Massachusetts Continuing Care Retirement Communities

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Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Massachusetts

Over the past few decades, more and more opportunities have been created for senior adults looking for retirement living. One of the most popular options nowadays is a Continuing Care Retirement Community, abbreviated CCRC. These communities offer housing and healthcare in one location, with access to a wide array of services and amenities. Even when the health needs of the resident might change, he/she will be able to remain within the same community.

Also known as life plan communities, CCRCs welcome residents who present a reasonable state of health, over a certain age (55 or 62). Financial eligibility is highly important, as residents are required to offer proof of income or savings. Some decide to cover the rather substantial fees – entrance and monthly – through the selling of personal property or by using retirement funds. Each community might present additional eligibility criteria, such as the presence of long-term insurance plans.

In Massachusetts, there are about 97 continuing care retirement communities. These are located throughout the state, including in the following cities: Pittsfield, Amherst, Worcester, Lexington, Peabody, Bedford, North Andover, Westwood, Charlton, Springfield, Lincoln, and Mansfield. These CCRCs are regulated by Elder Affairs and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. This accreditation stands as proof of the respective community being able to meet high-quality care standards.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Massachusetts - financing and costs

Massachusetts-based CCRCs fall into two different categories: for-profit and non-profit. Corporations often develop retirement communities of this kind, taking out loans to expand their projects. They might also engage in private-public partnerships, with the purpose of bringing their contribution to the local community. Non-profit CCRCs can be developed by corporations, but they are also founded by churches (faith-based).

The admittance to a CCRC requires a substantial entrance fee, which can vary between $100,00 and $300,000. Prospective residents have to pay a fee each month, usually varying between $2,000 and $6,000 – this covers the room and board, as well as any health-related services one might benefit from. The costs of Massachusetts-based CCRCs are not very different from those encountered in other states, with the mention that the average monthly fee at national level is around $2,500.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Massachusetts - care levels and services

All continuing care retirement communities offer access to different care levels. Senior adults can opt for independent living, for as long as their health and level of independence allows it. They can live in apartments, townhouses or cottages, with little or not assistance. The moment they need personal care assistance, they can move into one of the assisted living units. Nursing and memory care is available for residents who have complex health demands, the latter being often recommended to those who suffer from dementia.

In senior age, it can happen that one’s healthcare needs change, or that one will require more personal assistance. Together with the expert staff, residents can make the transition toward a higher level of care. They can move from independent to assisted living or nursing care, and the transition can be temporary or permanent. There might also be specific situations in which a resident needs more care, for instance when there are balance issues or the person in question can no longer feed himself/herself – the transition is recommended and done in his/her best interest.

The services you will find in Massachusetts-based CCRCs are diverse and meant to offer a comfortable lifestyle. Aside from nursing and various healthcare services, senior adults might benefit from comprehensive meal plans, housekeeping, laundry and linen service, general maintenance, security, emergency and personal care assistance, etc. In general, the services provided on the campus also influence the fees a prospective resident has to pay.

CCRC in Massachusetts - amenities and options

Each CCRC offer prospective residents to choose the type of living unit that suits their needs the best. As mentioned above, they can live in apartments, townhouses and cottages, paying the corresponding fees. Residents are allowed to live together with their partners, and they remain within the same campus, should their healthcare needs and a higher level of care become necessary. Some retirement communities accept pets, but you have to check the contract first and make sure they are pet friendly.

The amenities you will find in such a retirement community have been chosen to offer a high standard of living for your golden years. There are plenty of opportunities for physical activity, with the following amenities being part of the standard package: swimming pool (indoor/outdoor, heated), fitness classes, tennis court, golf course, walking and hiking trails. General amenities include: fine-dining restaurants, cafes, common area, social clubs, religious services.

While living in a CCRC, you will discover that many of the amenities on the campus are designed to keep your mind young. From learning classes to art studios, you will have the constant stimulation you are probably craving for. Residents can take part in group activities, visit touristic spots in off-site trips, or have fun watching a movie. Each retirement community provides a well-organized mix of relaxation and entertainment options.

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

When you reach a certain age, comfort becomes an important matter. The same goes for easy access to healthcare and personal assistance, should you need it. Massachusetts-based CCRCs can provide you with all that, but you have to do your research and find the one retirement community that speaks to your needs the most. Here are a few pros and cons to help you out.

Pros of moving to a CCRC in MA

Housing, healthcare, services and amenities in one single location

Possibility to age in place and transition to a higher level of care, as your health needs change

Assisted living units for people who cannot handle daily living activities on their own

Short and long-term rehabilitation in case of stroke, heart attack, or other major health issues

24/7 supervision and assistance, when needed

Cons of moving to a CCRC in MA

Sizable entrance fee, which is not always refundable

Not all CCRCs offer a lifetime contract

Contract might not be clear in terms of what you are offered, so it is for the best to have an attorney look over it

Some of the services might not be covered by the monthly fee

Outside services are not allowed with some CCRCs (inquire first)

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