New descriptor, same great community

New descriptor, same great community

Meth-Wick Community is trading its former description as a Continuing Care Retirement Community to embrace a new name that better describes what it truly is: Life Plan Community.

The name change is driven by a nationwide effort to make senior living communities like Meth-Wick more appealing to Baby Boomers, who will begin turning 75 within five years. Nationwide research has shown that the next generation of senior living residents has an unfavorable response to the descriptor “Continuing Care Retirement Community.” The next generation is not focused on the “care” aspect of our community but rather on their life being filled with possiblities and options.

Meth-Wick is eager to join the name change initiative because we agree that the previous name did not reflect the core of the Meth-Wick Community experience. As our President and CEO Robin Mixdorf says, “We are about life, and living life to its fullest.”

Choosing the best name

For many years, those of us in the Continuing Care Retirement Community field have been concerned that the name limited consumer interest. Specifically, many potential residents believed the use of “continuing care” and “retirement” implied that our communities were only for older, less healthy people. We agreed we needed a category name that spoke to the next generation of older adults while promoting the possibility for a healthy and rewarding life in retirement.

With this goal in mind, a task force was led by LeadingAge, our national association of not-for-profit senior living organizations and Mather LifeWays, a not-for-profit organization with two senior living communities. They were assisted by leading marketing and research firms. Hundreds of ideas for a new name were submitted from around the country and the top names were tested for consumer understanding and acceptance. More than 4,100 people nationwide responded to the surveys and more than 250 people participated in the 34 focus groups around the country.

Just to clarify

While Meth-Wick’s title has changed to Life Plan Community, it remains a “fee for service community” as opposed to a Life Care Community, which has a very different financial structure. As we begin to use the term Life Plan Community, we will probably be asked this question on occasion. But we want to reassure everyone that we are simply renaming our adult housing for older adults to reflect the fact that people who move to communities like Meth-Wick tend to be planners.

Why the excitement?

We are excited to welcome this name change because we believe Meth-Wick Community is an ideal option for older adults. As a Life Plan Community we allow “planning” and “living” to merge. Having a plan in place—the availablity of healthcare, coupled with the freedom from the day-to-day tasks of homeownership–-allows our residents to live life to the fullest.

Meth-Wick Community is now a Life Plan Community.