Aging In Place

1/20/2020 | By Terri L. Jones

My dad had a stroke this year; once he was home from rehab, he needed a lot of assistance. Unfortunately, the burden fell solely on my stepmother because my sister and I live in another state. My dad and stepmom, who are 80 and 75 respectively, had been in excellent health before this medical event. They’d never even considered moving to a retirement community.

However, an alternative senior living model, if we’d known about it sooner, could’ve been the perfect option for them.

What is continuing care at home?

Called continuing care at-home (CCaH), these programs bring many of the services of retirement communities right into seniors’ homes. That means you don’t have to leave the home you love to have the guarantee of support if you need it. Plus, this option comes at a cost that’s lower than living within a retirement community’s four walls but gives you access to that community if you should need to move on campus down the road.

How does it work?

A key component of CCaH programs is the care coordinator assigned to you. This professional, who knows your medical history and care preferences, checks in with you regularly and advocates for your needs. The CCaH offering also typically includes (but it’s important to check your contract before signing on the dotted line):

  • Annual physicals and wellness programs
  • Companion or live-in care
  • Home care or home health care
  • Rehabilitative care and physical therapy
  • Access to on-site activities and amenities at the affiliated continuing care retirement community

How do you qualify?

An important distinction between continuing care at home and typical continuing care retirement communities is the health requirements. The program, which is financially sustainable only when most participants don’t need services for approximately five years, requires that you be living independently and be in good physical as well as cognitive health (seniors with dementia or other progressive neurological diseases generally don’t qualify).

According to 2019 New York Times article, this novel senior living concept has been around since the 1990s, but there are still only about 32 CCRCs out there with an at-home component. But due to the demands that our aging population is placing on the retirement community arena, we may very well see a surge in the popularity of this option, not to mention, the conception of many other solutions in the coming years.

Terri L. Jones

Terri L. Jones has been writing educational and informative topics for the senior industry for over ten years, and is a frequent and longtime contributor to Seniors Guide.

Terri Jones