retirement communities

What is the Difference Between a Standalone Assisted Living Community and a Continuing Care Retirement Community?

Making the Distinction Between These Two Options

Here at McCrite Plaza, we know that retirement isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of affair. Individuals are unique, and people have their own distinct definition of what they believe retirement looks like in the years ahead. For some, a sense of independence ranks above all else. These folks require little to no assistance and are perfectly happy to be left to their own devices. For others, independence isn’t a viable option. This is typically due to a healthcare need or limitation that requires assistance. As you’ve probably gathered, where a person is on their healthcare journey will greatly affect their living situation. This holds especially true for those who are afflicted with dementia or other non-curable conditions. The challenge retirement communities and retirement homes face is trying to provide both a modern living solution that any retiree will enjoy while also providing options for those that need healthcare services or some form of assistance with daily living activities. Two types of retirement living options that get brought up most frequently are standalone assisted living communities and continuing care retirement communities (CCRC). When comparing an assisted living community to a CCRC, it really boils down to the level of care the person requires. We’ll break this down in the following sections.

What is an Assisted Living Community?

Assisted living retirement communities are specifically designed for residents who have medical needs and/or require assistance with daily activities such as bathing, getting dressed, and so forth. The living spaces themselves can be as small as a single room within a facility or a full-sized apartment. Assisted living communities are typically designed to promote as much independence as possible for the resident, so safety features such as handrails, grab bars, and ramps are common. However, the living quarters will still look and feel very home-like with a warm atmosphere. What differentiates an assisted living community from a continuing care retirement community is that only one level of care is offered, and it typically only covers moderate assistance with activities of daily living. Different assisted living facilities offer different services, but the most common ones are:
  • 24-hour on-site emergency assistance. Most assisted living facilities have an emergency call button inside the residence.
  • A selection of medical services intended to treat minor to moderate healthcare issues.
  • Medication monitoring. The assisted living staff will monitor the effects of prescription medications to ensure residents aren’t being negatively impacted and that there are no dangerous interactions between drugs.
  • Personal care services. On-site staff will assist residents with everyday activities such as bathing, getting dressed, personal grooming, and so forth.
  • Housekeeping services such as cleaning, vacuuming, and laundry.
  • Recreational and social activities for residents to enjoy. One of the most important aspects of an assisted living community is the variety of activities, games, and amenities that are provided. These keep residents engaged, active, and social.
The critical thing to keep in mind when it comes to standalone assisted living facilities is that they’re only built to deliver one level of care. In the event you or your loved one require additional healthcare services down the line, a move to a different facility would be required. To circumvent the challenge of moving, many seniors go straight to living in a CCRC so they may live in place.

What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community?

Earlier in this blog, we mentioned the main difference between an assisted living community and a continuing care retirement community is the level of care that is provided. The appeal of a continuing care retirement community is that several levels of healthcare are provided. For someone whose healthcare journey is constantly changing, this allows them to get the healthcare services they need without being transferred to another facility. This affords families peace of mind knowing that their loved one will have all the healthcare resources they could possibly need, including emergency medical services. A CCRC is also perfect for couples who have different healthcare needs because it allows them to stay together. Continuing care retirement communities offer a range of services and healthcare options for residents, including assisted living. Some of the most common ones include:
  • At-home healthcare. This variety of healthcare allows the resident to receive high-quality healthcare services right in the comfort of their independent living home.
  • Assisted living. Designed for residents who need assistance with everyday tasks such as bathing, getting dressed, and so forth.
  • Memory care. For residents who are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, memory care facilities provide a safe and structured environment that caters to their specific needs.
  • Short-term and sub-acute rehabilitation. In some cases, individuals who are being discharged from the hospital require a little extra recovery time before transitioning back to their homes. Short-term and sub-acute rehab services allow people to fully recover in comfortable surroundings with access to healthcare professionals that will take care of them.
  • Long-term skilled nursing care. This type of care is for residents who are facing healthcare challenges due to advanced age, a prolonged illness, or a chronic condition.
In addition to the services that have been mentioned here, many CCRCs also offer personal care services, housekeeping, on-site meals, and recreational & social activities. For seniors that value the benefit of having a multitude of healthcare options at their disposal, a continuing care retirement community is the clear-cut choice. A CCRC also provides peace of mind for residents because they know they’ll never have to worry about relocating due to a change in their healthcare needs. CCRCs remove the potential stress of moving entirely.

Book Your Tour at McCrite Plaza Today!

At McCrite Plaza senior living communities, we provide a full continuum of care so that our residents have access to the healthcare services they need when they need them. Our goal here at McCrite is to provide comfort and confidence to our residents and their families, even when they face challenges on their healthcare journey. Our highly experienced on-site medical staff can deliver 24-hour support and skilled nursing services, all within warm, comfortable surroundings. If you have been searching for phrases such as “senior living community near me” or “independent living near me,” McCrite Plaza has everything you’ve been searching for in a community. From luxurious living spaces to a wide variety of community amenities and activities, McCrite provides a one-of-a-kind experience that allows residents to fully enjoy retired life. The best way to see McCrite is by taking a personal guided tour. You can contact McCrite Plaza Topeka or McCrite Plaza at Briarcliff using the contact form. Feel free to schedule a tour at either location so we can show you how McCrite Plaza is leading that way in creating a community that seniors love with a full continuum of care that will keep them safe and healthy.