LeadingAge: Start saying 'life plan community' instead of CCRC

CCRC is no longer an "adequate" title, Minnix says
CCRC is no longer an "adequate" title, Minnix says

A new term for continuing care retirement communities titled “life plan community” has been decreed the best fit after a two-year renaming process.

LeadingAge's “Project NameStorm,” conducted in partnership with Mather LifeWays, sought to rebrand CCRCs to improve their overall perception  for the next generation of older adults. A “life plan community” better represents living settings that encourage growth and new experiences, rather than an environment where residents are just being cared for, LeadingAge officials said.

"It speaks a lot to how we are challenging language around aging," said LeadingAge Vice President of Marketing Alishia Parkhill. 

The renaming process incorporated feedback from senior living industry leaders, community residents and the general population. Included were focus groups in seven geographical markets. Out of prospective residents polled, 84% preferred a category name other than CCRC.

The term began being used in the 1980s, but "CCRC didn't really take off," said Sharon Brooks, president and CEO at Brooks Adams Research and SB&A Integrated Marketing.

The next step for Project NameStorm will be to encourage current CCRC operators to adopt the new monicker. An expanded initiative will follow to encourage state regulators, financial markets, rating agencies and investors to transition from using CCRC to life plan community. The hope is within five years, the migration to the new category term will be completed. 

"It's more about defining a category and less about branding or changing a logo," Parkhill explained.