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Learning About Continuing Care Retirement Communities

One of the hardest challenges I have had to make for my parents was navigating the resources available for aging family members, especially learning about facilities that provide them with care throughout their aging process. When trying to research the options, it can be overwhelming, as there is language used in the senior living industry that is not necessarily common in the layperson’s world. A term I wish I would have explored when I was considering living options for my father is CCRCs, better known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities.

As our loved ones get older, it is impossible to predict what their care needs will be in a month, let alone in several years. Considering a facility that is recognized as a CCRC is an important option to consider not only financially, but in ensuring that your loved one’s quality of life needs are met.

When I was making a decision for my dad, I was thinking short-term and not long-term. My first consideration was getting him into a safe place and making sure he has the necessary care needs in the moment.

As most of you are aware, assisted living facilities can be very expensive and as care needs increase, so does the price. One can quickly run out of funds, or need more care than an assisted living facility can provide.

The next step in this situation is trying to find an affordable nursing home or a nursing home that is close to family, which can cause a whole new set of challenges. If I could start over, I would have considered a CCRC as my first choice. I like the fact that most CCRCs start with independent living arrangements and have higher levels of care, including assisted living and long-term care. In addition, many CCRCs have the option for advanced memory care and rehabilitation services if you need extra time following surgery or medical illness.

It is very hard for older loved ones to navigate change. When considering a move, think about how they would feel if they had to move to a different facility and how much stress that puts on them physically, socially and psychologically.

Another important consideration when looking into CCRCs is what happens if you are a couple and one is independent and one is requiring a higher level of care like assisted living. Make sure you ask that question before moving in, as this could impact you financially, as well as determine the location within the facility itself.

Another important factor is to understand the policies for transferring within the facility. The facility has a moral duty to keep all residents safe, which may require a move to a higher level of care. Ask detailed questions about what is considered assisted living and who decides when long-term care is needed. If there are rehabilitation services on site, this can be a perk as you may still be able to visit the independent/assisted living side of the facility to meet with friends and participate in activities. Think long-term, as you never know when an injury or illness can prevent you from returning home. FBN

By Leah Veschio, RN, MSN, CLNC

The Peaks, A Senior Living Community and The Peaks Health & Rehabilitation is a CCRC. We value the right for seniors to age in place. Our 5-star facilities have independent, assisted living, memory care, long-term care and high quality rehabilitation services to meet all your physical and psychological needs. For additional information, please contact 928-774-7106 or visit


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