Older adult couple sitting on couch researching senior living options.

Questions to Ask About a Life Care Community Contract. Is it Right for You?

Many older adults choose to live in continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), which offer resort-style amenities, social clubs, premium services and a continuum of care on site. One type of CCRC is a Life Care community like the one we offer here at Edgemere. But how do you know if a Life Care community is right for you? 

In this article, we’ll briefly explain what Life Care is and the questions you should ask about a Life Care contract, including a brief explanation of some terms you may encounter. 

What Is Life Care?

Life Care is a type of continuing care retirement community that offers a contractual agreement that gives you access to additional levels of care on-site. It allows you to choose today how and where you will receive future care. It offers the comfort and stability of knowing that no matter what the future holds, your care needs have already been accounted for and covered by the contract option you choose. 

At Edgemere, we proudly offer assisted living and memory care levels of living, as well as on-site skilled nursing and rehabilitation services. These different levels of care are available on an as-needed basis for Life Care residents, who generally enter our community as independent living residents

Questions to Ask About Your Life Care Contract  

Not all continuing care retirement communities offer Life Care, and not all Life Care communities are the same. Here are some questions you should ask as you compare and contrast your living options. 

What Type of Contract Do You Offer? 

Some Life Care communities may offer one type of contract, which is all-inclusive. Others may have several options that allow you to mix and match care needs. When evaluating your options, keep in mind that 70% of older adults are expected to need some kind of long-term care in their lifetimes, and tomorrow’s market rate for healthcare costs is unknown. What we do know is that healthcare costs continue to rise. Keep this in mind as you evaluate the contract options you are presented. 

What is Your Entrance Fee and What Does it Include?  

The majority of Life Care communities require an entrance fee to reserve your place, pay for community costs and account for your future healthcare costs. In some cases, a portion of this fee may be refundable. Entrance fees are generally calculated based on the size of residence and the number of occupants, so be sure to ask what yours takes into account. According to AARP, the average entrance fee in 2022 was $402,000, but can be upwards of $2 million.

What’s Included in Your Monthly Service Fees? 

Your monthly service fee at a Life Care community is generally all-inclusive, encompassing things like housing, basic utilities, on-site amenities and most services. Some premium services, like salon and spa services, garages or covered parking, may require an additional fee. When reviewing your contract, ensure that it spells out exactly what is included.

What Level of Health Services are Available On-Site?

Not every Life Care community offers every level of care. If it’s important to you that assisted living and memory care services are available and included, be sure to ask about those.   

What Living Arrangements Are Available for Each Level of Care? 

Ask about the living arrangements at each care level. Most Life Care residents will enter the community as independent living residents. However, if your care needs change, will you be able to stay in your original residence or move to another area on-site? If you will need to move to another area, be sure to add this area to your community tour.  

What if My Spouse and I Require Different Levels of Care? 

While you and your spouse may enter the community together as independent living residents, one of your care needs may change while another’s does not. Ask about how the Life Care community manages this situation. Staying together may require that you both move to another area of the community, or that you stay put and your spouse is a few steps away in another care level. 

Explore Life Care at Edgemere

At Edgemere, we know that life is better when you have a long-term place in place. That’s why we offer a Life Care community with resort-style services and amenities. Here, residents have already planned for the future, and can rest easy knowing that their future care needs have already been accounted for. 

If you’d like to learn more about Life Care at Edgemere for yourself or a loved one, contact us or complete the form below.