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What is a CCRC?

Smiling senior woman playing cards with friends at table in nursing home

Continuing care retirement communities, or CCRCs, have long been a popular choice for seniors planning to downsize out of their current home. Some people mistakenly assume that “continuing care” means the community is only for seniors who need health care. Nothing could be further from the truth. The CCRC lifestyle enfolds health care within vibrant independent living. In fact, it’s a wonderful alternative to staying in your private home, as it enables older adults at all stages of health to stay in the same place as they age.

What’s in a name?

CCRCs offer a type of senior living designed specifically to meet the unique needs and preferences of older adults. The emphasis is on overall well-being, with services and amenities that encourage physical health, social connections, healthy nutrition and lifelong learning. As residents age, a spectrum of on-campus continuing care (hence the name) such as assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation ensure that residents’ health care needs are always supported.   

Knowing the difference

It’s important to understand the difference between a CCRC and two other types of retirement communities you may have heard about: Nursing homes and 55+ communities.

Nursing homes don’t have a lifestyle focus. Instead, they respond purely to medical needs. They’re stand-alone health care institutions providing 24/7 nursing care and supervision for very elderly and infirm seniors with serious medical conditions. A resident in a nursing home receives continuous, hands-on care delivered by a physician-led team of licensed professionals, including nursing staff and medication aides. It’s the highest level of medical care short of hospitalization for those with chronic, long-term health issues.

55+ communities offer a maintenance-free lifestyle for independent seniors, but there’s no health care component like that at a continuing care retirement community. If a resident in a 55+ community ever needs assisted living or other health care, they would have to move out, which would mean selling their home. They’ll also have to go through the process of researching, applying to, and moving in under stress or time pressure due to unstable health. For couples who need different levels of care, this may mean separating to live in different places.


Why choose a CCRC over other senior living options?

Everything’s included

The all-inclusive lifestyle of a CCRC allows older adults to live independently without the chores and upkeep that accompany homeownership. They can downsize to a more practical and manageable living space, giving them more ways to spend their free time. Housekeeping, appliance repair, laundry, a dining plan, transportation, and utilities are covered in the fee, keeping monthly expenses simple and predictable.

Social opportunities abound

Living in a community with people at the same life stage has significant benefits. There’s no need to drive or plan for social interaction when opportunities lie a short walk away, and it’s easier to make friends with shared interests. For some seniors, it presents a natural way to widen social networks that may have shrunk after the loss of a spouse or family members moving away. Communities such as Grace Ridge provide a variety of social activities like mixers, outings, Happy Hours and clubs. We encourage a culture where people look out for each other, strengthening a sense of belonging and staving off feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Health care protection

A major benefit of a CCRC is that residents can live their lives with the added security of health protection. A community such as Grace Ridge offers continuing care that includes assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation.  If health issues crop up or there’s an emergency, residents don’t have to move elsewhere for care. They can transition from one level of living to another without having to leave, staying in a comfortable environment among familiar faces. This is especially advantageous for couples, who won’t be forced to separate if either of them needs care.

Peace of mind for families

It’s a relief for family members to know that a loved one is in a supportive setting where well-being, security and health takes priority. They can see their loved one is as active and independent as possible, with enjoyable opportunities for physical, social, emotional, and intellectual enrichment. Most of all, they can be sure their loved one will quickly receive medical services if they need them, and will be cared for by experienced staff members they already know and trust.   


Independent living and so much more

At Grace Ridge, residents love the dynamic, fun-loving lifestyle we’ve created here. We’re a licensed, accredited CCRC offering maintenance-free independent living in a neighborhood setting, along with higher levels of senior health at essentially the same cost as living in your independent living residence. Learn more about the valuable benefits of choosing our CCRC in Morganton, North Carolina. Call us today at 828-263-4810.