Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are considered the complete retirement care option for adults. They provide the full spectrum of support, allowing adults to enjoy their life for years without having to worry about finding new solutions to their changing needs. Typically, a CCRC will include different neighborhoods for:
- Independent living: where active adults care for their own needs
- Assisted living: where adults need some help with daily tasks, but are still relatively independent
- Skilled nursing: where adults can receive specialty care such as rehabilitation services
- Memory care: where adults with memory impairments, often forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s, receive the support they need to live full lives
Depending on the location and state regulations, levels of care may differ slightly. For instance, you may see “personal care” as an option in place of “assisted living.”
Wellness Benefits of Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Most people move into a CCRC to know that they can live in the same community for the rest of their lives, or as long as they want to. Residents may move in when they are active and healthy, moving from one area to the next as care needs change. The ability to quickly and easily change the level of care available reduces stress on many residents and their families. Everyone is assured that the resident will receive the support they need, when they need it.
In terms of more holistic wellness benefits, most of these locations provide plenty of tools and resources to support a person’s emotional, physical, social and even spiritual needs. Typically, that support is outlined in a wellness philosophy that includes programs to engage residents and ensure they’re living full, connected and happy lives.
Amenities Offered at Continuing Care Retirement Communities
The amenities at each stage of a CCRC can change. However, most communities offer easy access to a wide range of amenities that can be used by anyone within that shared community. For example, onsite amenities may include a pool, fitness center and outdoor areas. There are usually open spaces or paths for walking and biking. Many locations also offer resort-style amenities, like bocce ball or tennis.
Depending on what you’re looking for, you may be able to find a CCRC with a full-service salon and spa, an art studio, library and entertainment spaces to watch movies or interact in a social setting. Most, if not all, locations offer dining areas and lounges. The range of amenities can help to make one community stand out from the other.
Services Offered at Continuing Care Retirement Communities
In some situations, continuing care retirement communities stand out in terms of the services they provide. There is no way for a person to know what his or her needs will be in five or ten years, but CCRCs provide for most of those potential needs in a single setting, helping ensure a person doesn’t have to worry about moving again.
That range of support also means that there are many different services. For those who are active and independent, primary services likely include everything from maintaining the exterior of the property to handling tasks such as housekeeping, laundry and transportation.
At higher levels of support, residents receive all those services along with help with daily tasks, activities designed for their abilities and other services to enrich their lives.
Continuing Care Retirement Community Cost and Pricing
The cost of CCRCs ranges, with two major factors being location and the type of care a person needs at any given time. Most often, care initially will be less expensive and will increase as more constant attention and support is provided. There may be less expensive alternatives to a CCRC based on your unique living options, but it is important to factor in all potential costs that are covered by CCRCs when considering their value.
Expect independent living costs to start around $1,000 per month, not including any initial fees, and assisted living to start at $1,500 per month depending on support level. From there, costs increase to fulfill each resident’s support requirements.
Is a Continuing Care Retirement Community Right for You?
Those seeking out supportive living environments for right now may also want to consider their long-term needs. This is where continuing care retirement communities really flourish in providing for the needs of the resident as they change and get a bit older.
If you need higher levels of care right now, you can look into other options that fit your needs. You can find many assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care communities that may have the services and amenities to support you. Compare all your options, considering price, support, amenities and location before making a final decision, and include any people that may be there along the way in the process. It’s important they know and understand that these are decisions you are making for yourself and your long-term happiness.