With all the various contract options available at senior living communities today, it’s easy to get confused about Life Care. What are the benefits of a Life Care community over a rental community? Does Life Care protect my health and finances both? Do services and amenities come standard?
Perhaps the biggest benefit of a Life Care community is peace of mind. With Life Care, you’ll know that no matter what the future may bring, you’re guaranteed lifelong care, with predictable costs that can protect your assets. There’s a reason, after all, Life Care is called the gold standard for Life Plan Communities.
Life Care at a Life Plan Community
It’s important to understand Life Care isn’t a type of Life Plan Community (which you may have heard referred to as a Continuing Care Retirement Community, or CCRC). Life Care is actually a type of contract – often called a Type A contract – that may be available at certain types of senior living communities like Oak Trace.
Many Life Plan Communities offer older adults their own private independent living residence with fully appointed kitchen and washer/dryer, along with a host of services and amenities such as:
- A maintenance-free environment, inside your residence and all around the community
- Regular housekeeping and flat linen service
- Paid utilities, including cable and telephone
- 24-hour security
- Scheduled transportation
- A pet-friendly atmosphere
- Various restaurants and chef-prepared meal selections
- Comprehensive health and wellness program
- Full calendar of social, cultural and educational programs
- On-site salon and barbershop
- Numerous common spaces like a library, arts and crafts room, and woodworking shop
Generally, you pay a one-time upfront entrance fee, which varies depending on the size of residence you choose, along with a monthly service fee. This monthly fee is one you pay every month to cover the costs of all the bullet points above (your meals, access to all services and amenities, social and educational opportunities, etc.)
Most Life Plan Communities also offer higher levels of care in addition to independent living. Those higher levels of care usually include assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care.
If the Life Plan Community doesn’t offer a Life Care contract, they may offer a Type B Modified Contract. A Type B contract usually requires a lower monthly fee than a Type A contract, and the entrance fee may be lower.
With a Type B contract, if you need assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care, you may receive either a limited number of free days of health services or an ongoing minimally discounted rate for health services. However, chances are very good your monthly fee will increase over what you pay in independent living, because you’ll be responsible for some of the cost of your health care.
The problem with a Type B contract? If you need more care beyond your allotted free days, you’ll pay at per diem market rates, which can quickly add up to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the type of care you need and how long you need it. And that can take a significant chunk out of your savings.
That’s not the only drawback. A Type B contract doesn’t necessarily ensure priority access to the level of care you need, which means you may not be guaranteed a spot will be available for you at your community when you need it. And if you and your spouse need two different levels of care, you may be required to pay two monthly service fees to cover the two different care levels.
The benefits of Life Care, explained.
With Life Care, your entrance fee and monthly fee may both be higher than what you’d pay with a Type B contract. But the trade-off is, if you need to move from independent living to assisted living, skilled nursing or memory care, there will be little to no increase in your monthly fee for those higher levels of care. If your spouse needs care, you won’t pay two monthly fees. Instead, you pay one monthly fee and will have a nominal increase in your fee for your spouse.
In essence, you’re pre-paying for some portion of the health-related services that you or your spouse may need in the future. This ensures more predictable long-term expenses regardless of health care needs in the future. And, with Life Care at Oak Trace, you’ll never be asked to move out of the community if you outlive your resources.
So in addition to having a guaranteed place to live for the rest of your life, here’s what Life Care offers you:
- Priority access to our assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care and rehabilitation services, if ever needed
- Protection for you and your estate from many of health care’s rising costs
- Substantial savings compared to the average cost of senior health care
- A predictable monthly fee, even if you need additional levels of care
These reasons perfectly sum up why we say the biggest benefit of a Life Care community may be the peace of mind you give yourself, your spouse and the people who love you.
There’s a lot to learn about the benefits of Life Care. We’re here to help you understand all the advantages and decide whether Life Care at Oak Trace is a good fit for you. To get started, call us at 1.888.679.2568 or fill out the form on this page.