Montana Continuing Care Retirement Communities

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Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Montana

Aging Americans are showing an increased interest in life plan communities. Also known as continuing care retirement communities, these offer a continuum of care and welcome residents over a certain age (55 or 62). The care options can change as seniors move through the various stages of aging, including the following: independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care, and memory care.

In Montana, there are around 23 communities of this kind. These are located in Billings, Great Falls, Kalispell, and Missoula, just to name a few. All CCRCs offer senior adults the opportunity to age in a community environment, with access to healthcare and a wide range of services. Residents are ideally requested to be healthy and independent, as well as able to afford the equity buy-in and the associated monthly fees.

All facilities are free to establish their own admittance terms, but you might find that these are not that different from one to the other. Continuing care retirement communities are regulated by state agencies, and you can check out governmental websites to see the CCRCs available in your state. It is also a good idea to review the contract and the terms offered before committing to a particular community.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Montana - financing and costs

Financing your spot in a retirement community is one of the most important things you should think about. With Montana-based CCRCs, the entrance fee varies between $100,000 and $400,000. You have to think long and hard whether you can afford this fee. The good news is that you can convert your assets, including your home, into funds to cover the entrance fee. Retirement funds can be used to the same purpose.

The monthly fees can vary between $1,000 and $5,000. By comparison, the national average is around $2,500. Montana is not one of the most expensive states in terms of retirement living, but there are specific facilities which tend to have higher fees. It is also worth mentioning that Medicare cannot be used to cover the cost of living in such a community. However, should you need skilled nursing care, keep in mind that Medicare can cover about three months of that particular service.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Montana - care levels and services

Usually, a senior adult will consider moving into a CCRC while he/she is still healthy and independent. While living independently, the respective resident can take advantage of the services and amenities offered on the campus. The big advantage is that you have immediate access to health and wellness services, which will help you maintain the best possible state of health.

As you advance in age and your health needs change, you can opt for assisted living. The benefit of this care level is that you have access to medical services and personal assistance. Skilled nursing is advised in case you have complex needs, requiring round-the-clock supervision and assistance. Memory care, recommended for those who suffer from dementia, is usually the highest level of care.

Residents can transition to a new level of care, and this move can be permanent or temporary. This recommendation is generally made by medical specialists, after giving careful thought to the resident’s needs. In the end, the ultimate purpose is to optimize the aging experience, offering senior adults the possibility to live comfortably until the very end. One's level of independence, the health status, and the risk of injury might be considered in recommending such a transition.

Beyond health care, you can expect to benefit from a wide range of services within such a community. These services can include housekeeping, transportation to/from appointments, general maintenance, non-stop security, emergency calling, laundry and linen service. Residents can live comfortably, without having to worry about house chores.

CCRC in Montana - amenities and options

Senior adults can live together with their spouses on the campus, which makes this living choice particularly gratifying. Even when the required medical help will differ, it is comforting to know that they will remain on the same campus. Another potential option to consider is living together with your pet. Just make sure to inquire whether the CCRC welcomes pets or not.

In terms of living arrangements, residents can generally choose to live in one or two-bedroom condos, townhouses, or cottages. The incurred fees will differ according to the chosen living unit. Amenities can vary greatly from one retirement community to the other, but all are meant to help the resident maintain the best possible state of health. The list of amenities can include: fitness and wellness programs, indoor/outdoor swimming pool, tennis court, golf course, woodworking shop, art studio, learning center, fine dining restaurant, café, hair salon.

Many CCRCs have memory care amenities, such as learning centers, memory gardens, or butterfly gardens. Residents have access to social clubs and a wide array of recreational activities. Some retirement communities plan off-site outings on a regular basis.

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

If you are considering moving into a Montana-based CCRC, there are some pros and cons you should think about.

Pros of moving to a CCRC in MT

Different care options as you move through the stages of aging (independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory care)

Wide range of services, amenities, recreational and social activities for residents

Opportunity to age in place, in a community-based environment

Medicare might cover three months of skilled nursing

Life care plans offer unlimited access to amenities and services for life

Cons of moving to a CCRC in MT

Not all CCRCs offer life care plans

Cannot use the Medicare policy to cover the CCRC costs (does not cover long-term care)

Might not be able to afford the buy-in and the associated monthly fees

Living on a remote campus, you might feel isolated or disconnected from the rest of the world

Might require a long period of time to adjust, missing your family, friends, and former lifestyle

The decision to move into a retirement community is not one that is easy to take. Visiting the property might help, as well as talking to your family about this desire. Some facilities allow you to spend a few days on the campus, so you can experience it firsthand.

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