Wilmington, NC is a Retirement Paradise
Warm weather. Walks on the beach. A lively downtown.
No, this isn’t about a vacation. Although, choosing to retire in Wilmington could make it feel like every week is a vacation.
“Wilmington is bordered by Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and the Cape Fear River,” says Jerry Cooper, Director of Marketing and Development for Carolina Bay, a retirement community set to open in 2015. “There’s a very vibrant historic downtown area, and it’s really becoming more of a destination for people to live here year-round when they retire.”
And at Carolina Bay, everything else will be taken care for retirees. “It’s a planned continuing care retirement community,” Cooper, says. “It will feature 124 rental apartments, or a person will have the option to purchase one of 54 condominiums. The building has four dining options, so the person will have the choice of when they want to eat and where they want to eat. It has a heated indoor swimming pool that will be heated to 88 degrees year-round. And there’s a full wellness center that includes exercise equipment specifically for the senior population, and fitness trainers to work with both individual programs, and traditional wellness programs like water aerobics, yoga and tai chi.”
But it’s certainly not the only option for new communities. Beverly Booth is Director of Marketing for Cambridge Village of Wilmington, another retirement community set to open in 2015. Most of her work experience is in hospitality, and she says that’s no accident. “If you’ve ever worked in the hospitality industry, then you know that it’s all about making every day special,” Booth says. “That’s what we wanted to bring to our independent living community, as well. It’s not just a place to live. Our whole staff and our whole community is going to have a hospitality theme to it, where all the residents feel that they are a special guest every day.”
And at Cambridge Village, residents will be able to easily take advantage of the conveniences of Wilmington. “Our community actually backs up to Mayfair, which is a hub of everything you could need,” Booth says. “You’ve got restaurants, shopping, doctors and medical facilities. You’ve got everything right out of our back door. “
Brightmore is another continuing care retirement community that certainly boasts the hometown feel of Wilmington. “We are centrally located in the heart of Wilmington,” says Marianna Stacy, Community Outreach Educator for Brightmore. “We are a locally owned company. Our owners live in this community. They have made an investment in our community through the years, in many ways. They support the community and the lifestyle that we offer.”
According to Stacy, that lifestyle is a large part of what makes Wilmington a great choice for retirement. “We have the beach, we have the river, we have many of the amenities offered in a larger urban area, but the lifestyle of a smaller community,” Stacy says. “That’s very appealing, and then you add the ocean. We have a historic area that’s gorgeous, offering many options downtown. And if you want a more contemporary lifestyle, we have the beach! That’s what makes it unique. And we have great colleges and universities in the area, which offer a lot of stimulation with classes for the 50-plus population.”
And for those who want to retire without moving to a community, there are great home care options in Wilmington, including Well Care, which offers skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and personal care services. “Our culture makes us special we are very caring and concerned about our patients and their quality of life,” says Wanda Coley, Well Care’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are always helping to get them back to their maximum potential. It’s very important to us that we create an experience for all of our customers. We always say that being a home health agency is a responsibility, not a right, and we take that responsibility very seriously.”
And Coley agrees that, no matter the choice, Wilmington is the perfect destination. “I think people like to retire to Wilmington because of the atmosphere,” Coley says. “The beaches here are absolutely beautiful, and it’s warm. It offers beautiful golf courses. There are very nice restaurants here. There are more communities being built for seniors, so they can live closer to other seniors in a smaller area. And on the campuses of these communities, there are all the amenities that they need.”