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What Exactly is a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)?

March 15, 2011

Despite our best efforts, we in the senior care field are occasionally guilty of assuming everyone knows the definitions of everything we talk about (much like other industries). Case in point: Continuing Care Retirement Communities, or CCRCs as we often refer to them.

But what does that term mean to you, the person who might be considering a move to a retirement community for yourself or an aging loved one? According to CARF-CCAC (an international, independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services), a CCRC:

"provides and/or arranges for a continuum of residential and support services from residential living through nursing care... The persons served have the choice of flexible accommodations that are designed to meet their changing needs over time."

Many CCRCs, including Concordia, offer at least three levels of care: independent living (retirement apartments for seniors), assisted living/personal care (nursing support and supervision) and skilled nursing. And while most any organization with multiple levels of care can call itself a CCRC, it's important to verify that the organization has been ACCREDITED as such by an independent third party.

Concordia has several additional levels of care, including Adult Day Services, Hospice, Outpatient Rehabilitation and Homecare, which makes us one of only a few accredited Aging Services Networks in the world. But that's for another post altogether.

So what does it mean to you when you hear the term "accredited CCRC" in reference to senior care? It means the facility or organization you're looking at: a) has several levels of care available, often on one campus, to meet your changing health needs; and b) the performance, processes, business practices and much more have been evaluated by an outside party via an on-site survey.

When visiting a facility, ask the administrator if the organization has any accreditations, what they are and who the accrediting body is. The more you know, the better you'll feel about your decision.

Concordia always offers free, personalized tours at our five locations - Cabot, South Hills, Allison Park (Rebecca Residence), Butler (Orchard), Plum Borough (Ridgewood Place) - for individuals wishing to learn more.

E-mail us here or call 1.888.352.1571 to see what might be right for you or your loved one.

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