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If you’re weighing your options for senior living in Teaneck, New Jersey, you may wonder the difference between independent living and continuing care retirement communities (CCRC). Both offer a social retirement and a chance to age in place, but there are also important distinctions. Here’s what you need to know as you weigh your options.

What Is Independent Living?

Independent living is for independent seniors who are in good health. Independent living communities usually offer condos or apartments as part of a larger community. Seniors who move into the community can access a wide range of activities and other amenities, including regular meals and outings. Many independent living communities also offer transportation.

An independent living community may be right for you if:

  • You are healthy and independent but overwhelmed by the demands of home ownership. Many independent living communities offer assistance to seniors who are mostly independent but who need extra help. The Arbor Company, for example, partners with home health specialists.

  • You want access to a wide range of activities and amenities.

  • You relish the idea of living among like-minded people and never having to drive to get to a fun activity or outing.

  • You want to streamline your budget into an all-in-one expenditure that covers housing, food, activities, and more.

  • You are independent and healthy now, but hope to age in place if your needs change.

What Is a CCRC?

Continuing care retirement communities are planned communities designed specifically for seniors. Seniors can remain in the community as their needs change. In most cases, the senior owns the property in the CCRC. Seniors who choose CCRCs can age in place, transitioning from independent living to assisted living or nursing care if their needs change.

A CCRC may be right for you if:

  • You want to live near other seniors.

  • You want your own home, but want help dispatched to you when you need it.

  • You want to be part of a planned community with lots of activities.

Independent Living vs. CCRCs in Teaneck, NJ

So which is better—CCRCs or independent living? The truth is that there’s no “right” choice that will work for every senior. For most seniors, however, independent living offers a more versatile option that boasts the same benefits of CCRCs, often at a lower price tag. The benefits of independent living compared to CCRCs include:

  • Affordability. Independent living tends to be more affordable than CCRCs.

  • More social opportunities. Independent living offers everything under one roof, in one community. With a CCRC, you live in your own home or condo, which can make it more difficult to get to know your neighbors.

  • More amenities. The all-in-one approach of independent living offers gourmet meals, regular classes, daily activities, and more. Though CCRCs include many amenities, they’re not the bustling hubs of socialization and learning that independent living communities are. Most CCRCs do not have a dining room where you can eat all of your meals.

  • Retiring on your own terms. A wide range of independent living communities serve seniors. Each has its own community culture and roster of activities. Choose the one that matches your philosophy and style.

  • More choices. CCRCs are a relatively new phenomenon, so there are fewer communities available. This means you may need to get on a waiting list, and you’ll definitely have fewer communities to choose from. With more independent living options available in Teaneck, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs.

  • More to do. Independent living communities tend to offer a more robust list of things you can do each week. CCRCs plan special events, but they may be pretty light on daily activities.

Seniors who want to age in place should consider independent living communities that also offer assisted living and memory care. This allows seniors to remain in the same community, even if their needs change. Arbor Terrace at Teaneck is an independent living community that partners with home health services, allowing seniors to age in place while remaining in independent living.

What does your senior living wish list look like? Arbor Terrace Teaneck would like to help you check every box on that list. For 30 years, the Arbor Company has helped seniors craft the retirements they deserve. We would love to work with you to make the next chapter of your life the best yet. Give us a call to learn more.

Learn More About Arbor Terrace Teaneck

Elizabeth Andropoli

About the Author: Elizabeth Andropoli

“Liz” has been a senior-living professional for more than fifteen years, she entered the industry following a six-year background of experience in health care. She has been Executive Director at Arbor Terrace since 2012. Liz lives in Teaneck with her three children who have obviously inherited her passion for servicing those advanced in age as her two eldest are also employed in the senior-living industry – her youngest, still in school, is interested in computers and finance. Liz has eclectic tastes in leisure activities: while she enjoys parasailing, zip lining and riding motorcycles, her favorite vacation is her annual summertime stay, with her family, at an Amish farm in Pennsylvania.