Seniors who want a maintenance-free lifestyle while living in the same community for their remaining years should consider a continuing care retirement community. These senior communities offer multiple care levels to allow residents to get the amount of support they need as their situations change. This makes a CCRC suitable for all seniors, from those who can currently take care of themselves to those who need 24-hour nursing care.

As people age, they often want to move to a senior community to eliminate home maintenance and unexpected home repair expenses. These communities also offer on-site amenities, which can range from dining facilities and fitness centers to salons and community gardens. Choosing the right type of senior community can be confusing. A CCRC can make the decision easier for all seniors since it can fulfill changing care needs.

How Does a CCRC Work?

A CCRC is a multilevel care facility that typically includes independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care on the same campus instead of only offering one of those care options. Some CCRCs also have special memory care neighborhoods for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other memory issues. Sometimes the various types of care are located in different buildings or on different parts of the campus, but they’re all part of the same community.

You enter the community at the care level that best suits your needs at the time. If your needs change, you can transition to a different part of the community with the level of care that fits your new circumstances.  

What Are the Benefits of Living in a CCRC?

The main advantage of living in a CCRC is being able to stay within one community for the rest of your life. If you move into independent living when you don’t need assistance, you can remain there until you need extra help or medical care. If you just need a little assistance with personal care or transfers, you might move to the assisted living area. If you have a sudden change in care needs, such as a serious health condition, you can move directly to the skilled nursing area or to the memory care area. If you need temporary skilled nursing care, you can receive the care you need and move back to your previous care level once you recover. 

As an older adult, you can move into a CCRC at any point, no matter what level of care you need. Seniors who already live in the community usually have priority for different care levels if there’s a waiting list or limited availability. Once you’re a resident of a CCRC, if you reach a point where you need assisted living services, memory care or skilled nursing care, you can likely receive the care you need quickly without having to shop around.

Being able to transition to a different type of care within the same community makes the move easier. You still have access to the same community amenities, and you’re already familiar with the campus. This can make the decision to move to more advanced care easier, and the transition will likely be less stressful. It’s also a much shorter move with less work when you’re just moving to another part of the community.