NY Times: Faith Based Senior Living Makes Comeback

After getting rocked by the downturn in the economy over the last few years, continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) are making a comeback, reports the New York Times

While still a small portion of the overall market for senior living, CCRCs are seeing an increase in occupancy and development says Ziegler, an investment bank based in Chicago.

Occupancy rates reached 90% nationally by the end of 2013 and even higher in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Eighteen new continuing care retirement communities are expected to open this year and next, up from a forecast of eight initially projected last September.

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Gradual growth is expected after 2015, on the order of 15 to 30 new developments a year, said Daniel Hermann, the head of investment banking at Ziegler. He estimated that residents of such communities represent just 3% to 5% of people who can afford them.

The number of CCRCs has reached roughly 1,900 and about 80% of those communities are run by non-profits, with about 75% of those being run by faith-based organizations. 

Larry Minnix, president of LeadingAge, said over the next 10 years there will be more attention being placed on lower-income people as well as the option of receiving services in the privacy of their own home. Ultimately, Mr. Minnix told the Times, he expects the “R” for retirement to be dropped from C.C.R.C.

“If you take the image of older people and retirement off it, these places have a lot of appeal to baby boomers,” he said. “They’re used to quality, convenience, to come and go as you please.”

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Written by John Yedinak

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