May 2021 | The Wesley Communities

CCRC vs. Independent Living

What To Look For When Comparing Continuing Care Retirement Communities To Independent Living

When starting the beginning stages of exploring retirement living, there are a variety of options and different types of communities to consider. The biggest “divide” within senior living is comparing Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) vs. Independent Living. In most cases, as you begin your exploration – deciding which type you gravitate toward more is critical.

Below, we’re offering some valuable questions to ask yourself and areas you may want to dig deeper into to help you decide whether a CCRC or an Independent Living Community is the right move for you.

What Levels Of Care Or Additional Health Services Are You Seeking for the Future?

One of the most important areas to consider when comparing types of senior living communities is if you’re seeking health care services or will be potentially needing them later in life. At continuing care retirement communities, like all senior living options at The Wesley Communities, a full continuum of healthcare services is available. These communities offer multiple levels of care including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing.

Other senior living communities on the other hand, typically offer one level of care, typically independent living or assisted living only. In this case, if additional senior healthcare services are needed, those living in this type of community will either need to seek outside providers that come into the community or they will need to transfer to another community or health center. If you are at a stage of life where some health services are needed and there is potential for additional services to be needed soon, a continuing care retirement community may be a better fit for you.

What Is Your Financial Situation?

Just like with any move, assessing your financials is a crucial component when looking into retirement. CCRCs tend to be more expensive than assisted/independent living communities because there are more services and amenities available to pick and choose from.

When considering financials in this scenario, the best course of action would be to:

  1. Outline some financial hypotheticals for a variety of health situations at a CCRC,
  2. Compare those costs to moving to an independent living community and having to move or transfer to an assisted living setting or health center for health-related reasons.

By comparing the costs this way, you can better assess your financial situation with what expenses you may face in the future.

What Stage Of Life Are You In And Are You Wanting To Move Again Down The Road?

As mentioned above, CCRCs offer the ease of transitioning through multiple levels of care all in the comfort of one community. Many residents start out in independent living and transition through assisted living, memory care and long-term care in the skilled nursing facility of the community. That being said, some people would prefer to be in a community of only people in their similar life situation and are open to another move down the road. You’ll want to consider which type of environment is most important to you and how you feel about moving again later in life.

What Is Important To Your Family Or Children (If Applicable)?

Children or other family members often play an important role in loved ones moving to senior living. If your children have taken on or will take on the role of a caregiver someday, it may be a good idea to talk to them about whether a CCRC or an independent living community/assisted living facility is more appealing to them. CCRCs offer more care options for children and families, which can bring a greater sense of peace of mind and comfort for the demands of life. In assisted or independent living communities, more care may be the responsibility of your children or loved ones when and if it’s needed.

Are There Any Unique Aspects You’re Searching For In A Community?

Are there other aspects that you’re searching for in a community that could be a deciding factor? For example, at The Wesley Communities, we have our Fund for Charitable Care which ensures that no resident needs to fear the loss of their home or our services due to a financial crisis outside of their control.

Our residents have additional security knowing that should they outlive their finances, they have a forever home with us. Many senior living communities have financial programs and initiatives like this that set them apart and add appeal and reassurance. Looking into aspects like this can also be the tipping point for picking one over the other.

Ready To Personally Compare The Benefits Of Each?

Continuing care retirement communities and independent living communities both have many wonderful aspects that make them unique and that make them the best choice for seniors. It’s important to look into what matters most to you and your loved ones, your health situation, and your financial standing so that you can be on your way to finding your forever (or temporary) home!

To learn more about The Wesley Communities, click here.