The antecedents of the USA’s Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) can be traced to the mutual aid societies developed by 19th-century immigrants. Many states began to introduce old-age assistance legislation as a response to indigence in the Great Depression, while early forms of CCRCs were pioneered by professional or religious foundations: Kingsley Manor (1912) was founded as a home for retired ministers by the United Methodists, Villa Gardens (1927) was specifically for retired teachers. In 1959, federal mortgage assistance was provided for the building or customizing of properties for residential care of the elderly, sparking a spate of new construction. In the 1960s, most development was in the Northeast, since then new settlements have concentrated in the ‘sunbelt’ states of the South and West. Meadow Lakes in New Jersey (1966) is a prime example, with independent living offered in a range of accommodation, personal and intermediate health care, social amenities and even an arboretum.
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