In The Driver’s Seat

By Tammy Hauck

What’s wrong with being in control, I ask you? As I began research for this article, the majority of information I found was on how to gain control of my need to control. I learned that I am a closet control freak. I found humorous quips such as “I’m not really a control freak but… can I show you the right way to do that?” “As long as everything is exactly the way I want it, I’m totally flexible.” Then there’s my personal favorite: “I hate it when I plan my day and nobody follows the script.” And if you don’t think you fall into control freak category, let me put you in the passenger seat with a bad driver… then you will realize how much you really need to be in the driver’s seat.

The Covid pandemic brings the reality of control home to us. Guidelines pertaining to managing the spread of the disease are discussed daily and made available to anyone within reach of social media – yet stories prevail about Covid parties and other senseless, risky behaviors. We find that we can control ourselves and our own behavior, but are helpless to control others. We’ve learned much about what we can and can’t control during this part of life’s journey.

Lists abound with all the things you cannot control: bad news, the weather, the traffic, the seasons, other people’s emotions, the past, the future… a wise woman once told me that while I cannot always control life’s circumstancs, I can control my response to them. As with any trip, we map and we plan, we change direction occasionally due to an accident or an opportunity, and we eventually reach a destination. I remind myself that while I am in the driver’s seat, I can determine the direction my journey will take in many, many ways, particularly in the aging process.

At the top of my “Things I Can’t Control About Aging List” is aging itself; the only alternative to not aging is… well, I certainly don’t want to write that down. I can take excellent care of my skin, but a wrinkle will eventually appear. Next on my list is admitting that while I can do things that impact my health such as diet, exercise, medical care, etc., I must face the inevitable fact that my health will change as I age. I take a timeout to remind myself that aging is an amazing gift, and not one to be taken for granted.

It’s at this point that I take my head out of the sand for a brief period of time and admit there are decisions I need to make while I am still in the driver’s seat. Working in a continuing care retirement community has certainly taught me the advantages of preplanning, making good choices and setting myself up for the best life possible. It has also made me aware of options that I hadn’t considered.

The first thing I did was make of list of questions:

  • What is my vision for my retirement?
  • How much money do I need to implement my vision?
  • How do I begin to educate my spouse and align our separate, and sometimes different
    visions?
  • Is my living environment appropriate for me as I age?
  • Can I manage the upkeep of my home and property?
  • How do I downsize?
  • Do I need long term care insurance or do I have enough money to take care of my
    healthcare needs?
  • Do I remain in my home or do I choose to move to a retirement community?
  • How do I find out about retirement community options and what pairs with my interests?
  • Who is going to represent me if the time comes that I am unable to speak for myself?
  • WHO WILL CHOOSE MY NURSING HOME? How do I plan for asset protection AND
    peace of mind?
  • How do I make sure that I am not a burden to my family and friends?

The people that live in my community have answered all these questions; they have chosen a path that will enable them to live their best life. They have chosen their future long term care provider. They have protected their assets. They have downsized and right-sized, and have put their plans in place. They have done what they can to ensure that they remain husband and wife, parent and child instead of caregiver and recipient. They are independent, active, motivated, social, and so much more. Our residents compare our community to a docked cruise ship (pre-COVID). They have a community that supports their choices by providing activities and entertainment, multiple dining venues, a stimulating environment, education suited to their interests – all this and with support nearby as needs change, including healthcare centers, therapy on site, a wellness clinic, and an on-site agency that can provide help in your home for as little as 30 minutes in a day.

Our residents have made their decisions for their retirement while being in the driver’s seat. One resident stated it beautifully when told she was too young for the community: “WHAT?!?! I’m too young to roll out of bed, throw my robe on and go for laps in the pool? I’m too young to have my choice of art or exercise class or reading on the veranda outside our library with a gorgeous views of ponds and bridges? I’m too young to have a gym or indoor pool or beautifully landscaped walking paths just steps away from my beautiful apartment? I’m too young to have my meals prepared or to garden only when I want to, or to have my apartment cleaned for me? I’m too young to be treated like a queen? I DON’T THINK SO!”

So I encourage you to take a moment and do a self-evaluation. I ask myself daily about how I want to live and if today I will make healthy choices. I ask myself about decisions that I am avoiding or delaying and why. I ask myself about lasting impressions and the mark I want to leave on this world, knowing THAT is completely within my control. I update my positive list of what I can control going forward: my diet, my exercise routine, but more importantly my mindset, my work ethic, my volunteer choices, the way I treat others (including my words), how do I allow others to treat me, and probably the most significantly, what type of example will I set. These are the things that affect not only my emotional wellbeing but the spirit of those around me. These things determine my mark on the world–while I am in the driver’s seat.

Each day we make decisions, including the choice to NOT make one. So ask yourself what
decisions will you wish you had made while you were in control.

Need more information? Call us at 478.405.4500 or click. >
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Hear From The Residents

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Over the years, I had considered moving to Carlyle Place but I always presumed that I couldn’t afford it. But when I sat down with my daughter and we added up what I was spending on lawn service, and housecleaning, utilities, property taxes, and my other expenses, it was actually more when I compared it to the Carlyle Place monthly fee. Seeing that cost comparison made the decision to move to Carlyle Place very easy and clear.

Eleanor Wilson
quote

Living here in Macon has been great, and there are many cultural experiences to enjoy. It is convenient to just take the bus into town for a group outing and not have to worry with parking or driving back at night. The best time to move into Carlyle Place is now, while you are still active and vital and can take advantage of all of the events and activities.

Col. Paul Evans (retired)
quote

We moved to Carlyle Place from North Carolina to be closer to our children. We started as independent living residents and since then I have needed to transition my husband into memory care and eventually into skilled care. I am extremely grateful that I’ve been able to stay on the same campus near my husband throughout this transition. The leadership team has made all of my husband’s moves seamless. I truly feel we’ve given our children a gift in that our care through all of these stages has been established and worry-free.

Mavis Trice

How to Select a Life Plan Community

You'll find a wide variety of possibilities as you consider your retirement plans. Life Plan Community living has many benefits and advantages. Here are just a few things to consider as you evaluate the right option for you.

  • Check for Accreditation

    You’ll find you have many challenging choices to make from countless senior living providers. But all life plan communities are not created equally.

    Read More
  • KNOW Your Contract Types

    There are three basic types of contracts for Life Plan Communities. Please click the button to get all the details.

    Read More
  • Find Your Right Fit

    There’s no doubt you want to find the best place to live in your retirement, but how do you spot what makes a good life plan community?

    Read More

Check for Accreditation

You’ll find you have many challenging choices to make from countless senior living providers. But all life plan communities are not created equally. It is important to do your homework and make sure that your new home will have the right designations and credentials to ensure quality and reliability. There are three important designations to understand.

Licensure

No provider can operate without first obtaining a license, which requires passing an inspection by a regulatory agency. Usually the state board or a professional college set rules and requirements for operation.

Certification

Certification usually addresses points such as business licenses, staff background checks, accounting procedures, and insurance coverage.

Accreditation

In addition to meeting state and federal licensing and certification requirements, many communities voluntarily go through a rigorous accreditation process. Only after a provider demonstrates certain standards and can prove positive outcomes can accreditation be designated by an outside third party. Trained professionals visit communities to observe and interview residents, family members, staff, and the board. Accredited organizations are required to demonstrate strategic and ethical business practices and positive community engagement and influence.

Accreditation by a reputable independent, nonprofit accreditor such as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF International) assures that public that the community has made a commitment to quality and continuous improvement of services. CARF accreditation means the organization's focus is on the person's served.

We are pleased to say that Carlyle Place, Navicent Health, has been an accredited provider since we opened our doors in 2001.

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KNOW Your Contract Types

There are three basic types of contracts for Life Plan Communities:

Type A – All-Inclusive Plans – also called Life Care Contracts

The fees in this plan offer unlimited assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care without additional charges for the care.

Type B - Modified Contract

This contract offers a set of services provided for a set length of time. When that time is expired, other services can be obtained, but for higher monthly fees.

Type C - Fee-for- Service Contract

The initial enrollment fee may be lower, but assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing will be paid for at market rates.

Carlyle Place offers a Type A, the all-inclusive Life Care contract.

We feel strongly that this type of contract provides residents with the best coverage to take care of their needs. Our representatives will be happy to discuss your contract with you.

If you have questions about our contract type, please feel free to contact us at any time.

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Find Your Right Fit

There’s no doubt you want to find the best place to live in your retirement, but how do you spot what makes a good life plan community a great fit for you? Here are some pointers for finding those intangibles that make a community a successful fit for you.

  • What is the organization’s culture? Is it respectful of the residents’ needs?

    Our residents will tell you that we just have a great feel here at Carlyle Place. People who move here are embraced immediately and have a wonderful, supportive staff that is looking forward to serving them. It inspires me everyday when I see our residents, the lives that they live, and the longevity of the relationships they develop. -Tom Rockenbach, Executive Director

  • Is it service-oriented?

    Each year, our residents dedicate thousands of hours to charities and nonprofit organizations in the greater Macon area. Seniors have a lifetime of experience, knowledge, and unique skills sets to offer as volunteers. Carlyle Place encourages and supports our community’s emphasis on giving back. Our community’s emphasis on service makes it a great place to live a rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle. Click here to see the complete report in our News section.

  • Is it social?

    “Living here in Macon has been great and there are many cultural experiences to enjoy. It is convenient to just take the bus into town for a group outing and not have to worry with parking or driving back at night. The best time to move into Carlyle Place is now, while you are still active and vital and can take advantage of all of the events and activities.” -Col. Paul Evans (retired), Carlyle Place resident

  • Is it affordable?

    Most people find out that when they add up all of their current expenses including utilities, lawn service, home maintenance, and property taxes, the cost is actually more than the monthly fee they’d pay at Carlyle Place. Click here to calculate your own estimate.

Take a Closer Look

Look around and see if the residents have a voice in how the community is maintained and led. Ask some questions about the financial management of the community. You’ll also want to know how the community is planning for its future. It’s important to visit any community you are considering. You’ll want to get a feel for the residents, leadership, and staff. The Carlyle Place staff representatives as well as some of our current residents will be happy to spend some time and answer your questions.

Click the button below to schedule an overnight visit or to get in touch.

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