Here at the Ann Arbor Senior Center we welcome our members to engage with one another through their creative outlets. This month we are featuring an article by Hal Salazar.
What You Can Do with Your Home if You Choose Assisted Living
Sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to move into assisted living. It offers a sense of community, provides the everyday help we often require, and can be our next big adventure. However, that leaves us needing to decide just what we'll do with our Ann Arbor homes. To help you determine the best course of action, we've put together this list of suggestions.
Letting Family Care for Your Home
The first option is to see if your loved ones could care for your house. This can allow families to continue the emotional connection with the home they've spent many years in. Of course, there are other considerations, such as how the housing market is currently faring. If prospects look poor, you may want to hold off on selling and have a family member take care of it in the meantime. To give you some peace of mind, you could always create a master list of how to care for the home. This can let you rest easy knowing relatives will help you look after it well.
How to Cover the Costs of Keeping It
Our families may not be financially sound, and they may need help covering the costs of an extra home. After all, while property taxes vary by state, there are other factors, such as home insurance, HOA fees, and potential moving costs, that also come into play. However, if you've paid off the mortgage, then they could take one out for themselves to help fund any needed repairs or yearly fees. Otherwise, talk to them about the costs of running your home and see if they can comfortably afford to take care of it. After all, if you have lived there for a long time with many happy memories, this may be the best option for you and your family.
Consider Renting It Out
Another good way to hold on to the place near and dear to your heart is to consider renting your home out. This is especially beneficial if your family can't afford to maintain the property themselves, or if there is no one close to help out with routine maintenance. Still, renting requires some research, not only to understand current market trends, but to give yourself your best shot at turning a profit. However, that could mean that you have to invest some money into your house initially; for example, you'll want to spruce up the outside to make it more attractive, stage the interior, and possibly even add some upgrades and repairs. Quick and easy updates that are fairly affordable include swapping out cabinet hardware, updating a few light fixtures, or even opting for self-adhesive wallpaper to make a room feel more modern. Today's wallpapers aren't like in years past, and brands like Spoonflower offer customizable versions that are easy to apply and reposition.
Options for Maintenance and Management
If you do choose to rent out your home, you'll have to handle maintenance tasks and decide whether you should hire a property manager. Likely, you'll have a handyman on call whom you've already worked with, but you can use websites such as Thumbtack to find reliable professionals. Yet, hiring a property manager is specific to renting and may not be something you're familiar with. While an additional expense, they handle the brunt of the work for you, such as repairs or other tenant-related issues (whether it's a week-long or long-term rental). So, instead of being on-call at all hours of the day, you can focus on meeting new people and discovering the benefits of assisted living. Look for a property manager that offers round-the-clock support and doesn't charge large commissions.
Think About Selling
Sometimes, the smartest thing to do financially and emotionally is to sell your home. If you and your family aren't attached to the property, or if it would cost too much to maintain, this can be a good choice. Indeed, if you do need help to cover the costs of assisted living — especially since plans like Medicare and Medicare Advantage do not provide coverage for assisted living and long-term care — then selling can aid that. Yet, you must look up the latest home pricing trends in your town before you do to ensure you get the best deal possible. You will also need to take updates and repairs into consideration just as if you were going to rent out the property, though your real estate agent can walk you through what will get you the most ROI.
Deciding what to do with your home is an important decision, one that needs the right preparation. Talk to your loved ones, and set aside some time to determine what choice is ideal for you. After all, you want to start this new chapter of your life on the right foot.
Image courtesy of Rawpixel
CTN's monthly series, Senior Moments, provides valuable information for senior citizens on such issues as health, wealth, finance and entertainment by covering events and activities at senior centers in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. Click the ad to watch the series and catch it on Comcast CTN Channel 16, on the last Sunday of the month at 5pm. Reruns Sundays @ 5pm, Mondays @ 8am, Tuesdays @ 7:30 am, Wednesdays at 11 am, Fridays at 5pm. To access the series online visit https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLw6eY79a9rp-HD0DxEDyiTh3kSS5ffKXL.
Senior Center Membership
Individual and Family Membership
Ann Arbor Senior Center Membership Advantage: Please consider joining the center to start receiving discounts on classes and senior center rentals! A year long membership is only $25, and a family annual membership is $35. Consider the facts: Most ACBL players come two times a week and play - that's nearly 100 games a year. Your membership would cost you just $25 a year , saving you $75. Most Scrabble and Mahjong players play 50 times a year, and with a Senior Center membership, you will save $75 a year!
Arts & Humanities (Not Currently Offered)
NEW! Burns Park Women's Circle
Every Tuesday, 6-7 p.m., nonmembers: $2, members Free.
Start the new year by joining a group of local women that gather to discuss weekly topics, life experiences, provide support and education to one another, and discover new connections and friendship.
A2 Community Sing with Dawn
First Tuesday of the month, 7-8:30 p.m., drop-in fee: $5.
Just like singing around a campfire, you'll find yourself remembering that old ballad, an Irish tune, or childhood family song in no time. Our Community Sings are sure to stir up some fond memories and build a new family friendly tradition to be treasured for years to come. If you love to sing, haven't sung in years or are just yearning for some fun intergenerational community time, our Community Sing is sure to please. We use both the
Rise Up Singing Song Book and the
Rise Again Song Books. Song leaders typically start out each sing and all participants get an opportunity to pick a song in the circle. All voices welcomed. Community Sings are held in Burns Park in the Gallery Room at the Ann Arbor Senior Center.
Blue Grass Jam
Second and fourth Tuesdays, 7-9 p.m.,
drop-in fee: $5.
The A2 Blue Grass participants, from expert to novice, come from all over southeast Michigan to have fun withbluegrass jamming and singing. We draw a wide variety of musical Instruments including banjos, fiddles, standup and electronic bass, percussion, washboard, dobro, mandolin and the occasional harmonica. All ages are welcome. Visit the
for more information.
NEW! Bag Lunch Bible Study
Every Wednesday, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m., nonmembers: $2, members Free.
Come fill your life with joy and happiness during the weekly Bag Lunch Bible Study, where you can study the Bible and create a life changing experience with long lasting friendships. Remember to bring a snack or bag lunch to enjoy!
NEW! Movie Matinee
Every Wednesday, 1-3:30 p.m., nonmembers: $2, members Free.
Come join us every Wednesday afternoon to enjoy a great movie! Includes free popcorn!
March Movies: A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, The Last of the Mohicans, The Greatest Showman
Watercolor Skills Course
Thursdays, 9:30-11:30 a.m., free.
Winter Session: Jan. 16-March 18.
Summer Session: May 7-July 9
Join this mindful community of painters for artistic inspiration, painting demos, a bit of art history, lively discussion and fun. All skill levels welcome. This class is offered in partnership with Washtenaw Community College for individuals 65 and older.
Bridge Games & Instruction
ACBL Bridge Barometer Game (Not Currently Offered)
Per Game Fee: $10 member; $12 nonmember
Want to improve your bridge game? Know someone who would like to get back into bridge? This is the perfect opportunity. Join fellow bridge players for a fun morning of educational bridge play with Bridge Director and Emerald Life Master, Debra Eaves. The Barometer game is designed with learning in mind and consists of 12 boards to play. All tables play the same board at the same time. Upon completion of each hand, the cards are placed face up on the table (double dummy style) with a brief (5 minute) lesson/discussion. The game awards ACBL masterpoints (60% of full game awards). No partner necessary; we will find you one! Register for 1, 2, or all 9 games.
ACBL Bridge Games (Not Currently Offered)
Wednesdays and Thursdays, Noon-3:30 p.m., drop-in fee: $8 member; $9 nonmember.
ACBL open sanctioned games are played in the Gallery Room on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Pre-dealt hands from "dealer 4" offer players immediate hand records and player analysis printouts. The sanctioned bridge game has players of all levels of expertise from beginner to expert. Your directors encourage you to come with a partner. Looking for a partner? Arrive at the center and let the director know by 11:30 a.m., and they will offer you a guarantee to play. Wednesday Director Debra Eaves (March-December); Wednesday (January and February) and Thursday Director Stacey Tessler.
Duplicate Non-sanctioned Bridge (Not Currently Offered)
Monday, 12:30-3:30 p.m., drop-in fee: $2 member; $3 nonmember
Non-sanctioned Duplicate Bridge, directed by Ray Gentz, attracts players of all ages with varied levels of expertise including life masters to beginners.
Novice Bridge Game (0-199 Masterpoint Limit) (Not Currently Offered)
Select Saturdays, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Per Game Fee: $10 member; $12 nonmember
Game Dates: April 4, May 2, June 6, 2020
There's a NEW game in town for Novice Bridge Players!
Join fellow novice bridge players for a fun morning of educational bridge play with Bridge Director Stacey Tessler. Play duplicate bridge with others at your level. Hand records and electronic scoring are provided. You can even earn ACBL masterpoints. A short lecture at 9 a.m. precedes the 9:30 a.m. game. No partner necessary; we will find you one!
Contact Stacey at 734.255.1269 for more information.
Part III: Mondays, June 28 - August 30, 10:00-11:30 a.m.; fee: $110 member; $132 nonmember
This class is designed for beginners and low intermediate players who wish to improve their defensive play. We will study chapters 7-9 in the text which may be purchased online or ordered from your local bookstore if you didn't take Part I or II. Students may register in advance and pre-pay for all 10 weeks or pay on opening day. If you want to do drop-in, please call the Senior Center office at 794-6250 after 9AM on the day of the class to reserve a spot. It is highly recommended that students have some type of previous bidding class or experience. For more details, contact the instructor at [email protected] or call the Senior Center office.
Prerequisites: Bridge I or equivalent or prior experience
Bridge II Play of the Hand
Part II: Tuesdays, June 22 - August 31 , noon - 1:30 p.m.; fee: $110 member; $132 nonmember
This class is designed for advanced beginner and low intermediate players who wish to improve declarer skills and will cover chapters 7-9 of the text. The main part of the course deals with play of the hand as declarer. Other parts include bidding reviews, defense, and more. The text may be purchased online or ordered from your local bookstore. Students may register in advance and pre-pay for all 11 weeks or may reserve a spot if doing drop-in. To reserve a spot, call the office at the number given below after 9AM the day of the class. For more details, contact the instructor at [email protected] or the Senior Center office at 794-6250.
Pre-requisites: Bridge I or instructor permission
Bridge for Beginners
Part III: Tuesdays, June 22 - August 31, 2 - 3:30 p.m.; fee: $110 member; $132 nonmember.
This class will cover chapters 6-9 of the text “Bidding in the 21st Century” by Audrey Grant. The class is mainly for anyone who has taken Bridge I through Ann Arbor Community Rec + Ed or Bridge For Beginners at Burns Park. This is a great review class for others who may want a good review of overcalls, takeout doubles and Stay man. Make sure to have the text before June 22nd. Students may pay before class or on the first day or if you wish to do drop-in, please call the Senior Center to reserve a spot after 9AM on the day of the class at 794-6250. If you have questions, call the Center or email the
instructor at [email protected].
Prerequisite: Bridge For Beginners Part I or instructor permission
Supervised Bridge Play (Not Currently Offered)
Be on the lookout for upcoming dates this spring.
fee: $10 member; $12 nonmember.
Enjoy the flexibility of attending Supervised Bridge Play in the morning, the afternoon, or mix it up and come when your schedule permits. There will be a Monday a.m. option and a Tuesday p.m. option. Supervised Bridge Play is designed for beginners and low intermediate players who wish to improve their bidding, declarer, and defensive play. The program will run with students playing 7-9 hands per session. Hands will be analyzed after completion to review the bidding, play, and defense. No book or partner needed. It is highly recommended that students have some type of previous bidding class or experience. Please note that this is not a duplicate game; just practice. For more details, contact the instructor Ray Gentz at 734.769.3994 or the Senior Center office at 734.794.6250.
Social Games (Not Currently Offered)
Chinese Mahjong on Mondays, noon-3 p.m., drop-in fee: free member; $2 nonmember.
Test your skills and strategy tactics with an ancient tile-based game of Chinese origin, while engaging in bit of friendly competition. Similar to rummy and poker, this four-player game can be played by all ages and skill levels.
Tuesdays, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Drop-in: free member; $2 nonmember.
Easy to learn and fun to play, this game is for people who like friendly competition and riveting conversation. All experience levels are welcome.
Mondays, 6-8 p.m., Drop-in: free member; $2 nonmember.
Playing Euchre is a fun social experience where you can meet new people. Bring a partner or just show up and we'll match you up with somebody when you get here.
Board Game Fun
Not currently offered, Drop-in: free member; $2 nonmember.
Playing board games is a fun social experience. Come out for an afternoon of mystery and detective work; slide, collide, but don’t be Sorry; or grab your train ticket for a cross country adventure. Beginning September 5, come meet new people and play a variety of board games at the Ann Arbor Senior Center. Games available: Clue, Sorry, Ticket to Ride, Tripoley, Rummikub, and more!
Fitness (Not Currently Offered)
Mondays, Jan. 6-March 9, 6:00-7:00 p.m., $80 for 10 weeks/Drop-in $12 nonmember, $10 member.
Mondays, March 16-May 18, 6:00-7:00 p.m., $80 for 10 weeks/Drop-in $12 nonmember, $10 member
All fitness levels and abilities of those 15 years and older, are welcome to unite, dance, and be yourself during this fun group dance experience that nurtures the mind, body, and soul. GROOVE® is a simple, fun, and creative dance workout. Just simple moves and rhythms done YOUR own way! The dance floor has evolved, so come join the movement. No dance experience required. Check out Young at Heart for a sneak peek of what this class has to offer.
Register with a buddy and you both will save 20%! Call 734.794.6250 to register.
Benefits of Dance
- Reduces stress and depression
- Increases energy and serotonin
- Improves flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance
- Strengthens bones and boosts cardiovascular health
- Increases mental capacity by exercising our cognitive processes
- Dynamic and rapid fire decision making creates new neural paths
Chair Yoga through Ann Arbor Rec & Ed
Chair yoga provides a gentle stretch for your body and brings a sense of clarity to the mind. This class is offered by Rec & Ed at the Ann Arbor Senior Center on Fridays 9:30-10:30 a.m.. Visit Rec & ED to register for the class.
The following classes are in partnership with Washtenaw Community College for adults 65 and older. Please call to register, 734.794.6250.
Fitness for Seniors
Tuesdays, 1-2 p.m., free.
Winter Session: Jan. 14-March 17.
Summer Session: May 5-July 7.
Join Mark Harris in this 10-week free class for adults 65 and older offered in partnership with Washtenaw Community College. Improve fitness, strength, conditioning, flexibility, balance and cognitive skills while having fun. Call to preregister, 734.794.6250.
Wednesdays, 9-10:30 a.m., free.
Winter Session: Jan. 15-March 18.
Spring Session: May 6-July 8
Join this free class in partnership with Washtenaw Community College for seniors 65 and older. Instruction combines martial arts movements with Qi (energy) circulation, breathing and stretching techniques to improve balance and overall health. Instructed by Karla Groesbeck. Call to preregister, 734.794.6250.
Wellness and Enrichment (Not Currently Offered)
Life Line Screenings
Future date to be announced soon.
Life Line Screening will again host health screenings at the Ann Arbor Senior Center. For more information or to register, visit
Easy Indoor Plant Care and Propagation Workshop
Not currently offered; dates TBD for 2020
Join this hands-on class led by Michigan State University Extension Master Gardener trainee Corry Buckwalter, to learn about the health benefits of growing indoor plants, how to care for them and propagate your own new plant to take home. Whether you already have a green thumb and keep plants thriving for decades or are just curious about the magical world of indoor plants, this class is for you. Plant care topics will include proper soil media, containers, watering and light requirements, as well as common indoor plant problems and how to address them. Instructor will discuss eight methods to conduct vegetative propagation. Come prepared to get your hands in the dirt and have fun! Sample potted plants will be available to study. Free. Ten participant limit for adults 55+. Registration required. Call 734.794.6250 to reserve a spot.
A Matter of Balance
Not currently offered, free, registration with AAA1B required
A Matter of Balance is an award-winning evidence-based program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults who have concerns about falls. Throughout the eight weeks, you will learn to:
- View falls as controllable
- Set goals for increasing activity
- Make changes to reduce risks at home
- Exercise to increase strength and balance.
Call (833) 262-2200 or email
[email protected] for information or to register.
The Senior Center also hosts a variety of educational workshops that provide its members with ample information and support. A recent topic of discussion, outlined by Sharon Wagner, describes ways that individuals can find support for obtaining Medicare. See here: Breaking Down the ABCs of Medicare to Find Your Best Option.pdf
Article of Interest: "Seniors Face Unique Challenges, But They Don't Have To Go It Alone" Kent Elliot is a retired architect with a passion for dogs, DIY, and universal design. After a stroke left him with mobility issues, he thought he would need to move out of his home and into an assisted living community. But, using his experience as an architect and with a little creativity, he was able to successfully remodel his family home instead. The relief he felt has inspired him to help others do the same. He created At Home Aging to share what he’s learned and is currently working on a book, Aging in Place One Project at a Time: DIY Home Modifications That Don’t Require a Professional.
Seniors Face Unique Challenges, But They Don’t Have to Go It Alone.pdf