What Is a Continuing Care Retirement Community?

While most people have heard of independent living and assisted living, not many are familiar with continuing care retirement communities. These communities can accommodate a range of needs, transitioning with you as you age. Learn more about continuing care retirement communities in the guide below. 

Continuing Care Retirement Community: What to Expect

A continuing care community is a type of retirement community designed to provide continued care to older adults. Also known as CCRCs or life plan communities, these communities provide senior adults with living options that can meet their specific needs as time goes on.

In most scenarios, an older adult who enters a continuing care community is able to live independently at first. They can perform daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and personal hygiene entirely on their own without assistance. 

As time goes on, medical conditions or cognitive concerns may make it harder to do these things without assistance. At this point, their living arrangements can be adjusted accordingly. This may include the use of home health aides or transitioning into an assisted living facility. 

The following are three types of senior living options that are associated with continuing care communities.

Independent Living

Independent living allows older adults to remain in an individual home, condo, or apartment without any live-in assistance. 

These seniors can perform all or most of their daily tasks on their own. They may have very mild medical concerns or no medical concerns at all. This is where most people start off when in continuing care communities.

Skilled Nursing Care and Memory Care

Aging is correlated with many serious health concerns that can impact your ability to function. As you age in independent living, you may find that medical concerns are affecting how well you can take care of yourself. 

If you have daily medical needs, you may be in need of skilled nursing care. This care refers to medical professionals who can visit your home or remain in the home for a specific amount of time to provide the medical care you need.

Memory care is a specific type of skilled nursing that works with seniors who have some type of cognitive decline. This includes residents with Alzheimer’s or forms of dementia.

Assisted Living

When you or your loved one requires ongoing daily assistance, you may need to transition to assisted living. Assisted living is an essential part of the continuing care spectrum, helping older adults get the care that they need for progressive health concerns or severe cognitive impairment. 

With assisted living, the senior resident lives in a facility with other seniors and on-site care staff who can tend to their needs continuously.

The Benefits of CCRC

Continuing care retirement communities present a variety of benefits for adults as they age. They allow you to begin in a living arrangement that maintains your independence and receive more assistance as you need it. Many older adults enjoy this type of community as it provides the care they need as they need it. 

Is CCRC Right for You or Your Loved One?

Is your parent or other senior loved one ready to transition into senior living? When moving into a senior living community, many people have difficulty determining what type of community is right for their parents. Are they able-bodied enough for an independent living community, or do their needs call for an assisted living setting?  If you are unsure what type of living community is right for your parents, a continuing care retirement community might be the best choice. This type of community transitions with your parents’ needs and abilities, ensuring they get the exact level of care they require.

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