Understanding Life Care Contracts at a Senior Living Community
Once you’ve decided that a senior living community is the best fit for you, it’s time to consider the different types of communities available. During your search, it’s likely you’ve encountered the terms Life Care or continuing care retirement community (CCRC), which are often used interchangeably, but are not quite the same thing. For some time, the term CCRC has been used to refer to a senior living community which offers many levels of care on one campus. However, today there are a few different types of CCRCs – like Life Care communities – which have different benefits and pay structures.
Here, we define what a Life Care community is and give you a brief overview of some common terms you may encounter during your search or while reviewing your Life Care community contract.
What is a Life Care Community?
Life Care communities are a specific type of continuing care retirement community that offers residents the ability to plan for their future care needs today. At most Life Care communities, you will pay an initial entrance fee and a monthly service fee. In return, you will receive access to on-site health services whenever you need them. Your base monthly fee will be determined based on the type of contract you choose. This provides residents with the comfort and security of knowing that their future care needs have already been planned and paid for today.
Life Care could be considered a type of insurance or protection against the future costs of care, which can be significant. Most seniors will require some form of long-term care.
Key Terms of a Life Care Agreement
You may encounter a few terms in your Life Care contract that are unique to this type of living arrangement. Understanding how these terms are used can help give you a better understanding of what to expect when planning your transition. Here are some of the terms you may encounter.
Most Life Care communities will require an initial entrance fee. This fee may be partially refundable depending on the community and your specific contract. The amount of these fees will depend on the size of your living space, the number of occupants and the specific terms of your contract. Entrance fees range from $40,000 to upwards of $2 million. According to AARP, the average entrance fee for such a community in 2022 was $402,000.
Monthly fees are meant to cover housing, maintenance, security and access to on-site services and amenities. How much care is included and how it impacts your monthly fee will be determined based on the type of contract you sign. They may also include some meals. Keep in mind that there may be additional fees for premium services like reserved parking spaces, salon or spa access, or other on-site conveniences not specified in your contract.
Be sure to ask questions about additional fees and other concerns when taking a community tour. The community you are exploring should be open and transparent at all times.
How to Determine the Best Life Care Option for You
When evaluating whether or not a Life Care community is right for you, it can be helpful to ask yourself a few questions.
- Do you value feeling in control of your future, and reducing the uncertainty of where and how you will receive care?
- Do you want to live a vibrant, engaged and connected life with others, without worrying about having to move if your care needs change?
- Are you looking for a holistic approach to planning the next chapter of your life?
These are just a few of the important questions you’ll want to ask yourself before you make a decision. You will also want to discuss your plans with your family as well as your health care provider to ensure all of your needs will be met by your community.
Explore Senior Living at Newcastle Place
As a Life Care Community, Newcastle Place is proud to offer a wide range of healthcare services from assisted living to memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Even if you never require additional care, you’ll benefit greatly from the enriching experience and convenience of our thoughtful amenities. Ready to learn more about what your life could look like at Newcastle Place? Contact us.