By Sarah Smith

Choosing how you want to spend the rest of your life is a huge decision, and one that is rarely made easily. Contemplating the best plan for your future requires research, thought and proper preparation, and it also requires you to put your health and wellbeing first.

According to a study by AARP, 90% of seniors prefer to age in their homes, rather than in a senior living community. While this is not a possibility for all seniors, it is possible for many, particularly seniors who are healthy and can live independently. Aging in place gives seniors the chance to remain in their homes, while also granting them full control over their options, decisions and livelihood.

Most importantly, seniors want to predict their future health care costs, which is one of the most desired factors for seniors planning their futures. That’s where a program like Senior Choice at Home, the only one of its kind in Southwest Florida, comes in handy, as it provides healthy, independent seniors with a set cost for their care plan from the very start. Upon joining the program, members know exactly what they will pay for a lifetime of long-term care. Senior Choice at Home makes it possible for seniors to stay in their homes, while having access to the full continuum of care whenever they need it. Life plan at-home programs are a great resource for seniors who want the assurance of knowing that they’ll be able to access care whenever they need it worry-free, while also being able to live life to the fullest, travel and continue doing what they love, all from the comfort of their homes.

Comfort is key

David Tuttle always knew that he wanted to stay in his home as he aged.

Last year, Tuttle and a friend attended a Senior Choice at Home Dine and Discover event, where they learned about the program. Tuttle, who was considering independent living, instantly saw the appeal of the program, especially since he did not want to leave his home. He saw the value of having this plan in place, should his health needs change in the future.

Prior to joining Senior Choice at Home, Tuttle’s health advocate was his son who lives 900 miles away. Now, Tuttle has a personal care coordinator through the program who serves as his advocate for all health situations. Not only did joining Senior Choice at Home provide Tuttle with the reassurance that his care is covered for the rest of his life, but it also brought relief to his children, who live in Virginia and West Virgina.

“I called my son to tell him that I’d joined the program and to give him my care coordinator’s phone number, and the first words of out his mouth were ‘thank you, dad,’” says Tuttle. “Now, he has boots on the ground here in case something happens, which he can’t manage from 900 miles away.”

Tuttle’s care coordinator plays a significant role in his life now, including going to appointments with him, learning the ins and outs of his medical history, and keeping his family updated. Throughout his aging journey, Tuttle’s care coordinator is by his side.

A reliable resource

When Tuttle learned that Gulf Coast Village, the partnering life plan community of Senior Choice at Home, was available to Senior Choice at Home members as a hurricane shelter during major storms, he felt even more sure of his decision to become a member. Since Tuttle lives on a canal and had water enter his home during Hurricane Ian, knowing that there was a safe place for him to go during a storm was reassuring.

“I was in Europe for the last two hurricanes, but I can’t count on being in Europe every time there’s a hurricane,” says Tuttle. “If I need to evacuate, I can go to Gulf Coast Village, and that is a big factor in my membership.”

Senior Choice at Home members who choose to shelter at Gulf Coast Village are protected through Gulf Coast Village’s Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP), which begins preparations well before hurricane season. A safe, nearby evacuation site is crucial for Southwest Floridians, and Senior Choice at Home give seniors an easy and comforting solution.

Peace of mind

A Senior Choice at Home membership was a natural grab for Tuttle. He wanted the assurance that in the future, he’d be taken care of, worry-free, if health issues were to arise. Senior Choice at Home brings all the benefits of a senior living community to you, from access to 24/7 care to a guaranteed room at either Gulf Coast Village in Cape Coral or The Preserve in Fort Myers if your health needs change and lead you to requiring more attentive care. Even if you are traveling through the United States, Senior Choice at Home has got you covered.

As you age, peace of mind is one of the most valuable resources you can have. To learn more about Senior Choice at Home, call 239-788-0694.

About the author

Sarah Smith is the director for home health clinical services for Senior Choice at Home, a life plan at-home program for healthy, independent seniors in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties.