A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is the best option for many elderly people with the financial ability to do so. In contrast to communities that only provide assisted care, this type of community offers a luxurious lifestyle as well as on-site nursing and medical care. However, this option has drawbacks, one of which is the expensive price tag. Most of these facilities charge subscription fees for meals, a basic level of supported care, cleaning services, and other a la carte services in addition to a sizeable down payment. They also provide a variety of living arrangements, including studio flats, two-bedroom homes, and three-bedroom houses. Residents don’t actually own their homes, as in condos and co-ops; instead, they only get lifetime access to them. CCRCs have an average move-in age of 81.
I learned a lot about what it’s like to live in this kind of community while being there for several months as a quest resident and researcher. One of these is that most people arrived at the facility after downsizing their homes, going from cozy suburban houses or large city apartments to assisted care and then to the CCRC option. These people’s key goals were to reduce living space, remove property maintenance duties, and have easy access to medical and nursing care.
Many individuals attended on the advice of friends who had already been there, and many individuals afterward created new friendship groups with others from like backgrounds. S,o let’s look at some more advantages of moving to the CRCCs in addition to these aspects.
Benefits of Relocating to CRCCs
Here are five reasons you might want to consider moving sooner rather than later if you believe a CCRC is best for you but feel that you aren’t yet old enough to do so:
Living in a CCRC offers several advantages, including easy access to a wide range of amenities, activities, and services. Many of these benefits are provided on-site in the community, but an increasing number of CCRCs also offer methods for residents to be active in their larger community through intergenerational programming, continuing education courses, charitable work, and other activities. In addition, you can take advantage of and enjoy these occasions and activities if you move when you are younger.
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Physical and Mental Wellness
While CCRCs provide members with a continuum of care services as needed, their goal is to support residents’ long-term independence and health. They provide thorough health and wellness programs; as a result, some of which can include access to personal trainers,fitness and aquatic centers, low-impact aerobics and yoga sessions, and specific diet meal plans, to name a few. In addition to these facilities, an increasing number of CCRCs are emphasizing the whole-person concept, which incorporates mental, emotional, spiritual, and social health activities.
The connections that CCRC members have made with other residents are frequently cited as one of the best things about moving to their community by CCRC residents. This network of close, encouraging friends may be beneficial if future health difficulties emerge. Those who put off making their CCRC transfer too long risk missing out on the chance to build these important connections.
When a new resident initially moves into the community, continuing care contracts often dictate that they must be able to live independently. In addition, many CCRCs demand a health examination of potential residents as part of the application process. In addition, the community’s new resident health requirements may exclude applicants who do not satisfy them, depriving them of the many advantages a CCRC has to offer, such as access to a full range of personal care services.
As we age, it’s harder to move, both physically and emotionally. The shift is typically more manageable for those who are younger (relatively speaking), physically fit, and in excellent health. Relocation stress syndrome (RSS), a disorder marked by symptoms including anxiety, confusion, and loneliness, may, nevertheless, be more likely to occur in older and more fragile individuals who move.
However, prospective residents are strongly advised to get legal counsel before committing due to the intricacy of CCRC contracts. “There are few kinds of regulatory protections that a prospective resident may turn to as assurance that a specific CCRC is everything that the marketing staff purports it to be,” says Jack Cumming, Director of Research for The National Continuing Care Resident’s Association. In order to get a sense of the community’s atmosphere, it is also advisable to stay there for a few nights as a visitor; most CCRCs provide this option, and many even encourage it.
There are three common types of contracts for CCRCs. First, all levels of care on-site will be covered as necessary under the Type A Contract, which is the “Gold Standard” and most expensive contract. The Type B Contract, a modified fee-for-service agreement, comprises a predetermined period of the covered or discounted rate, such as 30, 60, or 90 days. And a Type C Contract, which is a complete fee-for-service contract, often ensures access to future treatment, although at market rates as required. If a resident chooses to leave, a decreasing percentage of the admission fee is usually repaid over several years.
Both MyLifeSite.net, created by a financial adviser, and LeadingAge.org, the website of an advocacy group that represents more than 6,000 senior care non-profits, can help you find CCRCs. My book “Second Chance: Life inside a Continuing Care Retirement Community” (available online on Amazon) recounts my extensive in-residence research in a premier CCRC, primarily from the perspectives of its residents but also from the perspectives of the community’s management, medical staff, and caregivers. It offers an inside look at what day-to-day living in a CCRC actually is like. Moreover, you can also read my new book “Thursdays with Margaret,” which revolves around a 94-year-old lady living a life full of joy and optimism
despite having limited financial means and deteriorating health.
When is the ideal period to relocate to a CCRC? Your individual response to this question has to take a number of factors into account. In general, though, I would advise that if you have decided that a CCRC is the best senior living choice for you, it is wise to relocate while you are still in excellent health and have the physical and emotional endurance to make the adjustment and receive the luxury.