The process of moving to a retirement community can be an exciting step, signaling a new chapter in one’s life. But understandably, it can also be a little jarring for some. Luckily there’s an option that makes the transition easier, and keeps the moving to a minimum.
That option is called a Continuing Care Retirement Community. These facilities, often called CCRCs, offer several levels of retirement living, all on one campus.
“It is retirement living that starts out with cottage life, where everyone is independent,” says Jennifer Gibbs, Regional Director of Marketing for Trinity Community of Beavercreek, a Continuing Care Retirement Community. “Then, you can go through the different stages. So, if you need more care, you can move inside our building where we have independent apartments, as well as assisted living. We also have nursing care and fast-track rehab, which is a transition from hospital to home.”
Having these options all on the same campus makes Continuing Care Retirement Communities a great choice for retirees who want to keep stress levels low, explains Poetry Potts, Director of Marketing at Brookhaven Retirement Community, another CCRC.
“CCRCs are good for anyone who is looking to retire and enjoy their life without having to worry about anything,” Potts says. “And they have the ability to stay on the same campus through their years, getting the care they need as their care levels change.”
Both Gibbs and Potts say that the best time to move to a Continuing Care Retirement Community is before a retiree needs any care. “We like to say that it’s good for first-stage retirement,” says Gibbs. “So, anyone that wants to have maintenance-free living and freedom of activities to do whatever they want to do, while someone maintains their homes, prepares their meals and more.”
“That’s our goal,” Potts says. “We want to capture them early enough that they can still enjoy life and move them through different care levels, as they need them. If you just need some short-term care, you have the ability to go get some rehab and them return to your apartment or condo. You have a nurse available on your campus somewhere, so if you need to ask a question, you have that health care professional available to you.”
And there’s certainly no need to wait too long, because you’ll just be postponing all the fun! Gibbs says the best part of her community is, “the atmosphere of a family, and the sense of community within the campus itself, as well as outside of it. We have activities on campus and off, as well.”
“We are a full campus,” she continues. “We have 220 residents throughout the continuum, and it’s very lively!”
Bill Cook gets to see the benefits of Continuing Care Retirement Communities from another side. A retired Beavercreek resident, Cook moved his parents up from Cincinnati in May of 2011 to live in Trinity Community of Beavercreek.
His mother came to Trinity Community of Beavercreek in the Independent Living care level, where she still is today, at age 94. His father, however, was in a different stage.
“My dad came in May of 2011 as well,” Cook says. “Unfortunately, he was in a lot worse shape than my mother. He had Alzheimers and dementia, so he needed much more care. It was a tougher situation for him. He passed away after about three months there.”
As hard as it was for Cook to lose his father, he says that he is happy he was able to keep them together in those final moments. And that’s a comfort made possible by Continuing Care Retirement Communities. “I absolutely wanted to keep them on the same campus, and keep them together,” Cook says.
And not only have his parents been cared for, but Cook himself was able to take advantage of one of Trinity’s services. “After they had been in there for three months, and my dad had passed, stress level was very, very high for me,” Cook says. “They had, on campus, what they called a sharing group. It’s a support group. It’s one of the best things they’ve ever done. They run a support group, and the meet once a month. There are other caregivers who come in and talk about their particular situation. I’ve made a lot of good friends in there, and quite frankly, it’s humbling. As a caregiver, you can have a tendency to feel overwhelmed and almost feel sorry for yourself. After you listen to the other stories, it’s very humbling. I think it’s one of the most positive things that I’ve found.”
Potts says, “The neatest thing I find on our campus is that we have a lot of families living here, so they have the ability to see each other as often as they want to.”
So at first glance, it may seem that convenience is what’s at the heart of Continuing Care Retirement Communities. But a closer look will reveal what they are really about.