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Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Florida

If you are coming close to your golden years, you might consider moving into a CCRC. Senior residents will discover that the sunshine state has a lot of amazing continuing care retirement communities, all offering the possibility of stress-free living. As a general rule, these communities accept people over the age of 55 or 62, as the case may be, with an acceptable state of health.

These communities have been developed to offer senior adults the opportunity to benefit from various levels of care, within the same setting. Prospective residents can start with independent living and transition to other levels, such as assisted living, skilled nursing care, and memory care, as they reach new healthcare demands. Acceptance is not only based on the general state of health, but also on the prospective resident’s ability to meet the financial eligibility criteria.

Common locations of Florida CCRCs include Fort Myers, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Panhandle, and Tampa. There are approximately 86 CCRCs, and most of them are located in Jacksonville, Fort Meyers, Palm Beach and Tampa. Miami and Panhandle have the lowest number of CCRCs.

Not sure why should you move into a CCRC? These senior living communities offer permanent access to healthcare and personal assistance, not to mention the housing units are maintenance-free and you have a lot of amenities to choose from. However, please be aware that such a move can be expensive, and it might require a long waiting period before actually being admitted.

CCRC in Florida - financing and costs

The CCRCs in Florida are regulated by OIR, as well as the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Most of them are owned by non-profit organizations, but there are for-profit and faith-based non-profit CCRCs you can consider as well.

In Palm Beach County, the average cost of moving into a CCRC is of $3,490 per month. This is higher than the national average, which is around $2,538. Less expensive retirement communities are found in Martin County. It is also important to mention that most communities of this kind require a substantial entrance fee to be paid, which can begin at $100,000 and climb as far as $1,000,000. The fees are determined in accordance to the size of the housing unit, amenities offered, and location of CCRC.

A prospective resident can choose between different types of contracts, which will also determine the associated costs of moving into a retirement community. Life contracts are offered in some CCRCs, but they require a higher entrance fee to be paid. These will guarantee lifetime access to healthcare and personal assistance, regardless of changes in financial eligibility. It is also worth mentioning that, in paying this higher entrance fee, residents might benefit from lower monthly fees.

CCRCs in Florida - services and levels of care

Prospective residents will discover that the CCRCs in Florida have a lot of appealing opportunities to offer. Basic services cover healthcare, housing, housekeeping, maintenance, and security. Residents can benefit from a wide range of health services, such as skilled nursing and rehabilitation, outpatient therapy and long-term care. The concept of supported living is often a big part of CCRC, helping people with chronic conditions thrive.

In terms of care levels, residents are instructed to begin their CCRC life with independent living. They can choose between different types of housing units, enjoying a lifestyle that is active and filled with social opportunities. As they age and the healthcare needs increase, they might transition towards supported living. This can include: assisted living, memory care, and long-term care. These levels are recommended for residents who have complex health needs, including those diagnosed with various forms of dementia.

The decision to transition into a new level of care is not taken easily. Regular assessments are performed by geriatric specialists, in order to confirm the need for the said transition. Sometimes, health changes are obvious, in the sense that a resident is no longer to maintain an independent lifestyle. Other times, these changes are more subtle, and they require the careful eye of a specialist. Either way, the health status and the level of independence represent the two main factors considered for changing a resident's level of care.

CCRC in Florida - amenities and options

Florida's CCRC are equipped with everything necessary to offer the best possible lifestyle for senior residents. Designed for upscale living, housing units vary from small, one-bedroom apartments to cottages and townhouses equipped with the latest appliances. Residents can decide whether they want to live alone or with their partners, and many of them opt for pet-friendly retirement communities. All housing units are equipped with modern-generation safety and security systems.

Commonly-encountered amenities include: gardens and recreation spaces, golf courses and tennis courts, swimming pools, fitness centers, biking and walking trails, fine dining, movie theaters, butterfly gardens, memory gardens, and common areas for group gatherings. Residents can take part in a wide range of events and socialize with their peers, and many retirement communities even organize off-site trips.

Luxury retirement communities entice prospective residents with additional amenities, including billiard rooms, sunrooms, wildlife photography courses, art studios, learning centers, and so on. Even when a retirement community does not border on luxury, residents still have access to an impressive array of amenities, many of them focused on socialization and living an active lifestyle.

Pros and cons of moving into a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Florida

Not sure if moving into a CCRC is the best decision for you? Here is a list of pros and cons to help you decide!

Pros of moving to a CCRC in FL

Opportunity to live in a retirement community that offers different levels of care in accordance to your current and future health status

You will not feel socially-isolated, as there are numerous opportunities for socialization

Freedom to choose a housing unit that suits your needs the best

You can live together with your partner or beloved pet

Access to a wide array of services and amenities for stress-free, independent living

Cons of moving to a CCRC in FL

You might fail to meet the eligibility criteria, especially with luxury CCRCs

The long-term adjustment might lead to frustration on your part

It might not be easy to make the transition from independent living to assisted living

The lack of age diversity might not be seen as a positive thing

During the long waiting period, your health needs might change and you will have to reconsider your options

Hopefully, you will find the best retirement community for your needs. Florida remains one of the top retirement destinations for seniors, and this is not a surprise, given the modern CCRCs found in this state.

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