The decision to move yourself or a loved one into a senior living community is never an easy one to make. Most people, though, have a 1980s vision of what a senior care living community is like. Today’s Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is a whole new world in retirement living that offers many benefits to the seniors who call these communities home. The benefits below are a few of the highlights.
Seniors living in a CCRC are encouraged to be as independent as possible and do for themselves for as long as they are able. Help is available to those who need limited assistance, but for the most part independence is strongly encouraged.
People in senior living communities enjoy greater security than they would experience if they were living by themselves. There are trained staff available 24/7. In the event of fire, winter weather, storms or heat waves, for example, there is someone available to check on residents and to make sure that all are safe and accounted for. There’s also less risk of violent crimes in a CCRC than in a typical neighborhood.
Not only is there a wide range of activities in senior living communities for residents to enjoy spontaneously, but there are also many planned activities. Some of these are special outings or planned activities on site, but there are also recurring activities in many communities, such as craft days, Tai Chi classes, chorale or music groups, card games, book clubs and more.
The goal is to allow residents to get to know one another and become friends to foster a real sense of community. Whether you are interested in books, gardening, arts, culture or even a favorite television show, there’s generally someone around who shares that interest, and there are many opportunities to get to know that person.
This is the most important aspect of CCRC living for many of the seniors. The ability to come and go as they please without jumping through hoops in order to do so is huge to men and women, such as yourself, who have lived independently for decades. You have no interest in giving up your freedom in order to have ready access to senior care if something goes wrong or even after something goes wrong. You want to maintain your ability to live life on your own terms.
This includes things like going on vacations, taking the grandkids to the zoo, and cooking your own meals—even occasionally eating things that aren’t exactly good for you.
It’s easy for seniors to become confused when facing the challenges of new health conditions and diagnoses. It’s even more difficult for them to learn to live within the limitations of those conditions. CCRCs offers seminars and support services to assist with various health conditions and to help you understand your condition better. This enables you to take a more proactive role in treating your condition. Educational seminars and support services are an important part of the senior care that these communities offer. Often times, a natural support system occurs between seniors as a result of neighbors sharing the same health condition.
Encourages Healthy Living
For many people in senior living communities, living a healthy lifestyle is somewhat of a challenge. Exercise options are available, from moderate walking to stretching exercises and more. Also, there are healthy meal choices for those who do not prepare their own meals, and there is education about healthier eating for those who do.
Common Questions About CCRC Living
These are a few commonly asked questions about living in a CCRC. The answers should help you make an informed decision about whether this is a good choice for your needs.
Who Benefits Most From a CCRC?
People who benefit most from a CCRC are those who are mostly independent but are experiencing an increasing number of health conditions or who simply prefer a more secure, worry-free living environment (e.g., no more shoveling snow, mowing lawns, etc.). Also, those who benefit most include people who want a greater sense of community now that their children are busy with their own lives and members of their own communities are spreading far and wide.
What Levels of Senior Care do CCRCs Offer?
CCRCs offer a wide range of care options. In fact, many CCRC facilities offer individual apartments for those who are able to live without assistance, assisted-living units for residents who need a little help and/or monitoring, and a nursing home for individuals who require more extensive care and monitoring. Memory care services are also often offered for residents.
Are There Risks Involved in CCRCs?
The biggest risk in CCRCs is the financial risk. Fees vary greatly from one CCRC to the next, and they depend on the size of the unit, location, level of care and community features. Pay attention to the small print, particularly regarding entrance fees. Some entrance fees are completely nonrefundable. Others offer a variety of refundable entrance fees after you are no longer living in the community and meet certain conditions.
Most people—even those who dig in their heels at first—find that the benefits a CCRC provides far outweigh the risks and concerns. In fact, most people who have made the move, wish they would have done it sooner.
Now that you have the facts about CCRCs, it’s time to take action and learn more about CCRC options close to you or contact Lexington Square directly.