Episode 006: What is a CCRC, IL, AL, SNU, SA, MC? — Time for some Senior Care alphabet soup!

Episode Description:

Host Zack Demopoulos invites Barbara Davey as a guest to discuss what is a CCRC, IL, AL, SNU, SA and MC–all long-term care options that one day an aging parent or adult may need.  Barbara is a Community Relations Director for a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).

Show Notes:

  • Guest Barbara Davey opens with advice – be prepared if anything should happen with your loved one. Is there a plan in your head if they cannot stay where they are living now? Also, try to start a conversation.   Be careful not to tread on their freedom – you must respect that.
  • April is Stress Awareness Month. Stress is very high with caregivers.  Please be sure to take the time this month and be good to yourself by relieving the stress in your life or help someone with their stress.
  • Barbara states working with Medicare patients that it is likely you will be told Mom should be discharged, Dad must leave in 48 hours, what do you do?
  • There is a “slippery slope” conversation about aging that eventually will need to happen with your aging parents. Once they become 85, it can be challenging.
  • Difficult to have conversations with your parents. Try the “hypothetical” approach.
  • It was estimated there were 1900 CCRC’s in U.S. in 2010 according to the report, Today’s Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) by JE Zarem
  • The five levels that make up a CCRC or Continuing Care Retirement Community are Independent living or IL, Assisted Living or AL, Skilled Nursing Unit or SNU (sometimes also called a nursing home), Subacute rehab or SA, and Memory Care or MC.
  • Independent Living does not mean it is a 55+ adult active community. There are residents that may need a wheelchair or a walker.
  • Ideal resident is someone in late 70’s early 80’s good health, pick out floor plan, maybe still drive maybe not, have some more socialization with their peers, having back up with meals in dining room, having a doctor or nurse on staff. Not an ideal resident would be someone who wants to stay home, alone, have help come there.  They allow pets!
  • Assisted Living is a transition from Independent Living. Meals are prepared in common dining area, make sure you do not get dehydrated, medications given to you, daily housekeeping.
  • Skilled Nursing has 3 levels of care, one very dependent, one not as dependent, and one in the middle.
  • ADL is activity of daily living. Important metric in the “slippery slope conversation” such as transferring from wheelchair to the bed.
  • Subacute Rehab is for knee hip repair, 24 hour antibiotics. Differs from acute which is more urgent, emergency.  Seniors recover process is not as quick so subacute is crucial in the whole continuum.
  • Fifth one is Memory Care.
  • Different types of facilities and their descriptions are provided in resources below.
  • Social worker will suggest places to go, such as a subacute. Drive to these locations and get a feel for them.  Ask for director of rehab, ask them how many times Mom or Dad will have rehab.  Very important of experience.  Is nursing staff four star or five star.  Can find this information on CMS site.  Site is in resource below.
  • Important factor is to look at staff. Are they disinterested, annoyed at call bell?  Accidents (smell of urine) can happen.  Should not be discarded just because of this unless it is a chronic issue.
  • There are resources you can use (links below) to find some of these places: Seniors Blue Book online, local office of Aging, pastor minister rabbi
  • Barbara shares a story of how appreciative a family is that her CCRC has taken good care of their parents especially now that their mother passed away.
  • 9 Beginner Steps to Raising Parents include Be Respectful, Be Loving, Be There.
  • Raising ‘Rents podcast will take a short break and be back on May 2nd.
  • If you like Raising ‘Rents, please go on iTunes and write us a review. View Raising ‘Rents in iTunes, click on Ratings and Reviews, click on “Write a Review”. (Click here)
  • If you have questions, feedback, a story you want to share, or want to be a guest on the show, please contact Zack. (Click here)

Links Referenced:


  • Raising ‘Rents Intro and Ending music by Arthaiz
  • Other music: “A new beginning” and “Inspiration” by BENSOUND
  • Daughter Anastasia Demopoulos does the opening voice over
  • Thank you to guests Barbara Davey
  • Website developed and managed by Philip Golden

Raising ‘Rents Podcast is made possible by the support of ComForCare, a national home care provider who truly helps you live your best life possible.  (visit website here)