Frequently Asked Questions About Our Affordable Senior Living Communities

Frequently Asked Questions.

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Questions about the Opus concept:

As we looked for a name for this new concept, Opus was the idea that seemed to represent our work in two important ways. First, we believe in older adults — that the best of life can still lie ahead — that drawing on everything they have experienced can culminate in a masterwork — their life’s Opus. Second, in addition to each individual’s “Opus,” the term applies to the community as a whole. An Opus is a musical masterpiece that draws on every instrument in the orchestra. A violin by itself can be beautiful. A bassoon solo can be exquisite. But when you combine all the diverse and different sounds from all the instruments, it is the combination of each unique sound coming together that creates an Opus — a masterwork. The people in our communities, each an individual, all joining together, will create our Magnum Opus.

To live in community means sharing your life, memories and experiences with new friends. It also means contributing to life at the place you call home through any portion of time you give to the community. The 2Life ethos is based on the principle of sharing — that everyone works together to make life better for those who live here, so everyone shares their time and talents.

Every Opus resident will make a commitment to volunteer at least 10 hours each month to help the community and their neighbors. We know this generation of older adults is looking for purpose — to continue contributing. And, as well, this is one way Opus can be more affordable, by activating our most valuable resource — the people who live here — to make the community thrive. Volunteer opportunities are many: teaching classes, supporting events, being a host or hostess in the cafe, organizing a program, helping a fellow resident. The hope is that residents will tap into a volunteer role that reflects a longtime passion or allows them to learn something new that they enjoy.

2Life has built a tapestry of wellness partners we rely on to provide specialized care to community members. Their role will extend beyond just senior health care to include a full picture of physical, mental and spiritual wellness. Also, 2Life will provide care coordination when necessary for members of this new model of community in need of memory care. Rather than offering a day program, this approach lets those in need maintain a level of independence and autonomy, with assistance available as needed.

Financial Questions:

Moderate wealth describes a large group of people. Middle-class Americans who have retirement savings, equity in their home or personal savings but fall in between the cracks — too much income to qualify for subsidized housing — but not enough to afford the high-end models in the marketplace.

Generally, residents need to be at least 62 years of age. In the case of a couple, at least one member must meet the age requirement.

No. There is no ownership or equity involved, and you won’t be responsible for fixing up and selling your apartment when you leave. You will have a life-lease for your apartment. The Community Share will be partially refundable to you or your estate when you leave Opus. And, while you are living at Opus, should you not have the funds to afford home care you need as you get older, the refundable component of the Community Share can be drawn down to pay for your care.

It will be some time before we can answer that question precisely. We can share that there will be a partially refundable Community Share — an upfront amount typically paid from the sale of a home — and there will be very reasonable monthly fees. As we get closer to defining the project and fully understanding construction costs, we will be able to begin sharing price ranges, and then — even further down the road — exact pricing. Opus pricing is structured to be within reach for those older adults who aren’t comfortable, either financially or personally, with current market options. As a not-for-profit community, we are motivated to prioritize affordability over profit for owners or investors.

Opus is a completely different model. In most Life Plan Communities, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing are located on the campus so that residents can move to these facilities if they need care. At Opus, we will support residents in accessing quality medical care and bringing care into their apartments through partnerships with home care providers. Another difference is that many Life Plan Communities have high staffing levels to provide a very high level of service to residents. Opus is focused on residents staying as independent as possible and forming a true community where everyone helps to make things tick, thereby keeping staffing costs a bit lower. We will have a great professional staff to support Opus residents, but not to cater to them like a resort or hotel would. Finally, the biggest difference is in the hearts and minds of residents — Opus residents will need to be givers, seekers. People looking for meaning in their lives and opportunities to continue to contribute and grow. This is the type of community we believe can be successful on so many different levels, not just affordability.

2Life has developed high-quality affordable housing for over 50 years, and we believe that — done properly — affordable housing provides low-income individuals with an amazing way of life. For us, the heartbreak over these many years has been having to turn people away from our communities because their incomes were too high — sometimes by only a few dollars — to qualify for affordable housing. Opus allows us to serve these families, and it is different than our affordable housing portfolio in a number of ways. First, residents will pay privately to live in the community. Our goal is to make this private-pay option affordable to a wider group of older adults through all that we have learned in our work, and through creativity and innovation. Because each resident is paying privately, we have devised smart ways to make Opus more affordable, leveraging the residents’ home equity and incorporating volunteerism. Opus will also have a broader range of apartment styles and sizes to accommodate its target market.

Questions about the Sponsor:

Absolutely not. 2Life is building more affordable housing at a rapid pace — as frequently as public funds allow — with exciting new projects coming to life on multiple sites. Opus allows us to bring our skills and our dedication to a new category of affordability — that “forgotten middle” who have earnings and own homes, but don’t have high wealth. Our goal is to expand affordability to all those who are failed by the market.

Opus — like all 2Life Communities — will be open to people of all faiths and will be a welcoming, inclusive community that embraces diversity. 2Life is a Jewish organization that brings Jewish beliefs and traditions to our work — a commitment to honoring our fathers and mothers, and a belief that it is our responsibility to be part of tikkun olam or healing the world. Our communities evidence our values through profound respect for every individual and the desire to do what is right and bring good to the world.

COVID-19 questions:

We care passionately about all 2Life residents and staff and are taking strong action to protect our community from the spread of COVID-19. We added significant supports and services for residents throughout the shelter-at-home period so that residents have had the ability to remain in their apartments. These include services such as delivery of meals free of charge, access to basic pantry items on-site, laundry service, monitoring building access, and frequent disinfecting/cleaning. We have focused on increasing outside air exchange, and are continuing to enhance our infrastructure, including adding ionizing HVAC equipment to our communities. We are working to implement COVID-19 testing programs as well.

We are committed to full transparency and regularly update our website to communicate the number of virus cases in our buildings. Currently, the number of cases in our communities has been less than 1% of residents and staff. To help families and care partners support our efforts to keep 2Life Communities as safe as possible, we have provided links to our downloadable policies and protocols and have shared them with other senior housing organizations.

Remaining connected to others also supports wellness, and we have taken multiple steps to ensure this. We supported our resident-facing staff with equipment to call residents frequently to check in and connect. We created video classes and have started an internal television station to connect self-isolating residents to programming. And we launched an initiative to provide Chromebooks to residents who don’t have computer connectivity. We also retained additional staff to make sure every resident has what they need to stay safe.

We are partnering with a prominent national senior living architect, Perkins Eastman, to design the community, and they are working very closely with our engineering team to stay on top of the latest industry guidance and innovative technologies from HVAC systems to antimicrobial surfaces. It is a unique opportunity to build one of the first COVID-19-responsive senior communities in our area.

I’m interested questions:

Yes! By letting us know that you may be interested in future Opus Communities developed by 2Life, you will receive invitations to our ongoing Think-Ins series and reminders to check back for more helpful resources as they become available on this website, and you’ll generally get to know 2Life Communities and all they have to offer.

A number of milestones need to be accomplished before we can open our doors to residents. First, we need to complete the permitting and zoning process. Then, we will begin our Priority Reservation Program, at the same time we are completing our design and construction estimating process. Once we have firmer details about pricing and floor plans, we will begin taking presale deposits. When 70% of the apartments are reserved, we can obtain financing and begin construction. Once construction starts, we anticipate it being about a 22-month build time. So it’s important that those who want to be residents think ahead and reserve a place at Opus for the future. That way, they can be part of the excitement and part of the community as we bring this dream to reality.

Join our Early Interest List! Provide us with your email, address and phone number so we can keep in touch with you about Opus and invite you to the educational and informational events we are planning as we move forward. You can do this by calling our marketing team at 617-912-8480 or by visiting our website at 2lifetogether.org.

Events.

Join us and learn about living in community.

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