of whether the contract is an extensive,
modified or fee-for-service contract, the
resident pays a lump sum entrance fee,
plus monthly fees thereafter. Another
CCRC contract option may require an
equity agreement where seniors purchase
a condominium or co-op apartment on the
property instead of paying an entrance fee.
Less commonly found are CCRC contracts
where residents pay monthly fees only.
Seniors and their families are advised to be
sure to read the fine print on the contract
carefully to ensure that they are signing
an agreement that guarantees the lifetime
of services and support over an extended
period of time that they are looking for.
There are so-called copycat senior-care residences that claim to offer all the benefits of
a CCRC, but in reality the services guaranteed by the actual contract fall far short of
the claims made by management.
Before signing a contract with a CCRC,
seniors should conduct a thorough review
of the facility’s services, operations and
finances, and determine that the CCRC
is appropriate to their needs, lifestyle and
expectations. It’s also a good idea to ask
a family attorney or accountant to review
the contract as well. If the contract is found
agreeable, ask to spend at least one night
and two days at the facility, to test drive the
community and make sure it is a good fit.
Some points to consider include:
• Are pets allowed in your residence?
• What social, recreational and cultural
activities are offered?
• Is food prepared onsite? If so, how is it?
• Are there fitness facilities onsite?
• Is the staff friendly and knowledgeable?
• What healthcare and personal care
services are available?
• What preparations have been made for
handling medical and evacuation
• Is there easy access to offsite activities
such as shopping and is transportation
CCRCs are an excellent option for those
who are independent and in good health,
but might need some assistance with daily
living needs or require skilled nursing care.
The variety of housing offered by CCRCs
is varied as well, ranging from ultra-urban high-rise apartment communities
to cottages, townhouses, duplexes or even
single-family homes located in a beautiful,
An Assisted Living Community (ALC)
bridges the gap for seniors who need
assistance with daily activities a nursing
home might offer, but wish to live independently so long as they are capable of
doing so. Residents in an ALC are unable
to live completely by themselves, but do
not require constant supervision. An ALC
offers its residents assistance with eating,
bathing, dressing, laundry, housekeeping,
and keeping track of medications. They
often have centers for medical services, but
typically do not offer the extensive medical
services provided by a nursing home. An
ALC is not a substitute for a nursing home,
but rather is a stepping stone between
complete independence and services
provided by a nursing home.
Often, an ALC will create an individualized service plan for seniors upon
admission, detailing personal services that will
be provided to the resident. This plan is periodically reviewed and updated to provide the
appropriate care to each resident. Housing in
an ALC may be studios or one-bedroom apartments with small kitchen facilities. Typically,
ALC housing units have group dining facilities
and common areas where residents gather to
enjoy social and recreational activities.