Adults have strong preferences about aging, including where and how they want to live.

According to a national AARP survey of adults, “…3 out of 4 adults age 50 and older want to stay in their homes and communities as they age” or age in place. However, in the same survey, many aging Americans say they don’t believe they will be able to stay within their communities. This sentiment may help explain the interest in Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) which offer different forms of accommodation–a long-term care continuum–as a person ages. CCRCs are distinct from active 55+ adult communities which typically do not offer assisted living options.

CCRCs, sometimes called Life Care Communities, Retirement Communities or Senior Living Communities, are growing in popularity and consist of a range of independent living options such as stand-alone homes or apartments, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and memory units for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease. In northern New Jersey, there are many CCRCs, some of the more popular being Winchester Gardens, Crane’s Mill and newly constructed Lantern Hill.

Whether it’s for you or a loved one, deciding to downsize, sell a home, and move to a Continuing Care Retirement Community is a big one. Here are 5 benefits to consider:

Benefit One: Seniors can maintain an independent or semi-independent lifestyle

Healthy adults that reach retirement age want to maintain an independent lifestyle for as long as possible. A Continuing Care Retirement Community gives retirees that flexibility. CCRCs allow members to choose housing units of varying sizes, enjoy a number of onsite activities from holiday celebrations to educational talks, take day trips, and engage with a pleasant community of people in a similar stage of life. Adults can identify the space that fits their needs, whether it’s a single family home with a backyard for gardening or a garden-style home with shared parking space. Over the years, as seniors confront challenges with their health, a CCRC provides many assisted living options that still offer some level of independent living.

Benefit Two: Residents have access to medical care

For many seniors, proximity to excellent medical care is essential. Continuing Care Retirement Communities often partner with healthcare networks. These partnerships help CCRCs accommodate residents’ changing medical needs. For example, if one spouse requires specialized medical assistance, (s)he can move to a rehabilitation care unit while the other remains in an independent residence. However, once potential residents reach a certain age or are diagnosed with a pre-existing condition, CCRCs have the right to turn applicants away. So, if you think that a CCRC is in your future, make sure to research your options early, get your name on the waiting list and be cognizant that you are not guaranteed a place in a CCRC even when you do get to the top of the waiting list.

Benefit Three: Seniors can choose from multiple living options in one location

Residents that live in a CCRC may need assisted living facilities, rehabilitation services, or access to skilled nursing care as they age. Although Continuing Care Retirement Communities are often a considerable financial investment; on the flipside, they provide a continuum of living options as a person ages. These communities require residents pay an entry fee upfront and a fixed monthly fee. While residents have their mobility, they can enjoy a plethora of amenities that range from hair salons to shops with sundry items and well-equipped exercise rooms. As seniors age and lose their mobility, CCRCs offer a range of services and transportation options, so the daily activities of living and basic transportation needs can be accommodated.

Benefit Four: CCRC homes are built to accommodate aging in place

Continuing Care Retirement Communities allow members to age without worrying about the functionality of their environments as many of the homes and living options accommodate aging in place. CCRCs design home units with the safety and well-being of elderly residents in mind. There are grab bars in bathrooms, emergency pull cords, and flat, one-story residences with large entryways for wheelchairs and other physical aids. Additionally, CCRCs often provide transportation services, so residents can get to communal dining or nearby grocery stores with ease.

Benefit Five: Residents have a sense of community

CCRCs are working hard to evolve into assistance-based, ‘life-plan’ communities where people want to spend their retirement. Many of these communities bring together residents with similar backgrounds (e.g., military service, religious faith) to foster a culture of shared values and inclusivity. There are planned activities and trips, a gym and often a pool house. Families feel a sense of relief knowing they or their loved ones have access to excellent care and a community of friends.

Are you or a loved one considering downsizing to join a Continuing Care Retirement Community? It’s a significant life step that may include selling a home that has been in the family for generations. I would love to assist you and can answer any questions you have about selling your home in northern New Jersey. Contact Victoria Carter at, or call (973) 220-3050.

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