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Home, sweet home Oppor tunities abound for those looking to age in place

Downsizing? We’ve got tips to upgrade and update

Holiday events to get you in the spirit


December 2016

Plan Your Success Story.

ChooseHome members Sharon and William Petitt with their daughter Tracy.

Aging successfully at home begins with a plan. ChooseHome is an innovative alternative or supplement to traditional long-term care options that supports safe, independent living in your own home. Call 757-327-4523 to RSVP for an upcoming Lunch and Learn event.

Powered by Riverside and Williamsburg Landing

Read the Petitt’s story at page 2

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t t e r r a G g e Gr


Jenna Hueser (757) 871-7859

BrendaTaylor (757) 469-0109

Sam Jennings (757) 593-6154


Sherri Bowler (757) 705-3539

Greg Garrett



UNDERSTAND the needs of seniors in their time of transition. GENTLY GUIDE seniors on what needs to be done. MAXIMIZE the financial gain from their family home upon sale. WORK WITH and involve family members as needed. GUIDE seniors to other service providers needed to facilitate a transition. VALIDATE the positive attributes of a referral source. NEVER PUSH or be concerned with our own agenda.

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what’s inside this issue PrimeTime staff

Cover stor y: Forever homes >>

editor Shana Gray

Health providers and businesses offer ways to help you spend all your years at home. See Page 12

designer Bethany Bogacki photographers Joe Fudge Judith Lower y Rob Ostermaier adver tising Olivia Har tman

Funding your future Retirees face more choices than ever before when it comes to housing options. Our financial columnist reviews two of the more common options available. See Page 29

contributors Susan Smigielski Acker Alison Johnson Jo-Ann Mahony cover photo Sharon Petitt and Bill Petitt are pictured with their poodle, Wolfie. (Photo by Judith Lower y)

Get up and out! >> From line dancing to skiing, joining friends in fun activities could be a boon to your health. See Page 8

<< Downsizing decor Just because you might be downsizing doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean you have to sacrifice. We offer up some pro tips. See Page 22

PrimeTime is a product of the Daily Press Media Group, located at 703 Mariners Row, Newpor t News, VA 23606. This magazine is published quar terly and inser ted in the Daily Press, the Tidewater Review and The Virginia Gazette. Reach us at 757-247-4600.

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Season’s Greetings from the Zaremba Center for Estate Planning and Elder Law!!


s we prepare for holiday gatherings and celebrations with friends and family, we look forward to the New Year! The December holidays bring feelings of joy and excitement. We have time to reminisce of fond memories and look forward at what is to come. It is this time of the year that reminds us why we love being estate planning attorneys. At the Zaremba Center, we help families maintain the joyful spirit all year long by working closely with our clients to ensure their wishes regarding their healthcare and their wealth come true; providing them with the utmost peace of mind. Our team at the Zaremba Center provides the local community a full service Estate Planning and Elder Law Firm with unrivaled personalized attention. We

How may I help you? walk our clients through all of their estate planning options and suggest a plan that we believe will work best for the individual. We walk you through every document so you will have a firm understanding of how your estate plan works; we will work with you to ensure that when the time comes, your estate plan will work. But we don’t stop there! We are committed to building lasting professional

Contact us about discounts for MOAA members! A proud member of MOAA’s Lawyer Listing Service.

Is it lunchtime yet?

Your Dreams, Our Knowledge . . . page 6

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of Law. Bennie specializes in the field of estate planning, business succession planning, and child safeguard planning. His expertise in the field, and dedication to clients leaves us excited for the coming year. We also welcomed our new mascot Rumpole, an English Setter who is more than just a cute face. Rummy, as we call him, is our resident therapy dog He is eager to help us serve our elderly and special needs clients with his contagious spirit and unconditional love. So, as 2017 knocks on our door, we look forward in anticipation of what is to come. We are ready to serve the community hosting our free monthly educational seminars, continuing our long standing relationship with the Military Officers’ Association of America (MOAA), and setting standards of excellence in our field.

relationships with our clients. We do not charge an upfront fee. We do not charge for communication. We assist our trust clients with transferring their assets the proper way to the trust. We invite clients to bring in their appointed trustees or executors to get to know the firm and to learn what their responsibilities will be as the personal representative. All without any additional charge.So, it is easy to love the work we do.

We invite you to join us at one of our many upcoming seminars in the new year and to visit our website where you can learn more about the firm, our attorneys, and our commitment to clients.

As we think about what has happened over the past year, we forward to the changes yet to come.

Again, we wish you the happiest of holidays. May you be safe and enjoy the company of family and friends.

It has been an exciting year here at the Zaremba Center. We welcomed new staff members, including a new attorney, Bennie Wall, a graduate of the University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School

Areas of Expertise • Estate & Trust Planning • Asset Protection Planning • Elder Law & Medicaid Planning • Special Needs Planning • Guardianship Petitions • Child Safeguard Planning • Charitable Entities • Probate & Trust Administration

With Warmest Regards, The Zaremba Center Team

123 Bulifants Blvd. Williamsburg, VA 23188 | 757-259-0707 |

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By Alison Johnson

ACTIVE LIVING: The benefits of joining clubs, groups are many, researchers say

peering out By Alison Johnson


fter nearly 50 years in the Peninsula Ski Club, Sonny Short is slowing down a bit on the slopes at age 72. No matter â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the group is about much more than skiing. The club, which celebrated its own 50th anniversary this year, brings its members together for many types of outings, ranging from dinners and holiday parties to walks, bowling and tennis outings to biking, canoeing and whitewater rafting trips.

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TOP: Peninsula Ski Club members, from left, are Rick Irby, Kay and Butch Bolden, Cathy Margiotta, David Motley, and Carol and Drew Brantley in Schweitzer, Idaho. (Photo is by Bill Bryan.) ABOVE: Line dance teacher Cheryl Shortell, left, calls out step instructions. RIGHT: A recent linedancing class was full of people. (Photos by Judith Lowery)

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“All of the ski adventures have been wonderful,” says Short, a Newport News resident, “but the friendships and camaraderie have been just as important.” Fitness programs that expand into varied social opportunities are hugely important for older adults, experts say. Research has consistently shown that loneliness and isolation are major risk factors for serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart and lung complications, arthritis, dementia and depression. In some studies, the danger is equal to smoking, obesity or physical inactivity, possibly due to lowered immunity and inflammation caused by stress. Social connections can be especially significant to people who have lost a spouse, become empty-nesters, left the workforce or moved to a new community in retirement, notes Amy Fiedor, who heads senior programming for James City County Parks and Recreation. The county’s senior center, The Lounge, offers daily activities and monthly trips, often to historic sites within a three-hour radius. One popular program is line dancing, which draws 30 to 60 people to twiceweekly classes.

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health Members also regularly eat at the Capitol Pancake House, perform at retirement communities and organize donation drives for local nonprofits. “It definitely promotes physical fitness and mental concentration, but it’s also a great way to combat any loneliness,” Fiedor says. “They get to meet like-minded couples and just have fun.” The city of Hampton’s Bowling All Starzz program offers similar benefits. In addition to weekly dates at Sparetimes Bowling alley, members get together for meals and monthly birthday celebrations, check on absent regulars and send get-well cards in case of illness. “They care about each other,” says Susan Elswick, senior recre-

ation professional with Hampton Parks, Recreation and Leisure. “That kind of fellowship makes it much harder to slip into feeling isolated.” JoAnn McGrew of Williamsburg knows that first-hand. McGrew lost her husband, Richard, about a year ago. One Saturday, she mustered up her courage and went to Colonial Williamsburg to meet up with a walking/social group run by Hospice House and Support Care of Williamsburg. Three times a week, members walk for about an hour and then go to a restaurant for breakfast or lunch. McGrew quickly became a regular. Since then, the club also has taken her to movies, plays, museums and even on a trip to New

York City, where she roomed with Anne-Liss Flanders, another Williamsburg resident whose husband had died. “We laugh, and we share our hard days,” McGrew says. “I truly feel like it has saved my sanity.” Adds Flanders, who hopes to go on a group cruise next year, “It’s really just lifesaving. You don’t realize how much you needed it until it’s in your life.” As for Sonny Short, he’s busy serving as the Peninsula Ski Club’s treasurer and captain of this winter’s trip to Utah. “There’s plenty to do and see in all the places we go,” Short says. “What matters is you’re with your friends and meeting new people. You’re together.”

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cover stor y: aging in place Options enable people to continue living in their forever residences By Alison Johnson


or 40 years, Bill and Sharon Petitt have lived in the same one-story house in York County, complete with a painting studio and small garden for Sharon. Like most senior citizens, Bill, 78, and Sharon, 76, don’t want to leave the home they share with their large standard poodle, Wolfie — even if their health declines. “After all these years, we’ve it fixed up just like we want it,” Sharon said. “We’re in a quiet neighborhood. We like our neighbors. We’re happy. Bill, Wolfie and I need to be here.” Nearly 90 percent of seniors want to age at home rather than move into a long-term care community, AARP statistics show. In fact, an independent 2007 study called “Aging in Place in America” found people fear a loss of independence and moving into a nursing home much more than they do death. Not everyone can safely stay at home, of course. But as the population ages, more health providers and businesses are finding ways to help older adults enjoy the physical and mental benefits that can come from maintaining their independence. Riverside, Sentara and Bon Secours all offer a variety of home care services, with Riverside and Sentara running PACE — Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly — programs to offer personal and medical care and transportation to frail seniors who qualify for nursing home placement under Medicaid. Riverside also has introduced an insurance product called ChooseHome, which allows healthier seniors to buy $100 to $250 a day of future home health coverage, should they ever need it. As of late fall, 65 people had signed up, supplementing other insurance and long-term care policies.

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home, sweet home

LEFT: Bill Petitt in his computer room and Sharon Petitt in her home art studio. RIGHT: The Petitts walk their poodle, Wolfie, in their York County neighborhood. (Photos by Judith Lowery)

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It Really Is All About You. WindsorMeade of Williamsburg is designed to offer residents all the charm of a warm, inviting, secure and vitally active community situated on 106 acres in a prime location. In addition to single-family villas and spacious apartment residences in Windsor Hall, there is a clubhousestyled community center located in The Villas’ neighborhood with 2,400 square feet specifically created for residents’ private use, complete with a wine room, card room, wide-screen TV for group viewing, sports and celebrations. Our Health Services are designed to meet your medical needs, while maintaining the highest level of independent lifestyle possible. All of this is conveniently located within walking distance to shopping, banking, restaurants and more. Just as every resident is unique so is the programming we offer; every effort is made to customize services to meet individuals’ needs. WindsorMeade is expanding to fulfill its promise to the residents. This $7,000,000 project will provide 20,000 square feet of health and memory support residences that will open in the late summer of 2017. WindsorMeade is a person first community no matter what level of

living our residents call home…that means whether our residents live in one of the 18 residences in our new Memory Support Households, or 12 new skilled nursing residences, they will enjoy a balance of autonomy and privacy with nurturing support and social opportunities. Our Memory Support Households will be open to the public and reservations are currently being accepted. Residents tell our story the best, such as Connie Koenenn, a retired journalist and WindsorMeade resident who shares, “I heard about the continuing care retirement community (CCRC) concept and I liked it. This launched years of research and as the CCRC movement grew, I visited communities across the country of every variety and developed a lengthy priority list which included cultural life, a top-notch gym, and excellent food and — please — large airy rooms with lots of closet space. When Williamsburg became my destination for family reasons, I went to the computer with my fingers crossed. There among a maze of retirement websites I found a beautiful place called WindsorMeade. As I checked off my priorities and WindsorMeade

met them all, I stopped holding my breath. I had found my community.” WindsorMeade has become a very popular retirement destination and currently has a waitlist for its apartments and villas that range from 1050 to 3300 square feet in size. It is never too soon to plan your retirement so that you will have the choices you want when you’re ready. Once you secure a position on our waitlist you will be invited to participate in Club Windsor and begin to enjoy a sampling of some of the wonderful amenities WindsorMeade of Williamsburg has to offer. Marilyn Gray, executive director says, “she and her fellow team members along with the residents of WindsorMeade look forward to welcoming you to our community one day”.

Sound Interesting? For more information give us call or visit our website: 757-941-3615 3900 Windsor Hall Drive Williamsburg, VA 23188 (Located behind WindsorMeade Marketplace Shopping Center off of Monticello Avenue) WindsorMeade of Williamsburg is a not-for-profit neighborhood for active adults 62 or better. Discover an ideal blend of beauty, activities, devoted personal service and the security of lifelong health care.

cover stor y: aging in place Each ChooseHome member has a personal services coordinator who can line up rehabilitation, medication management, transportation and assistance with cooking, cleaning, yard work and more, notes Rick Jackson, the program’s executive director. Coordinators also can facilitate a move into one of Riverside’s continuing care communities if living at home proves impossible. “A coordinator will make sure every need is covered immediately, and for just the right amount of time,” Jackson said. “It makes everything simple.” Baby boomers, he adds, “want something different than traditional, facilitybased care. I expect this concept to spread across the country.”

More home remodelers also have become Certified Aging-inPlace Specialists via training from the National Association of Home Builders. CAPS designation covers far more than designing wheelchair-accessible ramps and spaces, says Robert Criner, owner and founder of Criner Remodeling in Newport News. He and three of his employees have the designation. Just a few possible modifications: contrasting colors on stair treads and risers to prevent falls; better lighting in cases of failing eyesight; easier-to-open door and cabinet handles for arthritis patients; and triple-paned windows to block background noises picked up by hearing aids. For one client embarrassed by his struggles to get

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off the toilet, Criner added a wallanchored bookshelf that discretely serves as a grab bar. “I think the need has always been there, but people just didn’t realize we have solutions for so many facets of aging,” Criner says. As for the Petitts, they feel optimistic after purchasing a ChooseHome policy last December. A few months later, their services coordinator connected Sharon with a reputable repairman for a heat pump that broke while Bill was hospitalized for a surgical procedure. The coordinator also visited Bill in the hospital. “It gives us great peace of mind,” Sharon said, “because I feel like they’ve thought of everything for us.”

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prevent water damage but also protect those living in the home by preventing illnesses caused by bacteria growth.

A look inside

Simply Baths…

by Quality Advantage

with President John Campbell

The 20-year-old company is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. A certification that is earned through the National Association of Home Builders, and is a result of several hours of training and years of experience. “The number one place seniors have accidents is the bathroom. Slipping is the primary culprit, while other times they can get into the tub, but cannot get out. This leads to injury, distress, and feelings of insecurity in the home” Campbell commented. Quality Advantage provides seniors safety and efficiency by converting old bathtubs into specialized showers and page 1 6

baths equipped with grab bars, benches, and nonslip surfaces. In addition to providing safety the converted bathrooms also offer a fresh and sanitary environment. Many bathtubs are made of porous fiberglass that forms cracks and allows water to seep into the walls and floor. This can cause water damage that can lead to mold and mildew growth, that in-turn can cause serious health issues. Quality Advantage uses easy to maintain acrylic and premium granite which prevents water from leaking into the surrounding surfaces. These materials not only

At Quality Advantage your health and safety is their number one priority, however, that is not their only objective. “Just because a safer bathroom is a necessity, it doesn’t have to look like a hospital, we give you the aesthetics too,” John added.

The company strives to keep the largest and most current inventory by continuously adding new colors and patterns, and they don’t just stop with the bathtub. Campbell’s team can do as little or as much as you’d like them to. Everything from new vanities and flooring, to lighting and tile work; there is no aspect too big or too small for them to handle. Campbell emphasizes his company is not a franchise. They use fixtures made in the United States by Moen and the bathtubs are from Liners Direct. Both companies offer ongoing training and support services which Campbell and his employees utilize. Additionally all of their acrylic bath systems come with a life-time transferable warranty. Not only are Campbell’s products top-notch but so are his employees. Several employees have worked for

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the company for over 10 years. He emphasizes that there are no salespeople, rather consultants, who are trained to advise customers based on their needs. They also understand change is difficult, which is why Campbell always offers free in home estimates and his employees work with customers through every step of the renovation. The Virginia native believes that his company should also help the community. Quality Advantage works with Habitat for Humanity to repair existing homes in the area, while also contributing to other local charitable organizations as well. “It’s all about being a part of the community not just another business in the area,” he said. He continues to donate his time to The Boy Scouts of America as a scout master with Troop 84 in Hampton. Campbell believes,“it is a great way to teach kids about community involvement, and help produce good citizens for future generations.” As a local family owned company, you can be sure Quality Advantage will always treat your family like a member of their own. By providing the service, expertise, and value you deserve, they guarantee you’ll continue enjoying your home for years to come.

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things to tr y

holiday events to get you in the spirit Celebrations abound to spread seasonal cheer By Jo-Ann Mahony


nyone who has visited the Peninsula during the holidays knows the magical quality of the season, from flickering candles in the Historic Area’s Colonial homes to parades and events for all tastes. Here are a few of this season’s events. Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town is open on select days through Jan. 2. Have your picture taken with Rudolph the rednosed reindeer, or meet Sesame Street characters in the Forest of Fun. A Christmas Town Fun Card, which offers unlimited visits, is $38. For more information, visit gardens-williamsburg. Celebration in Lights is when Newport News Park becomes a winter wonderland, transformed by more than 800,000 lights. The 2-mile drive features more than 300 displays and runs through Jan. 1. Price per car is $12, per bus is $60. For information, call 757-926-1400. Christmas at Endview, Dec. 8 to 9, from 5 to 7 p.m., is when children can experience holiday decorations from 1861 and visit with Santa. Reservations are required. For more information, call 757-887-0186. PAID ADVERTISEMENT

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The first independent pharmacy guild was established in the early 17th century by King James I. Pharmacies were not only places where medications were dispensed but also concocted into various elixirs. Examples of several of these pharmaceutical mixtures we still enjoy today are Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and Dr. Pepper. It wasn’t until the 1938 Federal food, drug, cosmetic act that pharmacists were restricted to dispense with a physician’s prescription. Prior to this Act, pharmacists could dispense all medications except narcotics without a doctor’s order. Today’s pharmacists can still be seen practicing their apothecary background. Specialty compounding is a great example. Medications found on today’s shelf are the most common formulations prescribed. There are times however in which a particular dose, specific ingredient/filler (such as gluten), cost of the medication or dye needs to be addressed. Compounding tailors these orders for those times. Compounding is also instrumental in saliva test kits found in some pharmacies for hormone/weight imbalances. Resulting test values from these kits equip practitioner and pharmacist to individualize prescriptions to meet the patient’s needs. Lastly, specialty compounding also plays an important role in our pet prescriptions. Veterinarians and pharmacists team up to

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240 McLaws Circle, Williamsburg Ste.147 (Next to Starbucks)

provide remedies specific for our 4 legged family members unique for their species, weight, age, etc. Medication reviews are another way pharmacists can utilize their medication proficiency. Checking your drug profile can pinpoint numerous issues such as medication duplications, interactions, possible nutritional depletions, food-drug warnings, etc. These reviews can not only save money but also reveal hidden health complications on the horizon and can possibly save lives. Your pharmacist can also reach into their mortar and pestle history with aromatherapy, homeopathic remedies and over the counter recommendations to assist you in your daily well-being. The days of the soda fountain and Ellie the pharmacist on the “Andy Griffith Show” may be past but your pharmacist still possesses the expertise for better health.


Busch Gardens employee Matt Godwin pulls a large section of a 50-foot Christmas tree into place in front of the Festhaus in October. (Photo by Rob Ostermaier)

A Colonial Christmas runs Dec. 1 to 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Yorktown Victory Center, where interpretative programs explore holiday traditions in 18th-century Virginia. See more information at bit. ly/1TcylFH. Hampton Holly Days Parade — Operation North Pole, at 7:15 p.m. Dec. 10 in downtown Hampton, will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Langley Air Force Base. There will also be a new “North Pole” feature in Carousel Park. A Toyland Parade, from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 10 at River

Walk Landing, 331 Water St., Yorktown, is where you can come with a decorated stroller or wagon and join in the parade. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there to greet adults and children. Wreaths Across America ceremonies will take place Dec. 17 at Yorktown National Cemetery, 1000 Colonial Parkway, and Hampton National Cemetery, Cemetery Road at Marshall Avenue. Lay wreaths on veterans’ graves in a powerful remembrance of the fallen. For more information, visit wreathsacross

Senior Downsizing Williamsburg Estate Services will help you sell your no longer ther it’s a needed treasures! Whether whole house Estate Salee or just pieces that won’t fit in your p! new home, we can help!

EXTENDED CARE … WHAT’S YOUR STRATEGY? You may think you’ll never need extended care. But what would happen if you did—and didn’t have a plan to pay for it? Extended care may affect your family members: • Emotionally, as they juggle time between you and their families. • Physically, especially if they’re your caregivers. • Financially, by potentially depleting your savings and their inheritance. A strategy for your care could be the best gift you’ve ever given your family. Contact me today to learn more.


Ronald L Adolphi Ph.D., MBA, CLTC® Financial Associate 5248 Olde Towne Rd Ste 3 Williamsburg, VA 23188 757-903-2722 Insurance products issued or offered by Thrivent Financial, the marketing name for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Appleton, WI. Not all products are available in all states. Thrivent Financial representatives are licensed insurance agents/producers of Thrivent. For additional important information, visit This is a solicitation for insurance. A Thrivent Financial representative may contact you. Appleton, Wisconsin • Minneapolis, Minnesota • 800-847-4836 ICC15 28943 N1-16

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At Eagle, we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just build houses; we build homes that celebrate life by bringing people together and families closer to what matters. With convenient communities from Williamsburg to Virginia Beach, we believe that you should have the things that make your life easier and happier just a quick step away.

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how to

upgrade if you downsize

Ditching stuff to streamline your space shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be a drag

By Susan Smigielski Acker

page 2 2

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You’ve earned something you really like, not what works for the entire family. — Chris Chura, owner of Chura Custom Designs in Williamsburg


hen choosing to downsize to a smaller home, the next challenge is how to decorate for a smaller place. Jennifer Hopkins, interior design program head at Tidewater Community College in Chesapeake, said decorating can be difficult because this means eliminating some items. “The first step is to identify what is most meaningful. And that can be the tough part,” Hopkins said. “People identify their need to downsize because, usually, there are no longer children at home. There could be a lot of memories with many items.” What many people struggle with is a collection that they have cultivated throughout the years. To move and display such a collection in a smaller place would be difficult, so Hopkins suggests a few favorite pieces be selected to keep, while the remainder are given as gifts to family members and close friends. “Let someone else love it,” she said. To overcome the sadness of leaving a larger home, Interior Decorator Chris Chura, owner of Chura Custom Designs in Williamsburg, said to think of the move as a fresh start. Donate furniture that is in good shape but will not work in a smaller place. “I am not saying to purge everything. … But a big L-shaped sofa that worked in the family room may not work in another place. You might want to take that comfy chair and get a smaller sofa,” Chura said, adding that a tailored sofa is best for a smaller room.

LEFT: Chris Chura at her home in James City County with a window treatment by her business, Chura Custom Interiors, based in Williamsburg. ABOVE: June Riley’s home in James City County features window treatments that give the room a clean look. (Photos by Joe Fudge)

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home Again, the fresh step approach helps, she said. “You’ve earned something you really like, not what works for the entire family.” Many people find when they downsize, they entertain less, so Hopkins suggests shedding the large dining room for a smaller one. Tables that have easily stored leaves or drop leaves for when a large table is needed work best, Chura said. She also suggested that a piece have more than one purpose, such as an ottoman with a lid for storage inside. “You can sit on it, store and even put a tray on it to use as a table,” Chura said. Repurposing pieces is good way

Repurposing pieces is good way to use furniture when downsizing. to use furniture when downsizing. For instance, instead of having a side table next to a sofa, Chura said a small dresser can be used. “That way you can have drawers for storage,” she said. Chura recommended making sure there is plenty of room to move around. Both Chura and Hopkins said accommodations for overnight guests

can be done with a pull-out sofa bed or good quality air mattress. Displaying family pictures can be tough especially when there are many loved ones and memories to show off. Hopkins said it’s best to decide where frames go and change the photos periodically. Another option is a digital slideshow frame which displays a multitude of pictures. Window treatments in a smaller place should be sleek, not bulky, Chura said. “And they should allow in plenty of light, which gives the room a bigger look,” Chura added. “Having a bright look is a clean and more pleasant approach,” she said.

Chris Chura’s home in James City County includes window treatments that let in plenty of light. “Having a bright look is a clean and more pleasant approach,” she said. (Photo by Joe Fudge)

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Older Americans Desire to Control their Destiny in a place of their Choosing.


By Susan Smigielski Acker The American population aged 60 and older is growing at a fast rate and they want to choose among many options available to them to prolong their wellness and independence. Statistics show that every day 10,000 Americans turn 65 said Rick Jackson, executive director of ChooseHome and Riverside Center for Excellence on Aging, a Health Services research center and a provider of specialized services for older adults and their caregivers in Williamsburg. “Today 13 percent of Americans are 65 or older and by the year 2030 that number will double to more than 25%. In the Historic Triangle, which includes Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown, the population of adults 65 or older is already double the national average, he said. While Americans are aging, they are also planning where they want to spend their golden years. According to Jackson, 97 percent of Americans say they want to remain in their homes rather than go to facility-based care, Jackson added. “We want to stay in control of our own destiny,” said Jackson, who is in his 60s. Another twist from years ago is American (extended) families, especially in military retiree-laden Hampton Roads, live in different parts of the country in many cases. “A significant number of older adults live here in Hampton Roads but have adult children who reside in other parts of the country. They (adult children) come here at Thanksgiving or other Holidays and realize their

parents have aged and need some in home assistance or personal care and they are unable to provide that care or assure it occurs. Riverside launched the ChooseHome program in 2015 to give the aging population a choice on controlling their destiny remaining well and independent throughout their lifespan. Adults aged 60 and over can join Choose Home. Entrance fees and monthly fees vary based on age, health status and coverage desired. Length of coverage ranges from 3 year to 7 years and daily coverage for services range from $100.00 a day to $250.00 a day. In most cases, the amount paid is tax deductible, he said. A major component of ChooseHome is each participant is assigned a personal service coordinator who helps to “navigate the maze of long-term care. And believe me, it is a maze,” he said. In addition, a personal health assessment and home safety assessment is done when a person enrolls, and the assessments continue annually. “The risk of a fall is one aspect of a home safety assessment that is crucial to prolonging wellness and independence.” We look at throw rugs, grab bars in bathrooms and any item that would potentially contribute to a fall and fracture says Jackson. The home safety assessment allows the Personal Service Coordinator to make a series of recommendations. If any home alterations are needed

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requiring a contractor, the program has a prescreened list of contractors to perform the work, he said. Another strategy in assisting a member in maintaining independence is by facilitating transportation to and from medically necessary services like trips to the pharmacy or Physician’s office. “For most people, that is an essential component to staying at home and avoiding facility based long term care. Further services include meal preparation, companionship and housekeeping,” he said. Companionship is a major factor. “Isolation is destructive for older adults. It is important for them to remain engaged and have meaning and purpose in their lives. Our Personal Service Coordinators look at these issues and make appropriate recommendations. If it is later determined a person needs to move to a facility, even for a short time, they have priority admission to Patriots Colony and Williamsburg Landing in Williamsburg, Sanders Retirement Village in Gloucester and Warwick Forest in Newport News. All have campuses that can house different levels of care. The personal service coordinator assists with that placement, Jackson said. “At the core of all we do, we focus on the whole person concept, that being the mind, body and spirit. This is how we remain vital relevant and engaged as we age” says Jackson.

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floor? Do I have a step-free enhhh. The kids are out of the trance to the home? Will I have to house (you hope), you have make any modifications, and how a plan for tackling the mortgage much will those cost? More before you finally hang complicated issues could up your cleats, and it is include who would take smooth sailing. You’re care of me in my home? done, finished and no How would I pay for that more worries about a care? house, school districts and Having an idea of the yards big enough for kids. costs to modify your home Even if you never had kids and how much in-home and the house is paid off, Will Miller care will cost will be helpare you really done thinkful in making staying at ing about housing for the home as stress-free as possible. next 30 to 40 years? Costs are only one part of this One would think, right? In equation, since who will be providtoday’s world, the one constant ing it and who will be coordinating is change and, yes, your housit are just as critical. ing needs are going to change in More common than in prior the future, and it could be drastic generations is a desire to move into — especially if you’re not prepared retirement communities designed mentally and financially. Today’s pre-retirees and retirees around active living. These may face more choices than ever before include stand-alone homes as well as apartments, assisted livwhen it comes to housing options. ing and nursing facilities clustered Let’s look at a two of the more around dining and entertainment common options available. venues. These communities are Aging in place, simply known sometimes referred to as continuas staying at home, is the default ing care retirement communities. option. For today’s baby boomers, Since CCRCs often have everything this may still be a popular option. from independent living to nursing Depending on the house and its care, it can be an attractive option arrangement of bedrooms and for those without family nearby or bathrooms, this could be the most without family. Often one meal per cost-effective. Some easy considerations would day is included in a monthly fee, be: Do I have a bedroom, full bath, along with a wide variety of activities for all levels of mobility, which kitchen and laundry all on one

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can often be helpful in preventing social isolation and depression. The main drawback can be cost. There are financing options, from purchasing your own home to putting down large deposits that you don’t get back and paying monthly fees that can vary. Costs can also vary among different locations across the country. Prior planning is critical to determining if this is a viable option. If you are in your mid to late 50s, this is an excellent time to start exploring these options and costs. Even if you are past your 50s, working to get an idea of options and costs before you need them can reduce stress for you and your family. A good certified financial planner will be able to walk you through some options and provide resources to help you drill down into all the considerations you face, and help you determine whether your resources will support the choices you want and any steps to take toward your goals. Miller is a Financial Advisor with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/ SIPC located at 607 Lynnhaven Parkway, Suite 102, Virginia Beach, VA 23452. William G. Miller can be contacted at 757-463-6833 and/or will. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame logo) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

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