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IKF Blog
Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2018

How Do I Know If I’ll Be Happy Living in This CCRC?

When making a decision about moving to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC, also called a life plan community), there are a lot of different factors to consider. It's certainly vital to understand the financial implications and contract details, but there’s something else just as (or maybe even more) important to consider, and you won’t find all the answers in a brochure.

One of the most crucial factors to consider when selecting a CCRC is your happiness. Will you be happy living there on a day-to-day basis? Naturally, this applies to not only those considering a CCRC but also other types of retirement communities. However, choosing a CCRC is typically a bigger commitment—financially and otherwise—so it’s even more important to make sure your first choice is the right choice.

Finding your “home, sweet home”

Here’s one real-world example: I had a person tell me that they had picked out what they thought was the perfect corner apartment at their chosen CCRC, but after moving in, they realized that the early-morning delivery trucks come right by their apartment making loud noises and beeping sounds. This person shared that they wished they had visited the residence in the morning instead of just coming in the afternoon.

Most people who move to a CCRC are glad they made the choice they did, but there are examples of people who have had second thoughts about their decision either before or even after they have moved. In the post, I explain that there are ways to get out of a CCRC contract, though it can be costly depending upon when you change your mind.

But with the proper research, you can help ensure you’ll be happy in your new home and glad you made the choice you did.

What to look for and ask

So how can you really know if you will be happy in any particular CCRC? Here are a few details to consider as you make your CCRC decision.

Look at upkeep. In addition to examining the guest suite, take note of the general upkeep of the community, both the grounds and inside the buildings. Are the walls and floorboards well-kempt or dinged up? Are the carpets clean or worn out? If things aren’t up to snuff, ask why. Maybe a renovation is commencing in the near-future, and so they're holding off, but if not, it could be a sign of a bigger problem. Ingleside at King Farm just completed a renovation of the atrium, lobby and dining venues. With our upcoming addition, Gardenside, we are adding more common space and a Center for Healthy Living. To see our daily progress, click on this link .

Talk with other residents. It’s tough to beat a first-hand account when it comes to learning about day-to-day life in any community. So be sure to talk to current residents (and preferably members of the resident council) about how well complaints or service issues are addressed. No one wants to live someplace where they have made this sort of commitment—financial and otherwise—and not feel that they can get their concerns efficiently and satisfactorily addressed. Indeed, a recent survey by myLifeSite of prospective CCRC residents revealed that “residents having a voice” is one of the most important considerations in the community they chose. Call the marketing office and we will be happy to set up a lunch or dinner with one or more residents. They are happy to share their experiences and give you first hand advice. We have very active residents on committees ranging from Dining to Life Enrichment that give input and help make decisions in the community. There is also resident representation on the Board of Directors with one resident from each community on the Board.

Understand the on-site healthcare services. By definition, all CCRCs provide a continuum of care services to their residents, from independent living to assisted living to skilled nursing care. But even though a community is a CCRC, you still will want to make sure you know exactly what care services are available, and where. For instance, not every CCRC has comprehensive memory care on their campus. If someone needed this type of care, they may have to leave the community. Ingleside at King Farm offers all levels of care and with the new addition, adding Assisted Living Memory Support to the community.

Eat several meals. All CCRCs will have a dining venue, and some will have several different dining options, including bistros and coffee shops. Try them all! Is the food tasty and of good quality, and are the menu offerings diverse? Can you get take-out? Are dining times flexible? What about off-hour options? Since residents will typically be eating at least one meal a day within the dining venues as part of their meal plan, you want to be sure you like the food the serve. Ingleside at King Farm has a flexible dining plan where you can use your dining dollars towards breakfast, lunch or dinner – the choice is yours!  

Understand the transportation options. Most CCRCs offer some level of transportation services, providing residents with the opportunity to get off campus even if they are no longer able to drive themselves. But how flexible is the transportation? Is there an extra fee to use the service? Is it simply a scheduled daily or weekly bus trip, or do they have additional options like individual rides to doctor's offices or the grocery store?

Consider your unique happiness needs

Finally, and maybe most important, there are certain aspects of happiness that can only be determined by you, and you want to be certain that those specific “happiness needs” can be met by the CCRC you are considering.

Let’s suppose you love to garden. Is there still an opportunity to do that once you move to the CCRC? For example, are there available independent living residences that have yards or at least a community garden? What if you love to cook? Are the floorplans and kitchens set-up to accommodate cooking enthusiasts? Or maybe you are an animal lover. Is your beloved pet going to be permitted?

Yes, the more practical aspects of selecting a CCRC are important—like the cost, quality, amenities provided, financial viability of the community, availability of care services, etc. You want to be sure you understand exactly what you are getting when you sign that contract! But ultimately, this is a place where you will be living for years to come—it will be your home and it needs to fit your lifestyle. Don’t settle for a place that doesn’t meet your needs when it comes to your long-term happiness.

To learn more about Ingleside at King Farm visit our website or call the Marketing Office at 240-499-9019.


The above article is provided by myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.


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