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Things To Know Q&A

Residential Living

1. What are the benefits of living in a Life Plan Community like Souderton Mennonite Homes or Dock Woods?

Any one of our staff, residents, and families could share first-hand experiences of the full and active lives our residents lead in a community like Living Branches. A comprehensive list of benefits would create a rather lengthy webpage (and we discover new ones all the time!), so here some of the top benefits we see on a daily basis:

  • Social Connections – Our communities provide endless opportunities to develop close friendships and personal growth. Join bike club. Share a meal with friends. Enjoy a trip to Lancaster. Play croquet, bocce, or shuffleboard. The choices are endless!
  • Carefree Living – Find freedom from home maintenance and repair – allowing you more time to do the things you love – and to try something you’ve never done before.
  • A Healthier Life – Convenient access to fitness activities, delicious dining opportunities, and a busy social calendar ensure that mind, body and soul are nourished on a daily basis.
  • Peace of Mind – Our continuum of care ensures that you can remain in your own home independently for as long as possible. We offer the ability to move smoothly from one level of care to another, and back again – so you can live life to the fullest, without worrying about your future.

2. Is it affordable to live in one of the Living Branches communities?

We offer a wide range of options to make our community as affordable as possible for residents. Residents note lower utility costs, fewer trips to the hardware store as Living Branches provides general maintenance for each residence as well as lawn service and snow removal, and lower annual expenses as property taxes and home owners’ insurance are included in the monthly fee. 

3. What is the financial commitment required to become a Living Branches resident?

The simplest answer is, “it depends.” We consider every application on a case-by-case basis – considering factors like income, assets, long-term care insurance (if applicable), marital status, and the type of residence you prefer (e.g. studio vs. two-bedroom).

There are two types of costs associated with the financial commitment of becoming a Living Branches resident in Residential Living:

  • Entrance Fee – a one-time cost that you pay up front when you become a resident of one of our communities. A portion of this entrance fee is refunded to you at the time you leave Residential Living.
  • Monthly Fee – covers expenses such as utilities, taxes, home maintenance, and access to community amenities

Both costs are determined by the type of residences you select. Because every application is unique, we encourage you to speak with one of our experienced sales counselors, who can provide advice about the best path forward, based on your individualized needs.

4. What kind of contract does Living Branches offer?

Most Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) use one of the following two types of contracts:

  • Fee-for-Service contract – Residential Living entrance fees are typically lower than those for a Life Care contract. Monthly fees are lower because residents pay only for the services they are currently receiving. As residents’ needs change and they receive more supportive services, the cost of care increases.
  • Life Care contract – This is the more costly option, as you “prepay” for your possible health care needs. The Residential Living entrance and monthly fees are higher than those for a Fee-for-Service contract. However, some persons prefer this contract as their monthly fee remains consistent regardless of the supportive services they receive.

At Living Branches, we work with Fee-for-Service contracts, as we firmly believe this is the more economical choice for our residents. 

5. I've been hearing the phrase "aging in place." What does it mean?

“Aging in place” means that an individual is living in his or her residence, safely and independently, for as long as possible. At Living Branches we believe that there are many health and well-being benefits associated with aging in place, including familiarity, comfort, and overall happiness. This is why we do everything within our power to enable our residents to remain independent in Residential Living for as long as possible.

6. Is there an advantage to Living Branches' status as a not-for-profit?

Yes, and we talk often about our not-for-profit advantage with potential residents and families (read more here). At Living Branches, our core values put people before profit, quality of life over efficiency, and personal and community growth above all else. 

7. How do I apply to become at resident at Living Branches? What is the application process?

Living Branches has one application for all campuses and levels of care. This application requires personal and financial information as we make a lifetime commitment of care to all residents and want to ensure each resident has the ability to pay for his or her care. The application fee is $1,250, and $1,000 is refundable if applicants choose not to move to a Living Branches community.

After you complete the application, it is processed by the marketing team and then submitted to the Admission Committee for review. The committee considers every application on a case-by-case basis – considering factors like income, assets, long-term care insurance (if applicable), marital status, and the type of residence you prefer (e.g. studio vs. two-bedroom). The committee may make recommendations about the type of residence that will allow applicants to preserve their assets for future health care needs.

The Sales Counselor will then give you a call to relay the results from the Admission Committee. If accepted, you’ll receive an acceptance packet in the mail the following week. At that time you are added to the Future Resident list by the date you submitted your application. 

8. How do you manage the Future Resident List?

All persons who have applied for residency and have been approved are on the general Future Resident list. When you know you are ready to move within the next 12 to 18 months, call your Sales Counselor.

At that time your name will be pulled from the general Future Resident List and moved to the Ready List. Your name will be categorized by the accommodation type for which you are waiting and then placed in order by your application date.

Once you are on the Ready List, the sales counselor will begin calling to let you know of available residences. You have the option to decline residences that are offered to you if it does not suit your preferences. You will not move to the bottom of the list; you retain your place on the list by your application date.

9. How long will I have to wait before I can move in?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that question. We generally say the wait time is about two to five years, depending on the residence type. We have no immediate availability for Residential Living.

We encourage persons to apply when they are not ready to move, so they have an application date and will be closer to the top of the Ready List by the time they are ready to move. 

10. Do you allow pets?

Pets are welcome to live in villa and cottage residences at Souderton Mennonite Homes and Dock Woods. Residents can have one pet - a dog, a cat, a bird, or fish. At this time, pets are not allowed in apartments at any campus. However, they are welcome to visit at any time.

11. I am not Mennonite. Can I live at one of your communities?

Yes. While we are rooted in the Mennonite faith and are sponsored by Franconia Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA, we are proud that our residents represent over 20 denominations and varied faith backgrounds. Religious beliefs and preferences are not considered as part of the admission process. All Living Branches communities accept persons without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or handicap.