By Harry S. Margolis
North Hill, the first continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Massachusetts, has launched a new service aimed at bringing the CCRC model to seniors who prefer to stay in their own homes. CCRCs charge a partially refundable entrance fee and a montlhy charge for the guarantee of a place to live and all necessary care throughout their lives. Residents must be healthy when they enter and live in individual apartments with amenities such as meals and activities. If their health deteriorates they may moved to assisted living or nursing home care on site.
(But beware. We have clients who lived in a CCRC for years. Now in their 90s and requiring nursing home care, the facility is pushing the children to hire additional care at a cost of hundreds of dollars a day — not the deal the family thought it had signed up for.)
While (with the caveat above) CCRCs are good solutions for some seniors, they are less attractive to others who prefer to stay in their own homes. Often by the time they’re ready to make a move it’s too late — they’re too debilitated to move to a CCRC and their other options may be limited.
North Hill has now designed a service to meet the needs of these seniors. Called Connected for Life, seniors sign up while they’re living at home. Depending on their age when they sign up and the level of service they choose, the pay an initial deposit as well as a monthly fee. In exchange, they receive care management from Connected for Life, may participate in activities at North Hill, may use North Hill facilities, and when and if they need care, will receive both coordination and coverage of costs from Connected for Life.
As with a CCRC, you need to be healthy when you sign up. But you don’t have to make the decision to move and the costs are substantially less. Depending on the senior’s age and service plan chosen, the initial buy-in can range from $4,000 to $66,000 and the monthly fee from $425 to $500 per person. (There’s an additional $35 a month charge if you want to join the North Hill fitness club.)