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Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC): How to Choose

Now that you’ve decided a CCRC (i.e. life-plan community) is right for you, you’re likely wondering how to narrow your options and choose a community?

The following tips will help steer you in the right path.

Consider Your Wants and Needs

Before you start comparing communities, think about your wants and needs and prioritize those. Consider adding those wants and needs to following categories:

  • Must have (e.g. pet, plenty of outdoor space, weekly housekeeping)
  • Preferences (e.g. staying in the same town, close to shopping, dining and entertainment options, full-size kitchen, balcony or patio)
  • Nice-to-have (e.g. concierge services, heated pool, community-provided transportation, scenic views and other non-essential items)
  • Once you’ve identified the items that are most important, you’re able to quickly narrow your options.

Comparing CCRC’s (i.e. life-plan communities)

After creating your list, aim to narrow your options to two or three communities so you can closely compare them.

You want to compare them based on your list – identifying the pros and cons. To get the most information you can and a true feel of the community, we recommend touring each community you’re considering. Consider asking the following questions when touring:

Community Details

  • What’s the community’s personality/culture like?
  • What’s the age range of the residents?
  • How many residents are currently living in the community?

Residences/Parking

  • What are the accommodation options? Are there cost differences?
  • Is parking assigned?
  • Are pets allowed?

Costs

  • What is the monthly fee(s)?
  • What’s included in the fee(s) and what isn’t?
  • How much is the deposit(s) and entry fee(s)? Are they refundable if you change your mind? Does the deposit(s) get applied to the first month’s fee?

Services/Amenities

  • Does the community provide transportation?
  • What are some of the scheduled activities?
  • Does the community offer trips? If so, where?
  • Is there an option to have meals in the community dining venue(s)?
  • What are the community’s amenities (e.g. pool, fitness room, dining options, walking trails, tennis courts, salon)?

And any other questions that are relevant to you.

Ask to meet some of the residents, for their perspective on the community and team members you’ll be interacting with (e.g. activity, maintenance and dining team members). Also, ask if it’s possible to sample an activity class or a menu item from its dining venue(s).

We offer prospective residents all those options, so they are better able to get a true feel of our community. We want individuals who chose our community to feel confident they’re making the best decision.

Be cautious of senior living communities with team members who are unhelpful, double-talk or won’t answer specific questions – those are a red flag.

Each community has its unique features and personality, so it’s important to consider those that fit you best. By creating a list of your needs and wants, asking questions and touring the community, you’ll feel confident with the decision you make.

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