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January 27, 2022

Understanding the difference between continuing care retirement communities and other senior living options

By: Country Meadows | Senior Living

There are many choices in senior living.

Some older adults choose to live in continuing care retirement communities, also known as CCRCs, to lead an all-inclusive lifestyle. CCRCs provide many levels of senior care from independent and assisted living to memory support and skilled nursing care on the same campus.

While Country Meadows Retirement Communities offers an all-rental lifestyle, its amenities and service levels rival those found at continuing care retirement communities. In fact, Country Meadows offers a CCRC option for senior living at its Bethlehem campus.

There are many factors to consider before choosing between moving to continuing care retirement communities or another type of senior living campus. The following are a few benefits and drawbacks to help you make the best choice for you or a loved one.

Benefits to considering continuing care retirement communities

Continuing care retirement communities offer health care support systems

Continuing care retirement communities offer residents progressive levels of care on a single campus, allowing residents to move from one level of care to the next as their health care needs change without having to leave the community they’ve come to know and enjoy. Staying on the same campus allows seniors to continue friendships, participate in favorite activities and keep the same medical teams. As seniors age in place, co-workers get to know each individual and may recognize changes in health or behavior to seek medical intervention in a timely manner.

Typically continuing care retirement communities offer independent and assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care and long-term care.

Continuing care retirement communities promote camaraderie, friendship and socialization

Most continuing care retirement communities provide tons of opportunities for residents to lead healthy lifestyles and socialize with others in the same age group. Additionally, the best retirement communities may offer swimming pools, fitness centers, theaters and other resident-focused amenities.

There are many chances to make friends at continuing care retirement communities as most residents are members of the same generation. The numerous gathering spaces and social activities provide ample opportunities to meet people and foster friendships.

Continuing care retirement communities provide a worry-free lifestyle

At continuing care retirement communities, everything is taken care of for each resident, promoting a truly worry-free lifestyle. The best retirement communities provide meals, transportation, housekeeping services, maintenance as well as some utilities.

Country Meadows offers the same amenities at its campuses as well as independent and assisted living, personal care, memory support and restorative care services.

Drawbacks to continuing care retirement communities

Continuing care retirement communities are often expensive

According to, living at continuing care retirement communities is, by far, the most expensive option for senior living. CCRCs require a high entrance fee which can range from as little as ten thousand dollars to a six-figure range. In addition to the high fee, residents also pay monthly fees.

There are different types of contracts for continuing care retirement communities from a Life Care contract requiring a larger entrance fee while providing care at the appropriate level at a substantially discounted monthly rate, to modified and fee-for-service contracts. Each contract comes with a level of risk an individual is willing to accept.

Assisted living facilities such as Country Meadows don’t require a huge buy-in fee and an all-rental monthly rent covers living accommodations, amenities as well as care and support provided in the appropriate level of care. Most Country Meadows locations provide a similar range of services including independent living, assisted living and personal care as well as restorative care services.

The terms of contracts can be confusing

Because of the many different contracts available at continuing care retirement communities, it becomes confusing to understand what happens to the money invested by each individual. Various contract plans stipulate conditions for refunds to the resident or family members if an individual leaves the community.

 There can be financial risks involved with continuing care retirement communities

When researching continuing care retirement communities, it is critical to look into the company or non-profit agency that owns the community to ensure it is financially stable. If a community isn’t financially viable, residents run the risk of losing their entire investment should it go bankrupt. Ask to see data on occupancy, turnover, improvements and audited financial statements prior to making a final decision.

Country Meadows offers many services like those within continuing care retirement communities

Country Meadows has nine locations throughout Pennsylvania and one campus located in Frederick, Maryland. Often referred to as one of the best independent living communities in the area, we offer a wide range of services to serve a variety of resident needs – much like continuing care retirement communities. The services within our independent living communities include restorative care, rehabilitation, personal care and assisted living facilities, memory support and independent living. We also offer seniors active adult communities through our extensive wellness, social, and recreational activity programs. If you or a loved one are beginning the retirement planning journey and would like more information on how our senior independent living options compare to continuing care retirement communities, please contact us today. Our co-workers can provide details on all of the services we offer, help you to schedule a tour of our campuses and answer any other questions you might have.

Country Meadows

1 thought on “Understanding the difference between continuing care retirement communities and other senior living options”

  1. Connect55 says:

    Thanks for sharing notable guidelines and sharing comprehensive blog about continuing care and other senior living options.

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