Bel Air News & Views sponsor Presbyterian Home of Maryland is looking for area residents who want to help seniors “age in place” by supporting Harford County’s first Continuing Care Retirement Community planned for Carsins Run at Eva Mar. For details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.carsinsrun.org or like Carsins Run at Eva Mar on Facebook. Read on to learn more:
The Impending Housing Crisis for Seniors and What it Means for Harford County
Thanks to advances in medical technology and the surge of Baby Boomers who have swelled the ranks of America’s senior citizens, there are more older Americans than ever before. It’s a worldwide macro-trend that economists and sociologists have dubbed “the graying of the population.” And it’s a trend that is expected to continue.
The Graying of the Population
According to the US Administration on Aging, people age 65 and older comprised only 12.4% of the population in 2000. But by 2030, the number of older Americans will nearly double in size to total 19% of the population. Locally, Harford County’s senior population mirrors the national picture, with an anticipated expansion by 45% from 2010-2020. Paul Hewitt, director of the Global Aging Initiative Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies describes this seismic shift in the makeup of society as “an epochal transformation for which very few of our institutions are prepared.”
Home Sweet…Assisted Living?
One of the chief concerns is an impending shortage of suitable housing for seniors. Without attractive options that offer structural features like elevators or single-story living, or amenities like access to medical support or socialization, too many seniors will opt to live alone in their home long after it is safe for them to remain independent. Often, it is not until after a major event, such as a fall or stroke, that they finally relocate to an assisted living facility. But following a negative health event is the least opportune time for an older adult to relocate. And unfortunately, this major transition when a senior is already in compromised health could lead to a premature decline.
This troubling pattern has caused a movement intent on helping seniors “age in place.” Studies show that 70% of seniors choose to spend the remainder of their lives in the home in which they celebrated their 65th birthday. One solution to provide a safe environment and custom-fit level of care for adults in their twilight years are Continuing Care Retirement Communities, or CCRC’s.
What are CCRC’s?
Continuing Care Retirement Communities offer residents the option to “age in place,” meaning that they will never have to move due to health reasons. Unlike traditional retirement communities that offer independent living and assisted living only, CCRC’s boast a continuum of care that includes independent and assisted living as well as nursing care and special accommodations for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Because CCRC’s tend to attract younger seniors who are still able to live an active lifestyle, their grounds and facilities typically boast amenities and recreational options such as putting greens, pools, gyms, social clubs and more.
Benefits of a CCRC
- Among the chief advantages of CCRC’s is the ability to “age in place,” which greatly reduces the premature decline often associated with change in living environment in advanced age.
- Spouses who may require a different level of care can reside within close proximity of each other.
- Residents have more involvement in the decision-making made by management of CCRC’s due to an active resident council and greater financial investment.
- CCRC’s provide peace of mind for both the senior and his or her loved ones that needs are met and children will not be burdened with care or difficult decisions later as the senior progresses to older age.
- Easy access to a social circle and participation in physical activity have been proven to reduce the risk of depression in the elderly, thereby enhancing quality of life.
Senior Living in Harford County
Currently, there are no CCRC’s within Harford County. Older residents seeking the security of having one home at which they can progress from independent living to full nursing or dementia care without having to relocate are forced to leave the county.
Presbyterian Home of Maryland (PHM) seeks to remedy this and apply its more than 130 year legacy of care to build a vibrant CCRC at Carsins Run at Eva Mar. This community will fill a crucial void in the complement of senior living options currently available.
Harford County leaders and citizens alike acknowledge the benefits and necessity of building the proposed community at Carsins Run.
Mary Chance, Harford County Director of Administration asserts, “We want our seniors to be able to retire and live in the community where they raised their children and where their grandchildren live rather than having to move out of the county. That’s why for years, Harford County government has supported the concept of bringing a continuing care retirement community to our area. We consider it to be a necessary and important amenity for a vibrant community.”
And Harford County resident Sally Campbell said, “My husband and I have sought many different options and the new CCRC will provide us the opportunity to progress from independent living to end-of-life care in one location, something very important for seniors like myself. Most importantly the CCRC will allow us to stay close to our family and be a part of our grandchildren’s life rather than visiting once or twice a year.”
As Ms. Chance mentioned, the addition of a CCRC not only helps seniors, but also the entire community. Here are additional ways that Carsins Run at Eva Mar will benefit Harford County:
- Jobs. Including the jobs in Harford County, the project upon full build-out will support 181 permanent jobs statewide, $7.6 million in annual wage income and $20 million in business sales.
- Revenue. The proposed development will not add to demand for local school capacity, but will produce tax revenues for the City and the County.
- Growth. Residents will of course also be supported by the amenities available to other citizens of Bel Air and Harford County, including the retail, restaurant, service and cultural amenities that are associated with the general growth of the community.
Secure Harford County’s Future by Supporting Carsins Run at Eva Mar
The case is clear: as Harford County’s population ages, we need to seek solutions that offer dignified housing options for seniors. Carsins Run at Eva Mar will provide an excellent continuum of care that currently does not exist in Harford County. The proposed facility is designed to offer state-of-the-art design and amenities including:
- Multiple dining facilities and a pub
- Wellness and fitness center
- Convenience market
- Billiards, card and library areas
- Housekeeping, maintenance and grounds keeping services
- Scheduled transportation to area shopping and activities
- Comprehensive nursing services including assisted living and memory support
- Dietary and healthy-living counseling and case management services including supportive care, visitation and counseling
Sixty percent of the CCRC’s parcel will be retained as green space, providing walking trails and a playground that will be available to residents, their families and the surrounding communities.
Join the “Age in Place” movement in Harford County by supporting Carsin Run at Eva Mar! You can contact email@example.com or visit www.carsinsrun.org or like Carsins Run at Eva Mar on Facebook to join the movement or learn more.
This post was sponsored by Presbyterian Homes of Maryland.