Retirement communities in the Triad trying to keep up with demand

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Baby boomers’ needs are changing.

In Greensboro, about 14 percent of the population is at least 65 years old.

Many of them are beginning to look to move to retirement communities.

To keep up with the growing demand, several of these communities are expanding.

The Well-Spring Group is looking at Fisher Park for their expansion.

Friends Homes has started their own expansions on two different campuses, to help with their 758-person wait list.

“We are aging. If we should need nursing care or anything along those lines, they provide it,” said Emille Cox.

“That’s our twenty-year plan,” added her husband Jonathan Cox.

The Coxes are planning for their future.

“We’ve been on the wait list for years,” explained Cox.

When Friends Homes announced an expansion on New Garden Road, they were one of the first to put down a deposit.

“We’re managing quite well [on our own],” said Cox. “That’s not why we’re going.”

Construction is expected to be completed in the spring or summer of 2021. It gives them plenty of time to get ready to move.

“There comes a time when you just like to have somebody else take care of everything,” explained Cox. “If you can put on that, that it’s a really, really nice environment, then that makes it something you want to do.”

Friends Homes did a study and found that people in more than 6,000 households in Greensboro could make the same decision.

“There is a need currently, but that need is growing. We want to be prepared,” said Susan Brewer.

Brewer oversees marketing for the continuing care community.

She told FOX8 that the projects currently under construction will add 93 independent living units on West Friendly Avenue and New Garden Road.

“We’ve got a lot of baby boomers in the Greensboro area, which is what the study has shown us,” explained Brewer. “It’s saying that the market is going to demand senior housing.”

20 townhomes and a mixture of 73 cottages, duplexes, and apartments will be built.

That’s in addition to the already existing assisted living section of the community, which is only available to those who move into Friends Homes while they’re independent.

“We’ve had a wait list for a long time,” said Brewer. “It’s not going to be enough.”

The competition is only expected to increase, so getting in early will be key for families.

“People our age have come to know that you don’t want to wait until you have to go,” said Cox. “You want to make these plans ahead of time so that you can go where you think you’ll be the happiest and the most comfortable. that’s important.”

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