If you’re exploring this option, be sure to visit not just one, but multiple CCRCs if possible — doing so several times on different days of the week, different times of day and even in different months of the year. That will give you a true understanding of what it would be like to live there.

Before you sign any papers, here are 30 questions you should ask:

1. Who owns the facility?
2. Who manages and maintains it?
3. What is the initial deposit?
4. Is the deposit refundable?
5. If refundable, how secure is the guarantee to refund your deposit?
6. What will happen to the guarantee if the facility runs into financial difficulties?
7. Can monthly fees increase?
8. Are rate increases applied to all residents when they occur?
9. What has been the history of fee increases — amounts and frequency?
10. What will be the monthly fee if higher levels of care are needed?
11. If one spouse needs more care than the other, how will that change the monthly fee and their living arrangement?
12. Who determines when you need to move to a higher level of care?
13. What happens to your original unit when you move to a higher level of care?
14. What would be the maximum cost if both spouses needed the highest level of care?
15. Will you need to leave if you can no longer make your payments?
16. If you can no longer pay, how quickly must you leave?
17. Does the CCRC have any resources to cover your fees if you can’t pay?
18. What extra costs might you incur if you are temporarily incapacitated — such as for transportation, laundry, help with medications, delivery of meals to your room, etc.?
19. What medical services are available on the premises?
20. Is short-term rehabilitation provided — and at what cost?
21. Under what circumstances might you need to pay for outside nursing assistance?
22. Can the facility handle dementia and Alzheimer’s conditions on the premises?
23. Are you guaranteed assisted living and nursing home care on the premises, or might you be moved to an outside facility for that?
24. Is the CCRC certified by the Continuing Care Accreditation Commission?
25. Is it certified by Medicare?
26. Is it certified by Medicaid?
27. What are the terms for ending the contract, either by you or by the CCRC?
28. Will you receive up-to-date financial statements and contract terms?
29. What occupancy rate is needed for break-even operations?
30. What is the current occupancy rate?