Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) are residential campuses providing a continuum of care under one roof. Levels of care can vary from fully private units to assisted living and skilled nursing care.

CCRCs are designed to offer active seniors an independent lifestyle from the privacy of their own home, while offering the availability of assisted-living services and on-site intermediate or skilled nursing care, if necessary.

Continuing care retirement communities offer a variety of residential services, including the following:

    • An apartment, townhouse, or other unit

    • Cleaning and laundry service

    • Meals in common dining areas

    • Maintenance

    • Security

    • Social, recreational, and cultural programs

These care services also are commonly offered by CCRCs:

    • Personal care and help with daily activities

    • Nursing care

    • Rehabilitative care

    • Respite and hospice care

Continuing care retirement communities have many different types of contracts and fees to consider. An “extensive” contract offers unlimited long-term nursing care with little or no increase in monthly fees. A “modified” contract provides a specified amount of healthcare–you will have to pay for any care beyond the specifically outlined amount. Some communities may require residents to purchase long-term care insurance as criteria for acceptance. There are also communities offering services and access to medical care on a month-to-month basis.

Monthly fees generally cover the following services at CCRCs:

    • Meals

    • Scheduled transportation

    • Housekeeping

    • Unit maintenance

    • Laundry

    • Health monitoring services

    • Some utilities

    • Organized social activities

    • Emergency call monitoring

    • Security

There is no federal agency currently overseeing continuing care retirement communities. The Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (a private, nonprofit organization) accredits these communities. This voluntary process involves a review of finances, governance and administration, resident health and wellness, and resident life.