A continuing care retirement community is a long term care facility where a loved one can live and transition through the entire care continuum. Most of these facilities require an assisted living level of care so that a senior citizen or the couple entered the facility and have the ability to live independently. As one or both of the parties living in the facility begin to experience health care problems, they have the ability to move to an assisted living and/or nursing home on the CCRC’s premises. This is a convenient way for families to deal with the aging process without disrupting the lives of the senior citizens as they begin to age in place. In this way, the family can make certain that the seniors will be provided with between one to three meals per day in the CCRC’s dining facility. An initial deposit is required in many of the CCRC’s. In certain cases, a portion and possibly all of the deposit may be forfeited depending on the seniors’ length of stay in the facility or in the contractual agreement that they are required to sign upon entry.
The CCRC is populated with a large number of seniors who are in a similar situation. They reduce the likelihood of isolation that many seniors experience as their friends move away and/or meet with an untimely death. Most of these facilities provide cleaning and housekeeping services as well as transportation services which are available for shopping or to the doctor. They also present entertainment options such as trips to the theater, symphony, or to a museum just to name a few. The CCRC is geared to individuals and couples who are over the age of 70 and in reasonably good health and would be selling their home to relocate to the facility. In most cases, there are financial requirements that must be met to enter the CCRC. A good rule of thumb would be for the family to have liquid or investment assets of at least $350,000. This will vary based on the entry agreement required to be signed by the CCRC. Keep in mind that neither your family nor you have an ownership interest in the CCRC. You are merely lending the organization that owns the CCRC the entry deposit. In essence, the family is a creditor so if the CCRC were to fail, then the entire deposit made by the family lost. That is why it is very important to have a knowledgeable eldercare attorney review the agreement from the facility including the financial statements and the accompanying rules.