Understanding CCRCs | Key Facts To Know

Kenji Hobbs

09 March 2021

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CCRCs Explained

What is a CCRC? You may see this term appear frequently while searching for the right retirement living solution for you or your loved ones. Learn the important facts from Molly Cole – VP of Sales & Marketing at Chateau Retirement.


Before I fell in love with the senior living industry, and decided to make it my career, I was simply a granddaughter trying to find the best community for my beloved grandparents. I had no knowledge about senior communities, as I had never needed to know about them. Then, dementia and medical issues plagued my grandparents, and my family was at a loss about how best we could help take care of them.


Thus, began my search. I found everywhere I went there were various acronyms and terms. Month to Month communities, CCRC’s, IL, AL, SNF’s and Memory Care, what did it all mean? I became educated quite quickly, and within a few months of touring various communities, having endless discussions with members of my family and grandparents, we decided a CCRC suited their wants and needs best.


I found CCRC stands for Continuing Care Retirement Community. What they offer are various levels of care contained on one campus. The goal being to offer their residents the ability to what many of us refer to as “aging in place” in order to accommodate their changing needs. The types and levels of care at each CCRC will differ. While they will all offer Assisted Living, CCRC’s may also offer Independent Living, Memory Care, or a Skilled Nursing Facility.


CCRC’s will also have what are called Entrance Fees or a Buy-In Fees. This is a large lump sum that is determined by the community, based on the type of financial program they offer. There are 3 different options of Entrance/Buy-In Fees.


Life Care – This tends to be the most expensive, as you may/may not be guaranteed unlimited Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing care as long as you live within the community.

Modified – Your fee will cover all Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing care for a set period of time.

Fee-For-Service – You pay for Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing care as you need it



Another difference between CCRC’s and their Entrance or Buy-In Fee programs, is the refund of that fee once you or your loved one are no longer living in that community. This can be a big factor in the decision-making process. Some CCRC’s will refund 100% of the Fee within a certain timeframe after the resident is no longer living at the community. Others will refund a portion, while some will refund nothing at all.


Researching the vast options available for senior living can seem incredibly daunting and overwhelming at times. However, after the tours have been done, and all of your questions have been answered; when you find that perfect community, it will all have been worth it.


Chateau Retirement is based near Seattle, WA and offers Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care living options. Contact us today to learn more about our family owned and operated communities.