When you or a family member is ready to move from their home to a retirement community there are a number of options depending on the level of services and care desired. There are a range of community types including independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing that cater to residents who require different levels of care and services. Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) offer a variety of services within one community. CCRCs guarantee lifetime housing, social activities and increased levels of care as needs change.
CCRCs are part independent living, part assisted living and part skilled nursing home and offer a tiered approach to the aging process, accommodating residents’ changing needs. Depending on the community, when entering, healthy adults can reside independently in single-family homes, apartments or condominiums. As assistance with everyday activities becomes necessary, residents can move into assisted living or nursing care facilities. One of the benefits of these communities is they give older adults the option to live in one location for the duration of their life, with much of their future care already figured out. This can provide a great level of comfort to both residents and their families and that can take much of the stress out of the caregiving relationship.
There are three basic types of contracts for CCRCs:
- Extended or Life Care Contract: This is the most expensive option, but offers unlimited assisted living, medical treatment and skilled nursing care without additional charges.
- Modified Contract: This contract offers a set of services provided for a set length of time. When that time is expired, other services can be obtained, but for higher monthly fees.
- Fee-for-Service Contract: The initial enrollment fee may be lower, but assisted living and skilled nursing will be paid for at their market rates.
Start your research on Continuing Care Retirement Communities in your area and if family members are available to accompany you, invite them on visits. While there, investigate thoroughly and meet with a representative who can walk them through the different housing options, cost structures and contract choices. Here is a checklist of things to look out for and ask while you’re visiting.
If you decide on a CCRC, a weekend or week-long stay at the facility to ensure it’s the right choice. Once ready to commit, run the contract by an attorney to be sure everything is spelled out as it was agreed upon with the facility.