Durham County is growing older every year — and to meet the increased demand for its services, the north Durham retirement community Croasdaile Village is spending $70 million to expand its campus.
Croasdaile Village, located off Hillandale Road, plans to build 17 new cottages, four villas, a physical and occupational therapy building, a wellness center and additional dinning venues by the end next year.
Croasdaile features 346 independent living apartments and cottages and the expansion will add 58 more living spaces.
“With the Baby Boomers retiring at 10,000 per day, we’re going to continue to see a rise in the need for communities like Croasdaile Village,” Croasdaile Executive Director Howard DeWitt said in a statement. “In our county alone, we’re expecting the population of those 65 and older to increase by nearly 30 percent over the next few years.”
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According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 11.9 percent of Durham County residents were aged 65 years and over in 2016, up from 9.8 percent in 2010. And by 2030, 20 percent of North Carolinians are expected to be 65 years and older, with the number expected to nearly double in Durham County.
Communities like Croasdaile are attractive to elderly residents because they make longterm planning simple, said Mary Fraser, the aging transitions administrator for Orange County’s Department on Aging.
“It’s almost like an insurance program. If they need to go into assisted living or a nursing home later, they know they are going to a place with high-quality care,” she said.
“Other people like the social aspect of it. They are living in a community that has all these (activities) going on like exercise classes, social events, they don’t have to drive anywhere and they have food provided in the dining areas.”
But not every retiree prefers that type of community, Fraser added, noting that many are living independently longer.
Boomers, she said, seem to be more independent than their parents’ generation and many bristle at the idea of living in a community aimed at an older population.
“I think the boomers — they are about 71 at the oldest end right now — are people that have been more independent, they have traveled a lot. I think they will want different things than their parents’ generation,” she said. “They are more risk takers, and if they can live a healthy life, they will live a long time independent.”
The Croasdaile expansion is expected to be completed by late 2018. SFCS Architects of Charlotte will serve as architect on the project.
Croasdaile Village, owned by United Methodist Retirement Homes, was started in 1955 on a 100-acre dairy farm. Cottages at Croasdaile start out at around $230,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bath cottage, per the company’s website, and come with yard and maintenance service.