A continuing care retirement community is a residential community with a choice of services and living situations. You can move from independent to assisted living to nursing home care based on your changing needs.

Life is full of surprises. A lifetime of good health would seem to require no prior planning but an unexpected health crisis can radically alter your view of retirement. Today there are innovative living arrangements for retirees which offer the security of long-range planning with the freedom to maintain your independence.

Continuing care retirement communities allow you to “age in place” with accommodations that allow for changing health and housing needs. Residents sign a long-term contract for housing, services, and nursing care, usually in one complex. This enables them to remain in a familiar setting as they grow older, regardless of their physical condition. They are able to maintain relationships with spouse, friends and other family members.

These communities offer services and housing on at least three levels: independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. Residents may live in a single-family home, apartment or condominium within the complex. If they begin to need help with bathing, dressing, or eating, they can be transferred to an assisted living or skilled nursing facility on the same site.

Non-profit organizations sponsor many of the continuing care properties in the Triangle. These include religious organizations such as Methodist, Jewish, Episcopal, Presbyterian and Quaker and fraternal orders such as the Masons, who established the first private facility in Greensboro early in the last century.

Seniors who invest in a continuing care community have planned for their care for the rest of their life and have the financial means to support it.