As we get older, there are some important decisions to make regarding our lifestyle and care. Sometimes it’s not as simple as finding a new home to purchase or rent. In the event that medical conditions prevent independent living arrangements, you will want to consider your options carefully. Some continuing care retirement communities might sound better at first, but they could cost you more in the long run. Here is a general overview of your options to help you narrow down the best fit for your family.
The first thing you’ll want to consider is the types of living arrangements. Some continuing care retirement communities offer the option of starting off in one category and later switching to another. For example, if you sign the right kind of contract, you can start in an independent living scenario. Later on, if your medical needs or lifestyle choices change, you can switch to assisted living when you need the extra help.
Below are these two options in detail.
Just as it sounds, you’ll have the option of buying or renting a single-family house, apartment, or condominium that meets your needs. Sometimes these are a part of a gated community, and sometimes they are simply properties near a care facility. You’ll want to make sure you are within a safe distance of a hospital, but otherwise, this option is rather open-ended and allows you the freedom that you’ve always enjoyed.
As previously stated, sometimes certain medical conditions and other impediments that come with age might lead you to assisted living. You will still maintain general independence, but when you need help in day-to-day tasks, you will have that resource available. Unfortunately, the costs for this living are going to be higher, and the amount of medical assistance you need will also factor into that number.
This option is usually only for those who have suffered extensively debilitating conditions such as a stroke. Care will be offered at all times, and your constant medical status will be closely monitored. You will usually live in direct contact with medical staff or nurses on a regular basis. This option will usually only be necessary if you can’t care for yourself on your own. It is also usually the most expensive, depending on the contract you choose.
The final decision that you will have to make before joining one of the many continuing care retirement communities is how you’ll want to fund your living expenses. Each contract has benefits; however, it is usually best decided as a group between you and your loved ones. After all, some of these contracts place a heavy financial burden on you or your family.
Extended or “Life Care” Contract: While the initial costs may be quite high for this option, it’s all-inclusive, and your care will be covered permanently. This usually includes all fees associated with medical care as well as housing. It can even cover meals and a large portion of supplemental services.
Modified Contract: Usually, this option is like the “Life Care” package, but instead, it allows you to enjoy selected services from the continuing care retirement communities’ available options for a select amount of time. Once the contract has expired, you will usually go back to paying standard rates.
Fee-for-Service Contract: This option has the lowest enrollment fee and upfront costs, but it also means you will be paying more for specific services. This is usually the best option for those who can live with almost complete independence.
As a final note, once you’ve browsed your options, make sure to get everything in writing. You will want to have the peace of mind that if your situation changes, you have a guarantee to fall back on. Check with the facility and make sure they offer this level of commitment long-term.