The Evergold Team

CCRCs vs CCaHs: What's the Difference?

CCRCs vs CCaHs: What's the Difference?

Read on to learn more about the difference between these two options and which might be best for you.

Aging in Place
CCRCs vs CCaHs: What's the Difference?

In 2024, older adults have more options in choosing how they age than ever before. Nursing homes, assisted living and long-term care facilities, staying at home–– the list goes on and on. But with an increase in choices can also come an increase in confusion. What’s the difference between all these options, and what effect will each have on my life?

To clarify the confusion and help older adults make the right decision, the team at Evergold has already explored the differences between these options for aging. In this guide, we’re analyzing the differences between CCRCs and CCaHs. Read on for a thorough examination of these two senior living options, a closer look at the benefits (and limitations) of each, and a glimpse at how Evergold’s Life Plan at Home fits in.

What Is a CCRC?

A continuing care retirement community, or CCRC, acknowledges that care is a continuum –– needs are not fixed but rather advance and evolve as time goes on. For that reason, CCRCs function more as multidisciplinary care campuses, housing a range of services all on the same property. There are hands-off approaches like independent living, which are effectively apartment buildings geared toward seniors, in addition to skilled nursing, memory care, and other types of more involved care that fall along this spectrum.1 As your needs change, continuing care retirement communities ensure you consistently get the appropriate care in a comfortable environment.  

What is a CCaH?

At their core, continuing care retirement communities and continuing care at home (CCaH) options are quite similar. But rather than leaving the comfort of your home for an unfamiliar setting, CCaHs allow you to bring professional care to where you are. CCaHs have gained popularity as more and more older adults (well over three-quarters of those surveyed) would prefer to age in place. At Evergold, we believe that senior home care, like the kind a CCaH offers, is the future, and our Life Plan at Home was designed specifically to meet this increasingly common lifestyle.

What Are the Benefits of CCRCs and What Are the Cons?

Continuing care retirement communities can be great senior living alternatives, but for each benefit of a CCRC, there’s a shortcoming equally deserving of consideration.

Benefits of CCRCs

  • Continuum of Care: One of the biggest benefits of a CCRC is that they offer a continuum of services, ensuring you’re consistently receiving the care you need at each stage of older adulthood. Whether independent living best suits your needs or you could benefit from more attentive memory care, continuing care retirement communities adapt to your needs –– not the other way around. Best of all, at many CCRCs, the care staff remain the same throughout your journey, allowing you to forge deep and enduring relationships.
  • Luxury Amenities: The reputation that many nursing homes have of being run-down and overcrowded is quite the opposite of continuing care retirement communities. Instead, the majority of CCRCs are full of hotel-like amenities, featuring meal and cleaning services and many other perks. These simplify daily life while allowing you to enjoy the other aspects of this senior living alternative.
  • A Sense of Community: Isolation and loneliness in seniors isn’t just a worry –– it’s an epidemic. What’s more, the isolation some of us face in adulthood due to sedentary lifestyles can lead to serious health conditions or exacerbate our existing conditions (or both).2 Community is an important component of CCRCs. You’ll often find a set schedule of social events, ranging from on-site gatherings to planned outings, all in service of preserving seniors’ emotional and mental health.  

Cons of a CCRC

  • It’s Expensive: With their extensive amenities and considered approach to care, continuing care retirement communities can be a great option for older adults. But these perks come at a cost. First, there’s an initial fee, which is paid before relocating to a CCRC. Depending on the community, this price can range from a few hundred thousand dollars to upwards of $1 million, largely due to the popularity of these facilities. On top of this, there are also monthly fees, which are generally around $4,000 but can vary depending on your care needs.3 Some homeowners sell their homes, using their home equity to finance this cost, but even this nest egg may not be enough.
  • Limited Autonomy: Many continuing care retirement communities offer independent senior living options, but moving into one of these communities can still feel like sacrificing your autonomy. If you relish your independence and prefer to age in your own space on your own terms, a CCRC may not be right for you. Fortunately, you can get the “continued care” portion of a CCRC within the comfort of your own four walls with a CCaH.
  • You Have to Leave Your Home: Both the high costs and relative lack of autonomy stem from the fact that moving into a continuing care retirement community means leaving your home. And considering community care retirement communities are connected to senior care centers and less prevalent than other senior living alternatives, you may have to move out of your neighborhood –– or even out of state –– to access the care you desire. For many older adults, this is a significant enough downside to offset the many benefits of a CCRC.

What Are the Benefits of a CCaH and What Are the Cons?

Continuing care at home is often called “continuing care without walls” due to the many perks shared with CCRCs. But there are many benefits unique to CCaHs, and understanding them, as well as CCaH’s limitations, will help you choose the best option.

Benefits of a CCaH

  • Not Tied to a Senior Care Center: Because a CCaH centers on your home (or another chosen locale), where you end up aging is independent of the location of a senior care center. This grants you the freedom to age in your home or the home of a family member, or to relocate and live in an entirely new setting of your choosing. No matter where you decide, a CCaH plan ensures you’ll get the care you need.
  • Amenities of a CCRC Without the Cost: There are many appealing aspects of a continuing care retirement community, like the luxury amenities and attentive, as-you-need-it care. Of course, these amenities are part of what can push the costs of a CCRC into what is an unobtainable range for many. Seeing as a CCaH is akin to continuing care without walls, this strategy means the many amenities of a CCRC come directly to you, and the same continuum of care exists to evolve alongside your needs. Electing this option can dramatically reduce your monthly expenses –– especially if you already own your home.
  • Age in a Comfortable, Familiar Environment: When you live in your home long enough, you build a life around this familiar environment. You get to know your neighbors and you develop routines. Your surroundings become a part of who you are. This is why, for many aging adults, the biggest advantage of a CCaH over a CCRC is the fact that it allows you to stay in your home instead of relocating. This in turn allows you to preserve the relationships, comfort, and familiarity cultivated over years or decades in the same home.  

Cons of a CCaH

  • Care Can Still Be Costly: It’s worth noting that while a CCaH is significantly less expensive than a CCRC, it can still be expensive. But instead of paying $1 million for entry fees and thousands in monthlies, you may pay closer to $30,000 to join and as much as $800 a month to maintain your care.4 Consider the costs a CCaH may incur to ensure you’re financially prepared for this senior living alternative.
  • Potentially Less Social: The social aspects of a continuing care retirement community can be one of its biggest draws. When aging at home, on the other hand, ensuring proper socialization may take a more concerted effort, with some older adults needing support with transportation and scheduling.
  • You May Eventually Need a CCRC: Continuing care retirement communities have it right: care is a spectrum. For this reason, there may come a time when the best place for you to receive the care you need is in a CCRC or a similar environment. Evergold’s Life Plan at Home takes this fact into consideration, allowing you to maintain your membership as your care option changes or receive a substantial refund to be diverted toward your CCRC costs.

Which Option Is Best for You?

Continuing care retirement communities and continuing care at home might be quite similar. But given their fundamental differences, one will likely emerge as the clear right choice –– with the decision often coming down to a single factor.

For example, if your retirement savings are limited, a CCRC with its six-figure entry fees may be out of the question. Or, if you’re looking for a well-developed sense of community, a CCaH may not be the right fit. As you decide between these two options, carefully outline your priorities, budget, and concerns to be certain you’re making the right decision for your future. With a clear vision for your tomorrow and an understanding of your needs today, you’re guaranteed to choose the option that best suits you.

Prepare for Your Care with Evergold

It might take some time to choose whether a continuing care retirement community or continuing care at home program is right for you. In the meantime, you can prepare for the costs of either of these with Evergold.

Evergold's model adapts to your evolving needs, bringing personalized care directly to you, ensuring you remain in the comforting and familiar surroundings of your home. Our program comprises several components –– including wellness management, care coordination, and financial coverage –– that are aimed at protecting your health, wealth, and happiness as you age. Your one-time membership fee secures your lifetime daily benefit, ensuring that your care needs are met now and as your health changes. And while our LPaH is geared toward aging in place under a CCaH, you’ll still benefit from early preparation should you choose to move into a continued care retirement plan.

Want to learn more about how Evergold’s Life Plan at Home could be right for you? Connect with one of our Membership Counselors today.


1. Brookdale Senior Living. What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community?

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Loneliness & Social Isolation Linked to Serious Health Conditions.

3. The cost of continuing care retirement communities: Can you afford it?

4. myLifeSite. A New Case for the Continuing Care at Home Model?

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