Experience Life at a Continuing Care Retirement Community
When you start thinking about retirement and your next home, there’s a lot to consider. You may have looked at a Continuing Care Retirement Community, but how do you know if that’s the best choice for you and your future needs? Read on to discover the benefits a CCRC can offer you and your family.
What is a CCRC?
A Continuing Care Retirement Community, also known as a CCRC or Life Plan Community, is different from an independent living community in that it offers progressive care services to help plan for the future. Typically, CCRCs are communities for those age 55 and older who are looking for an active lifestyle, social opportunities, and independent living accommodations. They gain peace of mind knowing the community they call home also provides assisted living, skilled nursing care, memory care, or other care services, should they ever need those in the future.
At Otterbein SeniorLife, we have six SeniorLife Communities that are CCRCs. Each is located on a spacious campus and offers a wide choice of patio and ranch homes, apartments, amenities, and services, and the full range of care from assisted living to long term skilled nursing care.
Why a CCRC?
A plan for the future means peace of mind. The growing interest in CCRCs is due to these communities offering the full spectrum of care on the same campus. Residents typically move in when they are active and healthy, living in an independent living home or apartment. They gain all of the benefits and amenities of the community, such as home maintenance, an on-campus fitness center, weekly activities, etc., and priority access to care services they may need in the future.
It’s comforting to know future care is in place. Even more so, you will be able to remain living in the community you call home and likely will already know the staff providing care. This is especially beneficial for couples so they can remain living in the same community even if they don’t have the same care needs.
Most CCRCs offer different types of contracts (sometimes even rental options) to meet a variety of interests, from the type of housing you are looking for to what kind of care you want aligned in the future.
What are the benefits of a CCRC?
Living at a CCRC has a multitude of benefits for residents, including lifestyle, health, socialization, fitness, security, and financial.
These retirement communities tend to take a more active approach toward health care. On-site fitness centers, rehabilitation centers, regular activities, and healthy dining options promote healthy living from the time a resident moves in.
Many CCRCs also provide a variety of options for socialization, which has been shown to positively affect your immune system, blood pressure, brain health and memory, activity level, depression, nutrition, and relationships.
Tip: When you are touring CCRCs, ask to stop by an activity or check out the amenities that interest you. If you have a love for the arts, find out what cultural activities they provide. Or, if you enjoy walks, ask to take a stroll along any scenic walking paths on campus or nearby.
At Otterbein, each of our six SeniorLife communities has its own culture. Check out our community pages to see activities and amenities:
Finding Your Next Home
CCRCs will vary on the types of accommodations they provide, most often from duplexes and apartments to patio and ranch homes. The common factor is they typically provide home maintenance services and a 24-hour call system, so you have less worry and more time to do the things you enjoy most.
Things to consider:
- How much room do you want for entertaining guests?
- Do you want a lawn or patio area?
- How often will you actually be at home?
- Would you prefer living in an area where there are dining options, fitness centers, and other amenities all in the same building?
- Are you ready to get rid of lawn maintenance, property taxes, and the other responsibilities that come with homeownership?
What’s the food like? That’s always an important question. Most CCRCs provide a variety of dining options on campus so you don’t have to worry about traveling to the grocery or cooking your own meals. Dining options may vary from gourmet meals to bistros to coffee shops. And if you enjoy cooking, look for a home or apartment that has the kind of kitchen you want.
Health, Wellness, and Fun
We’ve found many people move into our CCRCs and then say things like, “I’ve never been busier! I’m having so much fun! I should have done it sooner.”
CCRCs are designed for those moving in as active seniors. That means life enrichment is a strong focus. Activities and events will vary by location, but here is an example of what you can expect to find at an Otterbein SeniorLife Community:
- Regular community outings
- Volunteer opportunities
- Yoga and balance classes
- Line dancing
- Boat rides
- Prayer and Bible study
- Card and board game tournaments
- Arts and crafts events
- Pools and aquatic classes
- And more!
Can I Afford a CCRC?
When thinking about retirement, one of your primary concerns is going to be cost, affordability, and that scary question: Will I run out of money? CCRCs will vary in costs and contracts, and oftentimes, it’s difficult to compare apples to apples.
The best way to determine affordability is just like you did when buying your first home. You’ll want to run cost calculations and comparisons and seek any financial expertise you feel you need.
Just remember, CCRC contracts often come with benefits and services that are included in your fees, such as utilities, home maintenance, meal plans, lifestyle programs, and more. Therefore, be sure to do a thorough cost comparison of all your current expenses compared to all the included services of the CCRC.
At Otterbein, we offer a variety of price points and contracts for our homes and service options. A great way to get started is with our Free Planning and Paying for Independent Living Guide, which includes a cost comparison worksheet.