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Early Retirement for the Long Haul

 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.

Who Will Need Long-Term Care, and What Does Long-Term Care Mean?

Long-term care is something nearly all elderly Americans may consider, and according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, something the majority will utilize.

Did you know 70% of people aged 65 and above can expect to employ long-term care in some capacity, and almost 70 percent of adults aged 90 and up have some sort of disability that may require assistance? Additionally, around 8 percent of adults between ages 40 and 50 may have a disability that requires long-term care.

Statistics aside, what does “long-term care” actually mean for you?


Understanding what long-term care is

There may be misconceptions about what constitutes long-term care. Long-term care does not necessarily equate to “medical care.” Rather, long-term care more closely relates to help with personal needs in all capacities. Oftentimes this means help with basic needs, often referred to as Activities of Daily Living (ADLs). Samples of these ADLs include eating, drinking, personal/hygenic care and getting out of bed.

Long-term care also supports Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), which include tasks such as shopping, chores and pet care. If you’re aren’t fit to move about, someone has to help keep things in order!

Long-term care is not limited to a physician’s office. Long-term care may be provided at different places and by different caregivers, with family members oftentimes chipping in to help. Care may be needed for extended periods of time, or it may only be necessary for a short while.

As you age, long-term care may become a topic for discussion relative to you or someone you love. Chronic illness, sickness and limited mobility are common reasons to seek long-term care. Here are some interesting tidbits regarding LTC:

  • Given women often live longer than men, women are more likely to need LTC
  • Single people are more likely to employ paid services
  • Family history, diet and poor exercise habits increase likelihood of needing LTC services

So how can Galloway Ridge help? Galloway Ridge at Fearrington is an excellent Continuing Care Retirement Community in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area, providing our residents with unlimited services and specialized help. Our expert staff and facilities ensure long-term care is provided and that expectations aren’t simply met — they’re exceeded.

Long-term care at Galloway Ridge is flexible and suits the varying needs of our community.


Life Care at Galloway Ridge


Proper life care encompasses all sides of health — physical, emotional, psychological, etc. Galloway Ridge is proud to offer the following as part of our best-in-class lifecare solutions.

  • UNC Clinic, which is staffed by nurses and Geriatric Primary Care physicians
  • Two social workers on staff to provide grief counseling, caregiver support groups and any other concerns
  • Companion services that are available to assist with medications in the home, help with transitioning back home after a hospital visit, and other services
  • Unlimited Assisted living, Skilled nursing or Memory care on-site in our Arbor, should it be needed, at almost no additional cost
  • The Duke Center for Living – a State-of-the-art 20,000 square foot medically based wellness/fitness facility includes a beautiful heated indoor pool, a comprehensive cardiovascular and strength developing center
  • On-site therapists and Center for Physical Rehabilitation
  • On-site Duke Primary Care


Leading the Way With Aging Service Technology

 Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation. – Dean Kamen

 Galloway Ridge is always looking for innovative ways to improve the lives of our residents, and we have recently implemented cutting-edge aging services technology in an effort to achieve our goals. Through our connection with Senior Portal, we participated in a study to address the advantages of integrating voice-assisted technology to engage residents in our community while increasing our team efficiency. Leading Age, an organization of over 6000 members and partners representing the entire field of aging, has recognized our work with Senior Portal to make a positive difference for our community. For us, however, the biggest indicator of our study’s success is how our residents have embraced our initiative and incorporated it into their daily lives.

Breaking Down Barriers

 As many of our residents know, Senior Portal is one of the best things to happen to residential senior living in years. The application is essentially a way to provide a social media approach to communication, activities, event planning, and online concierge services for community residents. Our residents have secure user information to access the Portal, and once online, they can utilize features and register for activities as well as get the latest information on events within the community and the region. It is a social network, real-time calendar, appointment setter, and troubleshooter, all conveniently accessed through one package.

Adding Value

 Galloway Ridge and Senior Portal have teamed up with Amazon’s Echo to launch voice-activated aging services technology to access the Senior Portal network, making the benefits more user-friendly for every level of ability. We provided training seminars to our residents to learn how to use the technology. We have the capacity to add or adjust features based on resident and employee feedback to ensure our Portal serves the needs of the community. The result is better engagement and socialization opportunities for our residents, faster response time from our team, and more connectivity throughout our facility.

About Those Benefits

 For a generation that has seen the world shift from paper to digital, the adjustment to embrace new aging services technology has been surprisingly swift. Our residents can continue to enjoy the many positive features that applications such as Senior Portal can provide, including:

  • Reduction in social isolation
  • Improved residential engagement and satisfaction
  • Growth in social networks
  • Increase in staff efficiency
  • Elimination of printed materials

While the last two benefits may not seem to directly affect resident quality of life, they actually make a significant difference. Staff members can address individual needs more effectively because they can devote more time to interaction with residents and less time performing routine administrative tasks. With less paper tracking to identify, address, and resolve issues, our process becomes leaner and even more ecofriendly, an important feature to both residents and staff.

Addressing Concerns

 The rollout and implementation of Senior Portal and Echo aging services technology has gone remarkably well. Our team recognized and addressed the concerns of residents and can continue to mitigate those issues through capable IT support. Our residents have secure connections to protect their private information, technical support when needed, and Wi-Fi for consistent access.

Galloway Ridge leads the trend for implementation of aging services technology for resident quality of life enhancement in the Triangle area. It’s just one of the many ways that our community meets and exceeds the needs of our community. Please contact us to learn more about Senior Portal and other amenities available to residents.

The Galloway Ridge Charitable Fund Recipients 2017


January 3, 2018

Galloway Ridge engages in community benefit activities and charitable projects which help alleviate unmet needs of special populations in Chatham County, including children and youth, the elderly, the underprivileged, and minorities. It also supports programs that foster housing care and services for older adults. The Galloway Ridge Charitable Fund supports this mission through its grants program. In 2017, 17 organizations received grants, totaling $80,000.

Awardees are:

Chatham Cares Community Pharmacy

West Chatham Food Pantry

Chatham County Council on Aging

Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School

The Osman Foundation

Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Carolina

Communities in Schools of Chatham County

Chatham Outreach Alliance, Inc. (CORA)

Chatham County Literacy Council

El Futuro

The Learning Trail, Inc.

Legal Aid of NC, Inc. (Pittsboro office)

Northwood High School Arts Education Foundation

Chatham Education Foundation

Rebuilding Together of the Triangle (Chatham County)

Central Carolina Community College Foundation




John Zaremba, Chair

Board of Directors Social Accountability Committee


Galloway Ridge has Two New Hires.

Galloway Ridge is very proud to announce two new hires to their highly qualified Senior Director’s Team.

Scott Richardson is Senior Director of Resident and Community Engagement. Having worked in the Senior Living industry since 1999, Scott brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the community. As a Certified Aging Services Professional, a Certified Dementia Practitioner and a 2015 graduate of the Leading Age Leadership Academy, Scott will provide his vision to managing all aspects of resident services and amenities. He will be providing Galloway Ridge residents with evidence based programs by partnering with established leaders in the fields of fitness, lifelong learning, healthcare and nutrition, and hiring qualified staff to develop and lead these programs.

Brad Moore has also joined the team as the Senior Director of Technology Innovation. Brad has extensive experience in computing environments and holds an MS in Computer Science. He was recently awarded his PhD in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics from Duke University. He will be responsible for all software systems and will be evaluating the effectiveness, efficiency and implementation of all new technology. He will also be responsible for overseeing investments in innovative technological solutions, as it strikes the proper balance between technology and humanity.

The Added Value of Social Interaction for Seniors

“Connections with other people affect not only the quality of our lives but also our survival.” -Dean Ornish

 When you retire, you can take time to do some of those things that you saved for after your career. You may devote more time to family and travel, or you may decide downsizing and simplifying is your priority. Some seniors choose to live in a Life Plan community to enjoy the many amenities available and afford them peace of mind if their health declines down the road. One significant feature of community living can play a key role in overall health and wellbeing: social interaction for seniors.

Fact, not Fiction

 The National Institute on Aging (NIA) indicates that a strong positive correlation exists between social interaction and wellness. Not only can socialization improve quality of life, but it can also lessen the impact of inflammation on body systems, boost memory, reduce high blood pressure, and improve depression and anxiety symptoms. Social interaction for seniors has been shown to encourage healthy habits, including less smoking and regular exercise. Evidence also suggests that longevity may be due as much to socialization as it is to good health. These factors make a strong argument in support of not just living in a community, but participating actively with others.

There Is no “I” in Team

 Aging can be a challenge for people who have difficulty embracing this stage of life and its many possibilities for happiness and fulfillment. Retirement is a change, and some people equate it with boredom. Living alone without a strong support system can compound the negative aspects of aging. Isolation can be a health risk for seniors, especially those who do not live in a communal or residential setting.

Loneliness and isolation has also been linked to:

  • Obesity
  • Increased levels of stress
  • Depressed immune function
  • Cognitive decline

Seniors who stay in their homes may experience limitations on socialization because of a lack of transportation, physical impairment, a loss of close friends, and even distance from family members. Many cities and towns try to address these concerns by offering senior centers and programming, but without a solution to some of the other issues, access to activities can still be inadequate.

All Hands on Deck

 Social interaction can do more than occupy time; it also addresses the bigger picture that adds to overall quality of life. Many seniors find themselves with a lifetime of skills but no outlet in which to exercise them. Through volunteering and other community-based activities, seniors can put their knowledge to use to help others and find a place of value for themselves. This proactive involvement lends a sense of purpose and meaning to retirement years as seniors become connected to those around them in a deeper way than entertainment or recreation alone may provide.

Embrace the Possibilities

 At Galloway Ridge, programming is varied and extensive to appeal to many different interests as well as ability levels. Fitness and health care are readily accessible on-site for the convenience of our residents, and every month sees multiple avenues toward cultural and intellectual enrichment. We also offer opportunities within our area to interact with the larger community through volunteering, outings, and other activities.

In our community, social interaction for seniors is varied and frequently enhance the lives of our residents. Please check our monthly calendar or ask us about what events are on the schedule that may appeal to you. Who knows, you may develop a new passion and make new friends at the same time?


Galloway Ridge Hosts 7th Annual Chatham County Alzheimer’s NC Walk and 5k Run

Pittsboro, NC: The 7th Annual Chatham County Alzheimer’s NC Walk and 5K Run was held at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington on Saturday, September 9.  With 130 registered walkers, 117 timed runners,  and plenty of onlookers, the race was an exciting way to start a beautiful September morning. The event saw a 25% increase in turn-out and Galloway Ridge was there to help with over 40 staff and families, and 20 residents participating and volunteering.

Galloway Ridge also scooped up many of the run awards with 1st place overall male going to Jack Morgan, our Project Manager; 2nd place 80+ male category going to our resident John Stell; 2nd place in the 50 – 59 male age group going to Scott Richardson, our Senior Director of Resident and Community Engagement; and 3rd place in the 19 -29 male age group going to Justin Williams, our DCFL Services Representative.

Galloway Ridge had four residents over the age of 80 competing in this year’s race.

To date, Galloway Ridge has helped to raise over $22,000 for Alzheimer’s NC, including many in-house fund raising events such as hot dog and hamburger days, as well as Jeans Friday, a favorite with staff.

Alzheimer’s NC supports families dealing with Alzheimer’s and related dementias in North Carolina. They are dedicated to providing education, support and services to individuals, families and healthcare workers and raising awareness of this disease that affects over 170,000 North Carolinians.

About Galloway Ridge: Galloway Ridge is a not-for-profit Life Plan Community dedicated to helping people live dynamic, engaged, and meaningful lives. For more information, please contact Missy Johnson at mjohnson@gallowayridge.com

Missy Johnson
Senior Director of Marketing and Sales
Galloway Ridge


The Galloway Ridge Community Grant Program

The Community Grant Program of the Galloway Ridge Inc., Charitable Fund is accepting grant applications from Chatham County 501(c)(3) organizations and from Chatham County Public Schools and other Chatham County governmental units.

Completed applications are due by 4:00 pm on October 10, 2017.  Applications are available by contacting Celeste Lestienne at clestienne@gallowayridge.com.

Galloway Ridge is a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community in Chatham County.  In 2017, $80,000 is available for Community Grants.

To request the grant application package, please contact:

Celeste Lestienne
Senior Executive Assistant
Galloway Ridge, Inc.
3000 Galloway Ridge
Pittsboro, NC 27312

The Real Value of a Life Care Contract

One cannot plan for the unexpected. – Aaron Klug

 People who are interested in Life Plan communities may have questions about the need for a Life Care contract. When you consider a move to an independent living community, you may be more focused on the amenities and activities to keep you active, healthy, and happy to simplify and enrich your life. What happens if you need a higher level of care, even for a short period of time, tends to take a back seat to the here and now.

Most people recognize the need for a safety net of protection when health needs or level of care change. A Life Care contract is more than an insurance policy if your health should change; it provides the support and guidance of our professional staff to assist in advocating for you and your loved one. One of our residents asked us to share his experience to illustrate how his Life Care contract is priceless to him and his wife. This is their story.

When the Unexpected Happens

 John and Mary Smith* moved to Galloway Ridge about four years ago and settled in easily. They were interested in the many activities offered as well as the sense of community enjoyed by the residents; they both found that adjusting to independent living was easier than they expected it to be. The Smiths maintained their active life and spent time with the many friends they made at Galloway Ridge. They had signed a Life Care contract before their move, but they assumed they would not need for several years down the road.

Unfortunately, Mary experienced a medical problem that resulted in a hospital stay. She was inpatient long enough to be covered under Medicare Part A, and after coordination with the social workers at the hospital and Galloway Ridge, she was transferred to the Arbor for what was expected to be a brief skilled nursing care stay until her health improved. The Smiths were relieved to know that they would not have any additional expenses for her stay because of her Medicare coverage and Life Care contract.

From Bad to Worse

 While Mary was recuperating, she developed a complication that required her again to be admitted to the hospital. She responded to her additional treatment, which was great news to her and her husband. The medical team thought she could return to the Arbor to complete her rehabilitation, but this time, she was not considered eligible for Medicare Part A coverage because she had improved and no longer qualified for skilled nursing care.

Typically, in this circumstance, the patient would be responsible for any level of care not covered by Medicare Part A, which could be a large financial burden on the patient or the family. But the Smiths had a Life Care contract, which meant they had planned for the unforeseen. Mary could return to the Arbor without the added stress of how to pay out of pocket for the majority of her care. She also did not have to worry about the possibility of losing her space because she was already part of the Life Plan Community.  She continued to recover in the comfort of familiar surroundings with the support of caring staff and loving friends to help her along.

“You’re Well Until You’re Not”

 John was relieved that his wife’s health improved and that he could visit her any time he wanted because she was at the same community. What he and Mary appreciate even more than the convenience of their community is the support and advocacy they received from the Galloway Ridge staff. Coordinating care and navigating the complex and confusing Medicare system is more than most seniors and their families can handle on their own, but the Smiths could rely on their community’s professionals to take the lead and help them with practical advice when it was needed most.

Peace of mind is one of the many benefits you have with a Life Care contract, which is only available in this area through Galloway Ridge. John and Mary Smith understand its value in a very personal way, and they want to share their story with anyone who is unsure of how this contract can protect seniors. To learn more about Life Care contracts, please contact the staff at Galloway Ridge or visit our website.

*Names changed to protect resident privacy




Life Plan Communities: More Than a Name Change

To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not enough time – Leonard Bernstein

 If you are a current resident of Galloway Ridge or are thinking about moving to a community, you should be familiar with the concept of a Continuing Care Retirement Community, also known as a CCRC. We have been considered a leading CCRC in the Chapel Hill area, but as we look to the future to better meet the goals and needs of our seniors, we are reintroducing ourselves as a Life Plan Community. Our change in designation does not affect the services or levels of care we offer; rather, it realigns us better with our mission and what we mean to our residents.

What’s in a Name?

 For over three decades, CCRCs have existed to provide security for seniors in their retirement years. The continuum of care concept included independent living as well as assisted living and skilled nursing care for residents as their needs changed, ensuring they would have the services and care they required to accommodate their evolving health. Memory care neighborhoods were added to provide specialized care for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s, with the aim of further customizing care for every resident to improve quality of life at every level of capacity.

What’s Changed?

 Retirement communities encompass more to seniors now as they understand that they have so much living to do. Continuing care is only one aspect of quality senior living, and a focus on enrichment, programming, overall wellbeing, and other factors contribute to the concept of living life to the fullest while planning for any future needs. That combination of life affirmation and strategic planning led to the designation shift of a CCRC to a Life Plan Community. The name change signifies a cultural perspective that is life affirming, and Galloway Ridge is excited to be the premier community in the area dedicated to enriching the lives of our residents while maintaining the highest standard of care for every level of need.

Why Does It Matter?

 Retirement used to be considered a retreat from the rest of the life span. Seniors today recognize that every moment matters, and a life well-lived is available to anyone. By focusing on wellness and quality of life as well as quality of care, seniors can plan for a future, no matter what it brings. Galloway Ridge is right there to help our residents attain their life goals and remain active, in a personal and meaningful way. We hope you find this change as exciting as we do, and we look forward to answering your questions and discussing with you how we can help you continue to find enjoyment in each day.



Remember: Life Doesn’t Stop at Age 50, 65, 70, or 80!

Is there a secret to living a long, quality life?  According to Colin Milner, the CEO of International Council on Active Aging at Galloway Ridge, there’s not.  He suggests that it starts with the people and the culture at Galloway brought from its residents. Colin continued that, “Once we get past the age of 50, 65, 70, 80- whatever it may be, life does not stop. Life continues”.  

An award-winning author and known for his public speaking events, Colin Milner has left a sizeable impression on the growing movement focused on the health and well-being of the older adult. He has been invited to serve on the Network of Global Agenda Council by the World Economic Forum for the past 6 years, and he received the Canadian Fitness Professional Association’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his contributions to the Canadian fitness industry. In addition, Colin has sparked quite a bit of attention between his publications, television appearances, and radio events, being featured by outlets such as:

  • CNN
  • US News and World Report
  • Wall Street Journal
  • New York Times
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Dow Jones Market Watch
  • Money Magazine
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • WebMD,
  • The National Post

The phrase “age is just a number” can be interpreted in numerous ways within a life care or continuing care retirement community, though it’s implied that the mindset behind the inevitable aging process tends to stem from whether or not you let age define you and, in some sense, dictate your life decisions.  There will always be things outside of our control, though there is a distinction in attitude and possibility when residents and potential community members stop to consider that there a plethora of options and resources.  “It’s up to you”, as he points out, to utilize them and pursue a higher level quality of life in its full potential.  Not only are there more resources being offered in such CCRC settings, but Colin notes there are also more stories and examples in the media of people nearing or surpassing their early 100s and doing things that truly defy what was considered possible. He references marathon runners and a 105-year old gentleman who successfully rode his bike for 14 hours straight.  Milner does qualify that not every 105-year old will be able to, or will be particularly motivated to, attempt to climb a mountain or skydive, but acknowledges that the possibility can mean a world of difference.  

Celebrating our Commitment to Excellence

The Arbor Achieves 100% Compliance with North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation

The Arbor, the health care center of Galloway Ridge, was recently reviewed by the division of Health Service Regulation to determine compliance with regulation standards set forth by the Centers for Medicare Services. This annual survey focuses on key operations of our community, including nursing, dining, health care, billing, medical records, and other departments. We have been declared deficiency-free in all areas.

Adam Melton, Associate Executive Director and Director of Healthcare Services, commented proudly on the findings of the NC Division of Health Service Regulation stating, “This takes an incredible amount of effort and dedication from all departments involved. I am privileged to work with such a dedicated group of individuals and I am very proud of the care and compassion Galloway Ridge provides to our residents every day.”

We strive to provide the highest quality care to our residents at The Arbor, and we are pleased to have our dedication and hard work in our community recognized. Our mission is to maintain our deficiency-free rating as we continue to care for our residents residing in The Arbor.

About The Arbor

The Arbor at Galloway Ridge bridges the life care needs of our independent residents as they transition to higher levels of care. The Arbor includes Carolina Bay Assisted Living, Cypress Way Skilled Nursing, and Palmetto Cove Memory Care. We provide individualized attention for each resident while preserving quality of life with exceptional and appropriate programming.

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