If you’ve been shopping for senior living communities recently, you may have heard them called by different names and found the terminology confusing, to say the least. Actually, Life Plan Communities and Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) are the same thing—Life Plan Community is a newer name that was created in the past few years to better reflect the true nature of the communities; they aren’t just about care, although future care is an important consideration.

To a great extent, these communities are centered around active living, healthy aging, and wellness. They enable seniors to live active, engaged lives in a beautiful setting, surrounded by friends. So, if you’re trying to compare Life Plan Communities vs. CCRCs, know that the only difference is the name.

How Do Life Plan
Communities Work?

In Life Plan Communities, most people initially move into independent living, where they can live just like they do in their own home, but with the added benefits of community living, including maintenance, amenities, activities, social opportunities and the promise of future care, if needed down the road.

People usually pay two different types of fees when they move into a Life Plan Community. The first type is a refundable or non-refundable entrance fee, a sum of money paid up front to secure a place in the community and ensure that the resident will be eligible for a higher level of care, should they ever need it. A non-refundable entrance fee has a smaller price tag, but does not allow money to be returned to a resident or his or her family in the event of a move or a death. Refundable fees, which are offered at Ingleside communities, are usually higher in initial price, but part or all of the fee will be returned when a resident leaves the community.

The second type of fee is a monthly fee, which covers the monthly expenses of living in a community, including dining, amenities, activities, indoor and outdoor maintenance, security, utilities, housekeeping, transportation and more. Residents can also move in at a higher level of care, and the financial arrangements are usually different in those cases.


What Are the Different
Levels of Care?

In Life Plan Communities, there are usually several levels of living, which together make up a complete continuum of care. No matter what level of care an individual needs, they continue to live an engaged life within the community.


Independent living is ideal for individuals who can live in their own residence but enjoy having access to the many perks of community life, such as entertainment, dining, wellness classes, social activities, a fitness center and pool, health care and transportation.


Assisted living is a good choice for individuals who can live in their own apartment but need a little extra help while going about their daily activities. The program is designed to help residents maintain as much independence as possible while receiving the extra support they need.


Memory care is a level of senior living that provides specialized care for people with memory issues, including Alzheimer’s disease. Ingleside’s memory care program is designed to provide a safe, secure, fulfilling and engaging environment where residents can live lives of meaning and purpose.

Skilled Nursing/ Rehabilitation

Skilled nursing care is suited to individuals who need 24-hour care that can only be performed by licensed nurses. Services, which are available on a short- or long-term basis, include many types of medical care, as well as rehabilitation.