CASCADE, Mich. (WZZM) - A recent survey from the American Association of Retired Persons shows 85% of us would prefer to live in our homes as we get old. Chances are, most of us will also need some level of long-term care after the age of 65. For many people, that means moving to some kind of continuing-care retirement community (CCRC) - but it no longer has to.
The Wall Street Journal reports about a dozen "CCRCs without walls" have sprung up around the country - where residents stay in their own homes, and the community's service providers - like nurses and therapists - come to you.
Kent County now has such a provider - Avenues by Porter Hills. Under development for the past four years, Porter Hills revealed the program this week.
It has strong appeal for Jim and Marie Preston, a Cascade couple in their sixties who would love to live out their lives in their own home. A retired financial planner, Jim says the concept makes sense: "The nice thing about the program is that it gives you the option of staying in your own space and staying together and still having somebody come in and keep their eye on you."
JoAnn Abraham of Porter Hills says Avenues is for independent, reasonably healthy people over the age of 50.
"There is a one-time membership investment based on age and the membership option chosen," Abraham says. "There is also an affordable monthly fee that is based on the membership chosen. Fees are discounted for two people in the same household and if an individual has long term care insurance in place."
The Wall Street Journal says that by doing away with the residence requirement, programs like Avenues can charge substantially less than traditional retirement communities, while providing all of the same services.
For Jim Preston, "the downside is you may not need it for a long time - if you're really fortunate you may never need it."