Maryland Continuing Care Retirement Communities

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Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Maryland

Maryland is one of the most appealing choices for retirement living, drawing senior adults from all over the country. Continuing care retirement communities offer a continuum of care, accepting people who are over the age of 60 or older, with a reasonable state of health. Prospective residents can opt for independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care, or memory care. The health-related services depend on the chosen level of care, being often accompanied by personal assistance.

These communities are regulated by the Maryland Department of Aging, with continuing care laws defining the prerequisites for offering such services. Both housing and services are offered under a contract, which can be established on a long-term basis or for life. The contract established between a provider and a resident is known as a continuing care agreement, and it can vary from community to the other.

The scope of continuing care can also vary, depending on the community and the signed contract. For instance, nursing care might be offered within the same campus, without additional fees to be paid. Prospective residents have to pay entrance and monthly fees, depending on the preferred level of care, unit size, number of residents in the respective unit, type of contract, services, etc. The financial risk is considerable, and only some CCRCs might provide a refundable entrance fee.

In Maryland, there are 38 continuing care retirement communities, located in the Baltimore Metro Area, Capital Region, Eastern Shore Region, Western Maryland, and Southern Maryland. Specifically, these are found in the following cities: Annapolis, Baltimore, Catonsville, Cockeysville, Glen Arm, Parkville, Timonium, Towson, Sykesville, Westminster, and Columbia.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Maryland - financing and costs

Maryland-based CCRCs are developed through private investments, as well as private-public partnerships. Bond financing has also been used for the establishment of nonprofit retirement communities of this kind. It is worth mentioning that many CCRCs are for-profit and backed by large companies.

In terms of costs, Maryland seems to be one of the most expensive states. For the retirement communities based in and around Baltimore, you can expect to pay an entrance fee that starts at $50,000 and goes as far as $1,000,000. As for the monthly fees, these can vary between $1,300 and $6,800. These fees are strictly dependent on the chosen contract and the preferred level of care. For instance, it is a known fact that higher levels of care, such as skilled nursing or memory care, are more expensive.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Maryland - care levels and services

Most of the residents who apply for a spot in one of the Maryland-based CCRCs are interested in independent living. They can choose an apartment, a townhouse or a cottage, and maintain their previous lifestyle, surrounded by like-minded people and with immediate access to a wide range of services and amenities. As their health needs change, they can transition to a higher level of care, taking advantage of the round-the-clock supervision and personal assistance.

Assisted living is beneficial for those who need help with daily living tasks in particular, such as dressing, bathing or feeding. Should one also need rehabilitation, medication supervision or 24/7 assistance, the nursing care level is more suited. Last, but not least, dementia patients are best taken care of in memory care units.

Transitions are encouraged within continuing care retirement communities, as moving to a higher level of care can contribute to an overall better quality of life for the resident in question. Whether temporary or permanent, transitions are decided only after a careful medical assessment. The staff might also consider the need for personal assistance in recommending a transition.

The services offered include general maintenance, housekeeping, security, 24/7 supervision, Internet and cable, meal plans. Each level of care might include additional services, such as medication administration and supervision, transportation to medical appointments, and laundry/linen service.

CCRC in Maryland - amenities and options

If you are interested in moving into one of the Maryland-based CCRCs, it might be a good idea to check out the options each retirement community has to offer. For instance, does the community in question allow you to live together with your partner? How will the fee change once there are two residents living in the same unit? It can be useful to know these things before actually signing a life care contract.

Many of these communities allow you to visit the campus or take virtual tours, so that you can get a sense of what you should expect. During the visit, you can ask plenty of questions. For example, you can inquire whether the CCRC is pet-friendly or not, if it has a weekly religious service, or if it offers off-site trips. All this information will bring you the much-needed peace of mind, helping you take the right decision for your golden years.

What about the amenities offered on the campus? With Maryland-based CCRCs, you can expect the best. Among the standard amenities, you might find: landscaped gardens, woodworking and art studios, computer rooms, swimming pools, theaters, fitness rooms, gardening areas, beauty salons, libraries, dining rooms, golf course, tennis court, hiking trails, etc. Some of these retirement communities have world-class spas, movie theaters, bar and grill area, butterfly gardens, sewing and quilting rooms, and other unique amenities.

What are some positives and negatives of moving into a CCRC in Maryland?

It is only normal to consider your living options for the future. The retirement communities you will find in Maryland offer a continuum of care, along a number of beneficial services and amenities. The following pros and cons might help you decide whether this is right move for you or not.

Pros of moving to a CCRC in MD

Access to a continuum of care, with the possibility to transition to a higher level if necessary

Special units designed for dementia patients, with round-the-clock supervision

Different living options, including one or two-bedroom apartments, townhouses and cottages

Wide range of services, including housekeeping, laundry and linen services, general maintenance, security, medication administration, transportation to medical appointments

You are allowed to live together with your partner or even with your pet (check contract before signing)

Pros of moving to a CCRC in MD

Entrance and monthly fees are expensive, hard to cover through a low or medium income

Might find the lack of age diversity to be frustrating

Adjustment period can be long, leading once again to frustration

Significant financial risk, as you are paying a large sum of money in advance to secure future services

Not all CCRCs in Maryland offer life care contracts

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