For many older adults who are currently independent but like the idea of living in a setting where healthcare services are available if needed down the road, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC), or life plan community, can be an ideal solution.
A popular question among prospective CCRC residents is, “When is the best time to make the move?” There is no perfect answer to this question because everyone’s situation will be different. However, waiting toolong can mean missing out on some of the very reasons people are attracted to these communities in the first place.
If you feel that a continuing care retirement community is right for you, here are a few reasons why you may want to consider moving sooner rather than later:
- Involvement: One of the main benefits of living in a CCRC is having easy access to a vast array of services, amenities, and activities. Many of these perks take place within the walls of the community, but CCRCs are increasingly providing ways for residents to stay involved in the broader community through service projects, adult education classes, and more. Moving earlier allows residents to more fully enjoy and benefit from these “extra-curricular” activities.
- Wellness: CCRCs strive to help residents stay healthy and live independently as long as possible. Comprehensive health and wellness programs may include access to qualified fitness professionals, special diet meal plans, aquatic and fitness centers, low-impact aerobics, and yoga classes, just to name a few. Additionally, more CCRCs today are emphasizing a “whole-person” concept, including emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational, and spiritual experiences.
- Relationships: Residents of CCRCs often say that one of the best things about the community in which they live is the friendships they have formed with other residents. Those who wait too long to make the move may not have the time to develop meaningful relationships, which can be particularly helpful as part of a support network if healthcare needs arise in the future.
- Window of Opportunity: Continuing care contracts generally require that residents must be able to live independently and that they are not at an increased risk for assisted living or healthcare services. Therefore, many CCRCs will perform a health evaluation of prospective residents as a part of the application process. Those who do not meet the community’s health criteria can be declined for entry and miss the opportunity to benefit from what a CCRC offers, including access to a full continuum of care.
- Easier Transition: Moving gets more difficult with time. Those who are able-bodied and in good health can better handle the transition, often even embracing this new chapter in life. Alternatively, those who are frail often suffer from relocation stress syndrome (RSS), which can lead to other health problems.
So, when is the best time to move to a CCRC? The above factors and considerations must go into each person’s unique answer. But generally speaking, once you have made the determination that a CCRC is right for you, it may be wise to make the move while you are still young enough and healthy enough to enjoy the many benefits of these dynamic communities.
The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.