Contrary to popular belief, retirement in the US remains largely unchanged despite the pandemic. In fact, most workers were said to have saved for their retirement in 2020 compared to any other year in the past. Luckily, there are now several retirement options for seniors who want to settle down and age in a place that is comfortable and convenient.
There are a number of communities out there that seek to cater to seniors’ different needs, from independent to assisted living, and skilled nursing care. However, it may be hard to determine how much care and attention you might need—whether in the long or short run. Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) actually aim to solve just that.
Combining the convenience of supplying residents with all services and amenities they might need, CCRCs can also provide them with the type of current and future care they will need—thus easing the burden of moving to another facility. As such, it should definitely be taken into consideration during retirement planning for seniors who want to age in place.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities, also known as Life Plan communities or Life Care Communities are a type of retirement community where residents’ needs are taken care of by employed staff. Varying levels of care are attended to, whether seniors need independent living, assisted living, or more hands-on skilled nursing care.
CCRCs allow residents to age in place in environments that are peaceful, comfortable, and convenient. These types of residences may follow programs such as Masterpiece Living, which is a philosophy that promotes holistic wellbeing. This data-backed approach to aging purports that successful aging is more about lifestyle choices than it is about genetics.
Aside from this, there are also many other retirement options and residences if you have different types of needs.
There are several factors that will go into making your decision regarding what CCRC to choose. The following are some of the most important and common considerations:
As we mentioned, entrance fees and additional fees will differ depending on the type of contract. Costs will change if you own the property, on the size and type of unit you get. You may also want to look into whether or not the property is below the local market’s home values, or on the locally affordable housing costs.
Your potential company and fellow residents may be a big deciding factor in choosing a CCRC. It is important that the resident demographic fits your own, because you may find it easier to mingle and interact with those close to your age group. In 2015, the average age of residents in these communities was 81. Nowadays, many CCRCs actually accept younger residents.
You may want to look into the CCRC staff’s backgrounds, credentials, and competencies. This can tell you a lot about their specializations and skills. Getting to know the people who will be taking care of you can give you a lot of peace of mind and a sense of security, especially if they are adept at handling your unique needs.
Do a cursory search on your chosen CCRC to determine their reputation in the industry. Look into third-party websites that post unbiased reviews and experiences with the CCRC. Some CCRCs abide by state regulations, so you can also look into these agencies to see if they have any violations or complaints.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities are a fantastic option for seniors who want to secure their future in the best possible way. Albeit on the pricier side, CCRCs may be akin to investing in your future. You will be able to save yourself the hassle of worrying about the next few stages of your life.
Because all this information can be overwhelming, we have narrowed down some of the best options to simplify your decision-making process.
In business for over 150, The Admiral at the Lake has become a Chicago institution. Aside from independent living, they have The Harbors, which includes memory support, skilled nursing care, and assisted living options. The beautiful property has 24-hour security and many opportunities to ensure that residents are engaged and well taken care of.
From classes to clubs and organizations, an in-house Wellness Center, indoor pool, and gourmet locally sourced meals, The Admiral at the Lake is a luxurious place to age in place.
Situated right across Stanford University, Vi in Palo Alto boasts a prime location and several opportunities for lifelong learners. Units here range from 1,000–4,000 sq ft. They have a spa, heated pool, entertainment rooms, library, and fitness centers. To keep residents entertained, they also have a movie theater, clubs, classes, and special lectures.
The resort-style CCRC has ten other locations in the United States – all of which boast luxurious living arrangements and options for seniors who are making this big life transition. Overall satisfaction among residents in Vi hit 91% in 2018, proving that this is a highly advised place to settle down when the time comes.
For those interested in lakefront scenery, Cypress Village is a great, intimate place to retire. There are only 800 residents in this CCRC, and they promote a one-time buy-in fee, together with monthly fees. You can consult with them regarding your chosen housing structure and prices. They have been recognized for their quality of life and compliance with state regulations.
Cypress Village also works closely with healthcare providers to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Their staff is on-call 24/7 and they assist with various needs from transfers, to medical transportation, rehabilitation programs, memory care programming, physical therapy, and the like.
Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads is located in a sprawling eight-acre property that overlooks the Washington Monument. With urban conveniences such as restaurants and shops just a quick car ride away, Goodwin House Bailey Crossroads is a great CCRC for city dwellers who simply want to be safe but still close enough to enjoy the city’s action.
They have independent and assisted living, as well as memory care and a healthcare center. This CCRC offers five different contract options, so you will be sure to find a plan that works with your particular needs.
Known to be a non-profit living community, Aldersgate is an excellent CCRC. They pride themselves on being a leading provider of healthcare services for seniors. They have everything from apartments to gateway villages, apartments, cottages, and homes. Residents can choose among assisted living, long-term care, short-term rehab, and memory care.
Certified nursing aides are available 24/7, which can put residents at ease, especially if they suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Residents pay a monthly maintenance or service fee that can stand anywhere between $2,000 to $4,000 a month, but this can still vary based on your chosen continuing care retirement community. Some CCRCs operate on a rental model with no upfront fee, while some have independent living units that cost $3,000 to $6,000 a month.
Assisted living facilities provide 24-hour supervision and care for many of the elderly folks who need help with activities like dressing, bathing, and meals.
CCRCs offer more: independent senior living and assisted living to skilled nursing and hospice care when needed. The transition is seamless as residents are able to visit their friends in other wings throughout each day while still receiving specialized assistance at appropriate times that they may require it!
A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) delivers independent living and an amenity-rich lifestyle with access to onsite higher-level care should medical needs progress. This continuum of care ensures residents have the stability of remaining in the place they call home, guaranteeing that this is a comfortable decision for everyone involved.
CCRCs are attractive to seniors as it provides a life-long guarantee of a professional and caring community, along with the convenience of always living on your own terms.
If you run out of money in a CCRC, some of them have plans in place that can absorb the costs for those who can no longer pay, for reasons that are beyond them. However, at the end of the day, this will depend on your chosen CCRC. It’s best to ask this question upfront, as it may be stipulated in your contract.
CCRCs are great if you have been able to save some additional funds for retirement. With all your current and future needs taken care of, you can be sure that your chosen CCRC has you covered.
Senior housing and care can be complicated to navigate for anyone who is transitioning to this point in their lives. For more information on housing and care for seniors, have a look at some of our previous articles at Senior Strong!