What Is a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community)?
If you have researched residential options post-retirement, you may have come across the term CCRC and wondered what it meant. A Continuing Care Retirement Community is the gold standard of aged care, offering residents the opportunity to “age in place.” What this means is that residents have the option of living in the same community as they move through their advanced years. A CCRC offers multiple levels of living such as independent living, assisted living, short-term rehab, and long-term care. Some communities require an entrance, or endowment fee; some are simply a month-to-month rental community.
What is Independent Living?
By design, residents often begin their stay at a CCRC when they are independent. They still want to live in their own home, but want access to certain services or want to begin living within a community in which they will age. Spacious independent living apartments usually include full kitchens, a washer and dryer along with individually controlled central heating and cooling systems. Independent living residents tend to utilize more of the social activities, such as outings and community events, although meals, housework, maintenance, and more services available. This is also a popular option for couples who want their own space with helpful amenities.
What is Assisted Living?
Assisted Living often requires moving to another area of the community, but it offers more in-depth service for seniors. These services often include more involvement in daily self-care tasks, such as reminders to take medication and bathing help. Some communities require additional payments for additional services and some charge a flat rate that include all services in the once-a-month payment.
What is Short-Term Rehab?
Short-Term Rehab is usually a temporary stay. If an accident or other medical event occurs which requires nursing care, a resident can move into a short-term rehab room to have their medical needs met. These services are usually covered by Medicare or other insurance depending on qualifying factors. This offers the resident the ability to receive medical treatment while they are healing within their own community. Once they have recovered, they can return to their independent living or assisted living apartment.
What is Long-Term Care?
Long-Term Care is for those who need 24/7 nursing care. Long-term care residents are able to bring their own furniture if desired, and the daily rate usually includes three restaurant-style meals per day, HDTVs in every room, private and semi-private floor plans, daily activities, and more.
Why move to a CCRC?
There are several reasons that people value a CCRC. First, this option of retirement living offers family members and seniors peace of mind. Start researching before you think you need a senior living solution. Check out CCRC’s in your area and ensure they offer the services you need and that they’ll meet your expectations. Moving into a retirement community while you are still independent removes the worries that arise when you wait until you have medical needs or mobility problems to make a move. You and your family know that should anything happen, you are already in the best place possible.
You also can’t place enough value on the importance of a community. Many seniors wait until they need additional life assistance to look for other living options, and then they enter a new community at a vulnerable time. Imagine the comfort available if you lose a spouse, get sick, or need rehab services within your own community. You have a social circle available to you who can offer support. This is also true for couples who are at different need levels. If your spouse requires more care than you do, you can easily live in the same community and continue your lives together without the burden of moving to higher care before both partners are ready.
But, most importantly, the main thing to consider is the ease of living in a CCRC. These communities are designed to have as many or as few services as you need. The wide ranges of social and medical services available ensure that you have access to everything you could hope for as you age in your new community. No one knows when or how you’ll require different services, but as you age your needs will certainly change at some point. Throughout your retirement years in a CCRC, you can live within your community and have your needs personalized for you. That stability as you age can truly add to your quality of life.