More than 60 percent of people over age 65 will require at least some type of long-term care during their lifetime. Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) have become an increasingly attractive option as seniors seek active, flexible lifestyles with the security of available need-based care. A CCRC is appealing because it offers a full range of housing, residential services, and health care options as seniors' needs change over time. So is a CCRC right for you? This guide to retirement living can help you understand the considerations when making important senior living choices about housing.
While the cost of living in a CCRC is often higher than other types of senior living options, residents have a lifelong assurance of knowing that increased assistance and health care services are available if they require them during their retirement.
Contemplating a move to a CCRC is a major life transition, one that requires careful decision making, research, planning, and preparation. Here are three major points to consider to guide you in your retirement living decision:
Are you ready to leave your home?
This is typically not an easy answer. Many seniors who lead independent lives reach this decision when they:
No longer want the responsibilities and cost of home ownership, yet seek to maintain independent and productive lives.
Would enjoy more companionship among their peers in a community-based environment that offers a broad range of social activities.
Want to maintain their freedom but would welcome the convenience of on-site amenities and necessities. Services such as housekeeping, transportation, and meals, just to name a few, are provided.
Need some help with daily living or health care - either for themselves or their spouse - but want to remain as independent as possible.
If you face some or all of these issues, chances are you're ready to begin researching your options for a lifestyle better suited for your changing retirement living needs.
Guide to retirement living relocation: what to look for in a CCRC?
This largely depends on where you live in proximity to family members and friends. If relatives are nearby, you most likely want to stay within your area. If children or other close relatives are living in another state, this might be a good opportunity to relocate closer to your loved ones.
The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) can provide a list of accredited CCRCs in the areas where you want to live. A list of 500 CCRCs are also available from the AAHSA website. If a retirement community that interests you is not accredited, keep in mind that many reputable communities may have not yet applied for accreditation and/or are not yet eligible, as such requirements are based on occupancy and certain financial standings.
According to the CARF, once you've located a potential retirement community, the next step is to determine if it's appropriate for your lifestyle and financial situation. At this point you may want to contact your attorney and financial advisor to review the CCRC's contracts and help you assess your overall situation to determine if such a move is viable.
For more information on senior living and choosing a CCRC visit:
How to downsize and plan for your move
Once you've decided to move, it's important to remember that such a transition takes an adjustment period to become familiar with your new surroundings. Even though you may look forward to relinquishing housekeeping and yard work, it's helpful to anticipate the move knowing there will be a certain period of upheaval and adaptation.
The following downsizing tips can help you to plan for what is often a time-intensive and emotional process:
- Give yourself plenty of time. To avoid becoming overwhelmed with the endless details of packing and moving, start sifting through belongings - one room at a time - before placing your house on the market (which will also make your house look less cluttered).
- Enlist the help of family members. Since family heirlooms and objects hold different meaning for different people, this is a great time to divvy up the sentimental inventory.
- Envision your new home and your new space. What will actually fit into your new living space? Will you use these furnishings a few years from now? If not, consider donating, selling or tossing these items.
As you downsize, begin to research different moving companies. The first step would be to ask for references from friends who have used a moving service in recent years. From there, obtain written estimates from three different moving companies so you can compare prices and services. For more consumer tips on planning a successful move, visit: