Seniors Housing Business

AUG-SEP 2015

Seniors Housing Business is the magazine that helps you navigate the evolution of the seniors housing industry.

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www.seniorshousingbusiness.com 73 August-September 2015 n Seniors Housing Business Rapid reaction time Decades of experience Customized solutions Deep capital resources At Oak Grove, your deal won't get buried in red tape or lost in a loan committee. Our lines of communication are short, our client relationships highly personal and customized, and our relationships with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD and other capital resources run decades deep. Find out why 80% of our customers are returning customers. Call 763-656-4500 or visit oakgrovecap.com today. Seniors Housing | Affordable Housing | Market Rate Housing Why choose Oak Grove as your lender? Consider these fne points. Trust in the strength of the Oak. how I could adapt that environment without any major expenses and focus on those types of things that are convenient today but tomorrow might be essential," she said. "As we go through home modifcations, basic principles really work. They're good for 60-year- olds, and they're great for 90-year-olds." Modifcations to one's home are a key compo- nent of aging in place, but the external envi- ronment is also of great importance for seniors. Community is very much a part of identity, Pelaez asserted. The "in thing" with regard to aging in place could stand for integration. "We're really thinking about a multi-purpose, mixed-use, urban space," she added. "A two-story house was perfect in a community where you actually could go to a mall and drive to different places. Not so much when you're 80. Age-friendly communities are ones that look at walkability and acces- sibility, as well as social environ- ments. The problem is that many people moved to suburbia heaven at one point when they had three kids and three cars and they were looking for good schools." The NCSL and the AARP Public Policy Institute examined state land use, transportation and housing policies that could better support aging in place. The policies include integration of those three key compo- nents: effcient delivery of home services; more transportation choices; and "improving affordable, accessible housing to pre- vent social isolation." "Seniors today want to be with their same generation, mixing and mingling," said Leo Griffn, a vice president at Atlanta-based HealthAmerica Realty Group, who has more than 30 years of experi- ence serving the healthcare com- munity, including the real estate and technology segments. "The active seniors lifestyle demands options, engagement and more focus on community." A healthy senior community is one that is near day-to-day resources such as grocery and pharmacy outlets, and open with regard to spaces that foster more opportuni- ties for socialization. "Generally, a community where I could age in place would have multiple trans- portation services," said Pelaez. "That community will be walkable, so that I can actually move safely from where I am to where I need to buy my milk or fll my prescription and get my basic needs met. It is really going to be a livable com- munity, and today we're looking at communities that have those 'complete streets' and those open spaces that have good transportation." A survey of "livability policies and practices" conducted by NCSL and the AARP Public Policy Insti- tute found that 25 states — plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico — have "complete streets" poli- cies, which ensure safe thorough- fares for walkers, bicyclers, motor- ists, public transportation users and delivery service professionals. On the housing front, the study emphasized seniors accessing the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, encouraging developers to create more accessible buildings, and supporting neighbor- hoods with large popula- tions of older adults active in their communities. Dollars and decisions Weisenburger told the NAREE audience in Miami that aging in place is a great option for those with the fnancial means, giving a nod to Pelaez's enlightening example, but the benefts of other seniors housing options should be considered. "Each senior has a different decision that he or she is going to have to make," said Weisenburger. "But for a lot of others, the more institutional setting is going to be a better avenue for them. It's where we can more cost effectively as a country and an economy take care of people." Hutchinson of Discovery Senior Living, which develops and manages a host of senior living community brands across the Southeast and also provides Medicare-certifed home health- care services, underscored the institutional advantages. "The biggest challenge we have is on the afordability side," says Joe Weisenburger, vice president, seniors housing, Health Care REIT. "I usually invite people to think for a minute how they'd like to celebrate their 90th birthday. If you do that, now you have a goal for aging in place, whatever place that might be," says Martha Pelaez, founder, Florida Health Networks.

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