for its safety, security, and amenities, says she found the added advantage of a healthier checkbook. “In a house, there’s always something going wrong, and you have unexpected expenses,” she says. 

Myth #2: “I’ll be surrounded by old people, and I don’t feel old.”

Welcome to the club! Most Erickson Living community members don’t “feel old” either. Just ask anyone living there what’s on his or her schedule for the week. Most likely, you’ll get a long list of activities, from volunteering on or off campus to working out in the on-site fitness center to attending a meeting for any of the many clubs and groups. 

“Erickson Living prides itself in helping its community members stay active both physically and mentally,” says Erica Zayat, resident services manager at an Erickson Living community in Northern New Jersey. Zayat helps coordinate resident-run activities as well as outside groups that offer programs to community members. 

Aside from activities, Lantern Hill will be bustling with young faces. Erickson Living communities employ local high school students to work at campus restaurants, and they often become “adopted grandchildren” to community members. 

Additionally, the community’s indoor swimming pool is sure to attract many a grandchild. 

Myth #3: “My heirs won’t get any money back from my home.”

Lantern Hill’s innovative financial structure offers community members peace of mind when it comes to their entrance deposit, similar to a down payment on a house. They can rest easy knowing that 90% of their entrance deposit is returned to them or their family should they ever decide to leave. 

“This allows residents or their families to receive most of the initial cost back,” Banks says. 

Community members may also access the deposit to cover extended care expenses if their health needs ever change. And if they decide to spend the rest of their life at Lantern Hill, the deposit will be returned to their heirs. Ask to see the Residence and Care Agreement for details. 

Myth #4: “An apartment is too small for me.”

Envisioning packing all your worldly belongings into Tupperware containers, stashed under your bed? You’re not alone. Most people can’t imagine moving from a house filled with 30 to 40 years worth of stuff to an apartment home.

“When I ask [people] what they really personally need, it normally comes down to living space, a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen,” says Sales Counselor Kathy Banks.

The community offers apartment home sizes and styles to fit every preference and lifestyle. “We have more than 20 different floor plans to choose from,” says Banks, who helps priority list members choose the perfect apartment home. 

Lantern Hill’s floor plans feature one- and two-bedroom homes in bright, open-concept layouts. 

“Finding the right size and style is a process,” says Banks. “I learn what is important for them, for example, a larger kitchen or larger bedroom. What do they currently enjoy about their present housing? Some enjoy watching activity—the comings and goings of neighbors. Others are into serenity—a peaceful quiet view. All this is learned as we spend time together talking about their future life at Lantern Hill.”

Outside their apartment homes, “They will be dining with friends, exercising in our fitness center, and socializing with friends and neighbors,” says Banks. “The whole community will be an extension of their home.” 

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