If you or a loved one has decided that aging at home might be an impractical choice for the future then a retirement community could be a viable alternative. However, there are a number of different types of communities from which to choose and the differences between each are not always easy to identify.
Aside from the more obvious characteristics- such as size of the community, amenities, culture, and location- one of the most important factors to consider when exploring retirement communities is which phase(s) along the continuum of care the community is equipped to serve. The term “continuum of care” refers to the increasing intensity of healthcare services that may be required as a person ages; beginning with independent living and progressing through personal care or assisted living and then to around-the-clock skilled nursing care.
Almost all 55+ retirement communities– including Active Adult Living, Independent Living, Senior Apartments, and Senior Co-Ops– serve those who are either able to live completely independently or who require only limited assisted living services. Yet, if a more advanced level of care is required the resident would need to move to an off-site assisted living or skilled nursing facility.
A Continuing Care Retirement Community— often referred to as a “Full Service Retirement Community” or a “CCRC”– is the only type of retirement community that provides services spanning the continuum of care. CCRCs cater to active retirees who are able to live independently today but who seek the peace of mind that comes with living in a community equipped to provide necessary health care services in the future; thus reducing potential stress and hardship for the resident and their family members later.
Yet, all CCRCs are not created alike and ,many communities require a significant financial commitement in exchange for lifetime access to health care services. Choosing the right community is an important decision. If you or a loved one is considering a Full Service Retirement Community be sure to inquire about the type of residency contract(s) offered, financial stability of the community, quality of care, and experience of the management team. For a full CCRC directory and detailed third-party analysis on a particular community visit www.LifeSiteLogics.com or consult with a LifeSite Logics subscriber.
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