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    Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC)

    These retirement communities allow seniors to "age in place," with flexible accommodations that are designed to meet their health and housing needs as these needs change over time.

    Residents entering continuing care retirement communities sign a long-term contract that provides for housing services and nursing care, usually all in one location, enabling seniors to remain in a familiar setting as they grow older.

    Many seniors enter into a Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) contract while they are healthy and active, knowing they will be able to stay in the same community and receive nursing care should this become necessary.

    Continuing care retirement communities offer service and housing packages that parallel independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. Seniors who are independent may live in a single-family home, apartment or condominium within the continuing care retirement community.

    If they begin to need help with activities of daily living (e.g., bathing, dressing, eating, etc.); they may be transferred to an assisted living or skilled nursing facility on the same site.

    Seniors who choose to live in a continuing care retirement community find it reassuring that their long-term care needs will be met without the need to relocate.

    Continuing Care Retirement Communities Are Your Style If …

    You don't want to have to move around every few years. You might not need the extra help now, but who can predict the future?

    With this senior housing option, you can enter into a contract that assures you that your care will grow and change with your needs.

    A CCRC is a great example of aging in place, since it lets you stay put!

    Continuing Care Retirement Communities Checklist Of Things To Consider

    • How is the staff? You want one that will be there when you need them, but leave you alone when you don't.
    • How do the other residents like it? Don't be scared to ask one, or have a resident as your tour guide.
    • What plans are in place for the changing needs of residents?
    • Are the common areas comfortable and well maintained?

    Cost Of Continuing Care Retirement Communities

    CCRC's can vary in both cost structure and their schedule of fees. Some require a sizeable endowment and have a schedule of minimum monthly fees while others require less of an upfront investment with heftier monthly fees based on the care level needed.

    Some properties sell their "active section" as deeded real estate which the property buys back in the event a resident develops a need for more care.

    The best way to understand the varying degrees of financial commitment is to call the retirement community you are interested in.

    Introduction to Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Surrounding Areas

    The North Carolina town of Chapel Hill is located in the north central portion of the state on the Piedmont Plateau, about 30 miles outside of the state capital of Raleigh. The town, together with the cities of Raleigh and Durham, comprise the three legs of the so-called Research Triangle, named for a research park located between Durham and Raleigh. Chapel Hill is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), the oldest state-supported university in the United States.

    Incorporated in 1819, the town was originally created to serve the University which had already been established before the end of the 18th century. In fact, the original map of the town shows 30 parcels of land wrapping around the northern, western, and eastern fringes of the campus. At the town's center is a hill on which once stood a Church of England house of worship called the New Hope Chapel. Although the Chapel is no longer there, the town's name serves as a reminder of its former prominence.

    Events and Points of Interest in Chapel Hill

    Chapel Hill is the site of the Festifall Street Fair, an annual October event which typically draws upward of 15,000 visitors. This arts and music celebration features live bands, international foods, numerous children's activities, and over 100 of the most creative crafts people and artists in the area. Another local October event is the Hargraves Fall Carnival, featuring entertainment and games. Local attractions include the Morehead Planetarium, one of the nation's original planetariums once used as an astronaut training site for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. The North Carolina Botanical Garden, located in Chapel Hill, is the largest natural garden of its kind in the southeast. Other popular Chapel Hill attractions include the following:

    • Coker Arboretum
    • Ackland Art Museum
    • The Chapel Hill Museum
    • Stone Center for Black Culture and History
    • Kidzu Children's Museum
    • Charles Kuralt Learning Center
    • Orange County Historical Museum

    Fans of collegiate sports couldn't find themselves in a better place than Chapel Hill. The University of North Carolina Tar Heels have won 37 team national championships in five different sports. The University competes in NCAA's Division I-A and participates in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Its teams are perennial powerhouses in women's soccer (18 national championships since 1981), men's basketball (5 national championships), men's lacrosse (3 national championships), and women's field hockey (4 national championships). The Tar Heel baseball team is also a consistent winner, most recently making it to the Championship Round of the 2006 College World Series. Notable alumni of the University's athletic program include Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm, among many others.

    Pro sports are not too far away either. Major league hockey resides in the nearby city of Raleigh, home of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes. Minor League Baseball can be found only minutes away from Chapel Hill in the nearby city of Durham, where the Durham Bulls play. The Bulls compete in the International League as the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.