Life plan community is new name for CCRC

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The LifePlanCommunity.org website
The LifePlanCommunity.org website

The clouds have parted, and life plan community is the new name for continuing care retirement community that has arisen from the CCRC Namestorm initiated by LeadingAge and Mather LifeWays, the owner and operator of several CCRCs. The name was announced by outgoing LeadingAge Board of Directors Chair David Gehm at the opening general session of the organization's annual meeting Sunday.

“It became clear that the name CCRC no longer did an adequate job of creating the best perception among tomorrow's older adults,” said LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix. “At the core of the decision to move to a community is having the right plan for what the next stage of life has to offer. We feel the ‘life plan community' name encompasses that very well.”

A new website, LifePlanCommunity.org, has been launched with tools and resources designed to help retirement communities begin to educate prospective residents and others about the new name. Research reports and other information will be posted in the future.

The announcement is the culmination of the CCRC Namestorm process—its name a play on the word brainstorm—that began almost two years ago. The organizations sought feedback from corporate and industry leaders and polled more than 4,000 current and prospective community residents in all 50 states as well as the general population. Thirty-four focus groups in seven markets, with a total of 250 participants, shed light on how the CCRC name is perceived.

The results indicated that the words “continuing care” suggest a setting where older adults are cared for rather than a setting that also fosters growth and new experiences. In fact, 84% of prospective residents aged 65 or fewer years said they preferred a name other than CCRC for the category.

The next phase of the initiative will be to encourage widespread use of the new name (and not just the letters LPC) with CCRC operators, including for-profit CCRCs that are not members of LeadingAge. Almost 2,000 senior living communities currently call themselves CCRCs, and 80% of them are LeadingAge members.

Those involved with the initiative also will work to have the name recognized by state regulators, those who work in financial markets and rating agencies and institutional investors.

“We are pleased that the new name resonates with the current and next generation of older adults in a meaningful way, by fitting their lifestyles and attitudes,” said Mary Leary, president and CEO of Mather LifeWays. “We are looking forward to adopting the term in our communities.”

In addition to LeadingAge and its members, also participating in the process were marketing and advertising agencies Brooks Adams Research, GlynnDevins, Love & Company, SB&A Integrated Marketing and Varsity.

More 2015 LeadingAge annual meeting coverage:

Minnix, mayor, merit: LeadingAge day one

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