What Are Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)?
Last Updated: January 24, 2019
Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), also known as “life plan communities,” cater to seniors who don’t want to worry about having to move from one senior living community to another as they age and their needs change. These communities have both an abundance of amenities and services for active seniors and the capacity to offer care through the end of life.
Our Senior Living Advisors are often asked about continuing care retirement communities, which have become a popular senior living option over the past decade. CCRCs offer all levels of care on one campus, making assisted living, independent living and skilled nursing all available within the community to accommodate seniors’ changing needs. Most CCRCs not only offer residents quality care; they guarantee it. This concept is called “lifecare” — a community specifically designed to satisfy the needs of seniors from retirement through the end of life.
What Continuing Care Retirement Communities Offer to Seniors
CCRCs, or life plan communities, are well-known for offering seniors:
1. An active lifestyle.
Continuing care retirement communities offer a wealth of activities and amenities designed to appeal to active, newly retired seniors.
CCRCs are frequently situated on golf courses, almost always have a pool and typically offer spa services and a variety of other activities.
Standard senior living community services like dining, flexible transportation, housekeeping, laundry and security service are given.
2. Care until the end.
In addition to the amenities designed to appeal to more active seniors, CCRCs provide care, both medical and personal, at the highest levels.
The same kind of personal care that is available at assisted living communities and at nursing homes is available to CCRC residents when it becomes needed. Some CCRCs also offer on-site medical services that have traditionally only been available at hospitals, such as kidney dialysis.
The obvious appeal of life plan communities is that residents don’t have to worry about finding another home if the level of care that they need increases. Residents can move-in when they are “younger” seniors and enjoy the various amenities, yet have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that care will always be available.
3. The “buy-in.”
But CCRCs, or life plan communities, are not for everyone. They require that residents move-in when they are still relatively healthy.
Their large upfront fees, also known as a “buy-ins,” are also a barrier to many. These entry fees usually range from $100,000-500,000, although payment plans vary widely.
The common quality is that once a resident has bought in, monthly rates are frozen at predetermined levels that don’t increase no matter how much care needs increase.
Have you, a parent or senior loved one moved into a CCRC or life plan community? We’d like to hear your stories in the comments below.
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