For older adults, there is no better security than a continuing care retirement or Life Plan community (as long as it’s financially feasible).
Read on to learn more about continuing care retirement communities and how to determine if a community is financially sound before making your decision.
A continuing care retirement community (CCRC), or Life Plan community, offers your parent the assurance of care from the time they’re healthy and independent throughout the end of life.
To take a deeper look, here’s how AARP describes continuing care retirement communities:
“Part independent living, part assisted living and part skilled nursing home, CCRCs offer a tiered approach to the aging process, accommodating residents’ changing needs. Upon entering, healthy adults can reside independently in single-family homes, apartments or condominiums. When assistance with everyday activities becomes necessary, they can move into assisted living or nursing care facilities. These communities give older adults the option to live in one location for the duration of their life, with much of their future care already figured out. This can provide a great level of comfort to both your parents and you and take much of the stress out of the caregiving relationship.”
In addition to the continuum of care offered by a Life Plan community, they also give your parent the assurance that they won’t ever have to move again. Even if they move from independent living residences to skilled nursing rooms, they will still be living on the same campus with the same amenities.
All CCRCs provide a host of amenities. Most communities include the following:
Life Plan communities usually require an entrance fee, which ranges from $107,000 to $427,000. Each month, residents are charged a monthly fee, ranging from $2,089 to $4,154, that is used to prepay for care and provide the business money to operate. Many also require an application fee, which may be more than $1,000.
This contract has a higher buy-in but doesn’t raise or add fees later on.
This contract provides a discounted rate for independent living and a limited period of assisted living or skilled nursing care. However, if your parent needs care beyond that limited period, you pay a daily rate.
A fee-for-service contract specifies only the services requested and payment for each service. Your cost will be lower when your parent is in independent living, but it will jump when and if they need assisted living or skilled nursing care.
Most people choose a CCRC because it assures their loved ones will receive a continuum of care throughout their lives. However, if a CCRC is not financially stable, it may not be around to provide that care. In addition to checking a community’s standards, contracts, and level of care, it’s important to check its finances.
When you’re considering a senior retirement community, how can you tell if it’s financially stable? What questions should you ask?
If the continuing care retirement community you are considering has a slightly lower cash-to-debt ratio or is not rated by Standard & Poor, there may be good reasons. However, you should hesitate if the organization refuses to provide or claims it does not have the information on this list that you request.
If delving into financial documents is too much for you (which is understandable — it’s a lot to digest), ask your financial advisor for help. If they aren’t qualified, they can usually refer you to someone who is. Your local Agency on Aging can also offer advice.
If you’re considering several continuing care retirement communities, compare documents. If one of the communities does not have a certain document, ask for it. If they can’t — or won’t — produce it, ask why they don’t have it when other communities do.
The Apartment Community of Our Lady of the Snows operates differently than most Life Plan communities. Because we are a nonprofit founded by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, our goals are centered around service to others.
At The Apartment Community, there is no required application fee, and our contracts are month-to-month. A 60-day notice is all that is required to end your contract in the independent living apartments.
Feel free to ask us for any information you require to make your decision or schedule a tour online or by calling 618.394.6400 or 1.800.533.6279.