Many older retirees are seeking more than a community where they can purposefully age in place. What they’re really looking for is empowerment. These older adults want a lifestyle where they can live independently and dictate the rhythm of their days without the headaches of homeownership. They also want the peace of mind that comes from being in control of their future healthcare and financial decisions. And they want the security of knowing the retirement savings they’ve worked a lifetime for are protected. A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that offers Life Care may fit their wants and needs perfectly. But understanding the different types of CCRCs, Life Care and other types of contracts, and the continuum of care well enough can be the biggest hurdle to choosing a senior living community. As Brad Breeding, a nationally recognized senior living speaker, often says in his sessions, comparing CCRCs is so difficult because it often isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison. So this blog post is all about empowerment: helping you learn what a CCRC is, what the continuum of care entails at a CCRC, what Life Care is and why it’s considered the most comprehensive of contracts, and what advantages you’ll discover when you choose a Life Care community like Ventana by Buckner.
What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community?
You might have seen the term Life Plan Community used alongside CCRC; both terms refer to the same type of community. A Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC, is a type of retirement community that provides you with a residence, a range of services and amenities, and the continuum of care, all at one place. The advantage of choosing a CCRC is that you have the security of knowing you’ll be taken care of for the rest of your life. Most people first move into a CCRC as an independent living resident. If your health needs change, you’ll have access to the levels of care the CCRC offers its residents.
What you pay at a CCRC
There is a cost to have all this available to you. The traditional CCRC model is based on residents paying an entrance fee upon move-in. Typically a CCRC will charge you a one-time entrance fee, which may be fully refundable, partially refundable or nonrefundable. The amount of your entrance fee is based on the size of the residence you choose and number of people who will live there. You’ll also pay a monthly service fee; this one service fee covers many of the costs you would be paying if you lived in your own home, like property taxes, utilities, meals, transportation, etc. It also pays for a number of community services and amenities you may not have had in your own home, such as housekeeping, wellness, social, recreational and educational programs, and use of common spaces like a fitness center, pool, library and movie theater.
The CCRC continuum of care
To meet residents’ health needs as they age, a CCRC provides either a partial or a full continuum of care on its campus. Typically that may include assisted living, short-term rehabilitation, long-term skilled nursing care and memory care. The major benefit of having care on campus at a CCRC is that as your health needs evolve with age, you won’t have to continue making additional moves to receive the care you need. Your spouse can also remain in independent living while you move to a higher level of care.
Life Care at a CCRC
Life Care is a type of contract some CCRCs offer. It’s also known as a Type A contract. This type of contract works somewhat like long-term care insurance. You’ll pay more while you live independently, but if you do need care in the future, your monthly service fee typically doesn’t increase significantly. In essence, you’re paying upfront for care, so if at some point you do need it, you’ll pay far less for those services than you would on the open market. In addition to Type A, there are two other types of CCRC contracts to be aware of. A Type B contract provides health care in one of two ways. One way is through a limited number of free days as part of the entrance fee; once those free days have been used you pay for additional care at per diem rates. You may also pay an ongoing, minimally discounted rate for each day of your care. A Type C contract is also called a fee-for-service contract. With this type of contract, if you need care you’ll pay a monthly fee that reflects the market rate for that care. You may pay a lower entry fee and monthly service fee than the other types of contracts, but you’re not protected from the high costs of long-term care.
Why Life Care is the most comprehensive contract
The key point of Life Care is, it’s truly care for life. You live independently, knowing all the what-ifs of future care are planned for, and partially paid for, through your entrance fee. You know that if you do move into assisted living, skilled nursing care or memory care, your monthly service fee may increase only slightly, or may not increase at all. You also know that if you or your spouse needs care, one can move into the continuum of care while the other remains comfortably in independent living.
Life Care at Ventana
At Ventana, the Life Care benefit covers the cost of your independent lifestyle — your residence, access to services, amenities and activities, and everything the community has to offer you. And life at Ventana includes an array of remarkable Member perks, including a superb culinary experience; VentanaFIT senior wellness program; weekly, biweekly and monthly events and happenings; and the absolute freedom to pursue the lifestyle that fits you best. If you do need higher levels of care, at Ventana you can be confident you’ll have access to assisted living, short-term rehabilitation, long-term skilled nursing care and memory care, all at predictable below-market costs for the rest of your life. Learn why Ventana’s Executive Director Rick Pruett encourages older adults to choose Life Care. Once you hear his five reasons, you may like to talk more about how you can become a Member at Ventana. Our sales counselors are available to help you do just that.