What Is a Continuum of Care and Why Is It Important?

If you’re a senior in generally good health, your immediate retirement goals are probably more centered on an enriching lifestyle than the type of senior care you may eventually need. 

Today’s retirees, who are healthy and feeling young, look forward to settling into a 55+ community where life looks quite a bit like an extended vacation. Maintenance-free living, neighbors near your age, and life-enriching amenities to occupy your free time are just some of the rewards you’re probably eagerly anticipating.

You may be surprised to discover that a 55+ community isn’t the only way to achieve the lifestyle you’re envisioning. Another option that provides the same active retirement lifestyle, along with more security for the future, is a Life Plan Community, where you can find a full continuum of care.

 

What is a 55+ community?

A 55+ community is a neighborhood created specifically for senior residents. Most have strict policies about minimum ages for residents. As a result, you can expect to be surrounded by neighbors who are in the same stage of life and share similar life goals and interests.

Monthly service fees and what they cover vary greatly, but you’re likely to have access to some amenities, such as fitness facilities, trails, and swimming pools. You may also have some maintenance provided, like snow removal and lawn care.

 

What is a Life Plan Community?

A Life Plan Community, also known as a continuing care retirement community, provides varying levels of senior care to residents, from independent living options to assisted living, rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and memory care services. Unlike other senior living community options, which may be strictly age-based or offer only one or two levels of care, residents of a Life Plan Community can rest easy knowing that, should their health needs ever change, the level of supportive senior care services they require can adjust to those needs.

This type of community may not be on your radar because it offers more senior care than you need right now. However, even if those aren’t resources you expect to need for years to come, as you age, the chances are good you’ll need some form of additional support in the future.

Retirement is your ultimate opportunity to explore life’s possibilities and live the way you want to live, chasing dreams and exploring hobbies—generally worrying less and enjoying more. Although the ambiance and amenities vary, it’s a carefree lifestyle you’re sure to find at many different kinds of retirement communities or 55+ communities. That is, until it’s not so carefree anymore.

 

Here are five ways moving into an independent living community that offers a continuum of care may help you make more of your retirement years:

1. Your new home is your home, even if your health begins to change. Downsizing and moving into a retirement community is a big job that many seniors have little desire to repeat. Choosing a Life Plan Community means that if you have a medical event or an injury and require additional senior care, you can get that care right within the community, avoiding adding the stress of a move to an already difficult time.   

2. You can expect much, much more from your monthly service fees. For example, at Springpoint’s eight Life Plan Communities in New Jersey and Delaware, monthly fees cover maintenance-free living with daily dining, housekeeping services, transportation, and more. In addition, each community features an expansive selection of amenities like art and woodworking studios, wellness programming, lifelong learning, and volunteering opportunities.

3. A Life Plan Community gives you the ability to manage your financial future. You won’t have the burden of unexpected home repairs, and you’ll be able to choose from a variety of plan options designed to meet your financial goals. Predictable monthly fees that cover all of your living expenses make it simple to manage your retirement budget.

4. Access to extra support sooner than later can help maintain your independence. Over time, you may find it’s harder to complete tasks you once found simple. In a community where you can access a continuum of care, it’s easy to address problems early, before your health or safety is at risk.

5. As you age, your social circle tends to diminish. Within a Life Plan Community, you’re not only surrounded by peers who may become treasured friends, you also have the support of a caring team that is dedicated to helping you maintain your social, emotional, and physical wellbeing.

 

Ready to expand your search and choose a community where you can enjoy security and stability along with an enriching resort-like lifestyle? Find a community near you.

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