Many seniors like the idea of a community that offers all levels of senior care, ranging from independent living to a nursing home. Aging in place, as this type of care is often referred to as, brings peace of mind and security. If you are considering a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), here’s what you should know.
8 Things to Consider Before Moving to a CCRC
- CCRCs typically offer all levels of care on one campus. You can usually move from independent living to assisted living to a nursing home fairly seamlessly. Many CCRCs also offer dementia care programs, home care, hospice and even an adult day center.
- You will typically find that a CCRC can be expensive. Entrance fees can range in to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sometimes those fees will be returned on a pro-rated scale if the senior leaves the community.
- Many CCRCs suffered financial setbacks due to lower occupancy in the recession. You need to be sure to ask about their financial stability and to see documentation that shows how secure the community is before considering a move.
- Some parts of continuing care retirement communities have long waiting lists, even for current residents. Ask about waiting lists when you visit. The last thing you want to have happen is that you move to a CCRC thinking you won’t have to move again. Only after you relocate do you discover the waiting list for the community’s assisted living or their nursing care center is so long you may not have access to care when you need it.
- Know the facts on charitable support. While some CCRCs are non-profits that have charitable support available should a resident outlive their funds, there are often many restrictions to accessing them. Find out ahead of time what would happen if you or your senior loved one runs out of money.
- Older adults sometimes find it beneficial to have a little extra help from a private duty aide they employ directly or through an agency. Be sure to ask if you are permitted to do that and what restrictions there are. Some CCRCs will require you to use their in-home caregivers or go through a lengthy approval process if you elect to hire your own.
- If this move will involve a furry friend coming along, make sure the community allows pets. Ask for a copy of their pet policy in writing.
- Make sure you understand the living arrangements. Ask under what conditions you might be forced to move to a different level of care or to a different community all together.
Finally, know that the entrance agreements for a CCRC can be lengthy. Be sure to have a legal professional experienced in elder care review the document in its entirety before you sign it.