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Why Seniors Are Choosing Rental Communities for Lifelong Care

Senior woman hugging and smiling with nurse

If you’ve seen the entrance fee at a Life Plan Community (also known as a continuing care retirement community or CCRC), you may have experienced sticker shock.

In 2018, the average entrance fee at a Life Plan Community was a whopping $335,000, according to commercial real estate services firm CBRE. At some Life Plan Communities, entrance fees can cost up to $1 million or more.

That’s a lot of money to pay upfront for health care services you may never need. The high cost of entrance fees is one reason many older adults choose rental communities for lifelong care.

How much care will you need?

The simple answer is, that depends. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, about 70% of adults over 65 will need some type of long-term care during their lifetime. That includes assistance with activities of daily living — bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, eating and continence — as well as everyday chores and homemaking. No one can predict the future, so the best advice is to take care of yourself and plan for whatever tomorrow may bring.

For many older adults, moving to a CCRC makes a lot of sense. The lifestyle is easier, more engaging and more enjoyable than living at home, especially if they’re on their own. Plus, their family members don’t have to worry about them. They know their loved ones will get the care they need on-site, surrounded by friends and familiar faces. 

At Arbol Residences, for example, residents have access to a continuum of care on campus, including assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation. If they need to recover from a hospital stay or require a higher level of care, residents don’t have to move off-site to a different location in an unfamiliar place. They can get the care they need from people they know and trust right on campus.

Which is better: rental or buy-in?

There’s no right or wrong answer. It depends on your priorities and whether you think it’s worth paying a large upfront fee for access to higher levels of care — even though you may never need them.

With a rental contract, you’ll have access to health care services at market rates without having to prepay for services you may never use. With an entrance fee contract, it gets more complicated. Most of these contracts fall under one of three types:

Type A, Life Care — Prepay for access to unlimited care on-site. Even if you move to a higher level of care, your monthly service fee won’t increase substantially.

Type B, Modified Plan — Prepay for care in one of two ways: 1) a limited number of free days of health care, with additional days at per diem market rates, or 2) an ongoing, minimally discounted rate.

Type C, Fee-for-Service — Pay an entrance fee, but the cost of continuing care will be charged at market rates.

Weigh the pros and cons with us.

Deciding which senior living community is right for you is an important decision. We can make it easier by providing the information you need.

We’ll explain the benefits of our rental contract and how it could save you money in the long run. As the only CCRC in Santa Rosa that doesn’t require a buy-in, we think Arbol Residences offers better value and greater flexibility. To learn more or to schedule your personal appointment, get in touch.