Continuing Care Retirement Communities

Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC's) are senior living communities that usually offer three different levels of housing and health care services: independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing. After seniors move into the community, they should never need to move out. If their health care needs change, they simply move to the appropriate level of care offered on the CCRC’s campus. Seniors can live the rest of their lives in this community setting.

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Services and amenities offered may include:

      • 24-hour security;
      • on-site nurse response to emergencies;
      • meal plan options;
      • group dining;
      • housekeeping and laundry services;
      • social and recreational programs;
      • fitness centers;
      • salon services;
      • library; and
      • transportation.



CRCCs typically receive payment from a resident’s private funds.


CCRC Checklist

Printable version

Living Space and Accommodations

_____ Do residents purchase or rent the apartments? What is the cost?

_____ Do you have freestanding homes available?

_____ What are the floor-plan options? Are balconies or patios available?

_____ Are the apartments/homes furnished or unfurnished?

_____ Do the apartments/homes include all-electric appliances? Are light fixtures included?

_____ Do the apartments have individually controlled heating and air-conditioning?

_____ Are window treatments provided?

_____ What is the policy about personal belongings in the apartments/homes?

_____What happens when my health care needs change?

_____ Is the community affiliated with a hospital or nursing home? If I need acute care or long-term care, will I receive priority in the admission process?

_____ If I need to go to the hospital or a nursing home for a short stay, will my room be held? What are the associated fees? Will I receive a discount for unused services (e.g., meals)?

_____ What is the policy for overnight guests? Are guestrooms available? What is the cost?

_____ Is additional indoor storage available? Is there any extra fee?

_____ Can I have a car? Is free parking available?

_____ Are public patios and courtyards available for my use?

_____ Is an area available for me to garden?

_____ Does the community provides 24-hour security?

_____ Are pets allowed to live in my residence? If so, are additional fees or deposits required? If not, are pets allowed to visit?


_____ What are the community’s staffing patterns?

_____ What training and qualifications are required for staff? Do staff members attend ongoing training programs?

_____ Observe staff and resident interactions. Are they positive? Courteous?

_____ Is the staff approachable?

_____ Ask other residents whether staff members handle requests in a timely way?

_____ Can private-duty companions be hired? What is the procedure for that type of service?

_____ Does the facility have a volunteer program? If yes, what types of activities do the volunteers perform?

_____ Ask residents whether the administrator/director practices an “open-door” policy.

Services, Activities and Amenities

Be sure to ask whether the facility charges an additional fee for the services, activities or amenities offered.

_____ What services and activities do you offer?

_____ Are there special programs for persons with my condition?

_____ Are the services of a physical, occupational or speech therapist available or arranged?

_____ Do staff members assist residents in administering medication? If so, who does that?

_____ Are professional nursing services available on site? If not, does the staff assist residents and families in making arrangements through a home health agency?

_____ Are bed linens and towels provided?

_____ Do you provide laundry services?

_____ Are beauty shop services available on site?

_____ What recreational and spiritual services are available? Ask for a copy of the activities calendar.

_____ Is transportation provided for medical appointments and recreational purposes? Is there a fee?

_____ Are there resident or family councils? How often do they meet?

_____ Is hospice care offered? If so, does the facility coordinate that care with my physician and family?

Dining and Food Services

_____ Does the community accommodate special diets?

_____ Does a dietician or nutritionist review menus? Ask for a copy of the menus.

_____ How often do the menus rotate?

_____ May a guest join me for meals? Is there a fee?

_____ May my family plan special occasions/meals in a private dining room?

_____ Are meals/snacks available at any time?

_____ What are the criteria for residents to eat meals in their rooms?

Moving In

_______ What does the process of moving in entail? What are the paperwork requirements and the timeframes involved? Does the community provide any assistance with the move-in?

_______ Can I paint my room or put up a border on the walls prior to move-in?

_______ How is my initial health assessment managed? Who completes the assessment?

_______ Does the CCRC subscribe to a set of resident rights and responsibilities? Are printed copies of resident rights and responsibilities available?

Costs and Fees

_______ What is included in the basic monthly cost? Ask for a written copy of the contract.

_______ Does the community have a written schedule of fees for extra services? If so, request a copy.

_______ Under what circumstances might the fees change? How much notice is given if fees increase?

_______ Is a security deposit required? What is the refund policy?

_______ Can service agreements and/or contracts be amended or modified?


_____ Does your facility require an all-inclusive contract or a fee-for-service contract?

_____ What is covered under the contract?

_____ Is there an “admission” or “entry” fee?

_____ Is this fee refundable?

_____ Will I own my unit?

_____ What are the current monthly/annual fees?

_____ What is included in the basic monthly cost?

_____ Do you have a written schedule of fees for extra services?

_____ What services are not covered under the contract?

_____ Under what conditions may costs increase?

_____ Can contracts be amended or modified?


_____ Whom should I call with questions or complaints?

_____ Is there a 24-hour telephone number I can call?