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What Is a CCRC?

These days, everything has an abbreviation. CCRC is short for a Continuing Care Retirement Community. These properties consist of an Independent Living Residence, Assisted Living Facility (ALF) and a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF). The prevailing theory of a CCRC: seniors could have access to a continuum of care as they age – and their needs change over time. It’s an appealing concept on many levels, but let’s delve into these communities a bit more.

First of all, you need a good size parcel of land for three buildings. In addition, you need a large staff to care for all the residents. Sate licenses are also required for the ALF’s and SNF’s. Moreover, research has shown that many residents of the independent living facilities do not like the idea of ALF and SNF’s on the same campus. Instead, many seniors are choosing independent-only properties. As a result, there are not many CCRC being built today.

In terms of cost, the original CCRC’s utilized the “buy- in” model, not rentals. A large deposit was required (up to $250,000. which was 90% refundable when the apartment was resold) plus a monthly fee. The buy-in model is not used very often these days; most CCRC’s have changed to a monthly rental format.

CCRC’s were built for individuals and couples who wanted to move into a residence while they were still independent and would never have to leave the community. On paper, it is an attractive model. The reality, however, is that the overall expense and logistics have limited the number of CCRC’s in the country. Assisted Living Nationwide maintains a list of all the CCRC’s throughout the United States. This model of care is definitely an alternative to assisted living facilities and could very well be the best choice for some seniors.