A Michigan retirement community has designed a program aimed at providing a comprehensive continuum of care to people—similar to what’s generally available at a continuing care retirement community—all without asking them to leave their homes.
The program works by charging an upfront membership fee (the equivalent to an “entrance fee” for traditional CCRCs) along with monthly payments, and would provide services ranging from home care to skilled nursing care.
Called Avenues by Porter Hills, the program is designed to deliver the continuing care services of a retirement community to a client’s home — and at a lower cost than if the client bought a home on campus.
According to a 2005 AARP survey, 89 percent of older adults prefer to remain in their homes as they age. Porter Hills’ new program aims to help that group “avoid the worry of ‘Who is going to take care of me?’” said JoAnn Abraham, vice president of marketing at Porter Hills.
“Porter Hills for years has provided assistance for people in what is a life-lease kind of arrangement in which people pay an upfront fee to come into care,” said Larry Yachcik, the chief executive officer of Porter Hills Retirement Communities and Services. Residents move into an independent living apartment or house and, if their health declines, move into assisted living, long-term care or hospice care.Advertisement
The new program is “altogether different from that,” Yachcik said. “We can probably provide at-home care for the rest of their natural life and not ever have to go into a nursing home or assisted living home.”
Only 12 similar programs existed in the country before Porter Hills launched Avenues on July 1, Yachcik said. The programs are known in the industry as continuing-care retirement communities “without walls,” according to a Wall Street Journal article. Depending on the services included, they can be an alternative to long-term care insurance.
The Porter Hills organization currently serves nearly 1,000 residents in nine communities in Kent County, Michigan, says the article, and it hasn’t yet enrolled anyone into its new program.
In recent months, the community has launched a home health care program and a hospice program in partnership with other care providers.
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Written by Alyssa Gerace