What’s it like to live in a North Carolina Retirement Community? We asked the residents.

Moving into a retirement community should be a relief. Say goodbye to the hassle of keeping up your house, and let the relaxation and fun begin! With that in mind, many are making the decision to move into continuing care retirement communities, also called CCRCs.

At a continuing care retirement community, the care grows with you. You can move in as an independent living resident, and if there is a need for more care later in life, assisted living and nursing care are right on the same campus.

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Croasdaile Village in Durham, NC

Larry and Betsy DeCarolis knew that a CCRC would be the right choice for them, and they found a home at Croasdaile Village. “We wanted to make this move, which is inevitable for anyone in the aging process,” Larry DeCarolis says. “Keeping up a house on your own is going to take a toll, and you’re going to need more assistance. We were looking ahead to that time, and we decided to make the move when we were both of sound mind and body. A lot of the decisions that had to be made were complicated. We had to make a lot of downsizing decisions, for instance. Such decisions need to be made as logically and intelligently as possible. We didn’t want to make the move a decision on the part of our children.”

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The Oaks at Whitaker Glen in Raleigh, NC

Joyce Young chose to move into The Oaks at Whitaker Glen for that same peace of mind. “I had visited, and I liked what I saw,” Young says. “I wanted to get to where I was with people and didn’t have all the responsibilities I had with a 3,000-square-foot house. I thought it was a good idea. You get here, and you get to know the people. You keep the same doctors and everything. And I love my decision!”

Other people choose continuing care retirement communities because they are at a different care level from their spouse, and a CCRC allows them to stay together. Hampton Casebolt came to Windsor Point for just that reason. “We are relatively young to be in a CCRC, but my wife had a stroke several years ago, and we just needed to be some place where she could get help if she needed it.”

Luckily, there are some amazing continuing care retirement communities to choose from in this area. Betsy DeCarolis says the campus itself was a selling point for her and Larry. “The beautiful, spacious campus,” she says. “It’s a wide-open campus, with a big sky and lots of trees. It’s just gorgeous. We found a cottage that was the right size and right feel for us. Croasdaile offers a number of living opportunities. There are apartments, cottages both large and small, and for future needs, there are also assisted living accommodations. And way down the line, there’s the Pavilion, which provides full-level nursing care.”

Joyce Young preferred the tight-knit feel of The Oaks at Whitaker Glen. “We are a small community,” Young says. “There are only 96 apartments. And they’re built in squares, which makes it a little homier. And you can visit all of our buildings without ever going outside.”

For Fannie Memory Mitchell, the decision to move to The Oaks at Whitaker Glen was largely about convenience. “One of the tremendous advantages here is the fact that there are washing machines and dryers in every apartment. You don’t have to go down the hall to do your laundry. And the location was excellent for me because it was right in my territory. I go the same bank, the same grocery store, and everything. I knew when the time came, I would be moving to Whitaker Glen.”

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Windsor Point in Fuquay Varina, NC

Tudie Hyre, who lives at Windsor Point, says a major benefit is all of the fun activities that are available to residents. “We stay so busy,” Hyre says. “We have book clubs, Wii bowling clubs, bridge clubs, and lots of activities. If you want to, you can stay busy from morning till night, or you can do nothing!”

Her neighbor at Windsor Point, Hampton Casebolt, is a little more interested in the latter. “My wife is more active than me; I’m a little more antisocial,” Casebolt laughs. “My wife goes to exercise classes and plays bridge. She’s a social butterfly around here.”

But everyone seems to agree that moving to a continuing care retirement community isn’t just the smart decision; it’s the fun one!

“I enjoy the trips we take,” Fannie Memory Mitchell says of The Oaks at Whitaker Glen. “We go to different restaurants, and they take us to shop. We have out-of town excursions in the fall and spring. I enjoy all of those. I knew quite a few people when I moved here, but I’ve met so many new people that have become good friends.”

And Betsy and Larry DeCarolis sound like they are really living it up at Croasdaile Village. “There are many, many activities,” Betsy says. “Each calendar month offers about 300 activities on the level of cultural, concerts, health care, mental health exercise, entertainment, and a lot of wellness and fitness classes. Another excellent feature is the transportation service to concerts in the area.”

“We’re glad we did it,” says her husband Larry. “We’re feeling very healthy and active. We haven’t slowed down at all since we moved here. We have plenty of opportunities to continue all of the activities we had before we moved to Croasdaile. Our days are full, and we’re doing the things that we love to do.”

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