28 February 2009

STDs and oldsters

Woman infected with herpes wins $7M in Calif. suit

By LORINDA TOLEDO Associated Press Writer

Feb 26th, 2009 | LOS ANGELES -- A jury awarded nearly $7 million to a 56-year-old woman who said she was unknowingly infected with herpes by the 77-year-old founder of a hair-care company.

The lawsuit alleged that Thomas Redmond knew he had genital herpes for more than 25 years but did not disclose it before his sexual relationship began with Patricia Behr, and did not use a condom.

The Riverside County jury awarded Behr $4 million in compensatory damages and $2.75 million in punitive damages. She was also awarded a 2004 BMW car that Redmond had originally given her as a gift.

Redmond, of Las Vegas, is the founder of Redmond Products Inc., which was the maker of the Aussie line of hair-care products. The company was sold in 1997 to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and became part of Clairol, which was sold to Procter & Gamble Co. in 2001.

The defendant's lawyer, Robert M. Frisbee, said the verdict is "outrageous" and his client will seek to have it overturned.

Frisbee said Behr failed to prove it was Redmond who infected her with herpes, and that she had sex with him knowing that he had the incurable sexually transmitted disease.

"The jury decided they didn't like a wealthy man for no particular reason I can find out. It's not based on reason or common sense," Frisbee said.

The lawsuit claimed that Behr suffered unnecessary stress and humiliation as a result of the defendant's conduct, which it called "outrageous and beyond the bounds of decency."

During their romantic relationship, which began in September of 2003 and ended in June of 2004, Behr and Redmond became partners in a small business.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Comment from Inside the Belly of the Beast

Dear Andrew --

Just finished reading the book yesterday on my flight from Chicago to Phoenix. This is a great book. As someone who works for a company that builds so-called "active adult" communities, I'm frankly embarrassed to be contributing to this sort of segregation. Another reason to quit, I suppose!

11 February 2009

Adult Communities Beg for Buyers

Adult Communities Beg for Buyers
Seniors can't sell their houses, so developers are offering great deals on empty units.

By Anne Kates Smith
Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine
March 2009

The moribund housing market, collapsed stock prices and a reeling economy have produced yet more fallout: stranded seniors unable to move into the retirement home of their dreams -- and lots of others who wish they hadn't.

"It's a disaster across multiple dimensions," says John Rother, executive vice-president for policy and strategy at AARP. "People who can't sell their home can't move into more-appropriate housing. And people whose portfolios have fallen in value, or who have lost their jobs prematurely, don't have the money to move."

Meanwhile, some folks who bought into amenity-rich active-adult communities are finding that their unfinished developments bear little resemblance to the Shangri-La they were promised. No one tracks the number of stalled projects, but "it's big," says Joanne Theunissen, chairwoman of the National Association of Home Builders' 50+ Housing Council. "I've never heard so many builders talking about possibly going out of business."

On the flip side, now is a good time to be in the market for adult housing. You may get help selling your home or swinging the new one. You (or your parents or grandparents) may wind up with a great deal.

Del Webb, a unit of Pulte Homes known for its Sun City developments, is adding "affordable" units in California and other strapped markets. In other communities, bridge loans, which finance a new mortgage until the old place sells, are back in fashion, as are rent-to-own deals. Starting this year, seniors 62 and older can use a reverse mortgage to purchase a home.

If you already live in an active-adult development that's struggling, it behooves you to help attract others to move to the community. Some developers are paying residents for referrals, typically with goodies such as a new TV or a golf cart.

Demand for housing in continuing-care communities -- where residents can live independently until they need care later -- or in assisted-living facilities depends more on the health of the purchaser than on the economy. Still, occupancy rates are down and administrators are going all out to help seniors sell the family home so that they can afford to move. Such assistance is crucial in the campus-like continuing-care setting, where deposits are often tied to median home prices, mounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Erickson Retirement Communities, with 22 continuing-care developments nationwide, established a service to help seniors stage their homes for sale, cutting average sales times by 26%. Ginger Cove, in Annapolis, Md., will rebate $3,500 in moving expenses, and it gives buyers of two-bedroom units $10,000 toward monthly fees or apartment upgrades. Emeritus Corp., which runs 302 assisted-living centers, will waive its move-in fee of one-month's rent, or $3,500 on average.

There's no need to panic that some operators are facing hard times. Accredited facilities must withstand a rigorous review, and state licensing affords some protections. Other stakeholders in a property have an interest in maintaining smooth operations. Most struggling facilities are acquired without any interruption in care.

This page printed from: http://www.kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/2009/03/senior_housing.html
All contents © 2009 The Kiplinger Washington Editors

07 February 2009

Letter from a Villages resident

Just finished reading your book and it was a great read. I kind of expected a National Enquirer type to stimulate sales but was pleasantly surprised by the well thought out content of your book. It has me reevaluating the type of community i have chosen to live in for my retirement years. As an aside i looked at the Royal Highlands Pringle development South of Leesburg and was turned off by the conservative ownership. I didn't do my homework obviously because I am in a hotbed of conservatism. Good luck on future publications; you are a fine writer, do it more often!
Don R. / The Villages, Fl.