The Truth about Continuing Care Retirement Communities


Filed under Living & Housing

Continuing Care Retirement Communities are communities used by senior citizens after retirement. They offer a choice of living situations and services. Based on changing needs, retirees can move back and forth between independent living, assisted living and nursing home care.

Often unexpected medical expenses can radically alter your vision of a self-sufficient retirement. Continuing Care Retirement Communities are an option that deals with this. Innovative living arrangements combine the security of long range planning with the ability to live independently.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities allow senior citizens to “age in place.” The health and housing accommodations are designed to take care of their needs as these needs change over time. People entering CCRC’s have typically signed a contract that takes care of residential and nursing needs all at one place.

Most people enter Continuing Care Retirement Communities while they are healthy and active. They do this in the knowledge that they will be able to receive nursing care if and when it becomes necessary. Such seniors have planned for retirement and have the means to support their plans.

CCRC’s are also known as Continuing Care Retirement Facilities, Life Care Communities and Life Care Facilities. Seniors living in such communities live in a home within the Continuing Care Retirement Communities complex.

CCRC’s are often sponsored by non-profit organizations. These are sometimes affiliated to religious orders, fraternal organizations and ethnic groups.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities are different from assisted living. In CCRC’s the individual contracts for a lifetime of care regardless of what his future needs may be. In assisted living the individual moves in the facility when necessary and begins to pay at that point. The care provided may be the same.

The advantages of a CCRC include that there is no moving required. If the person becomes well he can resume independent living. Virtually all seniors are good candidates for Continuing Care Retirement Facilities.

These include those seniors who are healthy, require assistance and those who require skilled nursing care. There are three types of housing arrangements provided in Continuing Care Retirement Communities. These include independent living units for healthy, active seniors. There are also assisted living arrangements for people who need assistance in daily activities but who also need independence. The third type of accommodation is nursing home facilities for those who need skilled nursing care.

Some CCRC’s cater to seniors with special needs like Alzheimer’s Disease. It is a good idea to do as much research as possible on a Continuing Care Retirement Community before joining one. Check if the CCRC is accredited by the CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) Check if the community is appropriate to your lifestyle and your situation. Examine the community’s mission. See whether you can spend two days in the community to know what it is like living there. During this time see whether the following are to your likingĀ  food, accommodation, recreational and cultural activities, fitness facilities, staff, healthcare services and means to handle medical emergencies. Choose your CCRC wisely. After all it may be the reward for a lifetime of hard work.

Article by Lee Dobbins

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