Report lowers estimated number of U.S. continuing care retirement communities

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Future shock
Future shock

The number of U.S. continuing care retirement communities—often estimated at around 2,500—is actually fewer than 1,900, according to a new analysis by Ziegler Capital Markets.

The “Ziegler National CCRC Listing and Profile” identifies each of 1,861 CCRCs that were pinpointed during a two-year project that is ongoing, said Kathryn Brod, Ziegler's senior vice president, Senior Living Finance. The 106-page report will formally be released next week, Brod told McKnight's at this week's annual meeting of the American Association of Homes and Services in Chicago. She emphasized that more details will be added in subsequent editions as various stakeholders provide more feedback. The report includes details such as opening dates for many of the campuses.

“Our goal is to show the historical growth of CCRCs,” Brod said.  “It's not a sector that's just emerged.”

Ziegler researchers also intend to include information about all of the facilities' ownership transitions and possible conversions from non-CCRC status. Thus far, 709 communities  (or about 55% of those determined) have been identified as “purposely built CCRCs,” Brod said. About 650 of the total are still to be determined.

Investigators carefully cross-referenced CCRC lists with various other seniors care and housing organizations, Brod said. One reason for confusion over the number of CCRCs stemmed from a late 1990s estimate published by the American Seniors Housing Association that started high and was gradually expanded upon by various stakeholders as they factored in subsequent CCRC openings, she noted.

One eye-opener researchers have discovered, Brod added, is that approximately 30% of the CCRCs now under development are for-profit status, far above the 18% figure for CCRCs already operating.

“That may suggest a shift,” she said.


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