by Jennifer Jimenez Maraña
The older adult population is growing larger and more diverse. As older adults of all backgrounds age, where can someone find a community of active older adults who are living their best life and making the most of retirement? Who would care for older adults if they need help with activities of daily life and/or support with health issues?
When I was growing up, my parents set the expectation for me and my siblings that we would care for them when they were older. We were not to send my parents to “those facilities” also known as nursing homes – perceived as places where old, sick people lived to die, where no one visited them, and they were not well taken care of. The expectation in many communities of color mirrors mine – we “take care of our own.” Negative views of nursing homes prevents many communities of color from exploring options for older adults. Yet, taking care of aging parents may not be feasible for full-time working adults with children of their own, especially if aging parents require medical services.
Enter Life Plan Communities (LPC), formerly known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities. LPCs are senior living communities that offer high quality services such as exercise classes, dining spaces, transportation, onsite medical services, diverse programs, social opportunities, and more that focus on an individual’s overall wellness. LPCs offer multiple levels of living within one community:
1) Independent living – residents live in apartment homes that are individually furnished with housekeeping, maintenance, and other services
2) Assisted living – housing that provides nursing care and additional services
3) Skilled nursing – housing inclusive of more complex healthcare and treatment
Ultimately, LPCs focus on allowing older adults to be as independent as possible for as long as possible. Residents can stay in the same community even if they need assisted living or skilled nursing services.
While these engaging communities are open to age and income-qualified older adults of all backgrounds, LPCs continue to serve a predominantly white population. Broadmead is a dynamic LPC that fosters independence, growth, and collaborative relationships, and is deeply committed to diversifying its resident population. Broadmead created my position as director of diversity and inclusion to prepare for the growing, diverse population of older adults who are seeking places like Broadmead to help them age successfully. We hope you will explore and join our vibrant community as you plan your next life journey.
The author is director of diversity and inclusion at Broadmead, in Cockeysville, Maryland. Learn more at Broadmead.org.