If the term life plan community isn’t familiar to you, the phrase continuing care retirement community (CCRC) might be. LeadingAge®, an association of nonprofit organizations designed to support and enhance the lives of older adults, surveyed people to see how they felt about the use of CCRC and continuing care retirement community to describe senior living. Unsurprisingly, many older adults weren’t so excited about it.
Seniors felt that the reference to care overlooked the fact many residents were healthy and active, and that these communities are full of life. By modifying the name to life plan, the image created is of a community where older adults live life to the fullest, knowing they have planned well for their future.
Why Choose a Life Plan Community?
Seniors and their adult children choose life plan communities for a variety of reasons. One primary benefit is peace of mind. These communities offer a full range of housing and care from independent living and affordable senior housing to assisted living, memory support, and long-term care. Some also offer respite services, adult day programs, and in-home care.
While older adults might move to a community when they are healthy and on the go, they do so know that they’ll have access to other types of care, should they need it. In some cases, it might be a short-term stay in the community’s nursing and rehabilitation center following an illness or injury. Other times a resident might require a helping hand with personal care, and benefit from the support of assisted living. That’s a comfort for an older adult, as well as those who love them.
For married couples, another advantage is that care needs don’t always change together. One partner might require more or a different degree of support than their spouse. Because a life plan community offers a continuum of services, couples can remain on the same campus even when they need different levels of care.
How Much Does a Life Plan Community Cost?
When beginning to explore life plan communities for yourself or a senior loved one, you may notice that each community has their own unique pricing structure. From entrance fees to monthly rental plans, it is important to ask each community you visit for a comprehensive list of what expenses to anticipate.
The same holds true for contracts. Some life plan communities will ask you to sign a monthly rental agreement, while others operate under fee-for-service or all-inclusive plans and contracts.
One myth that sometimes keeps families from exploring a life plan community is the idea that only a select few can afford them. In reality, many communities offer options that meet every older adult’s budget including affordable senior housing.
Understanding the Types of Senior Care
Whether you are a senior investigating your options or a family caregiver searching for a loved one, it’s helpful to learn about the choices available. From living independently to addressing changing needs, we invite you to use our senior community evaluation checklist when exploring senior living communities.