Is a Continuing Care Retirement Community Right for You?
Choosing a retirement community is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. It’s important to understand your options, so you can select the right home for your current and future needs.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Think of a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), or life plan community, as a senior living campus. One that offers a continuum of lifestyle, housing and healthcare options, such as:
- Independent living for active adults
- Assisted living for seniors who need extra help to live safely
- Memory care for people living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia
- Long-term care for seniors who need medical and skilled nursing services
- Hospice services for end-of-life care
A CCRC gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you can receive the level of support you need during the years ahead. The goal is to provide stability, familiarity and a smooth transition when moving within the community, so that you can more easily adapt your lifestyle as conditions change.
Every CCRC is Different
There are commonalities among communities, but each CCRC is unique in its personality and atmosphere. Your visit should give you a sense of what is important to the residents and staff.
Some CCRCs, like Lawrence Presbyterian Manor, are faith-based. Some are for-profit, but many are not. Not-for-profit communities reinvest their monies into their residents, building, services, and amenities.
When it comes to services and amenities, you can expect a CCRC to have social activities, wellness programs, events, transportation, maintenance, and other benefits built into the cost. Modern CCRCs also have restaurants, lounges, salons, libraries, and fitness centers.
If you have a furry friend, be sure to ask about the community’s pet policy. Some CCRCs will accept pets under a certain weight with a deposit.
When to Consider a CCRC
There is a lot to think about when looking for a new home. Selecting a continuing care retirement community is no different. Ask yourself:
- What type or size home do you need?
- Do you want maintenance-free living?
- Do you want 24/7 security and emergency call?
- Do you and a spouse/partner have different healthcare needs?
- Will you take advantage of all the amenities?
- Do you have the assets for upfront costs?
- Will monthly fees fit into your budget?
- Are you ready to commit to a long-term lifestyle choice?
If all signs point to “yes,” then it’s time to explore your choices.
Choosing the Right CCRC
Choosing the right CCRC starts with knowing what’s most important to you:
- Geographic location
- Immediate availability (or wait list)
- Must-have amenities (restaurant, library, chapel, walking trails, etc.)
- Essential services (health, wellness, housekeeping, meals, etc.)
Of course, that is just the beginning. Each community will have different features and subtleties that you will need to consider. You can start your research online, making notes on the communities you want to learn more about.
Financial services firm Franklin Templeton® offers a detailed CCRC worksheet that can help guide your decision making. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you visit a community. Get the answers you need to make the right choice for today … and tomorrow.