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What Is a Continuing Care Retirement Community?

What Is a Continuing Care Retirement Community?

July 13, 2023

When it comes to determining the right level of care for you or your loved one, there is rarely an easy way to do it. The decision itself is often fraught with feelings and can be complicated by the unique circumstances every family brings to the table when considering questions of this nature. However, knowledge is power, as they say, and LivWell Seniors is happy to help with a high-level introduction to the basics that will leave you feeling prepared to take whatever step is next in the journey ahead.

Allowing for flexibility as physical needs change, the continuing care retirement community combines the privacy and independence of an independent living community with the safety and support of facilities that offer higher levels of care.


This type of living environment allows for freedom and flexibility dependent on your needs. From private, independent and assisted living apartments to higher levels of care like skilled nursing care, continuing care retirement communities offer a wide range of living solutions and the ability to move around within the community as the need arises. This option also reduces the difficulty of finding new residential accommodations as physical and emotional needs change, reducing the overall strain on you and your loved one.

The independent living apartments provide housekeeping, lawn maintenance, and snow removal, as well as activities and a social network of peers who have similar life experiences. If a need for support with activities of daily living arises, then an assisted living option in the same community can be accessed. If there is an acute situation, such as a fall after which rehabilitation is required, skilled nursing care is available in the same community.


This is ideal for the person planning ahead of any care concerns. This is also a great living option if you have one spouse who is independent, but the other has a higher level of care need.

Consider This Scenario

A husband and wife in their early 70’s have lived in their family home together for 50 years. The wife is independent and has no care needs, but she is also the primary caregiver to her husband who has Parkinson’s. He is starting to decline, needing more physical assistance with bathing and dressing; and the added physical stress begins to take a toll on the wife, creating some medical concerns for her. The husband fell and now needs skilled rehabilitation. Living in a continuing care retirement community would allow her to remain independent while getting the assistance he needs in the skilled nursing environment. They can still have meals together and see one another frequently while on the same campus.


Variablean endowment is paid when coming into the community based on an application that takes income, assets, and medical conditions into consideration to determine the amount required to “buy in” along with a monthly fee. This alleviates the concern about having to transfer if/when income and assets run out.

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