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What Makes Life Care Communities Different Than Other CCRCs?

If you or a loved one are researching senior living communities, and gathering information on the types of independent living or assisted living for seniors, you might be wondering: What’s the difference between different types of communities, and which one is right for you? In this post, we’ll explore two of the most modern and advanced types of senior living communities, CCRCs and Life Care communities—and we’ll look at the differences between the two. We’ll also discuss Ventana by Buckner, a Life Care CCRC for seniors in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, to discover what makes Ventana a special place to live.

What a Life Care community is, and how it differs from a traditional CCRC

To begin, let’s start with a couple definitions:

  • A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is a type of senior living community that provides continuing care (also referred to as a continuum of care, or continuity of care) that provides seniors with living options that cover a range of healthcare needs. Many CCRCs offer independent living, assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation, and other healthcare services—so, if the seniors who live at the community need these services at any point during their lives, the services are available right at the community. There are different ways that seniors pay for these health services, and the various financial models available are one of the primary distinguishing factors between CCRCs.
  • A Life Care Continuing Care Retirement Community is a special kind of CCRC with a financial model that covers the costs of all of the potential healthcare needs seniors may have during their time at the community. Life Care communities provide seniors with predictable, cost-controlled healthcare rates, offering peace of mind, exceptional lifelong care, and significant savings compared to the same healthcare services if purchased on the open market. Ventana is a Life Care CCRC.

An easy way to think about Life Care communities vs. CCRCs is that all Life Care communities are CCRCs, but not all CCRCs are Life Care communities.  Life Care communities like Ventana are unique in that they offer seniors the confidence that their healthcare needs will be met—no matter what they are—for the rest of their lives. CCRCs keep seniors from having to relocate to other communities, or to hospitals, as they age. This provides a major emotional benefit to seniors and their spouses, knowing that they’ll be able to live in one place, regardless of their health requirements. It also makes for easier and more effective healthcare delivery because it eliminates the need to travel to and from care providers, and other logistical hassles that arise from traditional healthcare models. Life Care CCRCs like Ventana take healthcare for seniors to another level, and the difference is found in the way Life Care communities handle healthcare costs.

The different types of CCRC models

Life Care communities differ from traditional CCRCs by factoring all healthcare costs into the initial contract and entrance fee that seniors pay when they enter the community, as well as the monthly fees that they pay to live at the CCRC. This “Life Care contract” (or Life Care agreement) covers not only healthcare, but housing, services, and amenities as well.  At a Life Care community like Ventana, living costs and healthcare costs stay constant the entire time that Members live in the community—so they never have to worry about whether they’ll be able to afford healthcare if their health needs change. Even if Members exhaust their finances, the Life Care contract still covers housing and healthcare needs, indefinitely. The same cannot be said of other types of CCRCs. At non-Life Care CCRCs, for starters, the continuum of care offered may be full—meaning it includes independent living, assisted living, memory care, and the full spectrum of care services seniors may need—but it may only be a partial continuum of care. In that case, it’s possible that seniors will need healthcare services which the community can’t provide. It’s also possible that the health services at the CCRC won’t be on-site, even when seniors pay out of pocket; if this is so, they may need to find a way to access off-campus care, which can cause major obstacles. Also, non-Life Care CCRCs tend to feature financial models in which monthly fees increase as additional healthcare needs arise. If seniors need assisted living, rehab, or memory care, their monthly fees can escalate dramatically—and they may have to pay market rates for their care. It is common for members of CCRCs with these kinds of financial models to end up paying far more for their healthcare than those at Life Care communities. 

Ventana, the Life Care CCRC for seniors in Dallas/Fort Worth

Many Life Care CCRCs offer a superior level of healthcare than other CCRCs and other types of senior living communities—and among Life Care communities, Ventana stands out from the crowd. Ventana offers an array of Life Care and wellness programs to community Members, who enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle. The full continuum of care at Ventana is second to none—offering financial and emotional security—and it comes with Ventana’s first-class services and amenities. If you’re interested in discovering why so many Texas seniors view Ventana as the perfect choice for them and their loved ones, call Ventana at 214-234-1035. Or visit