What are CCRC's?

Jun 9, 2016

What are CCRC's?

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Perhaps you’ve reached an age where the house becomes a bit more work than it's worth – downsizing and enjoying retirement are really on your mind. You’re still able to stay well on your own, but it would be nice to free up a little more time for pursuing whatever you’d like.

Even though you may not need it now, it’s possible that nursing care may eventually become a necessity. However, right now you are still looking to stay active, mobile, and socially engaged with a community. If you are looking for a more independent way of living, a continuing care retirement community may be the best fit for your needs. 

What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)?

Senior care options are usually tailored to the type of care you need. With continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) you have the choice to transition between the different care levels as needed. CCRCs include independent and assisted living, as well as skilled nursing services and memory care.

With the flexibility to move between the different levels of care, the stress of relocating every time you need a new service or therapy is greatly reduced. This gives you much more freedom to continue living how you want to, without having to plan ahead too far in advance.

In 2014, there were approximately over 2,000 CCRCs in the United States and this number continues to grow. These communities are very attractive to people because they provide an all-inclusive lifestyle, allowing residents to live the way they choose.

Flexible housing options range from studio apartments and townhouses to quaint, freestanding cottages. With 24-hour staff trained for safety and security, you’ll never have to feel uneasy about taking a stroll around the campus. Between comprehensive care options and a distinct sense of independence, CCRCs are a great option for seniors.

What Types of Amenities do CCRC's Offer?

Although every CCRC will vary based on location and size, the general features and services usually include:

  • 24-hour skilled nursing services
  • Assistance with ADLs
  • Premium dining options
  • Laundry and housekeeping
  • Full utilities
  • Spiritual / Religious programs
  • Appliance repair services
  • Fitness centers
  • Scheduled entertainment and activities
  • Furnished living spaces
  • 24-hour security
  • On-campus medical personnel
  • Memory care
  • Educational opportunities
  • High-speed Wi-Fi
  • Flexible transition between levels of care

Making the Move to a CCRC

It’s always a good idea to tour any prospective senior communities to ensure that the campus fits your lifestyle. Look to see if staff members seem upbeat and willing to help, and whether or not the environment is positive overall. With careful planning, you’ll be able to find a CCRC to move into in no time.

As enticing as CCRCs may be, it’s not always easy to leave a residence that you may have lived in for decades. All the familiarities of a home are hard to give up, yet the memories made were the true value, not the location itself. It can be helpful to think of your move to a CCRC as a new opportunity for personal growth, and a way to connect with your peers who are going through the same transition.

Being part of a community can have marvelous health benefits – you’ll be encouraged and supported to stay active, and will have the opportunity to enjoy activities with plenty of fun and interesting people.

Moving to a CCRC is one of the most flexible moves for seniors, especially considering you’ll have the care you need at a moments notice. Although the cost of CCRCs can be expensive, once you’ve found a space of your own the rest of your experience will be smooth sailing.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What does CCRC cost?

The payment plans will differ at each CCRC, however, large entrance fees are to be expected and can range anywhere from $30,000 to $500,000 and even up to $1 million at a single time depending on your contract and location. The national average cost of an entrance fee based on the most recent data is $248,000, and this price is expected to continue to fluctuate based on local housing prices. 

CCRCs are the most expensive senior care option even by most modest estimates, yet the services and flexibility of these facilities are unrivaled. With several different types of contracts available for CCRC living, you will be sure to find a plan that works for you.

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Who lives in CCRCs?

Each community is different, but most people living in CCRCs are from 55-65 years of age. Some may have age requirements, while others may not or just don’t actively enforce this rule. Even people on CCRC waitlists are mostly between the ages of 55 and 65.

Throughout the country, CCRCs cater to just about every spiritual preference, lifestyle, and orientation. Finding a community that holds your same core values means you’ll be around lots of like-minded people with whom to enjoy the golden years of retirement. 

It really is important to develop a network of friends and acquaintances during your stay at a CCRC, but it isn't usually hard when you've found a great fitting environment. That’s what really makes it a community!

If only one spouse is outside of this common age limit, it may be possible for couples to move to a CCRC given a particular facility’s policy. In some cases, adult children who are dependent on a parent moving to a CCRC will also be allowed to make the transition. It’s not always a guarantee but check with your prospective CCRC to get an entire rundown of the options.

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Finding the perfect senior care community is only part of making your loved one’s senior living transition smooth. At SeniorCaring, we know that it is also equally important to be aware of what other community services and resources are available to your family’s senior. Choose your location and find local resources for your senior.