If you’re considering community living, it’s likely you’ve come across the term “Life Care.” However, not all Life Care communities and their offerings are the same. What might seem like small differences now can have large impacts in the long-term. In this article, we’ll explore what Life Care is and some common terms you may see used in your Life Care contract.
What is a Life Care Community?
Life Care communities – also commonly known as continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) – offer residents priority access to a continuum of care as needs change with age. This may include skilled nursing, memory care, rehabilitation and other health services. Life Care allows you to remain in the same community and receive care from skilled providers onsite.
To guarantee access to care, your Life Care contract may include a one-time entrance fee, as well as a regular monthly service fee. You may be presented with one, two or even three types of Life Care contracts that you can choose from, depending on the community. The all-inclusive contract type (often referred to as a Type A contract) typically provides access to on-site health services at a predictable monthly rate. In a Type B contract, your fee will increase when you need to access on-site care, but you’ll pay a predetermined discount on the market rate. In a Type C contract, you will pay market rate for the care services you require.
What’s Included in a Life Care Contract?
The services and amenities you get will vary depending on the type of community you choose, but some common elements covered in your Life Care contract may include:
- Select health care services. Many Life Care contracts give you access to on-site medical staff and higher levels of care if your care needs change.
- Personal care services. These services will vary depending on what’s available in your community and the level of care you choose. For example, if you opt for assisted living, you can get extra assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming and medication management.
- Accommodations. Your living quarters and most utilities are typically included in your contract along with some kind of regular maintenance and groundskeeping.
- Transportation. Many contracts cover scheduled transportation to medical appointments and other errands, like grocery shopping, within a specified radius of the community.
- Social and recreational activities. Many senior living communities offer a range of social and recreational activities for residents to enjoy, such as fitness classes, outings and social events.
- Meal plans. Some contracts provide a certain number of on-site meals per day or a flexible meal plan, which you can use to enjoy certain community dining venues.
When you find the contract that’s right for you, be sure you know what’s exactly in your contract before signing it, along with its terms and conditions. It’s also important to note that certain available services and amenities, like transportation outside of a certain radius and salon services, may require additional fees.
Is a Life Care Community Right for You?
There are many benefits to Life Care, but is this type of community the right choice for you? Here are some additional factors to consider that can help you make your decision.
- Budgeting. Life Care communities make planning your monthly expenses simple. You know what you will pay for care should your needs change, which is predetermined when you sign your specific contract.
- Care needs. 70% of older adults will need some form of long-term care. Even if you don’t have a family medical history that includes a chronic condition, the chances that you will need care as you age are extremely high. Life Care gives you the ability to account for future care costs today.
- Comfort and stability. Though additional care is the primary focus of Life Care contracts, you also want the community you choose to offer benefits and amenities that support your desired lifestyle. Make sure you can enjoy your favorite hobbies, feel comfortable in your residence and make connections to continue building friendships later in life.
Explore Our Life Care Options at Friendship Village of South Hills
At Friendship Village of South Hills, our Pittsburgh-area Life Care community supports the long-term wellness of each individual. Our dedicated team will work with you or a loved one to craft a customized plan that helps reach personal health goals. Whether that’s enjoying fresh, elegant meals in our dining venues or taking classes in our 17,000-square-foot fitness center, we’re here to offer support every step of the way.
If you’d like to learn more about Life Care at Friendship Village of South Hills, contact us to get the conversation started.