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NaCCRA Forum: Dining

Dining Credit $
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Hi Bill,

I am still not finding anyone who changed to points from either a fixed dining plan or from $$. Can you tell me why you made that switch?



Thank you for this post but we are set up here at Cypress Cove to have meals in all of our plans.

I would still like to hear from residents who have switched to points or dollars from a fixed meal plan and how that is going for them. We are definitely going to move in that direction in the near future so feedback about how the transition worked and if you are happy with the new arrangement either with dollars or points.

Thank you,


Cypress Cove

Ft Myers, FL

Heron's Key in Gig Harbor, WA does not have a "meal plan" as do most LifeCare Communities. Instead, we only pay for food costs. All other costs for running the dining room are built into our monthly fees. Those costs would include salaries of staff. The cost of the actual food is reflected on the menu and the amount we pay appears on our monthly bill when we choose to eat in the dining room. We have been using this plan since our inception in 2017 and it is well received. Many of our residents vacation in the winter months and they are not penalized for doing so by having to "use it or lose it" in terms of points or dollars not spent on food. Examples of costs: 2 piece fish and chips with coleslaw is $5, 6oz filet mignon with baked potato and "the works" and a salad is $13. Increases in food costs are reflected on the menu as they occur in the marketplace and food quality does not diminish as sometimes happens when trying to stay within a budget on a point system.

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the reply. Can you tell me why you changed from $$ to points? When you were on $$ were you still able to carry over $$ through the quarter?

I am hoping to hear from others who changed from fixed dining plan to points?

Thank you,


Cypress Cove CCRC, Ft Myers, FL

Our community switched to a point system a couple of years ago. However, we weren't on a fixed meal system but on a dollar system. It didn't really change anything except nomenclature as a point equals a dollar. Our monthly fee includes a dining allowance which is computed as 30 times the regular dinner price. We can use the allowance in either of our regular dining venues for any meal they serve, with dinners being fixed price and others a la carte, or our coffee shop, or our convenience store, which now sells only food items but used to sell other things (toilet paper, detergent, etc.) as well. It accumulates on a quarterly basis. Any part of the allowance you didn't use during your assigned quarter is lost at the end of the quarter. If you spent more than your allowance, the excess is added to your monthly statement as additional charges.

Bill Samuel, Ingleside at King Farm, Rockville, Maryland

I live at a CCRC in Florida that is embarking on changing the dining plan from a fixed meal a day program to a points system. I know that other places have switched to monthly dollar allowances but I have not heard of anyone transitioning to a points system. If there is anyone out there who has switched to a points system I would appreciate more details about how your plan works and how you did that transition to a points system.

Thanking you in advance for taking the time to reply to my request.


I will paste in below the policy at Westminster Place in Evanston, Illinois. We too have seen the price of menu items go up without an increase in our allowance. People complain about this but most people seem to have money left over at the end of the month.

  • You are assigned a certain amount each month. (Couples may combine their accounts.) 
  • This is used primarily for your expenses in the dining room. 
  • Items like charges in the Gift Shop, Beauty Salon, massages and most things that you buy on campus may also be charged to this account. 
  • These are not calendar months. 

If your last name starts with: Your months start on:  

A – D The 1st Friday of each month 

E – K The 2nd Friday of each month 

L – R The 3rd Friday of each month 

S – Z \The 4th Friday of each month 

  • This means that some “months” will have four weeks and some “months” will have five weeks. 
  • In 2021 the months that have five weeks (Jan, May, Aug and Nov) the amount will be $555 and in the four week months it will be $444.
  • Balances do not roll over. You “use it or lose it.” 
  • If they have a balance as the end of the month approaches and wish to use up their money, residents sometimes get a massage.

Good Morning Jim.

Thanks for posting your question I'm sorry, that I can't answer your specific question, but I do have some thoughts on the issue. I live at Wind Crest, a 1800 resident community managed by the Erickson Senior Living (ESL) out of Baltimore, MD., a family of 20 or so similar sized communities. I understand that all Erickson communities (27,000 residents) are moving toward some version of the plan you apparently have at your CCRC. Erickson calls it the Declining balance Meal Plan.

At a new ESL community being built (Richmond, VA) it will be the only dining option offered. Their price list indicates that they will get $400 per month and any balance remaining at the end of the month does not roll overt. Does your plan allow for rollover of any unused funds, or do they just disappear?

At our community, Wind Crest near Denver, CO we have had the option of a 30-meal plan per month (standard meal plan). Residents can opt for reduced (20 meals) plan per month, they get a credit of $65 per month ($6.50 per meal) if they do so. We were notified recently. that we will be adding the Declining Balance Meal plan, which sounds similar to the scheme you are under at your community. It will be mandatory for all new residents, but current residents can opt to stay with their current plan. Details regarding the new plan have not been provided.

Your comment on the exorbitant meal price increase at your community, without a corresponding increase in the monthly allowance, strikes fear in the gut of current residents. I doubt that there will be many current residents who switch to the new plan for precisely the reason that caused you to post your comment. Currently only the casual dining venue (soup, sandwiches, etc., post prices on the menu boards and on the receipt. My receipts over the past year or so have remained constant but I think they are pricey, about $22 -$25 per meal. At that rate the average resident would get roughly 18 or so lunches per month. They would then have to spend additional funds to dine. When compared to the "Signature Dining Option" its a no-brainer. While sympathetic to new residents who won't know what a terrible deal they are getting, I doubt that many current residents will think it's a good deal for them.

Bob Doherty

Wind Crest

Highlands Ranch, CO

We receive 480 $ credits out of our monthly fee to purchase meals. Our food prices have increased by more than 60% since 3/1/20 however we are still only receiving 480 $ credits for our meals. That seems very lopped sided to me and unfair. Are other communities in that kind of condition and if so what action has been taken with management?

Jim Ogle - GreenFields of Geneva

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