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Continuing Care Retirement Communities - Ccrcs Today

nursing social living residents type housing

CCRCs vary in size, accommodations, and services provided. However, most CCRCs have several basic housing levels on one campus setting. Providing residents with a range of care options is termed the continuum of care.

Independent living unit (ILU).This type of housing, which is common to almost all CCRCs, may include apartments, cottages, one- or two-story houses, or luxury high-rises. Usually, amenities such as transportation to outside community events, meals, laundry service, housekeeping, security, and maintenance are included in the cost. An individual can choose to have more amenities, but extras come with an additional price. Health care services are available, but a resident living in an ILU is usually healthy and requires little health care assistance.

Personal care unit. (PCU)An individual living in a personal care unit usually has some trouble performing specific activities of daily living. This level of care entails help in such areas as personal assistance or medication monitoring, allowing a person to continue to live independently.

Assisted-living facility. A next step in the continuum between independent living units and nursing homes is the assisted-living facility. This type of housing is relatively new, and is designed for those individuals who do not require the level of care and supervision provided in a nursing home. In this type of facility, which is provided by most CCRCs, personal assistance with everyday activities such as dressing, eating, medication administration, RN staff, serving meals, rehabilitation, and bathing are common services available.

The nursing home. This type of facility is common to all CCRCs. Residents of a CCRC can utilize the nursing home to recover from a short-term illness or as a means of treatment for a chronic illness. In this type of housing, residents receive round-the-clock care from nurses and nurse's aides.

This continuum of care allows the individual to receive all necessary health care services within one campus. However, it is important to note that the progression is not always linear— residents can move to any one of these housing arrangements and then back to the previous type of facility. For instance, an individual living in an ILU might receive care within the nursing home to recover from a short-term illness. After recovery, that individual could return to a less restrictive location.

Programs and activities. One of the CCRCs main objectives is to keep residents healthy. Although research is limited, some studies report that CCRC residents live one and a half to two years longer than other older adults. This may be because CCRCs take a more active approach to maintaining health than individuals living in the community might. There are different types of programs that have been established at CCRCs in this regard. Although not all CCRCs offer such programs, many encourage exercise by providing swimming pools, tennis courts, golf courses, and walking paths, and many promote proper nutrition. Most CCRCs provide comprehensive meal options, promote proper medical care, and have health and dental facilities on the campus. In addition, they promote social involvement through a range of social and educational programs.

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