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Home > Finding Care > Continuing Care Retirement Community

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

A Plan in Place For Now and the Future

Continuing Care Retirement Communities offer a continuum of care for financially secure seniors -- from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing, with many including memory care. These communities are usually in a pleasant campus setting, divided into the three different care levels. Most residents move in when they're still healthy and independent - enjoying the amenities such as golf and swimming but knowing that if they become ill or more dependent, they'll have guaranteed access to assisted living and skilled nursing without making a major move. They know, too, they'll be taken care of no matter what, and they won't need to rely on their children or outside sources.

The Pros

CCRCs are gaining popularity among many financially secure seniors, and for good reasons:

  • These communities take a lot of the unknowns out of the future, and are a good option for seniors who want stability and security.
  • CCRCs are tailored to seniors' tastes; the communities are often in peaceful surroundings, offering countless organized social and physical activities.
  • They provide a wide range of healthcare and service options, which may include nursing, doctor's care, social work, physical, speech, and occupational therapies', pharmacy, dietary and more. Some CCRCs have affiliations with other skilled nursing homes, in order to accommodate residents when a medical service is needed that's not provided onsite.
  • Seniors get to decide for themselves where they will live as they age, and they'll be able to stay close to the friends in their community.

The Cons

It's important to look beyond the sparkling pool and 18-hole golf course to make sure your loved ones know what they're signing up for.

  • CCRCs aren't cheap. In fact, they're the most expensive long-term care option for seniors. In most cases, residents are required to pay a large entrance fee and then a monthly fee after that. In some cases, residents buy the unit, but still pay a monthly fee for services.
  • The contract is complex and can be extremely confusing. Have an eldercare law attorney look it over. There are different types of contracts that include different types of care coverage. A large amount of money is involved and the contract is binding for life so be sure your parents know exactly what they're signing up for.
  • Residents of a CCRC trade in some of their autonomy for the security offered; Administrators have the last word about when your parent will need to move from one level of care to the next.

If a CCRC is the Right Option... Start Shoppin'

Encourage your parents or loved ones to spend as much time as possible checking out different communities to make sure they choose one that fits their needs and lifestyle. They're deciding where they're going to be living for the rest of their lives, so it's worth the legwork. Ask current residents what they like and don't like about living there. And be sure to visit all three care sections to make sure the level of care is consistent throughout.

For information on paying for a CCRC, click here.