A Life Plan Community: Your Life. Your Plan. Your Community.

As the wave of aging baby boomers enters the market for senior living (10,000 turn age 65 every day), these “younger” older adults are revolutionizing the traditional views of retirement and reshaping the language used in the senior living field.

I recently served on a panel discussion to address this major shift in the senior market at the annual PEAK Leadership Summit of not-for-profit senior living executives in Washington DC. The Summit is hosted each year by LeadingAge, the national association of nonprofit aging services organizations.

In this panel, we focused on the senior living field’s current movement to begin using the term “Life Plan Community” in place of “Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC).” (See LeadingAge panel video.)

I believe renaming the CCRC category is a shift in the right direction. Although seniors over the last 10 years have wanted something different from senior communities, certainly today’s seniors are reinventing the way they approach this phase of their lives and the senior living field’s terminology should reflect this revolution.

What is a “CCRC?”

The name “Continuing Care Retirement Community” — or CCRC — was coined 35 years ago to describe the senior communities that provide a combination of independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. These communities provide the full continuum of senior care all on one campus, making it easier and more convenient for the residents as their health care needs change.

But the term CCRC doesn’t really communicate the vibrant, active and engaged nature of our communities.

From “Continuing Care Retirement Community” to Life Plan Community”

I see the term “Life Plan Community” doing a better job of capturing the vision of what seniors are looking for. Prospective and new residents are used to planning. They’ve planned for all phases of their lives and this is no different.

A Life Plan Community is one that speaks to forward planners who want to fully engage in life now, but also have a plan in place that will meet their future care needs, when and if they are needed.

Also, the term “Life Plan” more effectively conveys the sense of purpose and passion for life our residents exhibit on a daily basis. It’s more representative of the intentionality displayed when seniors think about what is most important to them as they plan for their future.

Certain words do convey more emotion than others. Certain words help build a greater sense of connection than others. And the new term “Life Plan Community” actually invites a conversation. When I’m at social events and say, “I work for a “Life Plan Community,” I can actively engage people into a conversation.

The Word “Community” Stays the Same
Ultimately, it’s the connection of people that we’re really talking about: a community of people who share the goal of living an engaged and fulfilling life; of living life with an impact; and living life with a purpose.
So when you look at the two category names, the one word in both names that remains the same is “community.”
This is certainly what you will experience here at Lenbrook. We refer to it as “The Lenbrook Difference.” You feel it the minute you enter the front door – the palpable energy, vibrancy and strong sense of community demonstrated by our residents, associates, management and board.
We’ve launched a new billboard that sums it up nicely: “Your Life. Your Plan. Experience the Lenbrook Difference.” It’s simple and it’s bold. In fact, one of Lenbrook’s board members described it as “electrifying.” 
You can see our billboards through early summer in Buckhead, rotating along various points on Peachtree Road just north of north of Mathieson Road and just south of Peachtree Battle shopping center.
When you see the billboards, I’d love to hear what kind of impression you think they make, and the words you would use to describe them. Feel free to reach out to me at 404-233-3000 or [email protected].
Chris Keysor is President and Chief Executive Officer of Lenbrook. His passion for the senior living industry began early in his career as a CPA with KPMG Peat Marwick. Chris progressed in executive responsibilities over the years, working for a senior healthcare provider, healthcare financing organizations and senior living consulting groups. Chris is also a nationally ranked Ironman triathlete, which he says comes in handy raising his two young children with his wife here in Atlanta.