A Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) is a facility that offers a variety of support levels for seniors. Instead of having separate business units for memory care, assisted living, independent living, and skilled nursing options, a CCRC presents many if not all of these units in a campus-like format, having distinct wings, floors, or regions of the facility to serve each need, but all being under the same business roof.


CCRCs typically offer one of three general types of contracts that involve different combinations of entrance and monthly fee payments. Some CCRCs may offer residents a choice of the following contract types, which vary state by state to a degree depending on licensing, while others may choose to offer only one. This is at the discretion of the senior living management team. Below are examples specific to a single state but fairly typical nationwide:


  • Extensive or Life Care contracts, include housing, residential services, and amenities– including unlimited use of health care services–at little or no increase in monthly fees as a resident moves from independent living to assisted living, and, if needed, to nursing care.


  • Modified contracts often have lower monthly fees than Life Care contracts and include the same housing and residential amenities as them. However, only some health care services are included in the initial monthly fee. The contract will be adjusted as the resident’s needs change.


  • Fee-for-service contracts, include the same housing, residential services, and amenities, as the previously noted arrangements but require residents to pay market rates for all health-related services on an as-needed basis.


Management of a CCRC requires expertise in several unique living support arrangements and may require several managing directors to handle each living segment depending on the size or scope or the community. For example, the responsibilities of a memory care manager are different than those of an assisted living manager or the more independent senior living manager. While one is focusing on memory-based medical services, the other is focused on integration of activities with basic medical care while the other one is focused on amenity-based services.


At times these facilities once resembled resort destinations, and many can, and still are found today. But historically, “affordable senior living” – in gauging the feasibility of a new Continuing Care Retirement Community – was defined by whether the average entrance fee equaled the average home value in the community. People could sell a home and comfortably roll the proceeds into the entrance fee.


But such senior housing can prove unaffordable for many seniors presently. Today, affordable in the light of the current economic situations for potential residents must be defined anew. Senior Living Consultants can help with this redefinition and work with you and your senior living management team to find ways to keep CCRC affordable and also provide access to recreation and activities and amenities.


Contact Us for more information if you are considering expanding or modifying your continuing care retirement community.