Since they were teens, the boomers have done things differently. So it’s no surprise they’re revolutionizing retirement (CCRCs) and reinventing themselves and the senior living field. To meet the needs of this generation senior living communities have transformed from care providers into vibrant villages offering a range of residential options along with new opportunities for creative, educational and personal exploration. Clearly, the name Continuing Care Retirement Community no longer describes the vibrant, forward-looking nature of the contemporary senior living community, which is really
a Life Plan Community.
On November 1, 2015, at the LeadingAge Annual Meeting in Boston, the task force that led the initiative to develop a new category name for Continuing Care Retirement Community (“CCRC”) announced its recommendation that communities adopt the term “Life Plan Community” as the new descriptor.
For many years a significant number of CCRCs have been concerned that the very category name used to describe them actually limits consumer interest. In particular, the terms “continuing care” and “retirement” were perceived to have negative connotations among potential residents leaving them with the impression that communities were only for people that need care and thus are for older, less healthy people. The potential truth of this is evidenced by the continuing increase in the average age of people moving to CCRCs over the last decade. Many communities and organizations have stopped referring to themselves as Continuing Care Retirement Communities altogether, developing their own alternative wording to describe the lifestyle benefits their communities offer.
The goal was to develop a name and compelling messaging to engage those older adults who will be seeking services during the next decade and to encourage prospects to enter CCRCs at a younger age. The name change from CCRC to Life Plan Community switches the emphasis from passive care to active living and planning—a shift that appeals to younger, healthier senior adults.
The agencies and research firms serving on the NameStorm Task Force worked closely together for two years to explore the viability of the existing category name (Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC) among key audiences and to generate and evaluate alternative names. The process involved more than 4,350 consumers and over a hundred CCRC operators. The same rigor was applied to the vetting process and to trademark and legal analysis which culminated with the selection of Life Plan Community as the new category name.
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