By Gladys J. Smith

          You may have heard this term used by some in the senior housing industry, but do you know what CCRC stands for?  CCRC is an acronym for Continuing Care Retirement Community.  A CCRC is a community catering to the needs of adults through every phase of the retirement living continuum by providing an array of residency options.

One very popular option is independent living. Apartments, condos and even cottages are available for those in the 60-plus club who are living actively and independently. These units are purchased just as one might purchase a home on the open market. Some communities even offer leasing options. The appeal of independent living is that one can reap the benefits of home ownership without the maintenance and upkeep required of a single family home. Retirees and those approaching retirement age are in the midst of a built-in peer group and have a wealth of engaging activities at their doorstep.

These days many of our elders are living at home with family members.  Respite/vacation care is a viable option for those in this situation whose family may be traveling for business or simply in need of a reprieve. Many who need assistance while their family is away may take advantage of this option which provides them with 24-hour care by licensed nurses and nursing assistants. A significant advantage of this arrangement over in-home care is the guarantee of staff presence no matter the time of day or night, whatever the weather, or any other circumstances that might interfere with continuous staffing. Family members can relax knowing that their loved one is being cared for consistently by qualified professionals.

Another instance in which some may take advantage of a temporary stay at a CCRC is after they’ve been hospitalized for surgery, a stroke or other type of illness.  Often their condition will require a short period of in-patient rehab care.  These individuals can receive physical, occupational and speech therapy services along with a period of recuperation and strengthening in between their discharge from the hospital and their return to the demands of home. For the vast majority, insurance such as Medicare and a secondary provider cover much of the cost of their care.

A fourth option offered by CCRCs is assisted living.  For those who need assistance with the normal activities of daily living, assisted living provides that help within a comfortable, home-like setting. Nurses and nursing assistants are available to provide help and general supervision with medications and activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, transferring, toileting, etc. These communities offer a wide array of activities seven days a week to keep residents active and engaged in new ventures and with their long-time interests. Some CCRCs are pet-friendly and will welcome your four-legged friends to come in along with you.

So what is a CCRC? A CCRC is a continuing care retirement community that offers a variety of options. So whether you are fully active and independent, in need of some assistance, or require a short rehab stay or are looking for a little respite, a CCRC is a great place to be. Stop by today at one of your local CCRCs today.

Gladys is the health care representative at BayWoods of Annapolis and can be reached at 443.837.0025 or [email protected]                                                                                                               


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