Long term care planning can be overwhelming and daunting. Most people do not want to think about what happens when they can no longer live in their own homes safely. An option is to look for a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). One of the services I provide is helping seniors and their families identify which CCRC works best for them and reviewing the contracts to make sure they will be taken care of for the rest of their lives. A CCRC is not for everyone. Sometimes one spouse needs a significantly higher level of care than the other spouse. Or, both spouses or the individual has needs that are too great to make a CCRC a good choice.
Ideally, a CCRC is great for an individual or couple that are retired and in relatively good shape healthwise. A buy in is usually required, and then a monthly fee. CCRCs are great if you can afford to get in, and it will provide care through all the stages you may need in your life time – independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care.
Ideally, once you buy in and are living there, you will be taken care of for the rest of your life. However, there are key factors to look for in the contract. This is where an experiences Elder Law Attorney can help. Each CCRS is different and the contracts vary. What happens if you do not like the community after moving in? Or, the CCRC health team feels you should be at a higher level of care than you currently are. What if you choose to leave and need to transfer to a skilled nursing facility and receive a refund of your buy in? How would this effect your potential application for Medicaid if that is an option?
If you or a loved one are looking at potential long term care options and joining a CCRC, please reach out to schedule a time to meet to discuss the pros and cons, and to have the contract reviewed before signing.