Missouri Continuing Care Retirement Communities

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Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Missouri

Life plan communities have been developed to service older adults who desire to maintain an independent lifestyle and plan ahead for the future. These are also known as Continuing Care Retirement Communities, or CCRCs, due to the fact that they offer a continuum of care – from independent living to assisted living and skilled nursing. They might also offer memory care, hospice services, home care, and respite care.

Prospective candidates must be over 55 or 62 years old, with a state of health that allows them to live and move independently. Given this requirement, senior adults who suffer from chronic conditions might not be accepted into such a community. All residents must be able to cover the one-time entrance fee, as well as an ongoing monthly fee – these fees cover living costs, healthcare, services and amenities offered on-site. They might differ according to the chosen retirement community and the type of contract/agreement.

In Missouri, there are over 50 retirement communities of this kind. These are located throughout the state, including in: Ballwin, Bridgeton, Cape Girardeau, Chesterfield, Columbia, Fulton, Jefferson City, Joplin, Kansas City, Lees Summit, Saint Louis, and West Plains. These communities allow senior adults to live comfortably, being able to accommodate future changes in terms of health. They also prevent them from relying on adult children for caregiving.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Missouri - financing and costs

CCRCs can be supported through private investments, and there are numerous corporations that acquire such retirement communities with the purpose of turning them into for-profit or non-profit options. Faith-based CCRCs belong to various churches, and these are non-profit in most cases. Public-private partnerships might help with the financing of CCRCs, while bridge financing is sometimes used by private equity firms to develop such communities.

In terms of costs, Missouri seems to be among the most expensive states. The entrance fee for a CCRC in this state can vary between $150,000 and $500,000. At the same time, the monthly fee varies between $2,748 and $9,000. In Saint Louis County, for instance, the monthly fee is around $2,800 per month. Similar prices are also to be found in Saint Charles County or Kansas City. By comparison, the national average is a bit over $2,500.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Missouri - care levels and services

Residents can begin with independent living, enjoying the comfort and multitude of amenities offered. This type of living does not only guarantee the desired independence but it also brings convenience and proper socialization. Whether in a garden home or in an apartment, senior adults can feel right at home in a CCRC.

If their needs change, both in terms of health and independence, assisted living is recommended. This level of care allows one to keep living independently, with the benefit of personal assistance. The care is personalized to meet the needs of each resident, and the assistance offered might regard activities of daily living. For instance, one might need help with getting dressed, eating, or going to the bathroom.

Skilled nursing is the next level of care, generally recommended for senior adults who have complex health needs. The support is offered in a warm and friendly manner, with 24-hour skilled nursing care available. To determine the needs of the resident in question, a careful assessment is made. All residents are treated with respect, receiving exactly the care they need for comfortable living.

Memory care is a unique level of caregiving, suitable for those who suffer from deteriorating conditions, such as dementia. It is also a form of assisted living, where dementia patients receive personalized care, with round-the-clock assistance. Daily routines include activities to stimulate the patient and keep him/her safe.

Transitions are decided at the recommendation of medical specialists. Senior adults are evaluated on a regular basis, so as to determine the necessity of transitioning to a new level of care. Sometimes, the transitions can be temporary, with the senior adult returning to the former level of care when the situation allows it. Permanent transitions are advised for people whose health has deteriorated or who are no longer to live independently. Additional factors might be considered, such as safety risks, difficulty to engage in meaningful activities, etc.

The services offered within the community might include housekeeping, general maintenance, laundry and linen service, emergency call systems, medication administration, and medical supervision. According to each level of care, additional services might be offered. For instance, if someone suffers from dementia, he/she might benefit from constant assistance.

CCRC in Missouri - amenities and options

Before moving into a Missouri-based CCRC, it is essential to check out what each community has to offer. Most of these retirement communities allow prospective residents to choose between various living units, ranging from one or two-bedroom apartments to garden homes, such as townhouses and cottages.

Seniors are allowed to live together with their partners, and they remain within the same setting, even when they have different needs in terms of care and/or personal assistance. For many senior adults, having their pet around is essential. As luck would have it, most CCRCs nowadays are pet-friendly. They allow senior adults to live together with their pets, recognizing the benefits in terms of physical activity and socialization.

A wide range of amenities contribute to a high standard of living. Residents can stay in shape by visiting the fitness center, using the swimming pool, or playing their favorite sport (tennis, golf, etc.). Gourmet meals are served in fine-dining restaurants and there are cafes where residents can enjoy their afternoon snack. Additional amenities might include: billiard room, computer room, weekly worshipping services, woodworking shop, art studio, learning center, etc. For dementia patients, there are special amenities, such as memory gardens.

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

You can reach this decision more easily by considering the following.

Pros of moving to a CCRC in MO

Ability to live independently, with access to a wide array of services

Continuum of care, ranging from independent living to memory care

Additional levels of care: respite care, hospice care, home care

Possibility to live together with your partner, even if your care levels should become different

Amenities that support a comfortable living style, with round-the-clock personal assistance

Cons of moving to a CCRC in MO

Not easy to make the transition from independent living to more complex levels of care

Might find it hard to live within such a community, especially if you are used to more freedom

Expensive fees – both entrance and monthly fees are difficult to handle on a low or medium income

Prolonged waiting period, which can spread over months or years

Might miss your family, despite the fact that visits are allowed

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