Continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) combine independent retirement housing, assisted living services and nursing facility care, usually on the same campus, to allow elders to have their current and future care needs met at one location. As a senior's needs change, he or she can choose from among the services and care settings available.

CCRCs are another option for older people who no longer want the responsibility of caring for a house and want the peace-of-mind of knowing that they have planned for their future long term care needs. Most CCRCs require incoming residents to be fully capable of independent living upon entering, or may impose conditions based on certain pre-existing conditions. However, some CCRCs allow residents to enter their assisted living units directly from the community.

CCRCs offer a wide range of services and amenities, including:

  • one or more meals served in a common dining room.
  • grounds and building maintenance.
  • housekeeping.
  • linen services.
  • utilities (except telephone and cable television).
  • 24-hour security.
  • scheduled transportation.
  • social and recreational activities.

Services available at an extra charge may include:

  • the use of guest accommodations.
  • personal laundry services.
  • extra or guest meals.
  • additional housekeeping services.

Health-related services may include:

  • a 24-hour emergency call system.
  • health and wellness programs.
  • home health services.

CCRCs also provide assisted living services (either in separate assisted living units or to individuals residing in the independent living units) and 24-hour nursing facility care.

Most independent living units in a CCRC consist of one or two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, and full bathroom. CCRCs typically have a number of common areas, including one or more resident dining rooms, and many also have libraries, hair salons, convenience stores, exercise and game rooms, and banking facilities.