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Silver Linings: Seniors taking advantage of Continuing Care Retirement Community services - at home

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 15. 2018 6:26PM

Close to 30 continuing care retirement communities across the country have extended their services to local seniors, providing guaranteed care through the end of life for less than rates charged to CCRC residents - and offering a model for continuing care that enables seniors to age safely at home.

"It's taking the CCRC model and applying that to someone who never moves onto campus," said Steve Maag, director of residential communities for Leading Age, a national organization of nonprofit senior care and housing providers. The contracts offer health care and many of the lifestyle benefits of CCRCs to people who can't afford the down payment and monthly fees of becoming residents.

Instead of entrance fees that rival home prices, local seniors who sign up for guaranteed care through the end of life pay an initial fee of $20,000 to $70,000 and monthly fees ranging from $300 to $700, while continuing to live in their own houses or apartments. They're frequently able to access amenities offered by the contracting CCRC, including health and wellness classes and facilities, and social and cultural activities and events.

The expanded community service program requires a capital investment of $400,000 to $500,000 by the CCRC and usually breaks even in two to three years as more off-campus seniors enroll, Maag said. It's a way to supply a broader range of services to seniors who want to age in place without the startup expenses and long-term debt of constructing a new facility or program.

Thrive at Home, run by the Whitney Center in Hamden, Conn., has successfully offered such contracts in the New Haven area for the past two years. In the past four years, more than 10 CCRCs nationwide have offered guaranteed care contracts to seniors in the local community.

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