The Norman Transcript

Features

January 14, 2014

How to choose a continuing-care retirement community

NORMAN — Dear Savvy Senior, Can you give me some tips on picking a good, full-service retirement community that offers all levels of housing, from independent apartment-style to nursing home care? My wife and I are both approaching 80 and are looking to downsize from our current home, but we want our next move to be our last.

— One More Move

Dear One,

If you want your next move to be your final one, a full-service retirement community — better known as a continuing-care retirement community (or CCRC) — is a good option to consider, but they aren’t cheap, so you need to be prudent when choosing.

CCRCs are different from other types of senior housing because they provide all levels of housing, services and care in one convenient location.

While they vary greatly in appearance and services, most CCRCs offer apartments or sometimes single-family homes for active seniors who need little, if any, help with their daily needs.

In addition, they also offer on-site assisted living for people who require aid to bathe, dress or perform other basic tasks and nursing home care for residents who need full-time skilled-nursing care.

CCRCs also provide a bevy of resort-style amenities and services that include community dining halls, exercise facilities, housekeeping and transportation, as well as many social and recreational activities.

But be aware that all these services come at a hefty price. Most communities have entry fees that range from $20,000 to $500,000 or more, plus ongoing monthly service fees that can vary from around $1,000 to more than $5,000, depending on the facility, services and the long-term care contract option you choose.

With nearly 1,900 CCRCs in operation throughout the U.S, finding a facility that fits your lifestyle, needs and budget can take some legwork. Here are some steps you can take to help you proceed.

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