Many elderly people are healthy now but concerned about how they will cope with future infirmities. Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) can offer an ideal housing solution. These communities provide the entire residential continuumfrom independent housing to assisted living to round-the-clock nursing servicesunder one "roof". Residents can enter the community while still relatively healthy and then move on to more intensive care as it becomes necessary. As the population ages, CCRCs are proliferating, with more than 2,000 currently in the United States.
But deciding on a CCRC is a once-in-a-lifetime choice, and it is a decision that should be made carefully. To help with this decision, the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) has published The Continuing Care Retirement Community: A Guidebook for Consumers. The 46-page guidebook covers everything from accommodations and services to contracts and tax issues. It also includes checklists to take along when visiting a community. The booklet (#CC001) is available for $25 (including shipping) by calling (800) 508-9442. (The AAHSA represents 5,600 not-for-profit CCRCs, nursing homes, assisted living and senior housing facilities.)
A private non-profit organization, the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission (CCAC), accredits CCRCs. The CCAC's Web site lists all CCRCs that have been accredited. Go to www.ccaconline.org/aflist.htm
For more on CCRCs, click here.