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Are Life Plan Communities a Good Investment for the Future?

Happy senior couple sitting on sofa

There are advantages to planning for future healthcare well before you need it. As an active and healthy adult, you’ll have time to make considered decisions about the care you want if you ever experience a change in health. You’ll be in control of choosing where you’ll go and who takes care of you. Making choices now also relieves your family members of choosing for you in case you’re not able to do so. They can be confident you’ll be somewhere you want to be, and that your wishes are being carried out.

The benefits of a Life Plan Community

For seniors pondering healthcare  choices in retirement, Life Plan Communities can be a good option. Also called CCRCs (continuing care retirement communities), these communities offer an independent lifestyle where you live in a private residence and participate in activities and opportunities that appeal to you. Along with a wide range of comforts and conveniences comes an important extra: a long-term contract for senior care.

Seniors who move to a Life Plan Community reported higher levels of happiness than living in their home. They felt a sense of belonging and social cohesion, enjoyed more overall wellness, and maintained healthier behaviors. You can read more about what a Life Plan Community is here.

What is senior care in a Life Plan Community?

Life Plan Communities offer a spectrum of living and care options in one location. These “levels of living” range from independent living all the way to assisted living, memory care, rehabilitation, and 24-hour skilled nursing care. Here’s what to expect:

Independent living is designed for older adults who desire the conveniences of community life without the burdens of home maintenance. They can enjoy an enriched lifestyle with recreational, social and educational opportunities, and live as they did before they moved in.

Assisted living is a combination of nonmedical care, familiar surroundings, and professional expertise. Licensed caregivers provide individualized help for activities of daily living, such as  bathing and dressing, so that residents can preserve their active lifestyle.

Skilled nursing caters to medical conditions that require around-the-clock licensed nurses and/or therapists. Short-term nursing helps with recovery and rehabilitation after illness, injury or surgery, while long-term nursing addresses ongoing health conditions or a permanent disability.

Memory care is specialized care for people with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Residents live in a secure environment designed around their unique needs, receiving care that manages their symptoms, slows the progression of their condition, and enhances quality of life.     

A continuing care contract guarantees you premium services and amenities of independent living, and priority access to high-quality care at predictable rates for the rest of your life. It describes what you’ll pay for healthcare when and if you need it, which is often much lower than the market rate. Many contracts also offer a benevolence clause: the financial assurance that you’ll always have a home in the community, even if you exhaust your funds through no fault of your own.

Senior couples gain a significant advantage by moving to a Life Plan Community. They don’t need to separate if one of them begins to experience health changes. Because of the healthcare  support on campus, they can access the appropriate services and continue to live together in the same residence for as long as possible. In an emergency, or if more care is needed than is feasible at home, they’ll remain close to each other in the same community, just a short walk or elevator ride away. Here are some other reasons why a continuum of care makes sense for retirees. 

How much does a Life Plan Community cost?

Understanding how life plan communities work can help you make an informed investment decision. To become a resident in a Life Care Community, you would pay a one-time  entrance fee or other upfront deposit. Seniors typically pay this entrance fee with the proceeds from selling their house or other assets. Most communities offer the choice of refunding a portion of this deposit to you or your estate. You then pay a fixed monthly fee to cover the use of services and amenities included on the community campus. At Presbyterian Homes, we also offer both entrance free and rental contracts. You can read more about our full range of senior living options here.

Most people are surprised to find that a Life Plan Community can fit into their current budget and financial plans. The monthly fee compares very favorably to the cost of owning and maintaining a home, paying utilities, and unexpected expenses such as an appliance replacement or roof repair. Other services and amenities you’d pay separately for, such as a gym membership, lawn services, snow removal and landscaping, and even dining out, are also included in the monthly fee. Plus, in many instances, a portion of your costs are tax-deductible.

Make a strategic move

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that approximately 70% of people over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care in their lifetime, and will need such care for an average of three  years. Having a solid plan for care and a strategy to control care costs should be an important consideration for any older adult.

Explore the full range of senior living options at Presbyterian Homes, and the advantages of moving to one of our Life Care Communities. Use this link to contact us today. See for yourself that investing in your future security and satisfaction by choosing a Life Plan Community just might be the smartest investment you ever make.