Published Date: Dec 2023


A life plan community, also known as a continuing care retirement community (CCRCs), is a type of retirement community that offers a continuum of care tailored to the evolving needs of seniors as they age. These communities provide independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care all on one campus, allowing residents to age in place without having to relocate as their healthcare needs increase. With the growing senior population worldwide seeking quality lifestyle options, life plan communities have become an attractive choice for many older adults.

What is a Life Plan Community?

A life plan community allows seniors to live independently initially and then transition to higher levels of care, such as assisted living or nursing home care, as they require more support over time. Residents sign a contract that guarantees them housing and healthcare services for the rest of their lives in exchange for an entry fee and recurring monthly fees.

The community usually consists of individual apartments or cottages for independent living, along with a central building that provides dining rooms, common areas, wellness facilities and activities. Assisted living and skilled nursing facilities are also located on campus to meet future long-term care needs. Some key features of a life plan community include:

  • Access to housekeeping, transportation and meal services even in independent living settings.
  • Onsite assisted living facilities with help with daily activities like dressing, bathing, medication reminders etc.
  • Skilled nursing facilities with 24/7 medical care available when high acuity care is needed.
  • Priority access to the continuum of care without needing to leave the community.
  • Shared facilities like libraries, beauty salons, pools, activity rooms and more.
  • Multigenerational programs and involvement opportunities.

Benefits of Life Plan Communities

There are several advantages for aging adults who choose to live in a life plan community:

  • Maintenance-free lifestyle: Residents are relieved from common hassles like home/lawn maintenance, repairs, snow removal etc.
  • Security and safety: Communities offer 24/7 security, emergency response systems and care personnel on grounds.
  • Convenience of care on-campus: Getting access to different care levels without having to relocate is easier on seniors.
  • Social engagement and well-being: Regular activities, events and interactions combat loneliness and support wellness.
  • Financial security: Cost of future care is known upfront through entry and monthly fees despite escalating inflation risks.
  • Peace of mind for family: Their loved ones are well taken care of which reduces long distance caregiving stress.

Popular Life Plan Community Models

Based on contract types and healthcare services offered, life plan communities are categorized into different models:

- Rental Communities: Offers independent apartments, services and access to onsite care facilities without requiring an entry fee.

- Rental-Purchase Communities: Requires an entry fee that can be recouped if leaving. Monthly rents are slightly higher than pure rental ones.

- Equity Life Care Communities: Residents purchase a life interest in their home and entry fees are large but refundable upon vacating less costs.

- Continuing Care Contract Communities: Provides lifetime care for a lumpsum entry fee that's higher than rental communities.

- Life Care Communities: Highest entry fee of $300,000-$500,000 that covers all future healthcare on campus. Most comprehensive offering.

Market Outlook

For more detail on the global Life Plan Communities Market refer Coherent Market Insights website. Factors like growing senior population worldwide, shift towards aging in the community and increasing healthcare costs are fueling growth. North America currently leads the market owing to policy support and availability of life plan communities. Asia Pacific region is also emerging rapidly as lifestyle concepts evolve. However, high initial costs and limited supply are restraining broader adoption so far.


Life plan communities provide a comprehensive solution for independent and assisted living needs of aging adults. Their continuum of care approach allows seniors to age gracefully in a secure, social and low maintenance environment. With the global senior citizen demographic on the rise, such communities aim to revolutionize senior housing choices through innovative lifestyle-focused models and resources to support healthy aging. Their appeal is expected to rise manifold in the coming decades.