In Florida, there is a new trend emerging in senior living called continuing care retirement communities (“CCRC”). What is a continuing care retirement community? It is a retirement community mixed with on-site nursing and assisted living services.
As the senior becomes less independent, they will move to the higher level of care units within the community. For example, if a fully independent senior starts to have a mental decline, the CCRC can keep the resident within their community but will simply relocate them to a higher level of care unit. This is sometimes referred to as “aging in place” as the resident will continue to age within the same community. Are there pros and cons you should know about for CCRCs? Yes, we explain them below.
A NEW TYPE OF SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITY
Prior to having CCRCs, this type of resident would have to permanently leave their condominium or rental unit and become a full-time resident in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
The downside of that is it would displace the individual from their friends and family. CCRCs can be a great alternative for those that are looking to stay in the same community even as they get older and their physical and mental capabilities decline.
Currently, there are 86 CCRCs in Florida with 21 of those being located in South Florida – Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County.
Some of the well-known cotinuing care retirement communities in Palm Beach County include:
St. Andrews Estates – North
6152 Verde Trail North
Boca Raton, Florida 33433
St. Andrews Estates – South
6045 Verde Trail South
Boca Raton, Florida 33433
21044 95th Avenue South
Boca Raton, Florida 33428
It should be noted that most of the CCRCs that are emerging are very expensive as they are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid. This means that the resident will have to pay with cash for the residential unit and the level of care they need which may be charged on a monthly or yearly basis.
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFORMATION
From a legal standpoint, CCRCs in Florida presents unique issues. If your family member is injured at a CCRC, it will be important to document the following:
(1) what type of residential unit (e.g. assisted living wing, memory care unit, or condominium) was your family member in at the time of the injury,
(2) what type of medical provider (e.g. doctor, nurse, or certified nursing assistant) was responsible for overseeing and providing care to your family member, and
(3) what type of contract or residential agreement did you enter into with the owner of the CCRC.
These are three pivotal questions that may determine what type of legal remedies and rights your family member is entitled to in Florida. Lastly, before entering into a contract with a CCRC, we suggest that you have a lawyer look at the contract so that you fully understand your legal rights and remedies when living in this type of new community.