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How Is a Life Plan Community Different From a Traditional Nursing Home?

happy senior couple hugging while outside

In the earliest days of planning your retirement future, you probably realized very quickly that not all senior living communities are the same. Some options, like Life Plan Communities, provide a secure plan for your future, while others, like stand-alone nursing homes, provide a solution for a specific point in time. 

Just like any neighborhood, you may find yourself drawn to certain types of communities, where the amenities and other features make the place simply feel like home.

It’s only when you dig a little deeper that it becomes clearer just how different some senior living facilities can be. This is partially because generic terms like “nursing home” are used to describe a wide range of senior living options without explaining the types of care you can access.

What is a nursing home?

A “nursing home” may be the common name for all kinds of senior living and retirement facilities, but its true purpose is to provide skilled nursing. This is the highest level of senior care offered outside of the hospital. Often, skilled nursing residents have chronic conditions that require ongoing monitoring. In addition to daily care, skilled nursing facilities regularly offer rehab services such as physical, occupational, and speech therapies. 

What is a Life Plan Community?

Simply stated, a Life Plan Community (also known as a continuing care retirement community) is a self-contained community that provides multiple stages in the continuum of care so a resident can access the additional support they need as their health changes over time.

In the continuum of senior living care, a nursing home—or, more correctly, skilled nursing—falls around the midpoint. Residents in independent living are significantly more autonomous, assisted living residents need a degree of help, skilled nursing residents rely on medical assistance or rehabilitative services (or both) every day, and memory care patients receive 24-hour support.

What are the differences between the two?

The biggest difference is lifestyle. In addition to a continuum of care, a Life Plan Community—including Springpoint’s senior living communities in New Jersey and Delaware—is often a self-contained neighborhood where you can find amenities, activities, and a more expansive lifestyle experience than is common for a more service-oriented stand-alone skilled nursing facility. 

Another major difference is the sense of stability and predictability that comes with living in a Life Plan Community. Many seniors choose to move into a Life Plan Community’s independent living neighborhood in their early golden years so they can fully immerse themselves in the community, develop friendships, and take maximum advantage of amenities that cater to an active senior lifestyle.

Taking advantage of the wellness resources, increased socialization, and reduced responsibilities for things like home maintenance all help keep active, healthy seniors in top condition longer. What’s more, the knowledge that care will be there when they need it brings peace of mind, while the ability to plan for the future financially is also quite appealing.

How do Life Plan Communities work?

As a resident of a Life Plan Community, you can expect to pay a monthly service fee that covers your residence, utilities, services, and amenities so you can easily budget for the future. At Springpoint, we offer a variety of contract options for entrance fees that are designed to help you achieve your financial goals. In addition, our Lifecare option allows you to safeguard your finances against rising and unexpected healthcare costs in the future.

Take a Peek at the Future

Visiting a Life Plan Community is the best way to get a sense for how the lifestyle could meet your needs now and in the future. Contact us to make arrangements to tour a community near you.

Let’s connect.

If you have questions or comments about Springpoint or our communities, we’re here to help.

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