It has been over ten years since I researched living conditions for seniors before selecting and moving to Homewood at Plum Creek, so I decided it was time to research the current situation.
So far, with only a minimal search, I am finding that things have really changed in ten years. Basically, it is clear that retired folks are suffering far more than the general working public. We rely upon our savings and retirement accounts and they have not been close to keeping up with inflation, so while our incomes have continued to decline, all of our costs have continued to increase.
In addition, increases in digital technologies have advanced quite a bit while too many seniors have not been able to keep up with the times and therefore find it too expensive and too difficult to continue learning the new ways of communicating, shopping, etc.
Another impact has been the increased environmental impacts caused by the pandemic, war, climate heating, etc. These factors have and will continue to magnify the impacts on our costs, etc. We see these costs in our utility bills and costs at the grocery store, price of clothing, transportation, etc.
Another impact that I am seeing is that political trends to limit, or stop immigration have had a major impact on who the Centers have been able to hire for our support. The lack of immigration and thus the lack of a continued ready supply of many workers has created a need by industry, restaurants, etc. to increase wages in order to stay competitive. Those actions have drawn current workers away, and will continue to impact the workforce of the Senior Centers since they haven’t been able to remain competitive in hiring.
We see, and feel, the impact of all of these costs weighing down the abilities of Senior Centers to continue to provide the services that we expected when we bought-in and moved to a Senior Center. Their operating costs have far exceeded what was planned while their income has not been able to keep up and such effects have strained their ability to prudently manage for the future.
It is clear that those of us who are retired need to figure out how to increase our income (almost impossible) and then pay a lot more just to meet our expectations of ten years ago, or to lower our expectations and be thankful for what we do have.
PS, the brochure in the picture is from a fee-for-service Continuing Care Retirement Center about 50 miles away from Homewood at Plum Creek where the monthly costs are twice those of Homewood, and the living space is about half of what we have now, but the services look nicer. Their brochure and web site look enticing, but I don’t know how well they have handled the current environment.