When the time comes, most people prefer to pass away at home or on a life plan community campus, rather than an acute care hospital or assisted living. It’s such a strong preference, in fact, thatit’s a major factor in the decision to move into a life plan community (also known as a continuing care retirement community, or CCRC) when looking at retirement options.
Why? Because it gives them the power to decide on their long-term care options and place of death in advance, rather than leaving it in the hands of fate. They make the decision long before it’s necessary, removing the burden from the shoulders of their loved ones or caregivers.
But here’s what most people don’t realize: The most important benefit of choosing a life plan community as a retirement option has nothing to do with dying; it’s about living.
When it comes to lifestyle, moving into the right retirement community is life-changing. Located in one of the world’s most popular retirement destinations, Arizona life plan communities offer some of the most vibrant, exciting options available.
1. Life plan communities are an independent living option, not a quick assisted living solution.
Unlike assisted living, where someone goes to receive immediate care as they recover from injury, illness or a chronic condition, life plan communities require residents to be able to live independently when they join the community.
Assisted living, caregiving, skilled care and memory care are available if needed later on, but it’s a community of independent living rather than a community of caregiving.
Do they provide excellent assisted living care for residents? Absolutely, but prospective residents can only move into a life plan community while they’re still able to live independently and care for themselves. A seamless continuum of care is provided after that point, but only after approval, a health and financial screening process, and moving into the community.
It’s an impressive Arizona retirement option for those living independently.
2. Life plan communities revolve around a lifestyle of health and wellness.
Unlike a 55 plus community or senior apartment complex, which typically are real estate purchases or rentals limited to housing that don’t offer options for care, life plan communities revolve around living independently.
Because they’re invested in helping residents remain independent as long as possible, they offer an intentional lifestyle of health and wellbeing that’s proven to boost vitality and longevity for older adults. With wellness coordinators and a wide variety of fitness-related amenities on its campus, a life plan community encourages residents to remain active at every turn.
Especially when it comes to fitness, life plan communities typically offer a slew of amenities that far exceed what the average community offers, even topping most gyms. Indoor pools, walking tracks, yoga and other fitness classes customized to the needs of older adults, and certified in-house instructors are commonly available.
Dining options on campus also typically focus on healthy eating options designed for the dietary needs and common restrictions of older adults, too. Some offer five-star chefs, gluten-free options and multiple restaurant style choices of where to dine… all without ever leaving campus.
3. Life plan communities are designed to keep residents engaged.
Social interaction is the number one predictor of a long life. Remaining engaged with life actually helps us live longer. Life plan communities recognize this, placing an emphasis on helping residents remain active, social and involved.
In addition to wellness coordinators, most life plan communities provide activity coordinators who organize a lively calendar of events to encourage residents to remain engaged in community life at every turn.
Movie night at the on-campus theater, ping pong and pool tournaments, enrichment classes to interest residents and help them continuously learn new skills, a rotating schedule of speakers and presenters, and even a richly varied assortment of religious and spiritual activities are just a few examples of how a life plan community keep residents engaged.
Related post: Spirituality at retirement communities
Some life plan communities take this a step further as Masterpiece Living® communities, which are designed to combine physical, social, intellectual and spiritual pursuits as part of a visionary “best practice” program on healthy aging.
Based on MacArthur Foundation’s well-known research on aging, it’s an integrated approach designed to create a deep culture that redefines the standard for active senior living.
Sun Health Senior Living offers three Masterpiece Living life plan retirement communities in Arizona, and a lifestyle focused on good health, wellbeing and independence. Beyond continuing care, each community also includes the Life Care guarantee to protect you against potential costs of long-term care down the road.
To learn more, we invite you to explore our website or attend an upcoming workshop near you.
To speak to someone immediately, please contact Jackie Lusson, our corporate director of sales, at 623-236-3767.
(Originally published May 7, 2018; last updated Jan. 11, 2019.)