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Understanding Your Life Care Contract: What You Need to Know

As you have researched your senior living options, you have probably come across many unfamiliar terms, or terms used in ways that may be unfamiliar. One of those terms is “Life Care,” which often refers to a type of continuing care retirement community that offers a continuum of care on-site. But there’s a lot more to Life Care than this! Here, we discuss what Life Care is composed of and what you need to know about your Life Care contract.  

What is Life Care?

Life Care refers to a specific Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) contract type. A CCRC offers different levels of senior living lifestyles and care options to its residents. This can include independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care in addition to the general services and amenities the community offers.   

Life Care is a specific type of CCRC in which residents pay an upfront fee and monthly service fee to receive access to care and services. Life Care is a plan for how you pay for your future care needs, ensuring that you know where and how your needs will be met in the future today.  

Questions to Ask About Your Life Care Contract  

What Type of Contract Do You Offer? 

Some communities will offer only one kind of Life Care contract. Others may offer several different types. You will want to find a community that suits your lifestyle, but also one with a contract type that fits your needs and financial situation.

What is Your Entrance Fee and What Does it Include?  

What exactly does your entrance fee pay for? Entrance fees are generally calculated based on the size of residence and the number of occupants, but may also be used to cover estimated costs of future care. Entrance fees range from $40,000 to upwards of $2 million, and generally reflect home prices in the area. The average entrance fee for such a community in 2022 was $402,000.

What’s Included in Your Monthly Service Fees? 

Transparency is of the utmost importance when it comes to your monthly fees. Ensure that you understand which specific services and amenities are covered. Some services – like salon and spa services – may be offered on-site, but require an additional fee. Fees will also vary based on the community, residence and contract type you choose. 

What Health Services are Available On-Site?

What types of health services are offered within the community?  How will they be paid for? Life Care communities may offer several types of contract options. The all-inclusive contract (often referred to as a Type A contract) typically provides access to on-site health services at a predictable monthly rate. However, with a Type B contract, your fee will increase in response to needing additional care, but you’ll pay a predetermined discount on the market rate. In a Type C contract, you will pay market rate for the care services you require. Ensure that you know levels of care you are entitled to and how it will be paid for. 

What Living Arrangements Are Available for Each Level of Care? 

If your care needs change, would you be able to live in an independent living apartment? Or would that care have to be provided in another area of the community? Be sure you have the opportunity to tour the accommodations available at higher care levels. 

What if My Spouse and I Require Different Levels of Care? 

While you and your spouse may enter the community as independent living residents, there’s no knowing what the future may hold. Ask your community how they manage the situation when a resident requires a different level of care than their spouse. To stay together, you may have to move to another area of the community for specialized care. Or, care may be provided in your residence. It all depends on how the community operates. 

See What a Life Care Community is Like at Claridge Court

Claridge Court is an elegant and sophisticated Life Care community that provides older adults with the lifestyle they crave and the security and comfort of knowing that their future care needs can be met here. This dynamic community in the Kansas City area provides country club living for an idyllic and energizing next chapter. 

Contact us if you have questions, or fill out the form below. We’re always happy to schedule a tour so you can get a better sense of what life is like here. 

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