Waltonwood Lake Boone is a family-owned senior living community currently under construction in Raleigh, and is expected to open in the spring. It’s situated in an upscale and quiet neighborhood and provides the full continuum of care, which allows future residents to age in place at the community, and that’s exactly what Alta Chalmers, 92, plans to do. Alta built her life in Raleigh and intends to spend her retirement there as well. Now she is trading her single-family home for an independent living apartment at Waltonwood Lake Boone. It’s a trend the Raleigh area is seeing with an increasing senior population. According to Forbes, Raleigh has the second fastest growing senior population in the United States. Alta lives alone, still cooks and drives herself around, but she’s moving to a retirement community to ensure she has access to additional care if she needs it.
“I see quality at Lake Boone, and I currently have quality at my home, and I didn’t want to give that up,” said Alta. “I know this is going to be a change, but I think I will like it. I am actually looking forward to it. My son lives in Raleigh, and when he travels with his wife I don’t want him to worry about my well-being. I am fortunate that I am in good health and can move into an apartment in independent living. I fell in love with the location at Lake Boone. I have been avid gardener, so being around the trees and greenery make it feel more like home to me. I can still maintain my normal routines, and I can use many amenities while living at Lake Boone, including the movie theater, beauty salon, library, walking paths and many others.”
Alta was born in Wilson, N.C., but moved to Raleigh at a young age. She had a wonderful childhood and met her husband in high school. They stayed together while he served in the Navy during World War II, and when he returned home he attended college and the couple got married. They waited until after he finished law school to start a family. He went on to be a successful attorney, and Alta served as the clerk to the board of the Wake County commissioners for 19 years. When they both retired, they traveled extensively until he passed away in 1988. She now enjoys an active lifestyle with family and friends.
“I’ve noticed more and more of my friends moving into retirement communities,” Alta said. “I grew up during the depression and World War II, and the country didn’t really recover from that until the 60s and 70s. Back then, families moved their loved ones into communities, now we are making our own choices. It’s nice to make this decision myself and not lose my sense of independence.”
As part of this trend, Waltonwood Lake Boone is seeing more people moving to the community on their own. Their prime location provides residents the lifestyle they deserve without the worry of home maintenance. The Forever Fit program they offer is a resource for each resident to thrive in their own unique way while allowing them to stay active and motivated.
“Senior living nowadays is not what it used to be,” said Allison O’Shea, executive director at Waltonwood Lake Boone. “We are thrilled to see so many seniors making the decision to live with us and continue living an active lifestyle. We understand they don’t want to lose their sense of independence, and they won’t here. We also have care options that allow seniors to age in place and access assisted living or memory care if they ever need it.”
When it comes to needing care, some seniors rely on family members to find the right community. Even knowing when to move to a senior living community can be challenging. With the start of the new year, Waltonwood Lake Boone offers signs families can watch for to know if a loved one may need additional care. The team recommends seeking assistance if loved one takes medication inconsistently, isolates, has a stack of unpaid bills, leaves belongings in strange places, or experiences a change in mobility, frequent confusion/memory loss, decreased judgment regarding finances, and reoccurring changes in mood/personality.
“It is hard for our senior loved ones to admit they need help or can’t live on their own anymore,” said O’Shea. “The key to talking to your loved ones about their care or a move into a senior living community is honesty. Starting the conversation is the hardest part, but keeping your loved one involved in the process makes for a smooth transition.”
Waltonwood Lake Boone will offer independent living, assisted living and memory care apartments for over 200 residents.