Active Adult Communities

8/2/2017 | By Terri L. Jones

Every day, 10,000 Americans celebrate their 65th birthday. When the last baby boomer reaches that magic age in 2030, 18 percent of the country will be 65 or older.

This dramatic demographic shift is having a significant impact all across the country. According to the News & Observer*, Durham County expects its population of those 65 and over to almost double by 2030. One of the ways that the Triangle is addressing this demographic shift is with a steady stream of new senior living communities.

“We are tackling an ever-growing demand for senior housing,” says Victoria Sosa, marketing director for Cambridge Village of Apex. To meet this increasing need, Cambridge Village is currently expanding its independent living community in Apex, plus developing a new luxury, 55+ community in Brier Creek, which is slated to open in 2019.

“Our goal is preventative versus reactive care,” explains Sosa. “To help us accomplish this goal, our Optimal Wellness program keeps residents active and engaged.” Focusing on the mind, body and spirit, Cambridge Village’s program features holistic wellness, more than 15 group exercise classes, spiritual services, and much more.

Considering that baby boomers don’t consider themselves seniors yet (maybe ever!), these new communities offer plenty of activities and top-notch amenities to their vibrant residents. They also place a heavy emphasis on service.

“Lifestyle and service are the key pillars of the community,” says Todd Wigfield, senior managing director of development for Greystar, which owns and manages Overture® Crabtree, a 55+, active adult apartment community in Raleigh, which is expected to open by January 2018. “We offer endless amenities from daily continental breakfast … to professional concierge services and thoughtfully designed amenity spaces that make our residents feel like they are at a resort,” Overture Crabtree will have 203 luxury apartment homes and feature more than 13,000 square feet of indoor, resort-style amenity space.

To cater to the needs of this new breed of seniors, Cambridge Village of Apex will be adding not only 123 new units but also a 25,000-square-foot Wellness Center with a MedSpa, a private practice physician onsite, health seminars, a juice bar and a café. The expansion, which is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018, will also include three new dining venues to give residents a wider array of choices.

While Overture Crabtree and Cambridge Village are targeted to residents who are still very independent, there are also new communities being developed around the Triangle that cater to those needing a little extra help. Spring Arbor of Cary, which is projected to be open by this publication, accommodates 40 assisted living residents and has two secure cottages for another 40 residents with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. This is the fourth Spring Arbor community developed by HHHunt in the Triangle, with the previous three in Apex, Durham and Raleigh.

“The overall layout of the common spaces provides opportunities to meet and mingle with new neighbors and friends in a location that suits each person’s preference—a bright sunroom, a relaxed café, a wellness/fitness center, a formal living room or library, or just a small, tucked-away sitting nook,” says Christine M. Stempel, RN, who is senior director of quality & education for HHHunt Senior Living. “We can even help residents to set up a shared meal or other guest entertainment, if they wish.”

Plus, memory-care residents have access to a lovely courtyard where they can get some fresh air and enjoy outdoor activities. Using the Best Friends approach, a widely recognized, relationship-centered way of caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, Spring Arbor’s staff helps their memory-care residents experience meaningful engagement and maintain dignity in all aspects of their lives.

As today’s seniors have adopted technology in surprising numbers, Triangle communities are likewise using tech tools to enhance their residents’ quality of life. Tablet-based K4Community allows Spring Arbor’s assisted living residents to track fitness, manage temperature and lighting in their apartments (including automatic night light illumination when they get out of bed at night), plus video chat, text and share photos with their friends and families. Plus, KEEPSAKES video storytelling gives residents the opportunity to record stories or lessons to share with their children and grandchildren.

Another priority for these new communities is location. Take Overture Crabtree, for example. Selecting its location with residents’ needs in mind, the new community is centrally located between downtown, North Hills and Cameron Village and is also within walking distance of local restaurants, the Crabtree Valley Mall and plenty of recreational activities.

With the older population in the Triangle growing by leaps and bounds, there’s no doubt that these new communities in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area will be joined by many more in the coming decade. If you live in the Triangle—or plan to move here—rest assured that you’ll have a safe and enjoyable place to spend the best years of your life!


Terri L. Jones

Terri L. Jones has been writing educational and informative topics for the senior industry for over 10 years, and is a frequent and longtime contributor to Seniors Guide.

Terri Jones