When is the right time to consider a senior living community?

When is the right time to consider a senior living community?

The tale of the Boiling Frog

Urban myth has it that if you put a frog in a pot of boiling water it will instantly leap out. But if you put it in a pot filled with pleasantly tepid water and gradually heat it, the frog will remain in the water until it boils to death. Allegedly, the frog is not able to detect the gradual increase in temperature until it’s too late.

This is what happens when people stay in their homes too long. They don’t realize the water around them is starting to boil!

For more information, go to:  https://seniorhousingsolutions.net

Understanding Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Understanding Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs)

In Southwest Florida, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) also known as Life plan communities are very popular.  There are many quality CCRCs in this area and because of this, much is needed to increase your understanding about what is a CCRC, and if they are right for you.

These resort-style communities require a significant up-front investment and on-going monthly fee. The basic premise of a CCRC is to allow you to age in place within the community. You move to an independent living residence when you are healthy and active and should your health decline, there is a contractual commitment to provide care and services for you as your needs change.  Normally, this care is provided on-site.  People select a CCRC since they want the peace of the mind of knowing that they have planned for their future health care needs while enjoying a vibrant lifestyle.

Peace of Mind for your future

People move to CCRCs for the peace the mind of their future.  Once all the “what-if” scenarios have been solved, residents are able to enjoy a life filled with friendships, social activities, fitness and cultural programs.  Many couples choose to live in a CCRC since they know they are protecting each other should their health change.  Lifelong friendships are made since the people living at a CCRC are less transient than other types of senor communities.  Since the continuum of care is located either within the main building or on the campus, couples are easily able to be with each other as their needs change.  There a feeling of community within a CCRC.  Residents can be part of resident council committees (finance, dining, programing, health care, etc.), social groups or sporting activities.  Residents also maintain an active life in the greater community as well.

There are CCRCs on large campuses or within single or multiple buildings.  Floor plans range from one bedrooms up to spacious three bedrooms.  There are even free-standing homes at some CCRCs in the area. Many people elect to personalize their own residences with upscale finishes and appointments similar to what they currently have in their homes.

Better to be 5 years too early rather than 5 minutes too late!

Since CCRCs are obligated to provide care for their residents, CCRCs require a medical and financial assessment for acceptance to the community.  Unfortunately, there are times when someone waits for a crisis to occur before deciding and in many cases, they are not accepted to the community of their choice.  As I always say, “it’s better to be five years too early rather than five minutes too late.”

Similar to applying for life insurance, the CCRC will require detailed medical information about you.  In most cases, a one-one meeting is conducted with the community’s nurse to determine a risk factor. Medical criteria do differ from community to community. Again, the key is to not wait for your health to decline before applying for residency.

A financial application is also required.  The CCRC wants to make sure you can sustain yourself financially for many years.  The general rule is you should have at least 2 to 3 times in assets of the entrance fee and annual income of the monthly fee.  Many communities have a benevolent fund established to help someone should they deplete their assets and can no longer pay the monthly fee.

CCRCs require an upfront entrance fee and an on-going monthly fee.  Depending on the specific community, a percentage of the entrance fee could be refundable upon death or when the residency agreement is terminated.

The entrance and monthly fee at a CCRC are based on the residence size and the number of people under the contract.  Couples pay an additional amount for the second person. Depending on the community, services and amenities included in the monthly fee vary. Typically, they include meal plan, housekeeping, social programming, transportation and maintenance services.

Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) Oversight

CCRCs in the State of Florida are strictly regulated by the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) through Florida Statute Chapter 651.  Within this Statute, there are requirements refund provisions, liquid reserve requirements, financial disclosure, resident rights and reporting guidelines. All residency agreements must be approved by the OIR.  The OIR is the consumer watchdog to make sure the CCRC is fulfilling its obligations to its residents. For more information, go to:  https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2018/Chapter651

Types of Residency Agreement

There are different types of residency agreements within CCRCs.  The Type A contract is most traditional type.  The Type A contract stipulates that should assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing be needed,  the monthly fee will remain a constant and not be increased due to the care being provided (ancillary services and products as well as two additional meals will be extra).  Normally, the Type A has the strictest medical criteria to move in.  The Type B contract either includes assisted living and memory care or provides a discount on care when needed. In the Type C contract, all care-related charges are out of pocket with no discount provided.  The Type C has the least medical acceptance criteria to move in.

Refund provisions at the CCRCs vary as well ranging from a 0% refund up to 90 and even a 100% refund.   Normally, the higher percentage refund equates to a higher entrance fee.  It is important to note that a CCRC contract is not a real estate transaction, therefore you do not have equity in the community.  The fees you are paying are paying for care and services over your lifetime.

Because CCRCs are not real estate, there are no HOA dues or assessments, closing costs, or the worry about your estate selling your residence.  In most cases, real estate taxes are paid by the community and not individually.

Possible Tax deduction

A portion of the entrance fee and monthly is considered a pre-paid medical expe

nse so the IRS does allow you to deduct this percentage providing you itemize your taxes.  The percentage varies from community to community and year to year.  Each CCRC should be willing to share with you the percentage so your accountant can plan accordingly.

As mentioned, the continuum of care is main component to a CCRC; therefore, much due diligence needs to occur to understand which health care components are available should care be needed in the future.  Not all CCRCs are the same in this regard.

Demographics vary from community to community.  There are CCRCs that are not for profit religiously focused and others that are managed locally or through national corporations.  Finding a CCRC where you can live with ‘like-minded” people is an important part of the research process.

Senior Housing Solutions

As Senior Housing Advisors, we understand the differences and the complexities of this decision and educate you on which plan best fits your needs.  For more information, go to.  www.seniorhousingsolutions.net

Free online Eldercare Directory

Free online Eldercare Directory

Online directory of Eldercare professionals!

Being a centralized resource is one of the main focuses of Senior Housing Solutions. It’s important to find a trustworthy and quality provider when you need support services. That’s why we have developed a vetting process to verify the credentials of every business listed in the Eldercare Directory.


Senior Care Solutions!
Being a centralized resource is one of the main focuses of Senior Housing Solutions. It’s important to find a trustworthy and quality provider when you need support services. That’s why we have developed a vetting process to verify the credentials of every business listed in the Eldercare Directory. We have also included other organizations (most nonprofits) to be a resource to you – these organizations have not gone through the application process.

Our screening process includes:

  • A completed and approved application
  • Regulatory compliance review
  • State license (s) verification
  • Insurance coverage
  • Legal and lawsuit notification
  • Third party letter of recommendation
  • On-going monitoring and feedback from clients
Ways to use the Directory:
  • Attorneys – Elder Law
  • Audiology services
  • Chiropractic services
  • Computer repair
  • CPAs
  • Dental services
  • Eye care professionals
  • Financial planners
  • Funeral services
  • Home health care agencies
  • Insurance specialists
  • Medical services
  • Move coordinators/interior designers
  • Professional services – videographer, website design, public relations
  • Real estate professionals
  • Reverse mortgages
  • Senior housing consulting
  • Veteran’s benefits
  • And much more…
Other support services are also listed in the directory to be a resource to you!
Accessing the Directory is completely free! Just click below for access.
Ehlers and Associates

Ehlers and Associates

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 - President The Ehlers Group

Janis Ehlers

Business Business Description:

Strategic marketing and full service public relations company specializing in senior living and active adult communities as well as industry providers. Our services include media relations, social media content management, grand openings and other special events. Mystery shopping, competitive reviews, and marketing assessments are among our other services.

Unique Aspect:

Our personal approach and understanding of the senior consumer and senior housing.


Mature Media Awards, National Association of Home Builders 50+ Council’s Best of Senior Housing Awards. Certified Focus Group moderator from RIVA. Florida Real Estate license.

Year open: 1998


5975 W. Sunrise Blvd. #211

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33313

Main Phone:





Janis Ehlers

[email protected][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]