Moving into a continuing care retirement community is an ideal solution for older adults who are in need of little-to-no-assistance, but whose needs may change in either the near or distant future. If and when the time comes for a CCRC resident to need more assistance, the services are right there within one single community. These easily transitioned communities offer a wide range of services that include the basics of housing and socialization.
When exploring continuing care retirement community options and understanding the various contract types, it is important to have a clear idea of what CCRC’s are, and how they’re different from other types of senior living residences.
What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community?
Continuing care retirement communities offer a three-tiered approach to the aging process. The three levels of living arrangements within one of these community types includes independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing for those in need of more care. Independent living areas are for seniors who are able to live independently but would like to enjoy the benefits of living in a community setting.
If a senior's needs change and he or she requires help with anything from self-care to health care, the senior can then easily transition to assisted living or full-care skilled nursing. Assisted living is a step up from independent living but a step down from skilled nursing.
This level of care is for seniors in need of some help but who do not require full-care. Services may include 24/7 on-site health care services, medication management, and health monitoring. These services are in addition to the services mentioned above with independent living. All CCRCs have an entrance fee that is either fully or partially refundable, depending on the contract type and services chosen.
Choosing a CCRC Contract
In order to provide various types of care that meet the needs of state health laws as well as the individual(s) choosing a community, continuing care retirement communities offer three different types of contracts. They include the following:
Life Care/or Extended Contract: This type of contract is a bit more costly for seniors, but some of its benefits include unlimited services for both assisted living and skilled nursing without incurring additional charges.
Modified Contract: A modified contract locks seniors into a set price with set services for a specific period of time. Once the contract period has ended or expired, the senior can add on other services or extend their contract if wanted or needed, but there will be additional charges.
Fee-for-Service Contract: Considered the most affordable CCRC option for seniors with its no, or low enrollment fee. Additionally, independent living seniors generally only pay a low monthly payment whereas seniors in need of assisted living or full-care skilled nursing may pay a daily rate. When an increase in health needs or care arises, residents pay for those services on as as-needed basis.
Each contract type offers its own unique benefits. When choosing a contract you'll want to consider the present and future needs of the older adult, along with the existing budget and future budget. This will help you to select a contract that is affordable and needs both now and in the future.
Benefits of Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Benefits of a CCRC for independent seniors include delicious and healthy meals, socialization with other seniors, special outings, and social events – on top of individual health care services. Depending upon the senior living community, housekeeping may be available or available upon request.
Continuing care retirement communities enable seniors to maintain their independence while offering additional on-site services if and when they're needed. What's wonderful for families who may be considering a CCRC community for their loved on is that you can have peace of mind in knowing that a loved one is in the best of hands at all times - whether they need no assistance or full-care.
If you're helping a loved one choose a continuing care retirement community contract, be sure to go over each option in detail. If or when you choose to move into a community, it's suggested that you visit the community and fully-understand how CCRC’s work.
CCRCs at Walker Methodist
Walker Methodist Place, located in the East Harriet neighborhood of Minneapolis, is a continuing care retirement community. At this community, we offer a Fee for Service CCRC contract. Walker Methodist is a network of senior living communities in the Twin Cities, metro-area that specializes in housing, healthcare, and rehabilitation for older adults.