As people age, many realize that they want to enjoy independent living without having to handle all the duties that come with homeownership. For many, the answer is a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). These communities are tailored toward the needs of these older adults.

There are many benefits of living in a CCRC, but they’re only going to happen if you choose the correct one for your needs. Because these are long-term communities, you will have to ensure that you’re looking for one that can meet your future needs.

When you’re embarking on the journey to find a CCRC, consider these points:

What Is the Cost of the CCRC?

One of the most important things you have to do is to determine if you can financially afford the CCRC. Most CCRCs require you to pay an entry fee. Ask what happens to that fee. In some cases, a part of it is returned to your family when you pass away or to you if you move out. Some CCRCs use a sliding scale that provides the refund based on length of residency.

You also have to find out what the monthly care cost will be. This usually depends on the level of care and the type of unit you live in. When you are discussing this, find out what type of increases you can expect if your care needs increase over time.

Ask about the ancillary charges, which are services and items you will pay for that aren’t included in your monthly payment. For example, are meals included in the monthly fee, or is there an extra charge? Do you pay additionally for housekeeping services? Is parking included in the monthly service fee? Knowing these things ahead of time can help prevent unexpected charges down the road.

What Is the Staff-to-Resident Ratio?

The staff-to-resident ratio is important, especially in the higher levels of care. When you’re discussing this, find out what type of staff members they are including in the figure. Additionally, remember that at the lowest care levels, you might not need much personal care, so there might not be as many staff members per resident.

Discuss the length of time staff members work for the CCRC. Long-term employees mean the workers are experienced and the environment is favorable. CCRCs that have a high staff turnover might not be horrible, but you should find out if there’s a reason for the turnover that will impact you.

What Activities and Programs Are Available?

The activities and programs at the CCRC have a direct effect on how much you can enjoy your days. You should look for activities you will enjoy. This may include outings to nearby cities or attractions, arts and crafts, common hobbies, group activities, individual activities, and health and wellness activities. Ideally, the CCRC will have a wide range of activities available so you can try new things and make new friends.

At some CCRCs, there are activities led by residents. This might mean you take a yoga class from someone who’s certified to teach but also lives at the CCRC. Resident-led activities are also common for hobby activities and arts and crafts. You might find something you are interested in helping other residents with.

How Are Care Transitions Handled?

Care transitions are one of the biggest concerns for some residents. Find out how these are handled at the CCRC. Will you have to move to a new home if your care needs increase? Who determines when a care transition is appropriate?

Discuss the types of care levels. Find out if skilled nursing care, rehabilitation programs and assisted living options are available that would allow you to age at the CCRC. Are these available to the CCRC residents in the same community, or is a move necessary?

What Type of Medical Care Is Available?

Medical care is one area that must be carefully considered. Find out how emergencies are handled at the CCRC. Ask what type of medical care is available within the CCRC. What types of care will you have to leave the community to receive? Is transportation provided for off-site medical care? Find out what charges you will be responsible for if you use on-site medical care options.

You should find out how close the nearest hospital is. Because long-term hospitalizations are possible in some cases, you should discuss what will happen if you end up in the hospital for an extended period of time. Some CCRCs will reduce the monthly fees if you aren’t in the community for a specific amount of time.

What Are the Rules Related to Guests?

Find out what rules are set for guests. For example, are you allowed to have guests stay at your home overnight? What amenities can your guests use? Knowing the rules now can help you to determine whether the CCRC will enable you to enjoy time with your loved ones.

Can You Test-Drive the CCRC?

One of the best ways to determine if a CCRC is a good fit for you is to spend time there. Many have guest accommodations that they use for people who want to try out the community for a few days. This gives you a chance to interact freely with residents, see how clean the community is on a regular basis and get a feel for the overall dynamics of the CCRC.

How Are Complaints Handled?

While many residents never have complaints about the CCRC they reside in, it’s important to know how complaints are handled. Ideally, there are two or more individuals who can receive complaints. There should be an option for residents to reach someone 24/7 if there’s a situation that requires immediate intervention.

Contact Riddle Village

Riddle Village is a luxury continuing care retirement community that offers amenities tailored to the residents. We’re ready to talk with you and show you around our retirement community in PA so you can determine if this is the best option for you. You can fill out our convenient online form to request a brochure or schedule a visit. You can also give us a call at 610-891-3700.