The ‘Where’ of Aging: Rethinking and Rebranding

Our first entry in a new occasional series, “The ‘Where’ of Aging,” about Longboat Key resident Maureen Stark’s move at 82 to a continuing-care retirement community, evoked a flood of reader response.

“Your article got me to thinking that I must, as much as I don’t want to, start planning for the inevitable,” wrote an 86-year-old who lives alone in “a beautiful, gated golf course community on the Manatee River.” In our email exchange, we agreed that no matter how you prefer to spend your final chapters, the outcome is generally better if you put thought into it while you can.

I also heard from Harry Hobson, CEO of Plymouth Harbor, one of this region’s many nonprofit communities that offer a continuum of support to elder residents. He called with excellent news: No longer will I have to type out that long descriptor for this housing option, or stumble through its ugly acronym, CCRC. The new name for these places, adopted Sunday at an industry meeting in Boston: “Life Plan Community.”

Less of a mouthful, and a clearer description of the concept.

Hobson participated in a survey effort by LeadingAge, an association of not-for-profit aging service providers, and Mather LifeWays, a not-for-profit organization that operates what we can now call LPCs. The conclusion from a year of feedback: “Continuing care” has a connotation that able adults don’t like applying to themselves.

Read the full article here