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Independent Living

What is a Life Care Community? Understanding the Life Care Contract

Moving to a senior living community is an exciting time in life. But before you settle into your new routine, there are critical pieces of the puzzle to consider, such as choosing the right type of Life Care contract for your unique needs. If you are unsure of how to compare contracts at a Life Care or Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) like Harbour’s Edge, the following overview should be a good starting point. 

What is a Life Care Community?

Before we talk about the different types of contracts you may encounter at a Life Care community, let’s take a moment to define what a Life Care Community is. In short, a Life Care community is a CCRC that allows you to plan for how you pay for care. This allows you to determine today where your care will take place, who will take care of you and how it will be paid for. Planning for this now means giving yourself control over this decision today.

What You May Find in Your Life Care Community Contract 

While every Life Care contract is different, you can generally expect that it will include:  

  • One-time entrance fee that may be partially refundable to your estate
  • Monthly fees determined by contract type
  • Access to additional on-site care levels  
  • Access to community amenities and services 

Entrance Fee

Most Life Care communities require an up-front entrance fee, which may be partially refundable to your estate. Entrance fees range from $40,000 to upwards of $2 million, and generally reflect home prices in the area. According to AARP, the average entrance fee for such a community in 2022 was $402,000.

Monthly Service Fee

The monthly service fee is generally inclusive of housing and most utilities, and guarantees you access to specific on-site services and amenities. Be sure that you know which are included and which are not. At some communities, spa and salon services and garages or reserved parking spaces may incur additional fees.  

Additional Fees and Considerations 

As noted above, there may be additional fees for premium services or services not included in your monthly fees. It’s important to know this upfront. Above all, the community should be open, honest and transparent throughout the process to ensure that you fully understand the value and benefits of this community. 

Is a Life Care Community Right for You?

Deciding whether a Life Care Community is right for you is all about weighing your personal and financial situation and ongoing needs. The reality is that 70% of older adults will need some form of long-term care in their lifetimes, and that care is generally not covered by Medicare. If you want to do away with daily household chores, engage with like-minded people, explore new interests and continue to enrich your life daily without worrying about where and how to pay for future healthcare needs, then a Life Care community may be a great fit.

Explore Our Life Care Community at Harbour’s Edge 

At Harbour’s Edge, we pride ourselves on offering top-of-the-line amenities like salon and spa services, a stunning location along the Intercoastal Waterway, art studios, proximity to the beach, a life learning center and so much more. Pair that with our skilled nursing staff and rehabilitative care and you’ve got a community that cares for you on every level. Ready to learn more? Contact us. 


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