As you settle into your retirement years, you have so many lifestyle options. One of the most secure and flexible is an accredited continuing care retirement community such as Westminster Village North. A CCRC assures you lifelong security and care in the environment you choose, regardless of your future physical or financial needs. But it also can seem a bit complicated and even confusing until you understand exactly how it works. We prepared this list of frequently asked questions to address some of the most common – and most important – questions people have when they first encounter Westminster Village North and the CCRC model.
Westminster Village North is an accredited, nonprofit, nondenominational CCRC community offering a full continuum of care. Our lifestyle options include traditional cottages, attached homes and spacious apartments for active, independent adults; licensed assisted living apartments for those who require more support; two levels of memory care, including both early to mid-stage and individuals with more advanced disease; rehabilitation and therapy; and a licensed health care center certified by both Medicare and Medicaid. All of these services are offered on a beautiful and historic 57-acre campus conveniently located on the northeast side of Indianapolis, just minutes from Castleton Square, Geist Reservoir, the Community North Health Network campus, and the ever-expanding opportunities of the former Fort Benjamin Harrison property.
In a very real sense, our residents are the owners of Westminster Village North. There are no other shareholders, no investors, no one who profits from the ethical management, financial integrity and quality services of the Village except our residents. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, Westminster Village North is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors. It is managed by a qualified, caring staff of professionals and caregivers who report directly to that Board through a State licensed Executive Director. There is no corporate ownership, no absentee management company, no entity or person standing between the Village and its residents.
The Board of Directors reviews the Monthly Service Fee each year during the annual budget process, and typically increases the MSF to reflect actual operating costs of the community. Residents receive at least thirty (30) days notice of any increase. All fees, including the MSF, are maintained at the lowest possible level that ensures responsible stewardship and fiscal integrity.
Rulings by the Internal Revenue Service indicate a portion of both your Life Occupancy Fee and your ongoing Monthly Service Fee may be tax deductible as pre-paid medical expense. Each January, our business office will provide you with a statement indicating the portion of your MSF that may qualify for this deduction. This is a benefit you should discuss with your tax adviser … and it’s available only when you reside in a CCRC!
Our Concierge Service provides an extensive menu of additional services available to create a pampered lifestyle for our residents. You can call upon the Concierge or directly to any staff department to arrange:
Although originally affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, Westminster Village North is now non-denominational. Still, enhancing the spiritual life of our residents is an important part of our mission, and we provide a full-time staff chaplain to coordinate those efforts. The chaplain offers regular Bible study, and health center and hospital visitation, and is available to meet with residents and families on request. Additionally, ministers and pastors from several denominations rotate to lead our weekly Vesper services, and other denominations regularly provide denominational services on campus. We also offer a lovely meditation room for the private use of residents and families, and many families choose to host memorials for loved ones in our library, social hall or other special places on our campus. It is our goal to provide spiritual services that represent the needs and desires of all our residents, and to ensure that each resident’s faith is accommodated and respected.
As a full continuing care retirement community, we are committed to helping our residents maintain their good health and to meeting an extensive range of health care needs. We offer:
At Westminster Village North, we believe in the concept of aging in place, so we permit our residents to engage home health care workers if they choose to remain in their apartment home or cottage despite failing health. We recognize, though, that not all residents wish to absorb that expense, and some prefer to move naturally through the WVN continuum of care. In many cases, residents tell us when they feel they would be more comfortable with additional support and care. Ultimately, the decision is carefully, professionally and lovingly made by an interdisciplinary team that includes our medical director, nursing and wellness staff, and social services in consultation with the resident, and the resident’s family and physician.
Most stays in the Westminster Village North health center are temporary, for rehabilitation after an accident or surgery. In fact, in recognition of that, all life occupancy residents are offered seven free days in the health center each year. When a transfer is permanent, however, it makes sense for residents to give up their apartment home or cottage and the attendant expense. For example, if one spouse permanently moves to the health center, the MSF for the other spouse is reduced to reflect single occupancy of the apartment home.
Westminster Village North is conveniently close to the Community Health Network north campus, including Community Hospital North and the Indiana Heart Hospital. Because so many of our residents choose that system for their care, we provide a free shuttle service to that campus on Monday and Tuesday of each week so residents can schedule appointments with specialists there without concern about transportation. However, metropolitan Indianapolis is blessed with several quality medical and hospital systems, and you are free to place your medical needs in the care of whichever one you choose. Among the convenient choices are St. Vincent Health & Hospital, the Clarian Hospitals network (both Methodist Hospital downtown and the north campus), St. Francis Hospital, Riverview Hospital in nearby Noblesville, Community Hospital East and the Roudebush VA Medical Center on the campus of IUPUI.
When you choose to become an independent resident at Westminster Village North, you pay a Life Occupancy Fee (LOF) – a one-time fee based on the type of accommodation you initially choose. Additionally, residents pay a Monthly Service Fee (MSF) based on the level of care they are receiving.
Life Occupancy is our assurance that you have a home in the Village for as long as you choose – even as long as you live – whether you can afford to pay the Monthly Service Fee or not. Once you are a life occupant at Westminster Village North, you are assured that you cannot outlive your assets. Whether you remain in your independent cottage or apartment home, or require more costly care in assisted living or our health center, you will continue to live right here at the Village, among your friends and neighbors. Just as important, your privacy and dignity will be protected. Your financial situation is invisible to staff and other residents. As one resident so eloquently said, “It’s like a great big security blanket wrapped around me!”
That depends. There are two ways to pay your Life Occupancy Fee. The standard LOF is depreciable over 48 months for an apartment home resident, 60 months for a cottage resident. If you move or pass away during that time, a depreciating amount of your LOF will be returned to you or your estate. Some residents choose our alternate Return of Equity life occupancy fee. Although initially more expensive, the ROE option returns up to eighty percent (80%) of the LOF to you or your estate when you pass away or if you ever decide to move elsewhere. The return is made as soon as your apartment home or cottage is re-occupied.
When you reside in an independent apartment home at Westminster Village North, your Monthly Service Fee covers almost every living expense you have:
An active Residents’ Council represents residents of the Village and gives them an opportunity to communicate as a group on many issues vital to the quality of life at Westminster Village North. The Executive Director hosts a monthly meeting open to all residents, and attends the monthly Residents’ Council meeting to respond to questions and concerns. Other director-level staff, including dietary and development, meet regularly with residents, as well, and residents also serve on many committees of the Board of Directors, including Aesthetics, Marketing, and Buildings and Grounds. Most important, though, executive leadership are reachable at all times to respond in emergency situations, and our “open door” policy provides a level of personal accountability and responsibility that assures residents access to decision-makers for prompt, thoughtful and respectful action.
Residency in the independent apartment homes and cottages at Westminster Village North is limited to those age 62 or better. Each prospective resident must show results of a recent chest x-ray evidencing no communicable disease, and be assessed by our nursing staff as appropriate for independent living. Only those individuals who are capable of independent living without assistance are accepted for residency. In the case of a couple, one partner may serve as caregiver for the other, but the couple must function as an independent unit. Individuals who assess as appropriate for licensed assisted living can be accepted as either life occupancy residents or rental residents in our assisted living accommodations. Those who require temporary rehabilitative care or long-term health care are eligible for admission to the Westminster Village North health center, but life occupancy residency is not an option for health center admission from outside the Village.