GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — North Carolina is turning gray.
Across the country, 10,000 people are turning 65 daily, and many of them are choosing to move to the Triad or downsize in our state.
“Our estimations are in the next 10 years, North Carolina’s 60-plus population will grow by about one million,” said Mark Hensley with AARP.
According to Hensley, these are the baby boomers. Those people are looking for smaller more convenient places to live.
“We’re seeing a demand for everything from patio homes, apartments because of access issues and lower costs,” Jesse Day said.
Day works with Piedmont Triad Regional Council in their planning division. He tells FOX8 that a lot of the growth is centered in Forsyth and Guilford Counties.
The group predicts that over the next 10 years, the Triad will need 58,000 more housing units to keep up with demand.
Instead of hunting down open listings, retirees or people thinking about retiring are looking at continued care communities.
“Is where they’re living meeting their needs…things like knees and hips beginning to ache a little bit. They think…’I don’t want stairs. I want a bedroom on the main floor,'” Hensley said.
Leaders at Twin Lakes Community in Elon recently broke ground on 48 new apartments. The property currently has villas and garden homes but was receiving requests for an open floor plan while still being connected to amenities.
They tell FOX8 they saw the wave coming, and now more than half the apartments are taken.
White Stone in Greensboro along Wendover Avenue and Holden Road is also expanding. The group is adding 67 independent living spaces among other areas and renovating their wellness center to keep up with demand.
“This is one of the first times we’ve really seen that pushback of ‘hey, I’m willing to spend this money, but I better get the value for that money,'” said Jody Clayton with Kisco Senior Living.
Clayton oversees Kisco’s Greensboro properties, Abbotswood and Heritage Greens.
Clayton tells FOX 8 they’ve put more emphasis on wellness services at their facilities in Greensboro, expanding their dining options and other activities.
He believes inflation plays a role in the search for the best bang for your buck, but COVID shifted everyone’s perspectives.
“Is communal living what we want to do? And if it is, what am I getting for it?” Clayton said.
Advocates tell FOX8 that many places have anywhere from a one to two-year waitlist. If you’re considering a community like this, plan ahead so something is available when you want it.