One of the most common questions we’re asked here at The Apartment Community of Our Lady of the Snows is whether someone can afford it.
It’s true that continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), also called Life Plan communities, are the most expensive of all senior living options, but The Apartment Community is not your average CCRC.
CCRCs usually require entrance fee, as well as monthly charges used to prepay for care and provide the business money to operate. Average entry fees range from $107,000 to $427,000, and average monthly service fees range from $2,089 to $4,154. Many also require an application fee to be on the waiting list.
Because The Apartment Community is a nonprofit under the auspices of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, we operate differently. Our goals are centered around service. We are the only retirement living community located on the grounds of a national Catholic shrine.
At The Apartment Community, there is no required application fee. Our contracts are month-to-month, and a 60-day notice is all that is required to end your contract in the independent living apartments.
Life Plan communities provide sufficient value to residents that, even though their prices may be higher than other types of senior living communities, seniors still flock to them. The reason is that they offer the assurance that older adults will be able to receive the care they need throughout their lives without moving.
As we explain on our website: “Once you have chosen to reside here, you need never worry about moving again. The campus offers independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care all under one roof. We offer a variety of truly affordable retirement plans, all without entry fees.”
CCRCs offer many amenities as part of their service. These usually include:
At The Apartment Community, we offer all of the above, as well as:
Compare the costs of living in a continuing care retirement community with other options, and you—like many others who want the best for their loved ones—will find value.
Genworth Financial surveyed 440 regions across the U.S. in 2016 to develop estimated care costs for various options.
|Estimated 2017 Cost of Care in Illinois|
|Home Health Aide||$51,846|
|Adult Day Health Care||$19,325|
|Semi-Private Nursing Home||$69,175|
|Private Nursing Home||$77,070|
The median annual national cost of care for a CCRC, according to estimates above, is approximately $37,458 ($3121.5 x 12) plus the median entry fee of $267,000, averaged out over a 15-year span ($17,800), to total $55,258. When we add 3% annually for inflation, as Genworth did, the mean estimated annual cost for a CCRC in 2017 would be $56,915.74.
If you compare the costs of living in a Life Plan community with other options, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Most people don’t realize how much they spend on meals, transportation, and entertainment, all of which are covered.
For example: Your parent would save thousands if they no longer had to pay for a vehicle, gas and maintenance because they have transportation to shopping, a library, lectures, and entertainment. Since most retirement communities offer spiritual services on-site, they wouldn’t have to travel to church. And all communities offer plans for chef-prepared nutritious meals so they would never have to go—and may never again want to go—to a restaurant.
Just think of all the expenses—home maintenance and repair, lawn mowing, snow removal, transportation, entertainment, dining, real estate taxes, insurance, utilities, linen service, housekeeping, appliance repair and replacement, lectures, seminars, fitness club membership, emergency response system, home security, on-site healthcare, wi-fi, cable, religious ceremonies, and more—that are included in the cost.
If you measure costs in dollars and cents, you are shortchanging yourself. Although finances are important, there are other issues that every single person who has a senior loved one considers.
The emotional costs of caregiving take a toll. Caregiving can be as minimal as occasionally picking up a prescription or as extensive as taking care of a parent with a stroke or dementia. No matter how minimal or extensive your caregiving responsibilities, you always worry because you love them.
According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, “A substantial body of research shows that family members who provide care to individuals with chronic or disabling conditions are themselves at risk. Emotional, mental, and physical health problems arise from complex caregiving situations and the strains of caring for frail or disabled relatives.
“Today, medical advances, shorter hospital stays, limited discharge planning, and expansion of home care technology have placed increased costs as well as increased care responsibilities on families, who are being asked to shoulder greater care burdens for longer periods of time. To make matters worse, caregivers are more likely to lack health insurance coverage due to time out of the workforce. These burdens and health risks can hinder the caregivers’ ability to provide care, lead to higher healthcare costs and affect the quality of life of both the caregiver and care receivers.”
The question each caregiver must ask is: Which is the best option for the health and happiness of my loved one and myself?
When considering the question of whether you or a senior loved one can afford a continuing care retirement community, comparing options and weighing the financial costs will help you make a decision. However, don’t forget that, when dealing with a loved one, there are emotional factors to take into consideration, too.
The Apartment Community of Our Lady of the Snows offers a continuum of care from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing. If you’d like to learn more about how this provides the safest, healthiest, and happiest living arrangement for your parent, call 618-394-6400 or 800-533-6279 or contact us online.