Q. What type of community is Oak Hammock?
A. Oak Hammock is a university-related Life Fulfilling Community® (LFC) for adults age 55 and older. As a Life Fulfilling Community, Oak Hammock has evolved from the continuing care retirement community concept into a more forward-thinking, advanced approach for the older adult lifestyle. Oak Hammock provides far more options and choices than its more traditional counterpart and creates an environment for lifelong learning, optimum health and fitness, creativity and personal growth. In addition to an upscale lifestyle and an impressive range of amenities, Oak Hammock also offers a comprehensive Life Care program that significantly reduces the costs of long-term care to its members.
Q. Oak Hammock is sponsored by the University of Florida. What exactly does that mean?
A. Oak Hammock, while not owned by the university, is fully integrated with the University of Florida through a series of affiliation agreements with various Colleges within the University. This means that Oak Hammock members have campus privileges similar to those of university faculty and alumni – including access to libraries, athletic facilities and cultural activities. They also have the opportunity to interact with, mentor and offer advice to UF students, many of whom work part-time for Oak Hammock or come to Oak Hammock to complete their clinical, internships, research projects or rotations.
Q. Why did UF choose to sponsor a community like Oak Hammock?
A. As one of the nation's top public universities, the University of Florida is a center of excellence in many areas – medical and health care education, technology, science and the arts. UF has also been recognized nationally for its relationship with Shands Hospital, which is located on campus. So, there is a logical tie-in for UF to sponsor this Life Fulfilling Community for older adults. In addition, extensive independent market research, consultation and study revealed that being affiliated with a retirement community is a good proposition for the university in terms of both business and academics.
Q. How does UF benefit by sponsoring Oak Hammock?
A. Benefits to the university include affiliation agreements with colleges and schools to provide internships and direct field experience for students, as well as exchange opportunities in the areas of nursing, medicine, health and human performance, and many others. UF students are an integral part of the community through coursework, employment and volunteer efforts. Also, UF benefits from both the national and international publicity it has received as Oak Hammock's sponsor. A sample of the University's involvement in Oak Hammock life is:
- The College of Health & Human Performance manages our 22,000 square foot fitness center.
- The College of Dentistry operates our on-site Dental suite.
- The College of Veterinary Medicine runs our on-site vet clinic.
- The College of Medicine operates our on-site Outpatient Primary Care Clinic.
Q. Oak Hammock is a not-for-profit corporation? Why is that important?
A. Yes, Oak Hammock is a not-for-profit corporation with a volunteer Board of Directors that is responsible for ensuring the success of the community and its mission. As a not-for-profit community, Oak Hammock is able to access tax-exempt financing, which ultimately lowers the cost of the community to its members. Also, as a not-for-profit corporation, Oak Hammock is operated exclusively for the benefit and use of the members who are going to live here (no profits or distributions).
Q. Who developed this community?
A. UF selected PRAXEIS (LLC) located in Jacksonville, Florida, to develop Oak Hammock. The creator of the Life Fulfilling Community®, PRAXEIS has decades of collective experience in the senior-living industry – including financing, developing, marketing and managing communities.
Q. Who owns the property?
A. The Oak Hammock not-for-profit corporation is the owner of all buildings and land.
Q. What is the origin of the name?
A. Oak Hammock is a term used to describe a specific habitat made up of diverse vegetation, specifically in North Florida, a higher, dryer area with large live oaks and other trees.
Q. Do members have to be alumni of UF?
A. No, although Oak Hammock enjoys having a number of members who have an affiliation with UF, we also have members with many different backgrounds and affiliations.
Q. Is there an age requirement to join?
A. You are eligible to become a member if you are age 55 or above by the time of your move to Oak Hammock, although a spouse or second occupant may be younger.
Q. Are there any other requirements for membership?
A. Yes. Oak Hammock is designed for people who are active and independent at the time they reserve their home. A health screening is required. However, we have several contracts to choose from that will accommodate those with preexisting diagnoses. Financial assessments are also conducted to make sure that members have the resources to remain financially independent. Ask the marketing department for details.
Q. What types of residences are available at Oak Hammock; and what are their sizes?
A. Oak Hammock offers two types of apartment residences: atrium apartments, which have access to an open air courtyard, and traditional apartments, which open into an enclosed hallway. The apartments range in size from a studio to a 3 bedroom/2 bath unit. Oak Hammock also offers members the option of free-standing club homes and villas, which range from a 2 bedroom, den/2 bath to a 3 bedroom, den/2 bath home. Apartments include covered parking for one car and the homes include an attached two-car garage.
Q. What amenities are offered?
A. Oak Hammock offers more than 70,000 square feet of venues for dining, Outpatient Primary Care Clinic, performing and creative arts, learning and socializing. The Commons area includes a state-of-the-art fitness center, heated pools, library, business/computer center, auditorium, gift shop, bank, a full service bar and lounge – as well as options for formal, casual and take-out dining. Site amenities include tennis courts, walking trails, a dog park, a large wood working shop and parking for boats and R.V's.
Q. Are pets allowed?
A. Yes, we are pet-friendly! We have a Veterinary Clinic on site sponsored by the College of Veterinary Medicine at UF.
Q. What fees do members have to pay?
A. Communities like Oak Hammock – which provide lifetime residences and long term health care – require an entrance fee and ongoing monthly fee for services and amenities. The entrance fee ensures that we will be able to provide our members with top-quality services and amenities. A portion of the entrance fee includes a pre-funded component for health care services – very much like a long-term care insurance policy. The entrance fee and the monthly fee increase as your square footage per unit increases.
Q. What portion of dining is included in monthly fee, and how can that portion be allocated?
A. A portion of your monthly fee is set aside in a flexible dining account. The amount of your flexible dining account can be used in any of our 3 dining venues. Your flexible dining account may be used not only for yourself, but also for your guests, catering, room service, take out, and for special occasions. In the event you do not use your allocated amount during the month, you may accrue it to the next month. This, however, applies only to two months. If you use more than the allocated amount, you will simply be billed for the difference. Keep in mind – tipping is not allowed and a 25% surcharge is added for guest meals only.
Q. Is a portion of my entrance fee considered a medical prepaid tax deduction?
A. Yes. Oak Hammock offers a modified Life Care contract that is one of the most comprehensive long-term care policies on the market. A portion of your entry fee is considered tax deductable as prepaid medical expenses. The amount of the deduction is determined each year by the IRS, and differs between couples and singles. Members should consult with their tax advisors regarding such deductions.
Q. What type of health care is offered?
A. The central focus of Life Fulfilling Communities® like Oak Hammock is the promotion of health and well-being through holistic, preventive and wellness-oriented programs. However, should members need long term care services; we offer a full continuum – including private accommodations in assisted living, skilled nursing and memory support.
Q. Is it true that people live longer and healthier lives in communities like Oak Hammock?
A. Yes! Research has documented that maintaining an active social life, and quick access to health care can increase longevity even if you cannot exercise. At Oak Hammock, we are creating an environment where everyone has the opportunity to remain as productive and independent as possible regardless of physical declines or health setbacks.
Q. I have heard Oak Hammock referred to as a "CCRC". What does that mean?
A. CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) is a term used to describe a planned residential community offering several levels of health care services in addition to housing options, social and recreational services. Most CCRCs also require an entrance fee and ongoing monthly fee for services, amenities and provide access to various types of care on either an a la carte, discounted or a pre-paid fee basis.
Q. How is the need for additional levels of health care determined?
A. Our Medical Director, and Health Pavilion team, will determine the need for additional levels of care using professional assessment procedures. This decision is made only after full consideration of your needs and safety – and in consultation with you, your physician and your family.
Q. Is the monthly fee subject to change?
A. The monthly fee will be reviewed and adjusted annually to cover inflation or increased costs. This is necessary to ensure that nothing short of the highest quality social, health, and recreational programs are available. Oak Hammock operates on a not-for-profit basis for the sole benefit of the community. The Board's commitment is to build and sustain reasonable financial reserves – as well as to manage and control operating costs consistent with the provision of high quality services and care. They strive to be good stewards of the funds provided by our members.
Q. If an illness or accident required that I transfer to the Health Pavilion, would my original residence be resold?
A. Hopefully, any stay in the Health Pavilion will be temporary. Only after careful consultations with you, your family and medical professionals would you be asked to relinquish your residential home and become a resident in the Health Pavilion.
Q. I don't like surprises! What ancillary services are NOT included in the monthly fee?
A. Optional services such as physical therapy, podiatry, occupational or speech therapy, rehabilitative treatments and equipment, ambulance services, Outpatient Primary Care Clinic, pharmacy or laboratory tests, companion services, home health services, bandages and dressings, etc. will result in additional charges. Some of these services will be billed directly by the professional providing the service and may be covered by Medicare or supplemental insurance. Members are required to have a Medicare A, Medicare B, and Medi-gap or supplemental insurance policy. Members are responsible for payment of any co-pays or deductibles.
There are separate fees for the beauty and barber shop, the bar, convenience store, the dental suite, the vet clinic, private massage and spa services and similar services available on site.
Q. Is transportation provided to OH members, free of charge?
A. Yes. Oak Hammock provides transportation to various activities. There is a monthly printed schedule for transportation to offsite amenities such as grocery stores, libraries, campus visits, sporting events, cultural events and shopping malls. You will not be charged for this type of transportation. Personal scheduled transportation may also be provided for a fee.
Q. Will I need to secure a homeowners insurance policy on my home at Oak Hammock?
A. No. Your home is owned by Oak Hammock. Oak Hammock is responsible for all insurance on the property. However, Oak Hammock recommends members obtain their own personal property insurance policy, most commonly known as renters insurance or content insurance.
Q. Can I get on the Wait List for a specific floor plan and time frame to move into Oak Hammock?
A. Yes. There is a refundable deposit associated with placing your name on the wait list. Wait list deposits are refundable for any reason. Placement on the wait list allows you to choose 2 floor plans and to choose a time frame when you might be ready to move to Oak Hammock. We recommend planning several years in advance of your move. Please contact one of our Life Fulfilling Advocates for additional information.
Q. Where can people get more information?
A. Oak Hammock information center is located at:
Oak Hammock at the University of Florida
5100 SW 25th Blvd.
Gainesville, FL 32608
Web site: www.oakhammock.org
We look forward to hearing from you!