“A long life is a life well spent.”—Leonardo da Vinci
If you are not a regular subscriber to The Washington Post, you may have missed a small article they published in the past year. The article reported on an analysis of National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information, comparing life expectancy in different areas and what factors may influence longevity. The article discussed life expectancy in two Maryland neighborhoods; after all, it is a D.C.-based publication.
After a through explanation of the research findings, the article concluded with an interesting factoid you may not have known: our own Fearrington Village has the highest life expectancy in the country. The average lifespan here is 97.5 years, and the median age of residents in our community is 65. Compare those numbers with the average life span in the U.S, 78.69 years, and a national median age of 38.2. These are not insignificant numbers.
No Surprises Here
While these are astounding statistics, they are not without good reason. Fearrington is one of the premier planned communities in North Carolina, and what an incredible plan it is. This suburb of the Chapel Hill side of the Research Triangle has almost 3,000 residents, most of whom are retirees as well as young families and professionals. They are predominately highly educated individuals with diverse backgrounds, and they settled here in their golden years to take advantage of the quality of life that flourishes in the community. Think of all that you have available within a short distance from Fearrington Village:
4 major research universities
Performing arts centers
Museums and art galleries
Public gardens and green spaces
Excellent public and private schools
This area cares about the environment, the lives of those less fortunate, and the habits that improve wellness and vitality. The suburban setting highlights the natural beauty of the area and boasts many walking trails and parks to explore. Fearrington has small town charm blended with big city comforts, making it a gem in the rolling farmlands of central North Carolina.
All About the People
People from all over have recognized the amenities that our area offers, and they choose to come here for their retirement. They bring with them a wealth of experience and diverse backgrounds, which only adds to the level of culture that can be found in Fearrington. Seniors in the area participate in local events, volunteer to meet the needs of the community, and support non-profit organizations that provide services to their peers and younger generations. This level of engagement and socialization adds to overall satisfaction with life, which may be just one factor that explains the high life expectancy rate.
What other factors contribute to longevity? Genetics do play a big part, but so do regular exercise, a balanced diet, higher education, and even access to medical care. Fearrington Village can’t take credit for the good genes, but those other factors are either achievable or accessible to residents in the community. It’s not just existing, but it’s truly living that makes the difference in this town.
Finding Your Niche
Galloway Ridge, a Life Plan Community, offers our residents conveniences that foster a level of independence, healthy living, positive socialization, and a sense of purpose, which in turn may increase life satisfaction and life expectancy. We are proud to be a part of this exceptional area, and we are proud of our community that shares so generously of their time, knowledge, and resources with the greater Fearrington area. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of LifeCare and to meet our team.
Galloway Ridge exists to inspire meaningful and engaged lives and to assure each resident a superior quality of life and care. In support of our mission the Galloway Ridge Chatham County Charitable Fund was established in 2006 to serve the citizens of Chatham County. We are honored to announce that the Galloway Ridge Chatham County Charitable Fund is now accepting grant applications from Chatham County 501(c)(3) organizations and from Chatham County Public Schools and other Chatham County non-profits. Thanks to the generosity of the Galloway Ridge residents during the 2018 fund drive, $100,000 is available to support our larger community.
The application can be downloaded at the link below. Completed applications are due by 4:00 pm on October 11, 2019.
Growing Together was the theme of the joint project between the Residents & Community Engagement Committee of Galloway Ridge and the Boys & Girls Club of Siler City.
We invited the Boys & Girls Club to send a group of fifteen boys and fifteen girls, who are members of their club, to come to Galloway Ridge this summer.
Their camp experience at Galloway Ridge included games, decorating rockets, learning the history of Jordan Lake, basket weaving, swimming at DCFL, visiting Fearrington Village to see the Belted cows, goats, and chickens, and enjoying box lunches at Jordan Lake. The visit to Jordan Lake also included a boat ride, where each camper got a chance to steer the boat.
On Tuesday, July 30, a group of Galloway Ridge residents traveled to the Wren Family Center in Siler City to see the kids in action. The day included firing off rockets made by the girls and the presentation of Certificates of Participation to each camper. The campers expressed their appreciation to the Galloway Ridge volunteers for their wonderful experience by presenting each with a personal “thank you” note.
For more than a century, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America has helped put young people on the path to great futures. Research shows that young people who attend a Club regularly tend to do better than their peers nationally.
It was Galloway Ridge’s privilege to support this wonderful program.
On April 4th, four of Galloway Ridge’s veterans gave of their time and energies (and got up REALLY early!) to serve their fellow veterans. John Stell, Al Schalk, Chet Rogers, and Bob Kelly found their way to the GR kitchen for a 5:30 AM departure to Jordan Lake. These fine veterans/residents spent their morning assembling and serving biscuits for Operation North State. Operation North State is an organization that throws fishing “tournaments” at many of the lakes throughout North Carolina. They bring out disabled veterans and wounded warriors for a day of fishing. The veterans are taken out by volunteer boaters/fisherman that spend all morning and part of the afternoon taking the veterans around the lake and assisting them in fishing. The day culminates with a weigh-in to determine the best fisherman, but the day is really about honoring these veterans who have sacrificed their health and well-being for our country. And to give back to them by giving them a day of activity and “normalcy” to some who struggle. Thank you gentlemen for your service and your service to others who have served! Thanks also to Josh Carr and Jason Carter getting up early and helping make this happen.
Galloway Ridge exists to inspire meaningful and engaged lives and to assure each resident a superior quality of life and care. In support of our mission the Community Grant Program of the Galloway Ridge Inc. Charitable Fund was established in 2006 to serve the citizens of Chatham County. We are honored to announce that the Community Grant Program is now accepting grant applications from Chatham County 501(c)(3) organizations and from Chatham County Public Schools and other Chatham County governmental units. For 2018, $85,000 is available to support our larger community. Completed applications are due by 4:00 pm on October 12, 2018. Applications are available by contacting Celeste Lestienne, Senior Executive Assistant, at email@example.com or 919-545-2604.
Every two years since 1996, the United Way of Chatham County has recognized individuals who selflessly give their time, talent and expertise to benefit the residents of Chatham County. Three couples from Galloway Ridge are among the ten volunteers to be named this year: Kay and John Combest, Ruth and Dick Flannelly and Edith and Joe Hammond. These individuals were also selected to receive the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award certificate from the NC Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.
Kay and John Combest have volunteered at Galloway Ridge for many years. Kay’s most active role is as the Residents Welcoming Coordinator. In addition, she spends 18 hours a month as the assistant manager of the Turnaround Resale Shop, and, as a member of a group called Coups for Troops, she cuts coupons for troops in Guam, Germany and Japan.
John Combest was a member of the first Residents Council, which was charged with drafting and writing bylaws and procedures, and he started the original Volunteer Service Committee at Galloway Ridge. John also maintains the Men’s Bible Study group that meets weekly, and he helps his fellow residents solve technical problems with televisions and computers.
Ruth and Dick Flannelly contribute to their community in many ways, so it’s no surprise that they, too, were selected for this honor. As a gifted pianist, Ruth accompanies the Galloway Chorus at their weekly practices and semi-annual concerts, and she selects the music for all chorus events. Ruth, an avid pet-lover, often takes care of her neighbors’ animals when needed, and she sponsors several programs that enhance the lives of residents at the health center.
Ruth and Dick travel extensively, and Dick records their travels together. On a weekly basis, he shares his travel experiences and videos with other residents in the health center. The couple also provides transportation to Galloway Ridge residents. When someone needs a ride to a doctor’s office or urgent care clinic, they’re always there to help.
Edith and Joe Hammond are another couple that epitomizes the spirit of volunteerism. Edith invests an average of six to eight hours per month as a part of the Residents Council. She’s also the primary organizer and leader of the “Neighbor Helping Neighbor” program, which assists residents with various needs, including transportation and reading. After helping to establish a permanent Volunteer Service Committee (VSC) in 2012, Edith secured volunteers and identified projects within and beyond the Galloway Ridge community. She continues to be active with the VSC.
Having taught engineering at Georgia Tech and Clemson Universities, Joe Hammond puts his background to good use at Galloway Ridge. He leads two popular groups: a men’s nonfiction book club and a “Contemporary Religious Thought” discussion group. Joe also uses his engineering skills by volunteering with the Galloway Ridge Woodworkers Group. The woodworkers accomplish an incredible number of repair jobs for residents and staff. They also build birdhouses and speaker lecterns.
The United Way of Chatham County recognized these individuals for their time and dedication during the 2018 Chatham County Outstanding Volunteer Awards ceremony. The awards reception was held on May 3 at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center in Pittsboro. Diana Hales, Chair of the Chatham County Commissioners, presented the awards, and former Chatham County Commissioner Betty Wilson was the keynote speaker. Sheriff Mike Roberson served as the Master of Ceremonies.
About United Way of Chatham County
The mission of the United Way of Chatham County is to increase the financial and human resources available for providing human care services to county residents. To learn more, please visit http://unitedwayofchathamcounty.org/ or call Alane Coore at 919-542-1110.
Galloway Ridge, a Life Plan Community in Pittsboro, North Carolina, is partnering with Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Carolina’s Wren Family Center in Siler City to host three summer camps for youth in the area. The camps are organized by the Galloway Ridge Community Engagement Committee, which has selected ‘Growing Together’ as the theme in order to emphasize Galloway Ridge’s commitment to furthering the club’s mission of empowerment.
Since 1995, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Carolina have helped countless students realize their potential and grow into thriving adults. The clubs have had a significantly positive impact on children in the area, with 73% of low-income club members age 12-17 receiving mostly As and Bs, compared to only 69% of their peers nationally. By hosting summer camps for students, Galloway Ridge hopes to encourage and support such achievements through an enjoyable learning experience.
As part of the camp, three groups of thirteen students from Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Carolina’s Wren Family Center in Siler City will come to Galloway Ridge this summer for the camp. The camp will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the months of July and August. The first group will attend on July 10th and 12th, and the second group will attend on July 24th and 26th. The third group will attend on August 7th and 9th. The committee will also host a Family and Residents Gathering on Saturday, August 11th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Galloway Ridge is excited to announce the completion of the Galloway Ridge Dog Park, along with Phase I of our new trail system for both residents and staff. We extend our thanks to our partner, Nature Trails NC, for their hard work on this project, and we hope that these green spaces bring you and your pets an immense amount of joy.
The entrance to the dog park and the trail is located between the maintenance and facilities operation buildings. We urge everyone to please use caution when crossing the road that leads to the trails, as traffic is sometimes heavy.
While safety has been a top priority in creating these recreational spaces, we ask that you use appropriate precautions. Please consider the changes in terrain elevation and remember that there are no lights in the trail area.
To minimize risk, we encourage you to only use the park and trail during daylight hours, wear proper-fitting, closed-toe shoes, travel with a friend and bring your cellphone in case of emergency. Additionally, please watch for snakes and poison ivy along the trail, as these are potential risk factors present in any natural setting.
People who want to live a healthy, active lifestyle don’t hesitate to eat a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly, but they may not be as likely to seek preventive care from a doctor. If you are like most people who only go to a physician if they feel ill, have a chronic medical condition, or need a prescription filled, you may be missing out on an important component of your overall health.
You may also not realize that Medicare part B covers annual wellness visits for beneficiaries without a copay, making it accessible for most seniors. What’s more, Medicare also covers an initial preventive visit, called an IPPE, within the first twelve months that you receive Medicare coverage. Have you taken advantage of this benefit? Do you still have time to get that exam? Here are a few reasons why you should stay on top of your preventive medical care.
What Does IPPE Stand For?
IPPE, or Initial Preventive Physical Exam, is a benefit provided for seniors through Medicare part B and does not require a co-pay. It is a one-time benefit that must be used within a twelve-month period of when Medicare part B coverage begins, and it can be a helpful tool in assessing your overall health and providing a baseline for any medical treatment you may require in the future. The IPPE includes the following components:
A complete medical history, which may consist of family history, past diagnoses or surgeries, a list of all prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and other supplements, and information about diet and exercise
A standardized screening for depression and other mood disorders
A review of functional abilities, such as vision, hearing, balance, and activities of daily living, as well as an assessment of home safety and fall risks
An exam to check height, weight, blood pressure, visual acuity, and any other factors that may be determined by a medical provider
A discussion of end-of-life planning, with information concerning advance directives
A written review of the exam findings, along with recommendations for follow-up treatment and further testing, if advised
An explanation of other preventive care and procedures covered by Medicare
How Does the IPPE Differ From a Wellness Visit?
The IPPE is intended as a one-time, initial assessment when you start your Medicare coverage. For many people, especially men who are less likely to seek regular medical care, the IPPE can establish a relationship with a medical provider and emphasize a commitment to well-being.
A wellness visit builds on that relationship and commitment. This annual exam is also covered by Medicare without a copay. This exam provides similar benefits as an IPPE, but it is more focused on disease prevention. It may include a schedule of test screenings, a check for cognitive impairment, a prescription review, and a potential for a treatment plan or additional testing. Patients who receive an IPPE are more likely to continue with wellness visits, which means they may be able to prevent some chronic conditions or have early detection for a better prognosis.
Aren’t They Both Physicals?
A physical exam involves a more hands-on inspection of a patient. A physician may palpate and listen to the body to determine function. It can also be more extensive with a battery of tests run based on age standards rather than patient history. This kind of exam is not covered under Medicare part B.
Another major difference between a physical and a wellness visit or IPPE is the focus. A physical tends to be doctor-driven, administering several tests to evaluate each body system regardless of indication of a concern. A wellness visit, on the other hand, is patient-driven, allowing each person to participate actively in his or her health care and overall wellness. It may seem a more modern approach to health care, and to some extent it is, but it also gives patients a voice and a role in the treatment they receive. It can also help reduce medical expenses because tests and care plans are based on need rather than arbitrary recommendations.
Have you had your IPPE? If you haven’t (and you still have time), schedule it as soon as you can and take responsibility for your own health. Galloway Ridge is also focused on giving residents access to the tools they need for staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. With our connection to Duke Center for Living as well as on-site health care services, we make it simple to our residents to take control of their own health for the best quality of life, both now and in the future.
February 17, 2018 was a special occasion for Galloway Ridge. Maria Porras and her family received the keys to a brand-new Habitat for Humanity home. The three-bedroom, two-bath home took seven months to complete and is located in Siler City, North Carolina. Residents and board members from Galloway Ridge attended the dedication ceremony. These included Bob and Sandy Holton, who are residents of Galloway Ridge, as well as John Zaremba, Vice President of the Galloway Ridge Board, and his wife, Linda, who’s a member of Chatham Habitat’s Board.
Maria and her children were grateful to be on the receiving end of such kindness. For the last five years, Maria has been a beloved member of the our community, where she works as a cook. Like all Habitat homeowners, this family contributed “sweat equity” by working on the construction of their home and the homes of others, and they participated in educational programs designed to strengthen the entire family and ensure their success as new homeowners. The new homeowners will continue to make monthly payments on a low-cost, no-interest mortgage, which in turn will go toward building future Chatham Habitat homes.
Galloway Ridge is proud to be a partner of Chatham Habitat, offering support in a variety of ways. For example, community residents have made individual donations to the organization, and the Galloway Ridge Charitable Fund awarded $100,000 toward the continued development of a 28-acre Habitat neighborhood in Pittsboro called “Robert’s Run.”
“Galloway Ridge is a valued partner of Chatham Habitat. Their generosity, together with the hard work of deserving families like the Porras family, enables us, as a community, to accomplish a great deal. We’re grateful for the support of Galloway Ridge, and we’re delighted to be a part of this dream come true for Maria and her children,” commented Anna Spears Tuell, Development Director of Chatham Habitat for Humanity.
Maria and three of her children – Aracely, Ashley and José – were previously living in a mobile home in northern Chatham County. Maria also has a grandchild, who lives with her oldest daughter, Nancy. The family attends Mount Carmel Baptist Church and enjoys going to the park and the movies in their free time. Maria is looking forward to having a stable home for her children, and she’s grateful for the ability to now save money to send her children to college.
Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing. – Oliver Wendall Holmes
Retiring is a personal decision, and not one to be taken lightly. For many people, deciding when is the right time to retire can be difficult because they may worry that they won’t have anything to do or that their health may decline. A 2017 study, published in Health Economics, suggests that early retirement can have the opposite effect by increasing longevity. Is early retirement good for you? Let’s look at some of the factors that may convince you to live a life of leisure.
To Work or Not to Work
Working past retirement age can be important or meaningful for some people, especially if they do not have enough saved for retirement, need health insurance through their employer, or are truly passionate about what they do. They may struggle with retirement because they may not think their lives can still have purpose. On the other hand, people who work to live rather than live to work may find the stress of their job leads to other bad habits and poor self-care outside of the work place, such as smoking or drinking. People who are unhappy with their work may be more than ready to retire early.
Another factor to consider about when to retire is your personal life. Do you have hobbies and interests, or are you a workaholic? Do you have a happy marriage, or is your home life strained? Will you be social, or will you become isolated and possibly depressed? Without an understanding of how to fill your days and with whom you want to spend them, you may not be fully prepared for a happy retirement.
Getting a Head Start
Here’s the thing about retirement: it isn’t an event, but rather a process. You don’t have to throw a party to celebrate the end of your career and then sit in a chair for the next twenty years. What you actually get from early retirement is a gift, the opportunity to fulfill your goals and dreams that may have taken a back seat to other necessities throughout your lifetime. Some of the reasons that you may want to retire early include:
The prospect of travel, experiencing new cultures and satisfying your wanderlust
A reduction in expenses through downsizing and simplifying your commitments
Improved wellness with more time to exercise regularly, sleep better, and create other healthy habits
Less stress and fewer responsibilities
A chance to explore volunteerism, philanthropy, and mentoring
Development of new interests, hobbies, and educational opportunities
Ability to reconnect with family and friends as well as create new social networks
Working at Play
At every stage of your life, you probably had a plan to make it work for you, and your retirement should not be any different. The better prepared you are for your golden years, the more enjoyment you can realize. Be creative, be social, and be open to new experiences, all of which are good for your cognitive function and emotional health. You can have a level of freedom you may not have experienced as an adult, so live your life to the fullest!
If you are thinking about retiring early but want to know more about how to make the most of each day, you can talk to the professional team at Galloway Ridge. Our Life Plan Community offers a full range of activities and programming to accommodate nearly everyone’s interests. We encourage you to explore your options and learn more about how our residents have adjusted to retirement with success and happiness. The culture and environment of our community, our caring and attentive staff, and our unparalleled amenities may convince you that the time to retire is now.
February 26 marked our 2018 Annual Day of Service at Carolina Tiger Rescue. Ten residents and eighteen employees volunteered their time in support of this important local organization, which aims to save and protect wild cats in captivity and in the wild.
Residents and Galloway Ridge employees built picnic tables, repaired fences, painted and cleared brush and vines from fence rows. They worked two shifts of four hours each. In addition to volunteering their time, many residents have made monetary donations, and they’ve advanced the mission of the organization by enthusiastically spreading the word among friends and family.
The Day of Service has been an annual tradition here at Galloway Ridge since 2016. Each year, employees and residents are given the opportunity to support a local need with their talents, time and energy while enjoying time with one another. This is yet another example of our community’s commitment to engaging with Chatham County, giving back and volunteering.