What are Continuing Care Retirement Communities?

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Almost every metropolitan area across the country has a few Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) for older adults. A CCRC offers each level of senior living on one campus. That typically includes independent living, assisted living, a long-term care program, and a short-term rehab. Many also offer specialized Alzheimer's care and in-home care. A growing number are also adding hospice. What attracts most seniors to a CCRC is the peace of mind that comes from having every level of senior care available on one campus.

Services at a Continuing Care Retirement Community

Continuing care retirement communities offer all of the senior care services seniors are likely to need now and in to the future. The idea behind these communities is that when a resident in the independent living program of a CCRC needs more care, they can move to the assisted living area or have assisted living services brought to them. As needs progress, the resident moves through the continuum of care the community offers.


Costs of a Continuing Care Retirement Community

While CCRCs are all priced differently, they tend to fall under 3 basic models of service fees:

    - Monthly rental
    - Buy-in with monthly maintenance fee
    - Entrance fee with monthly maintenance fee

If the community requires an entrance fee or buy-in, those fees may or may not be refundable.

One word of caution is to also make sure you fully understand what services are - and are not - included in the monthly fee. You should ask the question, "What else should I expect to receive a bill for each month?" to make sure you have a true picture of what the community will cost. You may find you will be charged extra each month for anything ranging from parking to pet fees.

Paying for a CCRC

A continuing care retirement community is usually paid for with a resident's private funds. It may be from their savings, liquidating assets, or the sale of their home. Depending upon what level of care they are in at the CCRC, their long-term care insurance policy may pay for a portion of the care. If they are a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran they might be eligible for help through Aid & Attendance benefit. Finally, some states have allocated Medicaid funds to help finance assisted living.

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