Learn & Grow/Independent Living/Understanding the Differences Between Life Care & Rental Senior Living Communities
Independent Living

Understanding the Differences Between Life Care & Rental Senior Living Communities

As you consider the next chapter of your life, you may be contemplating a move to a senior living community. There is no shortage of options when it comes to senior housing today. It’s estimated that there are approximately 30,000 communities in the United States alone. While your decision on where to live will include many factors, it can help to narrow your choices early by deciding on whether you’re best served by a Life Care community like Harbour’s Edge or a rental community. Your current financial situation, health status, medical history and desired services and amenities will all be deciding factors in determining which is right for you. 

Here, we’ll highlight and compare the differences and similarities between Life Care and rental communities. 

What Is a Rental Senior Living Community?

A rental senior living community offers housing for older adults exchange for a monthly rental fee. Rental communities may or may not offer on-site care options, such as skilled nursing and rehabilitation. Any level of care that a rental community provides is not included in your monthly fee. In the event you need a higher level of care, you’ll pay full market rates for it. Medical costs can quickly add up with this arrangement.

With a rental agreement, you’ll have no long-term commitment or entrance fee. Residents may leave a community without penalty, though 30- to 60-day advance notice is usually required.  

What Is a Life Care Community?

A Life Care community is a type of senior living community that offers independent living residences and additional levels of on-site care. For example, Harbour’s Edge offers short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing health services, access to which is included in your monthly fee.  

Life Care communities require an initial entrance fee plus a monthly service fee. While your upfront costs may be higher, these types of communities typically offer financial advantages like predictable monthly costs even if your health needs change. Many seniors prefer this option because it gives them the ability to determine where they will receive care and how it will be paid – before it becomes necessary.  

Rental vs. Life Care: What Are the Key Differences?

Deciding between a Life Care community or a rental senior living community is a big decision. Following are some key areas you should consider as you weigh your options.

Access to Senior Care

Life Care communities provide access to on-site care at predictable rates, whereas a rental community does not. Any additional care required at a rental community will be charged at market rates. As these costs are always increasing, it’s impossible to know how much you will pay for care in the future. 

Entrance & Monthly Fees

Life Care communities charge entrance fees and most rental communities do not. Both of these types of senior living communities charge monthly fees in exchange for housing and/or services, which can vary dramatically among communities. While a Life Care community’s fees will not change based on your level of care, your rental fees will change if you need to access higher levels of care, or care will be charged at market rates.  

Who Chooses Rentals? Who Chooses Life Care?

People who choose to live in rental senior living communities often make this decision for financial reasons. They may be wary of signing a contract and paying an entrance fee, or they want to keep their options flexible. Those who choose to live in Life Care communities place a greater value on planning for future care needs today. They want to remain in control of where they receive care and benefit from knowing that those needs have already been budgeted and accounted for. 

Explore Life Care Options at Harbour’s Edge

Harbour’s Edge is a Life Care community in Delray Beach, Florida. We offer exceptional independent living services and amenities to all of our residents. At Harbour’s Edge, we believe that the key to successful aging lies in caring for your whole being: body, mind and spirit. When you choose Harbour’s Edge, you will be part of a community that enables you to live life to its fullest.

We invite you to contact us and learn more about life at Harbour’s Edge, or complete the form below.

Related Stories