New Jersey Continuing Care Retirement Communities

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Continuing Care Retirement Communities in New Jersey

For senior citizens, it is highly important that they live on their own, for as long as it is possible. Continuing care retirement communities give them this opportunity, delivering an excellent standard of living. Developed for the aging population, who is still interested in having an active social life, CCRCs offer a combination of healthcare, housing and services. On-site amenities help retirees enjoy their golden years to the maximum.

These communities are clearly dedicated to senior adults, accepting those who are usually 55 or older. Also known as life plan communities, they allow one to live independently, with the possibility of long-term or lifetime care when needed. The level of care can increase as the respective resident ages and his/her needs change. Financial eligibility is essential, as the senior citizens must be able to cover substantial entrance fees, followed by monthly fees.

The State of New Jersey regulates the functioning of continuing care retirement communities, while the Department of Community Affairs issues a Certificate of Authority to all facilities that comply with the existent regulations. Throughout the state, there are over 120 CCRC. These can be found in the following area: Camden Metro Area, Cape May, Edison Metro Area, Newark Metro Area, Salem, Trenton, and Warren. Specific cities which have retirement communities include: Burlington, Marlton, Medford, Cherry Hill, Cape May, Somerset, Ocean Grove, Lakewood, and Maplewood.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in New Jersey - financing and costs

CCRCs draw many retirees, as they offer the best of both worlds – the opportunity to enjoy retirement, without having to maintain a large property. However, the financing issue cannot be overlooked. Before applying, it is essential to consider your finances and determine whether you can cover the demanded fees or not.

There are different financing solutions you can consider. For instance, many retirees use their retirement funds to cover the substantial entrance fee. Others prefer to sell their property and use the respective funds to the same purpose. Savings and various assets can also be used, while the regular pension income can help you cover the monthly fees.

In New Jersey, the entrance fee varies between $50,000 and $500,000. Nonetheless, it is worth mentioning that there are luxury CCRCs where this fee can reach the impressive value of $1,000,000 – in accordance with the contract, location, services, and amenities. The monthly fees vary between $2,000 and $5,800 – considering that the national average is $2,500, it is safe to assume that New Jersey CCRCs are usually more expensive.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in New Jersey - care levels and services

The continuum of care offered by CCRCs includes several levels. Retirees can choose independent living at the beginning, opting for a living unit that allows them the opportunity to live and function on their own. Once the respective resident requires personal assistance and supervision with daily living activities, he/she can transition toward assisted living.

If independent functioning is no longer possible, the transition to skilled nursing care is recommended. At this level, the respective resident benefits from round-the-clock supervision and care, as well as receives personal assistance with ADLs. Many CCRCs also offer memory care, a level reserved for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

When is a transition advised and performed? As mentioned, the level of independence influences such recommendations. The CCRC staff performs regular assessments to determine not only the changes in a resident's medical needs but also the demand for personal assistance or potential risks of self-injury. If the resident can no longer live or function independently, transitions are advised.

For many people, a CCRC is the logical choice, as they are interested in maintenance-free living arrangements. They enjoy the services offered on the premises, such as: housekeeping, laundry and linen service, general maintenance and 24/7 security. Other services might include: Internet, cable, telephone, transportation to/from medical appointments, emergency call system, medication administration and supervision.

CCRC in New Jersey - amenities and options

All residents of CCRCs in NJ are treated with dignity and respect, being allowed to make choices that contribute to a better lifestyle. Seniors can decide on the desired living arrangements, choosing between apartments, townhouses and cottages. It is up to senior residents if they want to live alone or together with their spouse; even when couples might have different healthcare needs, they can remain in the same community and that is a significant advantage to consider. Most CCRCs now accept pets, welcoming the opportunities for physical activity and social interaction.

CCRCs provide a wide array of amenities to their residents, without them having to leave the community. Among the amenities you should find within such a community, there are: swimming pool, tennis court, golf course, woodworking shop, game/billiard room, computer room, greenhouse, hiking or walking trails, craft room, chapel with religious service, library, fitness and wellness center, art studio, learning center. Some CCRCs also offer an on-site pharmacy, beauty salon, coffee shop, gift store, and even postal services.

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

If you are interested in living and functioning independently, without the hassle of caring for a large property, then yes, a CCRC might be a good choice. Here are a few more pros and cons to bring you closer to a final decision.

Pros of moving to a CCRC in NJ

Part of a community that allows you to live and function independently for as long as it is possible

A community that offers comfortable living arrangements, services and amenities, and the guarantee of long-term/lifetime care

Perfect for those who wish to enjoy their retirement, without caring for a large property and worrying about chores

Life care contracts available

Level of care can increase in accordance to one's age and needs

Cons of moving to a CCRC in NJ

Your retirement funds and savings might not be enough to cover the substantial entrance fee

Your regular income might not be enough to cover the monthly fees

Despite all the comfort offered, the period of adjustment might extend indefinitely

Might miss your old lifestyle and the way things used to be

Not able to adapt to the restrictions imposed

Finding the right CCRC is a long and complex process. If you are interested in a New Jersey CCRC, make sure to sign up for virtual visits and discuss the decision with your family. Their assistance might prove out to be invaluable.

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