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What Is a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) and How Do They Work?

For many older adults and their families, finding just the right balance between independence and support is a tall task. Many people prefer to age in their own homes, but sometimes this isn’t the best option. For others, assisted living or nursing care isn’t necessary at the time of a move. A CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) is another option that’s growing in popularity.

CCRCs (also known as Life Plan Communities) provide a continuum of care, which means that residents who live there will be taken care of as their care or health needs evolve. The Village at Providence Point—A National Lutheran Community will include independent living, memory care and skilled nursing on one beautiful campus.

Why choose a CCRC as opposed to an independent living or assisted living community? For older adults who value familiarity and want to account for the potential in changing needs, a CCRC is a smart, secure option, allowing them to stay in the same place through aging phases.

What is a CCRC?

A CCRC typically offers independent living, assisted living and skilled-nursing care. Residents may move between care types should their health care or day-to-day living needs change.

Some CCRCs, The Village at Providence Point included, also provide memory care specific to dementia and Alzheimer’s. Memory care at The Village at Providence Point will combine leading edge expertise of memory care therapies with empathy and compassion to preserve residents’ stories and empower them to change what it means to live with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illnesses.

Another tremendous benefit is our state-of-the-art health center. Unlike many communities where residents need to travel off-site for acute care for injuries or illness, The Village at Providence Point will provide physical therapy, post-stroke care or restorative nursing on-site.

How do you compare CCRCs?

When you’re choosing a CCRC, consider: available services, comprehensive costs and benefits. Even if you’re positive that an all-in-one senior living approach best fits your lifestyle and needs, you’ll need to narrow down the field based on the location, amenities and services that you value.

Many CCRCs include these amenities and services:

  • Communal dining room with meals and snacks
  • Fitness center or gym, along with classes or training
  • Social calendar on-site and transportation to events
  • Activity centers for crafts, hobbies and classes
  • Recreation activities like a pool, aquatic treadmill and walking paths

Community amenities also typically include:

  • Apartment maintenance and lawn care
  • Garbage pickup
  • Regular housekeeping and laundry
  • Health monitoring services
  • Emergency call monitoring
  • Some utilities, often including Wi-Fi

The Village at Providence Point provides even more support services through community partners.

What matters most to you? Perhaps being close to a big city is an absolute necessity, or maybe aquatic workouts are an important part of your daily routine. A checklist is a great way to begin your search. List your must-haves and likewise your deal breakers. As you visit CCRCs, having these lists top-of-mind will help you make the decision.

What are the benefits of CCRCs?

At a CCRC like The Village at Providence Point, residents can enjoy their community, aging with choice, even as the level of care they require fluctuates. There’s substantial peace of mind that comes with choosing this sort of community — knowing that costs are predictable over time and knowing that care is available as health needs change.

CCRCs are an attractive option for older adults who only want to move once. Moving is never fun, but it’s especially taxing as you age and your mobility becomes more difficult. When you move into a community when you’re independent, you can create your own unique and convenient space with your own furniture, art and extras that matter to you. Being able to stay in that place for years to come is a priceless benefit. Similarly, being in the same community also allows residents to form close, ongoing bonds and friendships with other residents and staff.

In addition to offering an engaging, community-centric lifestyle and activities, continuing care is often appealing for couples who have different medical needs (e.g. one of you has dementia or needs assistance with daily life activities).

How much does a CCRC cost?

With higher entry costs, it may seem more expensive to buy into a CCRC versus an independent or assisted living community. However, CCRCs can reduce senior living expenses like repeated moving costs, new move-in fees and the price of many health services.

As you consider your health care options and financial obligations, you’ll want to make sure you’re entirely comfortable with the CCRC you choose. Since CCRCs commit to caring for residents at vastly different stages of the aging journey, this option is priced differently than many other types of senior living. If you’re considering whether our community is a good fit for you, we invite you to use our free financial calculator to estimate costs.

What’s next?

Deciding on a senior living community is no small matter. It’s a question that encompasses health care, lifestyle, housing and finances. At The Village at Providence Point, we believe that everyone should achieve their full potential at every age. We work to provide both the resources and inspiration to do just that.

If you'd like to learn more about life at The Village at Providence Point, sign up for one of our Community 101 webinars, or contact us today for an informal chat.

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