Prefer Your Home to a Retirement Community? Check Out CCAHs

By Kathie Miller, Corporate Director of Marketing & Communications

Quite often, when people think about retirement options that include continuing care, their minds immediately go to Life Plan Communities. Formerly called “Continuing Care Retirements Communities” or “CCRCs” for short, they have become a familiar option to many who plan for the long-term. But for all those who consider moving to a community, there are also many more who would much prefer to age in the home they’ve known and loved for years, often decades. In fact, according to AARP, 77% of adults over the age of 50 express a desire to stay put, even though more than half of them realize that might not be feasible.

But what if staying home were feasible?

While most people considering their long-term options are familiar with CCRCs, few are aware of CCAHs—Continuing Care at Home programs. Goodwin House at Home (GHAH) is such a program, and the only one of its kind in Northern Virginia. Launched in 2014, GHAH is modeled after the care and services provided at Goodwin House Alexandria and Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads.

We’re often surprised to learn that people who are very familiar with Goodwin House still feel unfamiliar with Goodwin House at Home. So, we thought we’d help explain it.

The professionals at CLA, a professional services company that supports the evolving needs of providers who serve aging adults, gave us permission to post the article below by one of their consulting directors, Cathy Schweiger. It provides a thorough explanation of CCAHs and the ways in which they help older adults age in their homes. (This article was originally published on the CLA website in 2017.)

Continuing Care at Home: An Innovative Approach to Long-Term Care Planning

By Cathy Schweiger

While many people purchase life insurance to provide for their loved ones following death, few have made plans for their own long-term care needs.

The majority of older adults express a desire to age at home, but few understand how to pay for long-term care and where to turn for help for retirement and financial planning. Membership in a continuing care (or life care) at home program addresses these issues and provides reassurance that your needs will be met and your financial assets will be protected.

What is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care is primarily non-medical care that focuses on personal care needs. Frequently referred to as activities of daily living (ADLs), these needs include basic tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating, using the toilet, transferring, and caring for incontinence.

Long-term care may also assist with instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), or non-personal care duties, which support independent functioning. IADLs include tasks such as taking medication, performing household chores, and paying bills.

Long-Term Care Costs

Consumers are often surprised by the costs associated with long-term care services. A number of factors can impact the overall cost, including geographic region and specific care needs. Here are some estimated care costs, listed by type of long-term care and average annual cost of care: 

  • Four hours of daily home care = $5,000 – $35,000 / year
  • Assisted living and memory care support = $40,000 – $60,000 / year
  • Skilled nursing = $80,000 – $100,000 / year

Many people mistakenly believe their long-term care needs will be paid for by government programs or their private health insurance. In fact, Medicare and private health insurance do not provide for custodial (long-term) care and typically cover only short-term skilled care for improving conditions. Medicaid also cannot be accessed until income and assets fall below state established limits.

Having to pay unexpectedly for long-term care can derail otherwise solid financial planning, and for couples, funding long-term care for one spouse can leave the other in a difficult financial position.

What Does Continuing Care at Home Mean?

Continuing care at home programs are life care membership programs that offer the security and services provided to retirement community residents, but to consumers who want to live at home. Members pay an up-front fee (typically ranging from $15,000 to $50,000) and monthly service fees (ranging from $300 to $600) for guaranteed access to a comprehensive package of future care and services.

Through this service package, which addresses the holistic needs of the member, continuing care at home programs support members to remain at home as their care needs increase. Comprehensive continuing care at home programs provide an additional level of protection by allowing members to transition (without additional fees) into facility-based personal care, memory support, or skilled nursing if it becomes unsafe or economically infeasible for the member to receive care at home.

During the late 1980s, grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts enabled a joint venture of Pennsylvania Quaker organizations to explore continuing care at home as a means of supporting participants as they age in place. Continuing care at home programs have evolved and are now offered in various forms by over 30 senior living providers across the country, including Goodwin House at Home.

Benefits of Continuing Care at Home

Continuing care at home programs offer the following:

Members enjoy a personal relationship with a knowledgeable care coordinator who proactively manages the member’s care needs, assisting the member to live independently and secure the necessary care to maintain independence as the member ages.

Consumers exert greater control and autonomy in decisions about their care and are free from the worries associated with becoming a burden to their children.

A large portion of the fees may be considered an itemized tax deduction for prepayment of future health care expenses.

Benefits are frequently portable, allowing members the flexibility to relocate to be closer to loved ones.

Services can be accessed on a temporary or permanent basis.

Programs can be integrated with long-term care insurance, either through providing care that is not covered by the insurance or by using the insurance to reimburse program fees (once the long-term care insurance qualification is met).

Members can choose from multiple contract options to best meet their needs and personal financial situation.

Will You Need Long-Term Care?

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than two thirds of individuals over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care. The average duration of care varies with age, gender, medical history, and living arrangements, but on average, women will need care for 3.7 years as compared to 2.2 years for men. Government estimates indicate that one in five persons 65 and older will require care for more than five years.

About CLA

CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen) financial advisers and tax professionals support older adults in planning for their long-term care needs. Goodwin House Incorporated uses CLA for specialized services related to senior living and care organizations.

This article was originally published at The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended, and should not be construed, as legal, accounting, investment, or tax advice or opinion provided by CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CLA) to the reader. For more information, visit