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Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

An illustrious past meets an exceptional future. We are committed to creating meaningful lives of purposeful engagement for every resident as well as those who serve them.

Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Friday, December 7, 2018

Considering a Continuing Care Retirement Community? Here are Four Key Aspects of the Decision Process.

Contract Details:

There are a number of different types of residency contracts available. The vast majority of CCRCs require an entry fee and monthly fees. These fees are impacted by factors such as the size of the home or apartment, location, available services and other amenities. Yet the fees are also based, in part, on what you will pay for assisted living and healthcare services when needed. 

Some residency contracts state that your monthly fees will remain relatively level over the course of your lifetime, except for inflationary increases, regardless of whether you are living independently or require care services. Other residency contracts may require a smaller entry fee and possibly even lower monthly fees, but if you ever require care services your monthly fees will increase to reflect the market cost of care at that time. Still yet, there are other contracts that are essentially a blend of these two. 

In addition to the types of residency contracts available, many providers also offer refundable entry fee contracts. These contracts essentially pay back some portion of the entry fee if the resident moves out or at death. The tradeoff: entry fees are almost always higher for a refundable entry fee contract and may be contingent on the resale of your residence.   

Westminster at Lake Ridge has a Type C- Fee for Service contract, which means we have an entrance fee and a monthly fee. Our entrance fees have three different refundable plans: 90%, 50% and declining. Our monthly fees depend on the size and location of the apartment. As a person continues through the continuum, you fees depends on the services needed. 

Financial Stability of CCRC

The financial stability of a CCRC will determine if it is in position to fulfill its long-term commitment to provide housing and health care to residents for life. Do your research to learn about the community’s occupancy ratio, history of operations, financial ratios and the experience and expertise of its management. Consult with a financial or tax professional for additional guidance. 


Location, culture, programs, and other services and amenities should align with your personal preferences. After all, this is where you are going to live and you want to be happy there. Consider whether the lifestyle offered will help your thrive in mind, body, and spirit. 

Things to look for and observe. Observe whether residents seem involved in the community and respected by staff? Are activities mainly resident-driven or staff-driven? This can indicate the vitality of the resident base, or lack thereof. Is there up-to-date technology, including wi-fi in common areas and in the residences? Also, are meals only available at scheduled times or are their flexible meal time and menus? 

Health care

Although most people are attracted to CCRCs by the independent living features, the ultimate reason for considering this type of retirement community and paying an entry fee is the peace of mind that comes with having priority access to healthcare. Here are some key questions to ask:


  • Does the community appear to take pride in the care that makes available to residents?
  • What sets the community’s care center apart from other providers?
  • If there is a record of complaints against the CCRC, can you review it? If skilled nursing care is offered in a Medicare-certified center (versus private pay only), consult the CMS star rating on
  • Has the healthcare facility received any special awards or special recognition for quality of care?
  • Ask about staff turnover in the health care center. A high turnover rate may indicate an unhappy staff, which could translate into poor care delivery.


More and more, the term Continuing Care Retirement Community is being supplanted by the term Life Plan Community. That’s fitting, because it better describes how the retirement years are a time for reinventing your life. Today’s retirees want to get the most out of every minute. They look forward to new possibilities and plan for active, engaged lives. Westminster at Lake Ridge encourages participation and engagement by providing multiple opportunities to grow, learn and maintain wellness, along with the peace of mind of knowing that your future needs will be met. 

If you would like to learn more about this unique retirement community, please call us at 703-357-9604, plan on joining us for one of our upcoming special events, or request more information here.


The above article was written by Brad Breeding of myLifeSite and is legally licensed for use.


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