This is a complete guide to one of the most popular retirement options—Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)—where you can enjoy life to the fullest, knowing that if you become ill, you’ll receive all the care you need. It explains what CCRCs are, how they operate, and what they offer. You’ll learn what to look for, what to steer clear of, what you have a right to expect, and how you can best make the transition when you move.
"A valuable guide...contains everything you need to know to help you make the right decision." —The Star-Ledger
Bernice Hunt, MS, author of over seventy books, has always enjoyed cooking. When her children were young, she baked bread daily, and soon invented shortcuts to achieve traditional results without sacrificing taste. Today, she still bakes her own bread for all the pleasure it affords.
Table of contents
chapter 1 Crossing the Age Equator
Significance of Aging
First Thoughts of a New Life Style
chapter 2 Continuing Care Retirement Communities
What They Are
How They Work
Pros and Cons
chapter 3 The Search for a (Perfect) CCRC
How to Search
Learning about Differences
chapter 4 What to Look for in General
chapter 5 Looking Them Over
chapter 6 Checking out the Amenities
Paying Attention to Details
chapter 7 Taking the Plunge
Making the Move
chapter 8 The First Year and Beyond
A Personal Account of Life in a CCRC
chapter 9 Afterword and (Unexpected) Affirmation
appendix 1. Comparing Home and CCRC Costs
Appendix 2. Comparison of Contracts
appenidx 3. Checklist for Comparing CCRCs
Appendix 4. Internet and Print Resources
appendix 5. Directive to Heirs
Introduction or preface
This book is a complete guide to Continuing Care (also known as Life-care) Retirement Communities. It will tell you what they are, how they operate, what they offer, how they differ from each other, how to find them, how to find out which one is right for you, and how to proceed if you decide you want to live in one.
Much more than that, it charts the psychological process one needs to traverse in order to give up the known for the unknown. Make no mistake, it is an emotional and sometimes scary business to leave one’s familiar home and move into a new community that may, or may not, be as wonderful as the brochures say it is.
So why do it? There are excellent reasons, and you will find them all as you read on. You will learn the advantages and disadvantages of Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), you will learn what pitfalls they might entail and how you can avoid them when you make a choice. You will find out what to look for, what to steer clear of, what you have a right to expect, how to discriminate among various kinds of contracts, and how to make the transition when you move.
I wrote this book because when my husband and I became interested in the CCRC concept, in 1995, we had no idea how to get information. There was nothing in print that told us what we needed to know, and we spent a huge amount of time and money doing it the hard way. I would have given a great deal for a book like this one.
Much of the nitty-gritty information—tables, checklists, bibliography, resources, etc.—is in the Appendix at the back of the book. The heart of the book is the account of the journey—psychological, emotional, and very personal—that my husband and I took to get from our happy home in East Hampton, New York, to a Continuing Care Retirement Community in a suburb of Philadelphia. It often felt like a journey to Mars.
Your experience will, of course, be different from ours, but much of it will be similar. And I hope that at least some of the difference will have been made by the information you find in this book. I wish you a safe journey, with some fun along the way, and a happy landing.