older adult husband and wife sitting at a table evaluating documents together

What’s Included in a Life Care Contract and is it Right for You?

If you’re considering moving to a senior living community, there’s no shortage of available options. As you evaluate your needs, one option that shouldn’t be overlooked is a Life Care community. Life Care communities are designed for older adults who want to plan for their future care needs today. 

Read on to learn about what Life Care communities are, what contract terms you may encounter, and why so many forward-looking seniors are choosing to live in them.  

What is Life Care?

Life Care communities are a type of continuing care retirement community or CCRC. They provide residents with access to a continuum of health care as their needs evolve. You ensure this access by entering into a contract that typically includes an upfront entrance fee, as well as regular monthly fees. The fees you pay each month will be determined based on the contract type that you choose. 

One of the main benefits of a Life Care community is that you’re able to remain in the same community to access on-site health services such as memory care or skilled nursing. For example, you may start in an independent living residence, but as day-to-day tasks become more difficult, you can transition to assisted living for a higher level of support. This is also a great benefit for couples whose care needs may be different. A resident in assisted living whose spouse resides in memory care at the same community will be only a few steps away instead of at an entirely different community or care center.

Beyond health care services, Life Care residents also enjoy access to all of the community’s services and amenities. At communities like Abbey Delray, this includes everything from concierge services and housekeeping to our heated outdoor swimming pool and hot tub.  

What’s in a Life Care Contract? 

When it comes to Life Care contracts, every community will have its own specific terms and conditions. Generally, however, you can expect that the most comprehensive options will have some commonalities. To prepare for your long-term health and future, you will pay an entrance fee and monthly fee which will not change based on your level of care.  

Key details include:

  • One-time entrance fee that is often partially refundable
  • Monthly fees that cover housing, health services and amenities
  • Priority access to additional levels of on-site care for life

Key Terms to Understand in Life Care Contracts

Here are some key terms you may encounter when reviewing your Life Care contract. 

Entrance Fee

Most Life Care communities require a one-time entrance fee. The amount of this fee will vary by location and type of residence and contract you choose. This fee is meant to secure your future healthcare costs and may also go toward general community operating expenses. Your fee may be partially refundable depending on your contract. Entrance fees range from $40,000 to upwards of $2 million. According to AARP, the average entrance fee for such a community in 2022 was $402,000.

Monthly Fee

Your fees will vary based on the contract type you choose, as well as your community and residence choice. All-inclusive contract types (often referred to as a Type A contract) typically provide access to on-site health services at a predictable monthly rate. With another type of contract, the Type B contract, your fee will increase in response to needing care, but you’ll pay a known, predetermined discount on the market rate. In a Type C contract, however, you will pay market rate for the care services you require. Always be sure that you understand the type of contract you are entering.  

Understanding Additional Fees

While Life Care communities are generally considered “all-inclusive” there are a few premium services you may pay out of pocket for. This may include salon and spa services, covered parking or garage access. Your community should provide you with a list of on-site services to which you have access but will pay additional fees to enjoy.    

Explore Life Care at Abbey Delray

At Abbey Delray, our Life Care community combines the best of independent living with access to health services that have been rated among the best in the country by the U.S. News & World Report. Our dedicated team works with every individual to craft a custom wellness plan that delivers personalized care to meet their specific needs and goals.

If you’d like to learn more about Life Care options in the Delray Beach, Florida area for yourself or a loved one, please contact us.