If you have decided that staying at home might not be a practical choice long-term choice for you or a loved one, then a retirement community could be a viable alternative. However, there are a number of different types of communities from which to choose and the differences between each are not always easy to identify.
Continuum of Care
One of the most important factors to consider when exploring retirement communities is which phase(s) along the continuum of care the community is equipped to serve. The term “continuum of care” refers to the increased level of health care services that may be required as a person ages, beginning with independent living and progressing to personal care or assisted living and then around-the-clock skilled nursing care.
Almost all retirement communities for people age 55+, including Active Adult Living, Independent Living, and Senior Apartments, serve those who are either able to live independently or who require only limited supportive living services. If a more advanced level of care is required the resident would need to move to an off-site health care facility.
A Continuing Care Retirement Community—often referred to as a CCRC or Life Plan Community- is the only type of retirement community that offers a full continuum of care, from independent living to advanced skilled nursing services. CCRCs cater to active retirees who are able to live independently today, but who seek the peace of mind that comes with knowing their future health care needs will be met by the community, thus reducing potential stress and hardship for the resident and other family members.
Yet, all CCRCs are not alike. Many communities require a significant financial commitment in exchange for access to health care services. Choosing the right community is an important decision. If you are considering a CCRC, ask about the type of residency contract(s) available, financial stability of the community, quality of care, and experience of the management team.
The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.