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How to Choose a Continuing Care Retirement Community

What exactly is a continuing care retirement community?

A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) provides a continuum of care for seniors at all levels of independence, from independent living in a house or apartment, to assisted living, to skilled nursing care or a secure dementia unit. A CCRC is an entire campus of living choices, and as physical or mental needs change, the resident may make a transition to a different level of care and age gracefully in the same community without having to relocate. (Be aware that most CCRCs charge a higher monthly rate as the level of nursing care increases.)

A CCRC is different from other senior housing facilities in that it typically provides a written agreement that the community will provide appropriate care for the resident's lifetime for those who qualify for continuing care. In most cases, an entrance fee is required along with a monthly fee.

Are you ready to move to a CCRC?

  • Do you need a little more help with daily living activities, or see that you might in the near future?
  • Are you wishing to enjoy a lively social calendar and more physical activities?
  • Do you need a little help with transportation?

The vast majority of seniors will advise you not to wait too long to make a move; do it before it's an absolute necessity and start your search long before you need to. This can be a very exciting time in your life!

What should you do to find a first-class CCRC?

  • Talk to your family doctor for a referral or check with your local social agency serving seniors to get a list of accredited facilities.
  • Check online for senior care facilities in your area.
  • Take tours of potential CCRCs and talk to current residents.
  • Check the credentials of administrators and other staff. A registered nurse should be directing the nursing services, and the facility should be adequately staffed with physical therapists.
  • Does the CCRC have a Medical Director on-site?
  • What is the overall atmosphere?
  • Is it too noisy or fragrant, or are the surroundings pleasant?
  • Ask about employee background checks and annual health checks, and are regular training opportunities held?
  • Check the facility's compliance with federal and state regulations concerning quality nursing care.
  • Observe the upkeep of the facility – the grounds and the buildings.
  • Are regular fire and disaster drills held?
  • Ask about the types of food choices and can the CCRC accommodate special diet needs?
  • Look at the activities offered by the CCRC and also in the surrounding cities and towns.
  • How close are the nearest hospital and doctors' offices?

All of these are important factors to consider.

Once you decide a CCRC is right for you, what's next?

Many times the community will have entrance requirements based on age, health and financial status. To live in a CCRC, you may or may not have to pay an entrance fee or life lease, and additionally, there will be monthly payments.

  • Ask about the fees and what they cover.
  • Ask about admission information and procedures.

Then, marshal your forces and keep your good humor. No move is without its challenges along the way. Here's to a smooth transition!

 

Submitted by:
Pam Merchanthouse and Susan Rusie
Marketing Department, Friends Fellowship Community, Inc.
2030 Chester Blvd.
Richmond, IN  47374

Email: pmerchanthouse@ffcinc.org; srusie@ffcinc.org

WayNet Member: Friends Fellowship Community, Inc.
Member Website: http://www.ffcinc.org

This article has a Creative Commons License.

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Did You Know?

Wayne County was formed in 1811. It was named for General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, who was an officer during the Revolutionary War. Wayne is mainly remembered for his service in the 1790's in the Northwest Indian War, which included many actions in Indiana and Ohio.