There are nearly 60 Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) in the state of North Carolina, stretching from Wilmington and Greenville in the east to Ashville in the western mountains. Carolina Meadows is one of a cluster of about a dozen such communities in the Triangle area. Although these CCRCs are independent of one another, their 15,000 residents have formed a statewide organization, the North Carolina Continuing Care Residents Association (NCCCRA.) Through this vehicle, residents are able to promote and protect their interests before the NC state legislature, share creative ideas and programs, and experience an enriching camaraderie.
It was a Carolina Meadows resident, Harry Groves, a retired law professor, who in 1988 drafted legislation aimed at protecting the rights of CCRC residents. Groves brought together a group of people from several CCRCs which not only successfully shepherded the proposed legal protections through the legislature, but established the organization which today continues to unite residents throughout North Carolina.
The NCCCRA holds annual regional and statewide meetings. Buses transport residents to the host CCRC, where the residents not only obtain valuable information but also have an opportunity to tour another community, have lunch in the host CCRC’s dining room, and interact and compare notes with dynamic men and women from throughout the state.
Recent meetings have focused on an emerging “culture change” for health care centers. The new vision is that nursing homes should move away from the prevailing “hospital model” to a “neighborhood” or “household” model, a design which would transform the traditional “institution” into a warmer, more peaceful environment for those residents in need of nursing assistance because of the frailties of advancing years.
Carolina Meadows is among the leaders in this move to modernize facilities. Planning to build a new health care center that would incorporate dynamic new ideas is well underway.
By Bill Powers