Your Milwaukee Guide to the Golden Years

Make the most of retirement with this guide to living communities, along with tips for how to protect your money, preserve your health and plan ahead.

Photo by Getty Images

Finding a Supportive Home

Eastcastle Place 

2505 E. BRADFORD AVE. 

When Susan Lamm’s mother fell and broke her hip, she needed to find a place for rehabilitation. Lamm chose the Health and Rehabilitation Center at Eastcastle Place senior living community on Milwaukee’s East Side. The experience was so positive – both the quality of service and the kindness of the staff – that Lamm decided to transition her mother to memory care at Eastcastle when her rehabilitation was completed. 

“We knew she needed memory support,” Lamm says. “We thought that it might be cost-prohibitive at Eastcastle Place, but instead, found that it was very competitive. And the staff is so kind and accommodating.” 

Lamm appreciates that the staff took the time to get to know and understand her mother and her unique needs.

“There was definitely a silver lining to the black cloud of my mom breaking her hip, and that is that it led us to Eastcastle Place,” she says. “I am confident that my mom is in the best possible place for care, comfort and engagement.”

Golden Path 

7577 N. TEUTONIA AVE.

“Golden Path is a family,” says Nicosia King, the founder and CEO. “We strive to support our members.” 

With Golden Path home care, members receive care from a well-trained Golden Path employee to assist them in the comfort of their own home with things such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation and more. 

Colleen Koderca, a Golden Path nurse who provides nursing assessments, training and consulting, received one of Milwaukee Magazine’s Excellence in Nursing Awards last year. A panel of Wisconsin Nurses Association professionals deemed her dedication to her patients extraordinary. 

Golden Path also offers an assisted living facility, which provides 24-hour supervision and assistance, as well as community activities, transportation to appointments, medication management and other care services. 

One of Golden Path’s clients recently moved out of state, and before leaving called King to thank her for the help she and her staff provided over the years. 

“I love Golden Path,” she says. “They have been there for me every time I needed them.”

St. Camillus 

10101 W. WISCONSIN AVE. 

St. Camillus Life Plan Community is growing with the East Residence independent living expansion. Scheduled to open in April of 2022, the East Residence will feature 168 additional apartments Julie Leveritt, St. Camillus’ independent living administrator, emphasizes the benefits of a life plan community, which “offers security for the future.” St. Camillus’ home health services can assist people with higher needs in independent living, allowing them to remain in independent living longer, if desired. 

St. Camillus’ unique “Revitalize Wellness” program is also a draw for residents with its variety of social programming and wellness activities. Some popular programs include literature circles, Nordic walking groups and culinary workshops and experiences.

Throughout the pandemic, St. Camillus has strived to keep its community safe, and in February, vaccinated its independent living residents. 

“I thank God every day that I am able to live in such a wonderful community,” a resident says. “The creativity during this pandemic by the employees has been outstanding.”

St. John’s On The Lake 

1840 N. PROSPECT AVE. 

With the completion of its north tower, St. John’s on the Lake is adding 27,000 square feet to their lower East Side community. 

“There’s a card room, a room for table tennis and shooting pool, a dance studio and even a labyrinth for meditation overlooking Lake Michigan,” says Lucia Klebar, the director of sales. The three towers are both easily accessible to all residents and each has unique amenities, such as Taylor’s, a fine dining restaurant in the central tower, the warm water pool and fitness center in the south tower, and the full-service salon and spa in the north tower. 

With COVID-19 vaccinations already administered to independent living residents, things at Saint John’s are safely getting back to normal with new events and social opportunities on the calendar.

“We’re all feeling excited and hopeful about all the new beginnings this year,” says Klebar.


Photo by Getty Images

 

Securing Your Future

Moving into a retirement community or assisted living home isn’t as easy as packing up, driving over and settling in. There are contracts to sign, Medicaid bureaucracy to wade through, confusing jargon to parse out, and many more hurdles that can complicate the process. 

“People may be given the wrong information by an admissions person at a facility,” says Carol Wessels, an attorney who practices elder law with Wessels & Liebau. “For example, they might be told they need to sell their house in order to qualify for Medicaid. That’s absolutely not true. Before taking action based on what somebody who isn’t a lawyer tells you, you really should start out with the right information.”

As a firm whose primary area of practice is elder law, Wessels & Liebau consult with seniors and their family members trying to navigate these difficult legal waters. Along with figuring out exactly how to qualify for Medicaid assistance, Wessels also walks through the complicated ins-and-outs of the contract residents sign with retirement facilities.

“You have to be careful and know what questions to ask,” Wessels says. “Is their staff specially trained? Are there more people on staff than just the minimum required for licensing? We get how stressful it is to choose care for yourself or a loved one, and we want to make it easier.”


Protecting Your Money

Every year, American seniors lose up to an estimated $36.5 billion to elder financial abuse, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 
“We have a policy in place to identify and deal with senior clients that we feel may have a diminished capacity or that may be a victim of financial abuse,” says Bryan Sadoff of Sadoff Investment Management.

As an independent fiduciary financial advisor, Sadoff is obligated to look out for its clients’ interest, and there are several ways the firm helps protect client assets. Sadoff says one of the ways is by obtaining a trusted contact. If the firm cannot reach the client or Sadoff feels the client’s behavior is not normal, the firm may reach out to the trusted contact to help sort things out. If the situation is serious enough, the firm can alert Wisconsin’s adult protective service agency or the authorities.

There is more to the firm’s work with clients than protecting their assets. Sadoff helps clients establish financial continuity with their spouse and their children. He, and other advisors at Sadoff, help to set investment objectives, discuss appropriate withdrawal rates, manage taxes and more. This investment management allows seniors to enjoy peace of mind – and can help avoid a costly mistake.


Planning Ahead

When it comes to funerals, some advance planning on your part can save your loved ones much grief and frustration. It also will ensure that the day unfolds in keeping with your wishes.

“Often, we see relatives saying, ’I don’t know what they wanted,’” says Mark Krause of Krause Funeral Homes. “Planning ahead eliminates that uncertainty. It eliminates the pressure and stress and helps avoid emotionally charged disagreement.”

One of the things to consider when pre-planning a funeral is where you’d like it to be held. At the funeral home itself? At a church? Or perhaps an outdoor ceremony? You can also specify the type of service, whether secular or religious, including which prayers, songs or readings you want included. Other decisions include the type of flowers, the casket and the clothing. And if you choose to, you can even pay ahead of time.

“You can plan as quickly or as slowly as you’re comfortable with,” Krause says. “First, talk it over with the people closest to you. Then you can come in – most people do it over two or three visits – and gather all the information you need and set it all down in writing with us. Planning ahead is a gift to your loved ones.”


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s April issue.

Find it on newsstands or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop

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A shadow and an enigma