Continuing Care Retirement Communities


Galloway Ridge CCRC

*photo courtesy Galloway Ridge, Chapel Hill, NC


Also known as life-care communities, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, better known as CCRCs, offer housing and health-related services either for life or for a period in excess of one year. Usually, potential residents must be capable of independent living when they enter the community. Most do provide Adult Care Home and/or Nursing Home levels of care so that as a resident's health declines, they are able to continue to live within the community. In some cases, a person is allowed to enter directly into the Adult Care Home and/or Nursing Home levels of care.

The typical CCRC provides independent accommodations that may include full or efficiency apartments, villas, or cluster homes as well as community dining, social and recreational areas, and a wide range of services including meals, housekeeping, transportation, and health-related services.

To find out about the laws governing CCRCs in your state and how to obtain a list of facilities, contact your local Area Agency on Aging.

It may be helpful to use our CCRC checklist to help you evaluate your options and what is offered. CCRCs usually require that you "buy in" or, in other words, you pay a lump sum of money to be able to live there. Then, there is typically a monthly fee similar to rent. Some facilities require that your assets be assigned to them so that when you die, you will not be able to provide for your children or others in your will. Be sure to ask and compare. It may be helpful to have an attorney review any contracts that you sign. Remember, you will be living with your choice for a long time.


In North Carolina, CCRCs offer either nursing home or adult care home levels of service and may provide both. Most CCRCs are private pay and a contract must be signed. They are regulated by the NC Department of Insurance (1-800-546-5664) and are licensed by the state Division of Health Service Regulation (919-733-6650 or 1-800-624-3004) for the adult care home and/or nursing home level of care they provide.

The NC Division of Health Service Regulation, therefore, handles all grievances for both the adult care home and the nursing home levels of care.

The Department of Insurance would handle grievances pertaining to contractual issues and/or independent living.

The North Carolina Department of Insurance lists licensed CCRCs statewide. Please note, however, that facilities do change and the list may not have all available choices. It would make a good place to start your search.

The Department of Insurance also publishes a Reference Guide for CCRCs. This guide is available both online and in hard copy (919-733-5633). The guide has a map of all North Carolina CCRCs, fees, contract and refund options, occupancy, and identifies other amenities such as dementia units, meals, swimming pools, etc. The guide also provides a copy of the law governing CCRCs in North Carolina.



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