When Pat Richardson learned about the North Carolina Certified Retirement Community Program (NCCRCP), she initiated a local campaign to get Pittsboro, NC, certified. Richardson, director of community relations for Galloway Ridge at Fearrington, a continuing care retirement community in Pittsboro, joined a group of other civic leaders to apply to NCCRCP, and six months later Pittsboro became only the fifth city in the state to earn this certification. Richardson is now using the new city designation in her marketing efforts to attract retirees to Galloway Ridge and Pittsboro.

Eight states—Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia—offer similar certification programs. North Carolina established its program in 2008 to encourage retirees from elsewhere to make their homes in North Carolina. Although requirements vary from state to state, “certified communities” typically offer major quality-of-life factors that seniors require: good transportation systems, educational opportunities, cultural and recreational diversity and easy access to high-quality health services.

Retirees also look at the wellness programs retirement communities provide when making the decision to relocate. For example, Galloway Ridge offers a multi-faceted wellness program that incorporates physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and vocational services.

“Research shows that today’s retirees are looking for more amenities, including wellness opportunities,” says Richardson. “They are looking for ways to keep fit and find the right lifestyle balance that will enable them to live healthier and longer lives.”

Galloway Ridge offers two health and wellness-related institutions on its campus. The Duke Primary Care Clinic is a comprehensive internal medicine clinic, with a focus in geriatrics, operated by Duke Medical Center in space leased from Galloway Ridge. The clinic is open to the general public.

The Duke Center for Living Fitness Center is a 20,000-square-foot health and fitness center owned by Galloway Ridge and managed by Duke.

Read the full article in Leading Age Magazine!