“Life Plan Community” Emerges as New Category Name for CCRC to Improve Overall Perception with Next Generation of Older Adults

March 23, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.: In response to a clear and pressing need to rename and reposition the category name used by nearly 2,000 U.S. continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), an almost two-year process is resulting in change.

LeadingAge, an association of not-for-profit aging services providers, and Mather LifeWays, a not-forprofit organization which owns and operates CCRCs, led the initiative in partnership with Brooks Adams Research, GlynnDevins, Love & Company, SB&A Integrated Marketing, and Varsity. “Project NameStorm” concluded with the recommendation that owners and operators of these communities use the name “Life Plan Community.”

Results of the initiative were announced during the LeadingAge Annual Meeting and EXPO in Boston during a general session of membership.

“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.”

The comprehensive process included soliciting feedback from corporate and industry leaders. It also involved polling community residents and prospects, as well as the general population. Focus groups were conducted in seven distinct markets with the intention to better understand how the CCRC name is perceived.

The results indicated that the phrase “continuing care” suggests a setting that involves older adults being cared for, rather than a setting that also fosters growth and new experiences. In fact, 84% of future consumers age 65 and younger chose a name other than CCRC for the category name.

 “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.”

The next phase of the initiative will be to encourage widespread use of the new name with current CCRC operators. Soon to follow will be an initiative regarding current usage of the name in state regulations, financial markets, rating agencies, and by institutional investors. Retirement communities can find tools and resources about how to begin a new conversation around Life Plan Community name at LifePlanCommunity.org with research reports and more soon to follow in the months ahead. 

Article from LeadingAge