RetComLife#23 – Life Plan Communities

Here I am in post #23, and I have yet to talk much about what lifecare means. So, here goes

There are thousands of nursing homes that dot the country. I am willing to bet that they are in at least 95% of all the counties in the country. In my view, their function is to have a place for people who can’t afford to go elsewhere, to live out the final stage of their life. Most probably stay there for at least the last few months, and sometimes years. Generally speaking, these facilities are primarily funded through Medicaid, or maybe I should say underfunded! We, as taxpayers, just don’t seem willing to pay much end-of-life care for others! These nursing homes are usually living on shoestring budgets that allow for only the bare necessities, and therefore, are usually not a very pleasant place to live, or die. But, there are some nursing homes that don’t depend on Medicaid patients. These are typically better quality than the ones that do.

So, finally, let’s talk about LifeCare communities. The top level is an independent living apartment. These are usually 500 to 1,000 square foot apartments, with full kitchens and separate bedrooms, much like commercial rental spaces. These communities typically have a central dining area, sometimes with 2 -3 different food venues. Depending on the rental costs, they likely vary significantly on the services provided. Some also have condo type structures that require a substantial deposit that is sometimes partially refunded when you leave the unit. Some have golf courses and such. The cost of these units varies widely, anywhere from $2,000 up.

When you can no longer take total care of yourself, you will likely go to an assisted living facility. You can usually find dozens of these that dot the larger cities. They are generally studio type apartments with a tiny kitchen and a one room living room/bedroom. Nursing staff is on hand 24/7. Depending on what you pay, they have other amenities. Most run between $2,000 and $4,000/month. When your level of care needed becomes beyond their capabilities, you are told that you will need to move to a lifecare facility.

Finally getting to LifePlan communities. These used to be called continuous care retirement communities (CCRC). These are places where you start out in an independent living apartment or maybe a standalone cottage, and as your needs increase you would move to the assisted living part of the facility and then to the final Lifecare services. The big advantage to this is that trying to find a new facility for each stage is eliminated. This is the type of facility where I have chosen to live. My facility requires a monthly rent with only a minimal upfront deposit. Some require a deposit, often times in the $200,000 and above, and then a reduced monthly fee.

Take the time to investigate these facilities before you actually need them. You will be glad you did.

By the way, my retirement community home, as of this new year, has a new chef, and I have found that yes, it is possible to have seasoned food here. The tilapia with lemon dill sauce was excellent. I could actually taste the lemon and the dill. I look forward to more meals like this from the new chef.🤩 That makes me happy!

2 thoughts on “RetComLife#23 – Life Plan Communities

  1. Thanks for clarifying the different levels of care. What a relief it must be to have a chef that turns out food with flavors you can taste.


    1. Hi, Linda. I feel relieved that I made the choice I did. There will be someone there to help me to effortlessly make the shifts when the time comes. But, I hope I live a long time in the independent wings. 🥴

      I have tried a few more meals with the new chef and am pleased with what he offers. Now if we can just do something about providing a fast-casual bistro option to make for speedy service available, I will be one happy person, at least for now.


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