Continuing Care Retirement Communities, also known as CCRC's, offer a continuum of care within one community or campus. CCRC's offer the security of an “until end of life” guarantee of housing, activities, and increase in levels of care as needs change for members. CCRC's contain Independent Living options (apartments, or single level homes), Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing Facility services. Some also offer Memory or Dementia Care units. CCRC's also come with a price.
The most expensive of all long-term-care options, CCRCs require a hefty entrance fee as well as monthly charges. Entrance fees can range from $100,000 to $1 million — an upfront sum to prepay for care as well as to provide the facility money to operate. Monthly charges can range from $3,000 to $5,000, but may increase as needs change. These fees are dependent on a variety of factors including the health of your loved one(s), the type of housing they choose, whether they rent or buy, the number of residents living in the facility and the type of service contract. Additional fees may be incurred for other options including housekeeping, meal service, transportation and social activities.- AARP
CCRC's have several different forms of contracts in order to ensure these costs will in fact take care of their members for the remainder of their lives. There are three basic contracts used in the CCRC setting. Life Care Contract (higher buy-in, but without additional or increased fees in later years), Modified Contract (services for a set period of time), and Fee-For Service Contract (pay only for what you need, but may be at higher costs).
A CCRC may not be the most viable option for some, depending on age, care needs, and marital status a better value may be a month-to-month community that offers several levels of care. You can search for Accredited CCRC's who have committed to the quality and standards of the CCAC (Continuing Care Accreditation Commission).