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Monday, February 26, 2018

Exploring Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

What are the benefits of a CCRC as opposed to assisted living?

Advances in medicine have led to people living longer and more independently even into their 80s and beyond.  New housing concepts have emerged to meet the changing needs of seniors, with one of the most popular being the Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC.  A CCRC is a retirement community that provides a lifetime of care, with housing options ranging from single family homes or condos with no assistance to full nursing care for those who need it.  CCRCs tout the benefit of keeping seniors living independently as long as possible, with a range of amenities and activities.  While CCRCs comes with many advantages over traditional assisted living facilities, you will want to thoroughly research this option before making the move.

The Costs of a CCRC

Joining a CCRC involves purchasing into the community, much like you would buy a home.  You will generally pay a fee to move into the CCRC and may also pay a monthly fee based on the level of services you desire.  Those living independently will likely pay less, but your fee could change if you need to be moved to the assisted living section within the CCRC or nursing home care.  Buying into a CCRC is a big decision and anyone interested should consult with an estate planning attorney for guidance.

Questions to Ask When Exploring a CCRC

CCRCs have sprouted up across the country, with many seniors relishing the idea of living within a community that caters to their needs while allowing them to maintain their independence for as long as possible.  CCRCs will differ in their amenities, fees, and available levels of care, so it is important to visit multiple facilities and ask questions to determine if the CCRC is right for you.  Critical issues to discuss include:

  • Can the monthly fees increase?
  • If my spouse or I need more care, how will that change our fee arrangement?
  • Will I have to move if I need more care?
  • Can your facility handle advanced care needs like dementia or Alzheimer’s?
  • If I can no longer pay the monthly fee, what will happen to me and my initial deposit?

These are just a few of the pertinent matters you will want to discuss with the CCRC.  Contact your attorney today for more guidance on entering a CCRC.


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