Continuing Care Retirement Communities….Things To Consider

Is your family considering a Continuing Care Retirement Community for a loved one?    A Continuing Care setting just might be what you are looking for.   Since contracts are involved, however, make sure you are fully aware of all the critical information regarding cost, amenities, level and quality of care, and safety and security as well as other important concerns.
Continuing Care Retirement Communities....Things To Consider

Is Continuing Care Just For Those Who Require Care?

No.  Continuing Care Retirement Communities, known as CCRCs, can be the ideal facility for even very healthy seniors, aged 55 and older, who choose an Independent Care option where they remain very self-sufficient and require minimal, if any, outside assistance.  Vibrant Independent Living individuals can come and go as they please yet live on the same campus as residents who are in need of more supervised care.   Independent Living residents can transition to Assisted Living or even Memory Care, Nursing Home Care or End-Of-Life Care when, and if, the need arises–all on the same campus.   Assisted Living residents within the Continuing Care campus require increased care and supervision, yet, are still quite mobile and generally healthy.   Memory Care residents are individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia and necessitate more intense supervision.

What Should I Know Ahead Of Time?

— Contracts:  As with any contract, it’s important to fully understand it, in its entirety.   There are three types of contracts associated with CCRC’s:   Type A is ‘Extended’, Type B is ‘Modified’, and Type C is ‘Fee for Service’.   Vital considerations such as length of stay, cost, healthcare, housekeeping, meal plans, and transportation could all be dealt with differently depending on how each contract is structured.   Ask questions so you are fully informed!

— Additional Fees:   Once you’ve chosen a prospective Continuing Care Community and have been made aware of its overall cost, it would be wise for you to ask about any possible, additional fees that would need to be factored in, as well.   These could include a ‘wait-list’ fee, an application fee, a pet deposit fee, if applicable, and other living-expense fees such as phone, utilities, parking and storage usage.

— Health Insurance:   Many CCRCs require residents to carry Medicare Part A and B in addition to Long-Term Care Insurance and/or Medigap coverage.  Some facilities accept Medicaid as a partial health coverage option.

—Extension of Care:   Do you believe your loved one would, eventually, transition to Nursing Home Car?   If so, ask if your prospective CCRC provides Nursing Home Care on campus or if they contract the services of nursing homes in different parts of the community.

—Lifestyle:   Request information concerning pets, overnight guests, living with a spouse, kinds of amenities and services offered, etc.    A number of CCRC’s will accommodate a prospective resident with a week’s worth of stay to see if the feel of the community is a comfortable one.

Activities such as gardening, water aerobics, dance classes, card clubs or putting greens can make a big difference in a resident’s frame of mind if these types of amenities are available.    Your loved one may be delighted if he or she knows these types of enjoyable pastimes are regularly offered.

—CCRC Costs:  Since CCRCs are not subject to outside regulations, costs can vary greatly depending on the community as well as the state in which it is located.  Again, asking questions is practical and wise.

Did you know that financial assistance is available for qualifying individuals to help with entrance fees and/or monthly fees?   There is, also, assistance for residents who may run out of money, but certain restrictions apply.

Be empowered and choose wisely!

Miss Carlson loves to write when she has the time.  She writes a lot about retirement and covers such topics like Texas retirement communities.