Points to Consider with Continuing Care Retirement Community (or other senior housing options)

You are into your retirement, selling your home because "it is getting to be too much" and looking at different housing options.  One considerations needs to be "Can I easily be cared for in my new home if I get sick?".  Stacey C. Maiden, Esq., of Counsel to our Tax, Trust & Estates, and Elder Law Department has put together some points to consider if one of those housing options includes a Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC.

There are a number of housing options for seniors outside of staying at home or moving in with adult children, such as 55-Plus communities, Assisted Living Communities, Skilled Nursing Facilities.  Another senior housing option is the Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). 


CCRCs combine housing, supportive services and health care, all within a campus or country club like setting. Residents of a CCRC enter into a lifetime lease with the facility and receive a continuum of care, and residency levels include Independent Living (IL), Assistance-in-Living Services and Skilled Nursing.  The services and lifestyle a CCRC offers may meet you or your loved one’s needs.  But how do you know that the CCRC you are looking into moving to is the right place?      

Clyde Sutton, LNHA, the Associate Executive Director of Harrogate in Lakewood, New Jersey, recent;y gave an excellent and informative presentation on CCRCs to the Estate and Financial Planning Council of Central New Jersey.  Below, with Clyde’s permission, is a helpful summary of what a prospective resident should research and question when considering relocation to a CCRC (or any other senior living facility). 

q    Costs

q    Are taxes/utilities included?

q    Services/amenities

q    Does the facility offer Home Care services?

q    Maintenance costs

q    Financial health of the facility/Credit ratings

q    Safety and security systems

q    Does the community offer flexibility or choice?

q    Staffing levels and certifications

q    Social life and activities

q    “Life care”

q    Condition of physical plant

q    Capital Budgets

q    Landscaping

q    Are pats Allowed

q    Single facility or chain?

q    “For Profit” or “Not for Profit”

q    What is the size of the community?  How many residents?

q    Resident involvement/committees

q    Ratings and Survey results (advisory standards)

q    Insurance (Facility, LTC, Medicare, Health)

q    Tax benefits

q    “Disclosure Statement”

q    Visit property, sample food, talk to residents

From Clyde Sutton, LNH, Associate Executive Director, Harrogate, Inc., Lakewood, NJ.  www.harrogate-lifecare.org