LeadingAge has ditched the term CCRC and is proposing that the senior care industry adopt the term "Life Plan Community" instead, saying it more truly reflects the new senior and the new senior care models.
The term CCRC, or "continuing care retirement community," has been point of contention for years. In addition to being a mouthful, the term is loaded with hues of meaning that indicate a stepping away from life (retirement) and being dependent (continuing care.) These are not the vibes today's seniors want to engage with, said David Gehm, LeadingAge board chair as he unveiled the new term to the 8,500 attendees at this week's LeadingAge Annual Meeting and Expo in Boston. "How do they think about it? They say, 'It's my life. It's my plan. It's my community.'"
Project NameStorm, a joint initiative between LeadingAge and MatherLifeWays almost two years ago, included months of research and conversations about what this category of senior living should be called. The project's research showed that today's seniors are all about moving forward, not shrinking back; and are more interested in reinvention and rejuvination than in retirement.
“It became clear that the name CCRC no longer did an adequate job of creating the best perception among tomorrow’s older adults,” said LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix. “At the core of the decision to move to a community is having the right plan for what the next stage of life has to offer. We feel the ‘Life Plan Community’ name encompasses that very well.”
The next phase of the initiative will be to encourage widespread use of the new name with current CCRC operators. Soon to follow will be an initiative regarding current usage of the name in state regulations, financial markets, rating agencies, and by institutional investors. Retirement communities can find tools and resources about how to begin a new conversation around Life Plan Community name at LifePlanCommunity.org with research reports.
Pamela Tabar was editor-in-chief of I Advance Senior Care from 2013-2018. She has worked as a writer and editor for healthcare business media since 1998, including as News Editor of Healthcare Informatics. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Kent State University and a master’s degree in English from the University of York, England.