Retirement care conundrum
This is written in response to your column on May 21 in The Aspen Times, “Assisted living takes a flying leap.”
You are correct that Whitcomb Terrace, our existing living facility, has a big problem; those needing more than minimal care must find it elsewhere. It also has another big problem ” it has only 15 beds, and past efforts to expand it have been unsuccessful.
Over a year ago a group of concerned citizens decided to look into this situation. They commissioned a community survey to test the need for a continuum-of-care retirement community in Aspen. The results were very positive, and it was decided to further study the feasibility of such a facility and the size to meet Aspen’s need. After numerous contacts, New Life was selected to perform the study, which is being funded by the hospital, Aspen Valley Medical Foundation, the city of Aspen and Pitkin County.
New Life Management and Development does not own continuum-of-care retirement facilities (CCRCs) but plans and has developed them throughout the US for 20 years. They are currently evaluating the survey mailed to 60-plus-year-olds in the Aspen area and the focus groups held in early April (one of which you apparently attended).
Many of us have personal knowledge of CCRCs through relatives that live in them. That’s the case for me. I strongly believe that Aspenites should have this option, if at all possible. If they wish to go the route of home nursing care that’s fine. From what I have learned, a CCRC in Aspen would not likely be a private enclave but a community very much a part of and connected to Aspen.
I’m sure this letter does not answer all your concerns voiced in your recent column. I would really like to sit down with you and discuss this in more depth.