Retirement Communities Meet Variety of Needs
Kansas City Star (06/22/02) p.47; Blobaum, Melodee Hall

Retirees looking for smaller, maintenance-free places to live out the rest of their lives often choose "life care" or "continuing care" communities, which offer various levels of service like maintenance-provided townhomes, assisted-living apartments, and skilled nursing facilities. These communities generally charge an entry fee ranging from about $55,000 to upwards of $300,000 depending on the size and type of unit, as well as monthly fees for services. Continuing care communities are unique because they do not require residents to move to a different location when the type of care they require changes. Moreover, they are not forced to leave even when their money runs out, which significantly benefits middle and upper-middle class couples when one needs nursing home services. Michael Levine, development and public relations director for Overland Park, Kan.-based Village Shalom, says residents choose only the services they need, such as medication reminders or assistance with bathing and dressing. Meanwhile, Prairie Village's Claridge Court marketing director Bette Blitzer says residents find the amenities offered by these communities expand their lives. Claridge Court, for instance, has a 40,000-square-foot clubhouse with a dining room and library and transports residents to concerts, plays, and other events. Marriott's Forum at Overland Park Senior Living Community also features a dining room, a variety of dinner and lunch entrees, and room service.

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