Moving Through Levels in a Full Continuum-of-Care Retirement Community

A Continuum of Care Retirement Community (CCRC), also known as a Life Plan Community, provides a range of housing and healthcare options tailored to the needs of older adults. These communities offer Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing care, allowing residents to transition smoothly from one level of care to another as their needs change. This model supports aging in place, providing a secure and comforting environment where seniors can thrive without needing to relocate to different facilities.

Residents may start in Independent Living, enjoying a lifestyle with minimal assistance, and can transition to higher levels of care as needed. This flexible arrangement ensures continuity of care and minimizes the stress of moving during critical times, giving residents the power to adapt to their changing needs.

How do you know it’s time to move to a higher level of care?

Deciding when to transition to a higher level of care involves several factors:

  • Daily Living Activities: Difficulty performing activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, eating, or mobility is a significant indicator. If a resident struggles with these tasks, it may be time to consider moving to Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing care.
  • Health Needs: Increasing medical needs that require regular supervision or specialized care can signal the need for a higher level of care. Conditions like chronic diseases, severe arthritis, or cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s Disease often necessitate more comprehensive care.
  • Safety Concerns: Safety is a paramount concern. Frequent falls, wandering behaviors in dementia patients, or other safety risks are clear indicators that a more supervised environment is needed.
  • Caregiver Burnout: For those relying on family members for support, caregiver burnout can prompt higher care levels. If family members are overwhelmed, the resident’s well-being may be compromised, necessitating a move to ensure proper care. 

Is It ever possible to move down a level?


While transitioning to a higher level of care is more common, moving down a level is possible but less frequent. This typically occurs when a resident’s health improves significantly, or they regain independence through rehabilitation services. For example, a resident recovering from surgery might move to Skilled Nursing care for intensive rehabilitation and then transition back to Assisted Living or Independent Living once they regain their strength and capabilities.

McCrite Plaza offers a full continuum of living environments and a full rehabilitation center. If any resident experiences a joint replacement or fall that requires rehab, it can be done onsite. This provides consistency. It is essential for a spouse to be able to visit every day without leaving the campus.  

Jack and Louise lived in Independent Living at McCrite Plaza for three years when it was determined that Jack needed a new hip. After his surgery, he returned to the McCrite Rehab Center and spent 45 days getting physical therapy. His Medicare benefit paid in full for his rehab stay. In the meantime, Louise stayed in their apartment and visited Jack every day. Her daily visits were a natural lift for Jack and helped his recovery.”

Who makes the decision when a move is considered?

It takes communication between the resident – when appropriate – family, nursing staff, and administration to make a decision for a move. It is important that all viewpoints are heard and considered. The daily staff dealing with the residents know the issues and how they would be best cared for. At the same time, the family’s interests and concerns for their loved one will be considered. Even if a resident resists a move, the team approach provides the best council for all involved. 

What happens if you need full-time healthcare in a stand-alone Assisted Living Community?


In a stand-alone Assisted Living community, residents needing full-time healthcare might face a challenging transition. These facilities typically offer only limited medical care, primarily focusing on ADLs and some healthcare services. When a resident requires comprehensive medical supervision, they often need to move to a Skilled Nursing facility or a hospital. This move can be disruptive and stressful, especially if the resident has built a social network within their current community.

No one can predict what the future needs might be. So, it is beneficial to be in a community that can handle every need. Moving to a new community can be very traumatic. 

Why is It best to be in a CCRC?

  • Seamless Transitions: CCRCs offer a seamless transition between different levels of care, ensuring that residents receive appropriate support as their needs change without the upheaval of relocating to a new facility.
  • Community and Continuity: Residents can maintain their social connections and routines even as they move through different care levels. This continuity supports emotional well-being and a sense of stability.
  • Comprehensive Care: CCRCs provide a full spectrum of services, from social activities and wellness programs in Independent Living to 24/7 medical care in Skilled Nursing. This comprehensive approach ensures that residents have access to the care they need at any stage of life.
  • Financial Predictability: Many CCRCs offer various financial models, including entrance and monthly fees, which can provide more predictable long-term care costs. This financial structure can be reassuring for residents and their families.
  • Holistic Support: CCRCs often offer amenities and services that promote overall well-being, including fitness centers, dining options, social activities, and educational opportunities, contributing to a higher quality of life.

McCrite Plaza offers a full continuum of care in Kansas City and Topeka.

McCrite Plaza offers a flexible and supportive environment for aging adults, providing a range of care levels from Independent Living to Skilled Nursing, including a complete Rehabilitation Center. Recognizing the right time to move to a higher level of care involves assessing daily living activities, health needs, safety concerns, and caregiver capacity. While moving down a level is rare, it is possible with significant health improvements. For those in stand-alone Assisted Living facilities, needing full-time healthcare often requires a move to a different facility, underscoring the benefits of a CCRC’s comprehensive care model. The seamless transitions, community continuity, comprehensive care, financial predictability, and holistic support make CCRCs an optimal choice for aging adults seeking a secure and enriching environment.

Call us today to learn more about the importance of a continuing care community like McCrite Plaza. 

Call McCrite Plaza in Briarcliff-Kansas City at (816) 888-7930 or (785) 267-2960 in Topeka, or complete the contact form below.

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