Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

Live an active and healthy lifestyle with others of your own age.

What Is A CCRC?

“The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) defines a CCRC as an organization that provides individuals a combination of housing options, accommodations, and health care services, depending on the level of care needed. Thus, within a single setting, an individual can move from an independent to a more restrictive housing environment as his or her needs increase. A CCRC organization typically has a formal contract or agreement with an individual or couple entering the community that includes the costs and level of services that will be provided (Sherwood, Ruchlin, Sherwood, Morris, 1997).  (Entrance fees range from $100,000.00 – $700,000.00 dollars with monthly costs to pay for the type and size of apartments or cottages they choose to live in.)” *

People 65 years and older may choose these type of communities because they offer an active living lifestyle in their independent living complexes.  Once a person needs care they can choose to pay for in home care in that independent living environment or they can move into other settings that offer care on the same campus.  Couple often find CCRCs a viable option because it allows spouses to be in close proximity to each other as one transitions to the various levels of care.  Another enticing feature for people is that the majority of CCRCs are nonprofit organizations and generally have religious affiliations.  However, there is a growing for profit CCRCs owned and operated by large corporations.

The specific types of living options in CCRCs are the following:

Independent Living space consisting of an apartment, cottage, or 1-2 story homes.  Apartments on these campuses can be in high rises to lower multi-story buildings.  In these complexes there are leisure activities, recreation areas, some have theatres and/or large conference rooms, health and fitness gyms and pools for people who desire the active living lifestyle.

Assisted Living space consisting of an apartment while varying levels of care may be provided to the residents in that 24 hour care setting.

Nursing Homes, Skilled Nursing Facility/Rehab Center – This type of care level is provided to residents in the community for recovery from an acute care need that had them admitted to the hospital, then rehabilitation is under Medicare until they are able to return back to their Independent living or Assisted living setting.

This type of setting is also for those people who require care over and above what the Assisted Living setting is able to provide.  In that situation, people continue to reside here to have all of their care needs met.

Memory Care space – This provision of care, for people suffering from dementia, in CCRCs may either be provided in the Nursing Home environment or in a dedicated section of Assisted Living.

  • “Type A or extensive or life-care contractsthat include housing, residential services and amenities — including unlimited use of healthcare services at little or no increase in the monthly fee. These contracts typically feature the highest entrance fees. The CCRC absorbs the risk that more residents than projected will need higher levels of care.
  • Type B or modified contractstypically offer lower entrance and monthly fees. Type B contracts limit the amount of health care services that may be accessed without any increase in the monthly fee. For example, some may offer a limited stay in the skilled-nursing facility with no increase in the monthly fee (for example, up to 30 days every four months). If the resident requires an extended stay, the monthly fee will increase but still be below the average cost of a stay in other skilled nursing facilities in the area.
  • Type C or fee-for-service contractsinclude similar housing, residential services and amenities as Type A and B contracts but require residents to pay market rates for any health-related services under an as needed arrangement. Type C contracts offer lower entrance fees and monthly fees but the risk of large long-term-care (LTC) expenses remain with the resident — the risk is not shifted to the facility.” **


Share This