Delaware Continuing Care Retirement Communities

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Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Delaware

Continuing Care Retirement Communities offer people of older age the opportunity to lead an independent existence, and enjoy a lifestyle that is both active and social. These communities have been developed for senior adults, and they have a minimum age requirement of 55, or 62 in some cases. Additional requirements regard financial eligibility and health status, and each community reserves its right to accept or reject a potential candidate.

In the state of Delaware, there are under 70 registered CCRCs, each offering a combination of housing, access to health, services and amenities in one convenient location. These retirement communities are found in Kent County, New Castle County, and Sussex County. Common locations include: Dover, Greenville, Hockessin, Newark, Wilmington, Lewes, and Seaford. Seniors can become part of a like-minded community, which allows them to age in place and adjust their living situation according to their current care needs. Admittance is very much related to financial independence, and there are different contracts to choose from.

To be accepted into such a retirement community, the prospective resident must cover a substantial entrance fee, which can be non-refundable or refundable. In the first situation, we are talking about a traditional entrance fee, which is lower. The refundable one will be higher but it will allow the resident to keep his/her options open (may consider moving again in the future). Lifecare contracts guarantee the afore-mentioned benefits for life, but they tend to be expensive and very few CCRCs offer them.

Monthly service fees have to be paid in addition to the entrance fee. The amount depends on the size of the housing unit and the number of occupants. These are necessary to cover not only living expenses but also housekeeping, maintenance, security, utilities, property taxes, services and amenities.

CCRC in Delaware - financing and costs

Delaware CCRCs are divided into two categories: for profit and non-profit facilities. In terms of financial advantages, these facilities recommend prospective residents to look at the entrance fees as an investment they are making in their own future. Moreover, with substantial entrance fees, you can be sure that the overall monthly fees are going to be lower.

Let's take a CCRC from Lewes as an example. The entrance fee for a one-bedroom unit in this retirement community is about $231,000 and the associated monthly fees amount to $2,900. If you are interested in a two-bedroom unit or a cottage, the respective fees will be higher. The same thing will occur in choosing a higher level of care. Entrance fees secure housing, as well as guarantee access to healthcare, services and amenities.

Generally-speaking, the monthly costs of moving into a Delaware CCRC vary between $3,500 and $5,000. This is higher than the national average, which is around $2,500. As for the entrance fees, these can vary between $50,000 and $500,000. The overall costs can be covered by selling one's property, or using different assets, savings, or retirement funds.

CCRCs in Delaware - services and levels of care

A continuing care retirement community offers access to a specific number of services. Residents benefit from on-site healthcare, as well as transportation to/from various medical appointments. Additional services, such as housekeeping, laundry and linen, 24-hour security and maintenance are included, the goal being to ensure an independent but comfortable life. Residents often decide to move into a CCRC because they no longer have the stamina to handle everyday tasks, including challenging chores.

Care levels offered by Continuing Care Retirement Communities include the following:

Independent living – moving from your own home into a retirement community that allows you to maintain a similar lifestyle

Assisted living – receive help with daily activities and be part of a supportive community

Skilled nursing care – recommended in case of complex medical needs (chronic conditions, postoperative, prolonged hospitalization)

Memory care – support and better quality of life for residents diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Should one's care needs change, the staff can recommend the transition into a new level of care, one that is better suited to the resident's current health status. For example, the resident may no longer be able to walk on his/her own or regular eating might become impossible, a feeding tube being required. Transitions can be temporary or permanent, and it is possible to go back to independent living if the situation permits it.

CCRC in Delaware - amenities and options

In the past few years, more and more CCRCs have made considerable investments, with the purpose of ensuring the best possible living standards for their senior residents. Today, one can choose between different living options; there are one and two-bedroom units, as well as cottages and even townhouses. Residents can leave alone, with their partner or beloved pet, as many CCRCs are pet-friendly.

The amenities offered within such retirement communities are diverse, allowing senior adults to maintain an active, social lifestyle. These include: cultural and recreational activities, fitness classes, fine dining, swimming, playing tennis or golf, religious worship, social clubs, learning centers and art studios. Some have butterfly gardens, dog parks, libraries, lifelong learning classes, observation beehives, performance halls and woodworking shops.

While the staff handles household chores, the preparation of meals and general maintenance, residents are invited to enjoy their golden years in the most pleasant ways possible. One can choose the activities that are best suited to his/her interests, taking delight in the interaction with like-minded individuals.

Should I move into a CCRC?

The continuing care retirement communities you will find in Delaware are located in prime spots, and they offer convenient access to housing and healthcare in one place. To decide whether moving into a CCRC would be the best decision for you, we have gathered a few pros and cons.

Pros of moving to a CCRC in DE:

All-in-one: housing, healthcare, services and amenities

Different levels of care available (independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care, memory care)

Possibility to lead an active, social and independent lifestyle throughout your golden years

Amenities that cater not only to your physical wellness but also to your creative side

Specific amenities for people who suffer from Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia

Cons of moving to a CCRC in DE:

Substantial fees are required as part of the admittance process (entrance & monthly fees to be covered)

Chronic health conditions might prevent a resident from being accepted into the CCRC

Some residents require a longer period of adjustment (if you are not sure about your decision, it is for the best to choose the refundable entrance fee)

No mix of ages, which can lead to frustration and boredom

Significantly long waiting time (months, years)

If you are thinking about moving into a Delaware CCRC, ask your loved ones to help you with the research process. Give this decision considerable thought, and make sure to choose a retirement community that fits all of your needs to perfection.

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