What is a Life Plan Community?

Senior communities across the country are beginning to increase their service offerings, providing more care and amenities than ever before. This trend has been driven largely by today’s generation of older adults, go-getters looking to make the most of retirement. Many link retirement with reinvention, looking forward to maximizing every moment, uncovering new possibilities for their future, and maintaining excellent health. They have high expectations and are not thinking the least bit about retreating during retirement. 

The growing demand for high quality and increased services at retirement communities has produced a sizeable response, with many embracing the opportunity to offer more. Communities that have for years been referred to as “Continuing Care Retirement Communities,” or “CCRCs,” are increasingly emphasizing three key elements:

  1. Offering more than one level of care on one campus location
  2. Focusing on overall wellness and a healthy, active lifestyle
  3. Becoming integrated in the community as a socially responsible partner
Older adult does yoga stretch outdoors

With the world of senior living constantly evolving, today’s older adults have also made it clear that a name says a lot. They don’t want tired, outdated labels, but fresh, innovative, positive, and forward-thinking concepts, and this includes what their possible future home is called.

A joint initiative of LeadingAge and Mather LifeWays, in partnership with several marketing consulting firms, was created and named NameStorm Task Force / CCRC NameStorm. The purpose of the initiative was to identify a new name for the Continuing Care Retirement Community category. After exploring the viability of the existing category name with key audiences, the NameStorm Task Force uncovered the clear indication that Continuing Care Retirement Community does not adequately describe the vibrant, innovative style of today’s senior communities. So, just like the fresh outlook of today’s generation of older adults, the name is now experiencing a transformation, as well. With a shift in perspective comes a change in the name, so these continuing care communities are now being referred to as Life Plan Communities, which focuses more on the individual and less about care.

This innovative, simple term captures the fresh, optimistic connotation along with the offering of security, a plan for the future, and focus on the person. While Life Plan Communities follow the traditional definition of a CCRC set by NIC, the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care, at a minimum, they also embrace the three aforementioned elements as they look toward the future.

Seniors eating lunch being served by facility staff

If you happen to be one of the thousands of people delving into the world of senior communities this year, either to help a loved one identify options or learn more for yourself, be on the lookout for the term Life Plan Community as it becomes increasingly widespread. When you read or hear it, know that it means the community offers a diverse offering of care levels and amenity options that an aging adult deserves and needs, from the moment they move in until their last days.

To learn more about Life Plan Communities, the companies and research behind the NameStorm Task Force, and more, visit the Life Plan Community website.

Do you have a question about Three Pillars Senior Living Communities? Something you’ve been wondering or meaning to ask? Don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re here to help!