Demand, Wait Lists Increase At Senior Living Communities
Due to high occupancy, increased demand and lack of inventory, many senior living facilities on Oahu are now placing applicants on lists with waiting times that average from three to five years.
Consequently, seniors planning eventually to move to a senior living community are advised to begin their research early and explore the options offered by the various facilities.
“Each senior living community is unique,” said Certified Senior Advisor Shari Motooka-Higa of Primary Properties. “Support care services and amenities vary from one community to the next. For instance, some communities provide higher levels of care, such as skilled nursing and physical therapy, while others provide limited support services. Some communities accept Medicare and Medicaid, while others are strictly private pay.
“Anyone considering moving to a retirement community should place their name on a wait list as soon as they decide on the one that best fits their needs, budget and lifestyle. If you want the opportunity to be called for available apartments, it is recommended that you provide the community with more than one choice of options. Joining a community wait list will minimize your stress, allowing time to plan ahead and make informed decisions. Also, getting your name on the wait list gives you the opportunity to reserve an apartment or room without making a firm commitment.”
When is the best time to move to a senior living community? Don’t wait too long, Motooka-Higa advised. “Plan and prepare early to ensure that you remain in control and are able to make the best possible choice in terms of your needs, budget and desires.”
Kay Mukaigawa, president and Principal Broker of Primary Properties, adds that it is also important to be informed about how wait lists are managed, since the process varies from one senior living community to the next. “Some communities have internal and external wait lists,” she said. “An internal wait list is for residents who currently reside in the community. If your wish is to move into a certain community and your first choice of unit type is not available, you may need to accept your second or third choice to get your foot in the door. Typically, residents have priority over non-residents for choice of units. So while getting on a wait list may not guarantee your position in the facility, it can still be a useful tool in planning and preparing your move.”
Primary Properties presents free Senior Lifestyle Seminars at Pagoda Floating Restaurant monthly on Saturday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The next seminar will be held Saturday, Aug. 27. For reservations, which are required, call 725-2000. For more information on Primary Properties, go to primaryhawaii.com.