CCRC means a Continuing Care Retirement Community, the most flexible, long-term choice for both active independent living and future health care. A CCRC offers independent living residential options that can include apartments and patio homes on a campus that also provides comprehensive services and amenities, educational and social activities, wellness programs and priority access to on-site health care services. Today, many CCRCs are referred to as LifePlan Communities – a new name for the same array of services as a CCRC.
The “A's” to your “Q's”.
Healthy seniors who can live independently can choose a fun and fulfilling CCRC lifestyle. As a community member, they’ll benefit from a variety of convenient services, including cooking, cleaning and home maintenance, taken care of for them while they turn their attention to doing what they like to do. This lifestyle offers opportunities to socialize with friends and participate in a variety of programs such as fitness, arts, cultural, educational, spiritual and culinary events.
When considering a CCRC, you should also know about 2 other senior housing options.
- Active Adult Communities: Residents purchase or rent a house or townhouse in an age-restricted community, where amenities may include a clubhouse and fitness center. Services rarely include meals, housekeeping, maintenance, transportation or access to health care.
- Residential Communities: Age-restricted rental apartments providing a range of leisure living amenities are known as “residential communities.” They include some services – for example, one or more daily meals and scheduled transportation. Additional services are typically à la carte, and access to care, if available, will be at additional cost.
A Life Care community is a CCRC that offers complete access to full-service housing options and a wide range of premium amenities and services, plus complete on-site long-term health care. Through a one-time entrance fee and monthly service fee, the resident has a home for life, guaranteed. If the need arises for assisted living, memory support or skilled nursing, the resident may transfer to the appropriate level of care at substantially discounted, predictable rates for as long as care is needed. The benefit of a Life Care residency agreement is that – except for annual increases in monthly service fees charged to all community residents – those who opt for Life Care know they can count on high-quality care, all available on the same community campus – at substantially discounted, predictable rates for the rest of their lives, and they’ll generally be paying far less than they would on the open market for these services. Therefore, they know where they’ll get this care, who’ll provide it and how much it will cost.
Licensed, caring professionals assist with the activities of daily living, ensuring residents get the help they need to be as independent as possible.
- Individualized services may include grooming, bathing and medication management.
- Private or shared apartments, maintenance, housekeeping, 3 daily meals, scheduled activities and customized care are also typical of assisted living communities.
- Costs are most often paid for by the resident, but may be partly covered by VA benefits for some residents, and sometimes by long-term care insurance, depending on the policy.
- In Texas, assisted living costs can range from $2,000-$6,000 per month, depending on the level of care received and choice of apartment.
Assisted living is ideal for those who may benefit from getting help with ADLs (activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, toileting and medication management), and from the maintenance-free setting with 24/7 emergency response and daily general oversight. Many seniors choose assisted living because they have a current need or foresee a need in the near future. This type of service and oversight allows residents to live longer, healthier lives by helping prevent falls and other life-changing accidents.
Dementia is the loss of cognitive functions (such as thinking, reasoning or the ability to remember) that is severe enough to interfere with daily life. Dementia itself isn’t a disease, though it often accompanies diseases like Alzheimer’s. Memory Support is a highly specialized program delivered by specially trained professionals to help people with dementia manage their daily lives. While a cure for dementia is still sought, a Memory Support program measures its success against the simple objective of ensuring every day is a good day for residents in the program.
Evolved from yesterday’s model of the nursing home, today’s skilled nursing in a CCRC provides long-term and short-term services, including rehabilitation following surgery or illness.
- Staff includes registered nurses, nurse practitioners and a variety of certified specialists.
- Services are provided at dedicated skilled nursing areas within the CCRC.
- Costs may be paid by Medicare, Medicaid, a variety of supplemental insurances, VA benefits or long-term care insurance, depending on the policy.
- In Texas, skilled nursing daily rates range from $150-$250.
A short-term stay in skilled nursing may be required after a hospital stay, following surgery, when a resident needs intravenous antibiotics, or to ease the transition from intense hospital care to a slightly lower level of nursing care. Many residents will eventually move back home with the assistance of home health care or to an assisted living community.
A long-term stay in skilled nursing is called for when a senior can’t get all the care they need at their home, and hospitalization isn’t warranted. In this case, the care they require is more financially feasible in a skilled nursing community.
Following surgery, illness or accident, people often need a plan for recovering their abilities to function in their everyday environments. Those rehabilitation plans are individualized to address each specific condition, based on medical certification by a physician. Because skilled nursing settings offer clinical resources and equipment needed in the rehab process, Rehabilitation services are often provided in a skilled nursing community. Depending on extent of need, those receiving rehab may reside short-term in the community, or access the rehab services as outpatients.
Costs vary depending on the residential agreement options. The entrance deposit is based on the floor plan selected and the number of occupants, and may be partly refundable. A monthly fee will cover services and amenities. Most CCRCs include a discount on future health care, which can make assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care more affordable. With residential agreements that cater to different situations and desires, a full explanation of costs is best presented in consultation with a sales counselor.
Offering an assortment of in-home care services, Home Health often includes PAS (personal assistance service) for companionship and aid. PAS is not nursing and is prohibited from dispensing medications – but a PAS professional can help a person remember to take his or her own medications and observe that the dosing schedule is correctly followed. Other assistance provided may include meal preparation, light housekeeping, camaraderie and transportation.
Not every senior can afford (or would choose) a luxury residence, and that’s why there are housing choices subsidized by HUD (the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development). Like found in other senior living community residences, HUD affordable housing offers 1- and 2-bedroom apartment homes that are modern and comfortable and include access to the community’s various services and amenities – but they are more affordable.
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