Life Care Contracts: Questions You Should Ask
Are you exploring senior living communities that offer a continuum of care on-site, like a continuing care retirement community (CCRC)? Perhaps you have discussed the various lifestyle options at each community with a member of the team there, and are thinking about reviewing contract terms to begin your new life. During your search you may have come across the term “Life Care” or “Life Care community” and wonder how this option differs from a CCRC.
As you ponder your choices, here are some questions to ask about a Life Care community and the contract types you may be offered.
What is a Life Care Community?
A Life Care community like Village on the Green is a type of Continuing Care Retirement community (CCRC) that allows you to pre-plan how you pay for future care needs. The advantages to this type of living arrangement is that it offers both serenity and security to residents and their loved ones in the event that their health needs change. They will always know where and how their care needs will be met, and will have pre-determined how they will be paid for.
Questions to Ask About Your Life Care Contract
Life Care communities offer higher levels of care on-site, but they are much more than that. They are resort-style campuses designed with the needs of vibrant, sophisticated older adults in mind. Everything they offer has been carefully curated to deliver exceptional benefits to one’s holistic health and wellness.
Here are some questions you should ask as you compare and contrast your living options.
Which Health Services are Available On-Site?
While Life Care communities are a type of continuing care community, not every Life Care community offers every care level. If you are concerned about the rising instances of dementia and Alzheimer’s, for instance, it may be important to you to ensure that memory care services are available and included.
What Type of Life Care Contracts Do You Offer?
Most Life Care communities offer one type of contract, which is all-inclusive (often called a Type A contract). Other communities have several options that allow you to customize how much care is included. This may include the Type B contract, where your monthly fee will increase if you need a higher level of care, but you’ll pay a predetermined discount on the market rate. In a Type C contract, you will pay market rate for any services required. If you are presented with several choices, keep in mind that 70% of older adults will need some kind of long-term care in their lifetimes, and healthcare costs continue to rise.
What Living Arrangements Are Available for Each Level of Care?
Floor plans can vary depending on the type of care level you enter in your community. Life Care residents tend to enter the community as independent living residents. Ask whether you will need to move from your independent residence if you require assisted living or memory care services. Always be sure to tour these parts of the community in addition to the independent living spaces.
What if My Spouse and I Require Different Care Levels?
Over time, the care needs that couples require can change, and not in tandem. Ask about what happens when you or your spouse need a higher level of care, like assisted living or rehabilitation. To stay together, you may need to move to another area of the community. Alternatively, only one of you will need to move, and the other will be just a few steps away on the same campus. It’s good to have an understanding of how this situation will play out so you are prepared for the possibility in the future.
What is Your Entrance Fee? What Does it Include?
Most Life Care communities require entrance fees, which are used to pay for community upkeep and secure future healthcare needs. Fees are based on the floor plan you choose and the number of people sharing it, but can vary dramatically depending on community type. According to AARP, the average entrance fee in 2022 was $402,000.
What’s Included in the Monthly Service Fees?
Monthly service fees at Life Care communities are generally inclusive of housing, most utilities and access to on-site amenities and many services. They may also cover a set number of meals each day or each week. Premium services, like salon and spa services or covered parking, may require additional fees. When reviewing your contract, be sure you understand what comes with the monthly fee.
Explore Our Life Care Community at Village on the Green
Village on the Green is nestled across 80 acres of secluded serenity. This sophisticated and charming community offers proximity to Orlando and its attractions, but also the tranquility and comfort of an exquisitely landscaped and gated senior living community. We pride ourselves on offering residents a continuum of care at every stage of life, for every lifestyle. See what living here is like. Schedule a complimentary tour.