In our last post we wrote about what matters most when choosing a long-term care living situation, suggesting that it’s not always the place that matters most, but the mind-set of the elderly person who will be living there, and how involved that person is in the decision-making process. However, this does not mean that the quality of each living place doesn’t matter at all. In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal great care should still be taken when selecting a long-term care living situation… especially if you’re considering a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).

If you are considering a CCRC for yourself or an elderly loved one, you may want to read this article in the WSJ, which mentions that although more and more older Americans are drawn to the benefits offered by a Continuing Care Retirement Community, those benefits “often come at a steep price and ‘considerable risk.’”

The article goes on to mention that “So-called CCRCs—which typically offer fine dining, health clubs and on-site long-term care—have grown in popularity along with the aging of the population, particularly among the upper-middle class and affluent,” but that “the economic downturn is making it tougher for potential new residents to sell their existing homes and fill openings in new and expanded communities, which are generally regulated by state governments. As a result, low occupancy levels are challenging the industry’s financial models.”

We mention this because many of our clients are at a time in their lives when they or their elderly parents are looking into long-term care living situations, and we see how difficult it is to sort through all the choices and find a place that fits. Not only is quality of life an important factor (maybe the most important factor), but for many people the cost of the place they choose may mean the difference between leaving their children an inheritance and dying penniless.

We urge any of our readers who are in the market for long-term care living arrangements to look carefully at all their options; ask questions, do the research, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or a second opinion.