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Questions to Ask When Choosing a Continuing Care Retirement Community

Choosing where to spend your golden years is no small task. When you have options, it can be difficult to determine which senior living community is right for you. The most important thing you can do is ask questions. We can help you know what to expect from a CCRC and a Life Care contract so that you can easily eliminate the unknowns in your search.

What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)?

A continuing care retirement community (CCRC) lives up to the name. It’s a senior living community that continues to provide the care you need now and in the future. The concept of a CCRC is to build a community where older adults can live independently and receive additional levels of care should their health and well-being require it. These additional levels of care can include assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation.

Life Care Contracts Explained

To become a resident of a CCRC, also known as a Life Care community, there is an application process and a contract to sign. The contract will outline the services and amenities that the resident is entitled to, in addition to explaining the one-time entrance fee and the monthly fee that will be charged. But not every contract is the same. In fact, there are three different types of Life Care contracts.

  • Type A. This is the most all-inclusive of the three contracts. It entitles the resident to unlimited access to additional levels of care within the community for little to no change in their monthly fees.
  • Type B. Rather than unlimited access, the resident has access to health services for a fixed number of “free” days or for a fee of a discounted market rate, with a lower entrance fee.
  • Type C. The resident has access to the same basic services and amenities, but additional levels of care, if needed, will be charged at fee-for-service full market rates.

Questions to Ask of a CCRC

The most important thing you can do when choosing a CCRC is to ask questions. But what questions, exactly? We can help you know what to ask, so that you are equipped with the questions that are going to help you find the right community to call home.

What type of contract do you offer?

You know by now that there are three different types of Life Care contracts. But which type of contract do the CCRCs you are considering offer? Oak Trace, for example, offers Type A and Type B contracts. This should be one of the first questions you ask of a CCRC, because you need to be sure that the community offers terms that fit within your financial means.

What is your entrance fee and what does it include?

Every CCRC is going to have an entrance fee, but not always for the same reasons. Be sure to ask how much the entrance fee is and what that fee covers, specifically. Entrance fees are often calculated based on the size of the residence and the number of occupants.

What is included in your monthly service fees?

You are charged a fee each month as part of your contract with a CCRC, but what exactly is that money paying for? Transparency regarding fees is critical. You are entitled to know what specific services and amenities are being covered under the monthly service fee.

What services are available on site?

In addition to the general services offered to residents, which can range from housekeeping and maintenance to social, cultural and educational programming, the health services offered on site in the CCRC are just as relevant. You may not need them now, but having greater levels of care available within your community may help you further into the future.

What living arrangements are available for each level of care?

You may start out living in an independent living residence, but what happens if you require a greater level of care later on in life? What does that mean for your living situation? CCRCs may offer a range of health services, but may not be able to provide those services in the comfort of your current independent living residence. It is worth asking what the protocol is when a resident requires a greater level of care and if that might require a move within the community.

What if my spouse and I require different levels of care?

Sharing a life with your significant other also means sharing a space. As life goes on and the health of either spouse takes a turn, continuing to share a space can be a challenge. This can be especially true of a CCRC, which is why you should ask how their community handles a situation where one resident requires a greater level of care than their spouse

Benefits of Oak Trace’s Life Care Community in Downers Grove, IL

The Life Care community at Oak Trace is built around the concept of independence. Our goal is to make sure that each and every resident is empowered to live every day as they see fit, with all of their needs provided for. That means providing life-enriching community features, like our full calendar of social, cultural and educational programs. But more importantly, Oak Trace offers a full continuum of care to support the health and well-being of our residents. We are so committed to providing this unmatched level of care, that we are undergoing a multi-million dollar expansion to make life at Oak Trace better than ever. Here, you can enjoy every day with the knowledge that you are being taken care of now and in the future.

If you’d like to learn more about our Life Care community, let’s chat! Fill out the form below or give us a call at 630-769-6100.

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