Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Continuing Care Retirement Communities (“CCRCs”) are housing communities that provide different levels of assistance and care, from independent living to skilled nursing care, based on the residents’ changing needs. Their goal is to allow a resident to maintain the maximum amount of independence as they age while meeting the housing, care, entertainment, and medical needs of that person as they change over time. Residents move from one setting to another based on their needs, but continue to remain part of their CCRC community.
One major advantage of a CCRC arises when a resident needs to move to higher level of care only temporarily to address an injury or other health problem. That resident can, for instance, move from independent or assisted living to skilled nursing communities to recover from a severe fall, and then move back again while maintaining continuity of their physical and social environment.
In addition, most CCRCs provide a variety of services, which may be covered by monthly fees or be available at extra cost. Services offered may include housekeeping, meals, recreation programs and communities, prescribed diet, transportation, utilities, and care during illness.
According to the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission, there are three basic types of contract that a resident enters into with a Continuing Care Retirement Communities: extensive, modified, and fee-for-service.
They are described as follows:
- An extensive contract offers unlimited long-term nursing care for little or no substantial increase in your usual monthly payments. Entrance fees and monthly costs under extensive contracts are typically higher than those under modified or fee-for-service contracts. The entrance fee may be refundable over time, partially refundable or nonrefundable. You may acquire ownership of your residence within the community, or you may be provided housing on a rental basis.
- A modified contract includes a specified amount of long-term nursing care beyond which you are responsible for payment. Once such specified amount of care is reached, the resident may continue to receive care, but most pay the facility’s daily or monthly nursing rate.
- A fee-for-service contract coves the cost of your housing, residential services, and amenities. You pay full daily rates for all long-term nursing care required. Entrance and monthly fees are lower under this type of contract because residents are responsible for all long-term nursing and health care costs.