3205 W Skippack Pike
Lansdale, PA 19446

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(484) 998.4444

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(610) 584.1000


The Lowdown on Life Plan Communities

The Lowdown on Life Plan Communities

The Lowdown on Life Plan Communities

According to the U.S. Census, every day until 2030, 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65, and government figures show that seven out of 10 people will require long-term care in their lifetime. So if you’re thinking about your changing healthcare needs as you age (and about quality of life in retirement), you’re not alone. And if you’re wondering what life plan communities are all about, read on.

What is a life plan community?

Meadowood is a nonprofit life plan community, formerly known as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). Unlike an active lifestyle community, designed for people 55 and older, a life plan community is limited to people around age 60–62 or older. At Meadowood, the minimum age is 62.

Whether you call them life plan communities or CCRCs, they usually include recreational amenities, social activities for seniors, and most of  these options:

  • Residential living  independent living with access to medical care, dining and wellness services
  • Skilled nursing –  skilled, licensed nursing care and medical attention
  • Assisted living – independent living with assistance for daily tasks and personal care, such as cooking, housekeeping, and keeping track of medications
  • Memory care – specialized care for people with dementia
  • Short-term rehabilitation – round-the-clock therapeutic services and medical care for patients recovering from a surgery, a serious illness or an accident

How life plan communities work

Nonprofit life plan communities like Meadowood require payment of a one-time fee, or entrance fee, plus monthly charges. The entrance fee amount varies, depending on the type of residence, contract type, and plan option.

The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services. CARF publishes the “Consumer Guide to Life Plan Communities: Quality and Financial Viability.” The guide outlines the most common types of life plan community contracts (Meadowood offers both traditional and fee-for-service plans): 

  • Extensive (Type A) contracts, sometimes called life-care agreements, include housing, residential services, amenities, and specific health-related services with minimal increases in monthly payments. These contracts usually have higher entrance fees, and possibly higher monthly fees, than other types of contracts, but offer more predictable future costs. 
  • Modified (Type B) contracts also include housing, residential services, and amenities, but they include a specified amount of healthcare services. These contract types vary widely. 
  • Fee-for-service (Type C) contracts include housing, residential services, and amenities for an established fee; additional healthcare services are not included. Although these types of contracts can be more affordable in the short run, they do not offer the financial security of extensive or modified contracts. 

What are life plan community costs?

Before taking the plunge, it helps to get an idea of the costs you’ll incur living in a life plan community. If you receive Medicare or Medicaid, it’s important to know that neither cover residential living. 

Monthly median costs associated with long-term care, according to a 2021 Genworth industry survey, were as follows:

In-home care
Homemaker services  $4,957
Home health aide       $5,148

Community and assisted living
Adult day health care $1,690
Assisted living facility  $4,500

Nursing home facility
Semi-private room      $7,908
Private room               $9,034

According to the “AARP Guide to Caregiving,” life plan community entrance fees can range from $100,000 to $1 million. Monthly charges can range from $3,000 to $5,000 but may increase as needs change. 

Questions to ask a life plan community

LeadingAge, a national organization of nonprofit and government aging-services providers, lists 10 questions you should ask when considering a life plan community:Are you for profit or nonprofit?

  1.  Are you for profit or nonprofit?
  2.  What’s included in the monthly fee?
  3.  What’s the financial strength of your community?
  4.  How do you support my freedom and independence (i.e., aging with grace)?
  5.  What emergency response systems are in place?
  6.  How do you measure residents’ satisfaction? Can I see your last two surveys?
  7.  What’s the difference between residential and assisted living?
  8.  How is aging in place supported?
  9.  What are your most popular programs? Who decides what programs/events are offered?
  10.   Can I review your residency agreement?

More than a life plan community, it’s a luxury lifestyle

Meadowood falls into the category of a luxury senior living, upscale Philadelphia life plan community with a higher standard of amenities, services, and lifestyle options, like its state-of-the-art wellness center. These communities cater to the preferences of residents who seek a high-quality living environment during their retirement years. 

With resort-like ambience, these communities feature premium amenities such as elegantly designed communal spaces, fitness centers, swimming pools, spas, and culinary experiences Living spaces are well appointed, spacious, and may include upscale finishes and modern appliances. A wide range of personalized services like housekeeping, personal training, and concierge services are often available. In addition, volunteer opportunities support the concept of purposeful aging. Comprehensive health and wellness programs emphasize both recreation and social engagement.

To learn more about Meadowood’s amenities, residences, and rates, contact John Kotsatos at 610-584-3893