The Best Age to Move into a CCRC
There are currently over 40 million senior citizens in the US age 65 and older. This number is expected to grow to almost 100 million seniors in the next few decades. As these Americans look forward to their well-deserved retirement, some will be considering whether a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) is their next stage of life.
Is there a best age to move into a CCRC? If you’re moving an elderly relative, there are some common signs to consider. There are also some additional resources out there to help make this possibility come true.
If you are ready to make this decision, read further to find out if a CCRC is right for the ones you love. Study these signs and existing resources so that you’ll know that you can continue care that’s right for your relatives well into the future.
What Is a Continuing Care Retirement Community?
A continuing care retirement community (CCRC), is the type of retirement community where seniors can find a living situation that fits every ability level.
These living situations range from independent living to skilled nursing care. All of these living arrangements are found within the same community.
Some CCRC communities have single family homes or condo units. Seniors can live independently in these units as long as they can or want to. Over time they may move to an assisted living facility or skilled nursing home as their needs and abilities change.
Best Age to Move into a CCRC
The truth is, we all age at different rates with different abilities. Sometimes these “abilities” don’t align with age at all.
The real indicator if a CCRC is necessary is to know what your aging relatives’ current needs are. You should also evaluate what they can currently do on their own.
There are two categories of needs. These categories include Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL).
Activities of Daily Living (ADL)
ADLs refer to those self-care tasks a person can do successfully on their own. ADLs are tasks that we sometimes take for granted as adults like getting out of bed each morning and making a cup of coffee. Some examples of ADL’s include:
- Bathroom hygiene (i.e., getting to and using the toilet)
- Getting dressed;
- Personal hygiene (shaving, brushing teeth, etc.);
- Physical mobility (getting in and out of bed with no help);
- Self-feeding (using cups, silverware, etc.) and
- Showering or bathing.
Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL)
IADL tasks are those functions that allow seniors to live independently within a community. These functions might be considered routine responsibilities that a grown adult performs every day like driving a car or grocery shopping.
More examples of these functions include:
- Cooking a meal and managing appliances;
- Grocery shopping;
Housework and maintaining their own home;
- Paying bills, managing money and investments;
- Taking prescribed medicine correctly;
- Looking up phone numbers and making calls on a phone; and
- Navigating public transportation.
Evaluate Available Entitlements and Existing Finances
Evaluate your relatives' current financial status. Can they afford to pay for continued care? When you know what your relatives can afford, you’ll be better prepared to help them plan on paying for a CCRC that fits them best.
Review Other Current Government Supportive Resources and Agencies
Many local, state, federal governmental agencies can answer questions on continued care. Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) is a system of more than 500 organizations nationwide that serve the elderly within individual jurisdictions. Area Agencies on Aging also provide referral and other resource information on some of the following services:
- Caregiver Support; Home delivered meals;
- Nutrition guidance and support;
- In-home care support; and
- Long-term care facilities.
Other Senior Health Counseling Resources
Benefits.gov is a US government website that provides online resources for providing care to the elderly. The Benefits.gov website is a convenient source for all senior’s benefits across many governmental agencies. You can check out their site to find out what other parents your aging loves ones might be eligible for.
Talk to your loved one’s doctor and ask them to do a critical review of your relatives’ ADL’s and IADL’s. A professional analysis of their needs and capabilities will drive which CCRC living environment will work best for them.
Schedule an appointment with your nearest Agency on Aging to find out what local programs your relatives are eligible for.
Don’t forget to check our blog for more helpful tips on how to find the right CCRC. We even have convenient tools that make it easier to find the best CCRC community in your area. Give us a try today!