Vermont Continuing Care Retirement Communities

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Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Vermont

In Vermont, there are 53 continuing care retirement communities. These can be found in: Brattleboro, Shelburne, Windsor, Burlington, Rutland, Colchester, and White River Junction. Also known as life plan communities, they welcome residents who are looking to maintain an independent lifestyle and stay active for as long as it is possible. The health and wellness of each resident represents a top priority.

Continuing care retirement communities, abbreviated as CCRCs, allow retirees to life their golden years in peace, offering a continuum of care. In addition to healthcare services, residents have access to a wide range of services and amenities, available on the same campus. Typically, senior adults begin with independent living, transitioning to a higher level of care as their needs change.

To become a resident, you have to meet the age requirement, which is often over 60. Some communities accept residents who are younger, starting with 55. Choosing to move into a CCRC is a big decision, and you should plan ahead, especially in terms of finances. All residents are expected to pay hefty entrance fees, followed by high monthly fees. They must also present a reasonable state of health and, in some cases, have a long-term insurance policy.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Vermont - financing and costs

Once you have taken the decision to move into a CCRC, one of the first things you should do is analyze your finances. With Vermont-based CCRCs, you can expect to pay entrance fees that vary between $50,000 and $500,000. There are luxury retirement communities in which these fees surpass the $1,000,000 mark.

The monthly fees for the same retirement communities vary between $1,800 and $5,400. By comparison, the national average is of $2,500. As part of the admittance criteria, residents must demonstrate the ability to cover the requested fees; these are usually a multiple of one's finances or regular income. Potential financing solutions include retirement funds, various assets and savings. Some residents prefer selling their property, using the respective funds to cover the respective fees.

Continuing Care Retirement Communities in Vermont - care levels and services

CCRCs offer several levels of care, including: independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing care, and memory care. Some facilities might have additional levels, such as respite care, hospice care, and home care. All residents, as mentioned, begin with independent living – the only condition is that they are capable of living and functioning on their own.

When health needs change and the respective resident begins to require assistance with daily living activities, the transition toward assisted living is encouraged. In skilled nursing care, residents with complex health needs are taken care of, often benefitting from rehabilitation and other therapies. Memory care is reserved for those living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, including 24/7 supervision and medication administration.

Changing the care level is recommended by the CCRC staff, with consideration to current health needs, demand for personal assistance, and ability to handle everyday tasks. In some cases, residents have specific healthcare demands – for instance, someone might need his/her feeding tube cleaned regularly – so the need for higher care is obvious. With some residents, the transitions are temporary; as soon as the health issues are resolved, they can return to independent living. Permanent transitions are common in case of major health events, such as strokes or heart attacks.

What kind of services you can expect to find in such a retirement community? Well, the list might include: 24/7 security, emergency call system, general maintenance, laundry and linen service, Internet, cable, telephone, and housekeeping. Some CCRCs also offer transportation to/from medical appointments, access to medical specialists, banking services, guest admissions, and on-site pharmacies.

CCRC in Vermont - amenities and options

Continuing care retirement communities, including those in Vermont, offer prospective residents the opportunity to choose between different types of housing units. Common choices include one or two-bedroom apartments, cottages and townhouses. In some cases, you might be allowed to bring your own furniture. As a general rule, however, all the residents are equipped with everything necessary for comfortable living. Residents can live alone, with their spouse or pet (check pet-friendly policies first).

These CCRCs offer a wide range of amenities, encouraging its residents to pursue their interests and spend their time as they like. Common amenities include: fine-dining restaurants, yoga, swimming pool, fitness center, tennis court, golf course, walking and hiking trails, computer room, library, social club, group events, theater, performance hall. Additional amenities might be offered, such as: weekly religious service, off-site trips, billiard room, gardening, woodworking. Those who suffer from dementia benefit from specific amenities, including memory gardens, learning centers, occupational and speech therapy, guided walks, etc.

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

Is life in a retirement community for you? Unfortunately, this is not an easy decision to make. In trying to arrive to a conclusion, think about the multiple benefits, and how you will always have access to high-quality care, services and amenities. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide.

Pros of moving to a CCRC in VT

Opportunity to meet new people, who will inspire you to try new things

You can try unique life experiences, pursuing passions you always left behind in the favor of work

Surrounded by specialized personnel, capable of recognizing your healthcare and personal assistance needs

Live the way you want, with as much intimacy as you need

Some CCRCs encourage residents to volunteer for local organizations

Cons of moving to a CCRC in VT

The moving process can be quite stressful

You might fear no longer being independent, missing your old lifestyle

Leaving the community in which you lived all of your life can lead to anxiety

Novelty of the actual experience, the fear of unknown can make you doubt yourself

Practical aspect – you might not have sufficient funds to cover the required entrance and monthly fees, risking debt

Sometimes, you might need another person’s opinion to take a final decision. Research the different CCRCs in Vermont and discuss the potential options with your friends or family. Always remember that life in a retirement community has a lot of advantages, even though it might be hard to adjust to it at first. Allow yourself time to process the big change.

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