Continuing Care Retirement Community

A Tiered Approach to Care Through the Aging Process

What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community?

A continuing Care Retirement Community, sometimes called a CCRC, is a tiered approach to the aging process, accommodating residents’ changing needs. CCRCs generally feature a combination of independent living apartments, assisted living, memory support care and nursing care. offering a continuum of care for residents.

One of the key attractions of CCRCs is the range of healthcare and supportive or assistive services that the establishment is able to provide within the limits of the basic contract. These may include nursing, social work, physician care and various therapies for residents. CCRC can also provide emergency response systems, wellness programs, assistance with insurance claims and routine health assessments. Contract fees may cover housekeeping and laundry services and a certain number of meals served in dining facilities.

While the guarantee of basic healthcare and amenities of senior living are important, most CCRCs aim to go beyond the basics to offer a high degree of comfort and a wide selection of daily activities. A CCRC campus is typically located in peaceful and hospitable surroundings. They are intended to be upscale communities set apart in choice locations that afford a great deal of privacy and convenience. Within most communities resident are likely to find a full range of social and physical activities from dining and dancing to swimming and golf.

Moving to a CCRC is a personal decision that should be based on anticipated or potential future care needs as well as current needs. The business structure of a CCRC is complex and may require a significant financial commitment from the resident or family. It is wise to have an attorney review any contract before you sign it even if you’re confident that you understand the terms. The contract may be for either rental or purchase and the money invested in the CCRC may or may not be refundable. Be sure you know in advance what will happen to the residential space once it is no longer needed by your loved one.

Linda Smith writing for Lutheran Home of Arlington Heights. Please visit for more information and details on the Lutheran Life Community: empowering vibrant, grace-filled living across all generations.