Moving to a senior living community is one of the most difficult decisions older adults face as they age. For some, it’s a tough choice between remaining within the familiar surroundings of home and moving to enjoy all the benefits of a Life Care community. But research shows there is one group that knows exactly which is better: family members of those who made the move to a retirement community. Of family members surveyed, 93% agree that these communities are providing good services to their family members.
It’s easy to see why. A recent study released by Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging reveals community residents report more healthy behaviors and greater emotional, social, physical, intellectual and vocational wellness versus those living in other situations. These two studies provide solid evidence that Life Care communities are clearly beneficial for older adults.
What’s the difference between CCRCs, Life Plan Communities and Life Care communities?
Before we look at the benefits of a Life Care community, let’s clear up some confusion around what the terms above mean.
Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) or Life Plan Community
Generally speaking, a CCRC is a community that offers several types of residences, ranging from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing and memory care accommodations. CCRCs usually provide a long-term contract and require an upfront entrance fee and predictable monthly service fees – providing residents the right to occupy an independent living residence, enjoy all the services and amenities offered by the community, and have access to on-site long-term health care if and when they need it. As for the term “Life Plan Community,” it’s simply a more recent name for a CCRC. There is no difference between a CCRC and a Life Plan Community.
Life Care community
A Life Care community is a CCRC/Life Plan Community that offers a Life Care (or Type A) contract. In a Life Care community, your one-time entrance fee (usually partially refundable) and monthly fees give you complete access to a variety of housing options, premium amenities and services, plus complete on-site long-term health care. Residents are promised a home for life at the community, even if they move to another residence on campus as their care needs change. Many communities offer a benevolence clause allowing residents to stay at the community for life even if they outlive their resources through no fault of their own.
7 Benefits of a Life Care community
Now that we have those definitions out of the way, it’s time to look at the best things about moving to a Life Care community.
1. Lifelong care
Even healthy, active, independent seniors may need more care and support later on. And that’s perhaps the biggest benefit of a Life Care community – that residents have a “forever home” and never have to move if additional health services are needed. Plus, except for any monthly fee increases charged to all community residents, Life Care participants can count on priority access to high-quality care, at predictable rates for the rest of their lives – generally far less than what the open market charges for these services.
2. Peace of mind
Because of the provisions of a Life Care contract, you can rest easy knowing future health care needs can be handled on the same campus as your independent living residence, and your monthly expenses will always be predictable. And your family members and loved ones can relax knowing you’re in a safe place where you’ll always receive the care you need.
Also, Life Care communities are generally staffed around the clock with medical personnel and other community team members who are available whenever assistance is needed. Additional security provisions include security guards, 24-hour emergency response systems, secure entrances and exits, and safety devices like pull bars, guard rails, fire alarms, security cameras and more.
3. Social interaction
Perhaps no other living arrangement provides as many social opportunities as a LIfe Care community. Research shows that social interaction provides numerous benefits to both the physical and cognitive health of those who live in these communities. In fact, seniors who stay social tend to live longer than those suffering from social isolation and loneliness. Plus, older adults with a social support system may also have stronger immune systems and a decreased risk of depression, anxiety and suicide.
4. Maintenance-free living
Another huge benefit of a Life Care community is saying goodbye to chores, housekeeping, lawn care, and even laundry. Many residents are surprised by how much time they have to do more enjoyable activities now that these duties are done for them. As we look back on our lives, most of us will never wish we had spent more time vacuuming carpets or mowing the lawn.
5. Activities and learning
Hobbies, activities and learning opportunities abound at most Life Care communities, providing endless avenues to grow, learn and interact with others who share your passions. Many communities also partner with local colleges for classes, seminars and projects, and bring in outside organizations to provide educational opportunities.
6. Exercise programs
You may have never had an easier time staying fit than at a Life Care community. Nearly all these communities offer a fitness center and swimming pool on-site. Not surprisingly, fitness staples like walking, jogging and weight lifting are available. But many communities also offer classes that are age-friendly and engaging. Yoga and water aerobics, for example, are low-impact exercises perfect for seniors.
7. Healthy meals
Our last benefit of a Life Care community is nutrition. Nearly all Life Care communities provide diet and nutritional guidance. This can range from simple, healthy eating guidelines to creating nutrition plans for those needing special diets due to a health condition. Together with healthy options in restaurant-style dining facilities, seniors often end up eating healthier than they would on their own.
Have it all at The Stayton.
You’ll enjoy all these benefits at The Stayton at Museum Way, including priority access to higher levels of care, predictable monthly fees, tax benefits and more. Our highly respected, highly recognized health services consistently achieve lower-than-average hospital readmission rates and earned a 5-Star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. We’re also proud recipients of a Silver – Achievement in Quality Award by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. Just fill out the brief form below to be contacted by one of our helpful sales counselors.