Entering into a nursing home or other residential skilled care facility can be hard enough on a beloved older family member without having to worry about having to leave that facility and moved into another one. Unfortunately, this is a reality all too many seniors face these days as nursing homes do not always make guarantees about being able to offer the type of care the individual needs to live a comfortable, dignified life.
Fortunately, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) are able to guarantee residents a lifelong place to live without having to worry about transfering to a new and unfamiliar environment due to factors outside of his or her control. CCRCs offer the entire residential continuum, from independent housing to assisted living to round-the-clock nursing services, under one roof to allow residents to remain in place and create a stable living environment.
These types of arrangements allow residents to age in place and typically work by having the individual pay a an entry fee and an adjustable monthly rent in return for the guarantee of care for the rest of their life. CCRCs also maintain an assortment of on site medical and social services which allow residents to live in one part of the community while in good health and then transfer to another part of the community better equipped to handle lifestyle and health changes.
In addition to providing on site nursing care, CCRCs also take care of meals, housekeeping, maintenance, transportation, social activities, and security. Community sizes can range anywhere from 100 to 500 units in everything from urban high-rises to garden apartments, cottages cluster homes, or single-family homes. Living units are also designed with unique healthcare needs in mind, such as for those living with Alzheimer’s or other special needs.
Unfortunately, one of the main downsides to CCRC living is the cost, which often keeps those in lower and moderate incomes from being able to afford this type of high quality and thoughtful care. Depending on the type of unit and services provided, CCRC entry fees can range from $40,000 to more than $750,000, with monthly charges ranging from $500 to more than $4,000.
Additionally, CCRCs generally require residents to be in good health when entering the facility and be within a certain age range. Other prerequisites can include requiring Medicare Part A and Part B coverage and even Medigap. Those considering CCRC living should take all this into account when researching facilitites.