You are here: Articles Housing Continuing Care CCRCs: Three Questions

CCRCs: Three Questions

E-mail Print PDF

Roger Gore, Marketing Director at Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community, has over ten years of experience working with seniors and their families to select a new home.

Dr. Bob and Betty Cook decided it was time to move from their four-bedroom home. They chose to move to a Continuing Care Retirement Center.

Bob and Betty Cook decided it was time to move from their four-bedroom home in Raleigh where they had raised their children. “One day while I was busy repairing a leak in the kitchen sink, I needed a new part,” Bob explains. “I headed out to the hardware store and the garage door broke. I looked at my wife and said ‘It’s time to move.’”

A former head of the Poultry Science Department and Assistant Dean of Agriculture at NCSU, Bob knew they wanted to stay in the Triangle but needed to live where so much of their time wasn’t spent on home maintenance and housekeeping. They also wanted to make new friends and enjoy activities unrelated to maintaining a home and yard. They landed at a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Raleigh.

Bob continued, “We found a place that provides independent living, which we wanted, but also offers assisted living and constant care should we need it in the future.”

The best time to look into a new community is when you are independent and physically able. Continuing care communities are ideal for active people who want guaranteed peace of mind for themselves and their families.

When you begin researching communities, it is essential to explore and discuss your options. It's important to feel at home with the community, residents and staff.

Here are three important questions to ask of any community:

1. “What are the people like?”

While the staff may not be able to tell you exactly how you’ll fit in, you may get a sense of what the community is like by visiting several communities. Brochures can only portray so much. You may want to try to sit in on some activities, interact with the residents and ask questions. See what they have to say about the community and what they enjoy doing.

2. “What living options do they offer?”

Whether you are exploring communities for yourself or an elderly parent, you’ll want to know what living options are available. Many CCRCs offer homes, villas and apartments with a variety of floor plans. Bob and Betty chose a stand-alone home and later moved to a two-bedroom apartment. It is important to determine projected availability for your timeframe. Waiting List members receive invitations to community events, and they often discover old or new friends in the process.

3. “Can this community cater to my current and future needs?”

For many, the most important difference between a CCRC and most senior living communities is the variety of care levels. In addition to independent living, most CCRCs provide assisted living and 24-hour skilled nursing care. You don’t want to move in the middle of a health crisis so weigh all your options. You’ll want to bridge what needs you have now with those that may come in the future. Look for amenities like transportation, lifestyle programs and wellness care.

Pampered Living for Proactive People

A CCRC is similar to a college campus which is one of the primary distinguishing factors between continuing care and an assisted living community. The residents set the agenda. In an assisted living community, residents have a higher level of need so the staff often sets the programs and agenda.

A continuing care community cannot eliminate all of life’s concerns, but as Betty Cook advises, “Find the most stress-free living where you have independence, convenience and health care for your immediate and future needs. Friends and a variety of things to do is also of utmost importance.”