Dear ‘Life Plan Community’ Naming Committee,

LeadingAge encourages us to start saying ‘life plan community’ instead of CCRC as the generic label or descriptor.  

We have concerns:

The new descriptor is a long noun string that is not distinctive, with words commonly used by others unrelated to the subject of senior living. Due to length, are people just going to go to the short but discouraged acronym LPC? This would repeat one of the marketing sins of the continuing care retirement community (CCRC) label.  (NameStorm Task Force says we shouldn’t us the LPC acronym. Doesn’t mean people won’t.)

How many repetitions will be required to bury competing but unrelated topics using the same key words deep on page ten on a Google search? (Most of us don’t get past page three of  a web search.) Will competing uses of the same key words for other topics create confusion?
We don’t like CCRC, looking like it comes from the nefarious Department of Acronyms, but at least it is short and used by the academic and regulatory community. CCRC works as an insider term-of-art and was the generic label for consumers by default. Admittedly “care” doesn’t convey the full scope of services offered and may skew consideration to older consumers, but neither does “plan” hit all the consumer motives or community services.

A Life Plan Community is a replacement name for the category currently called Continuing Care Retirement Community.

At a minimum, a Life Plan Community should:

• Offer more than one level of care on a single campus
• Have a focus on an active lifestyle
• Be integrated into the community with an emphasis on giving back and being socially responsible


The goal of the NameStorm Task Force was to develop a name and compelling messaging to engage those older adults who will be seeking services during the next decade and to encourage prospects to enter CCRCs at a younger age. The name change from CCRC to Life Plan Community switches the emphasis from passive care to active living and planning—a shift that appeals to younger, healthier senior adults.

Source:  Lifeplancommunity.org

We doubt if big brands will dilute their own messaging and positioning by emphasizing the new descriptor. We really want to see some prominent early adopters and evidence of success. Our fear is that the big guys will just do their own thing based on better market intelligence than what single site or smaller operators can muster. If that happens, it argues against the success of the new label.

Does the new term appropriately leverage key emerging trends like off-campus services? Provider services are diversifying to offer a variety of on-campus and off-campus services to consumers who are not campus residents. Revenue streams are increasingly coming from services beyond independent living or even progression of residents through levels of care.
Does the new descriptor speak to emerging key partners like integrated health systems or accountable care organizations (ACOs) about the value that CCRC’s can provide to them in serving seniors beyond the clinical setting? Today, CCRCs are experts in senior health and lifestyle services. Increasingly hospitals and physicians need help to timely reach seniors to improve wellness and health outcomes in the time between office visits.

We may have doubts about the new name change to Life Plan Community, but we’re interested to see if it flies. 

What do you think? Is Life Plan Community a good name? Is it better than CCRC? Could we do better?

Life Plan Community, do you like it?