Warning Signs of Age-Related Vision Problems

Regular eye exams are important at any age but for seniors, eye health and vision care are especially important. Optometrists recommend that Americans 40 and older schedule an annual eye exam to help catch common eye health conditions early on. In fact, depending on the quality of your eyesight and other certain factors, it may be important to get your eyesight examined more often.

In addition to keeping up with your regular eye exam appointments, there are certain warning signs that every senior should be aware of. With proper education, you can easily identify which symptoms are part of the regular aging process and what kind of issues may indicate a more serious problem.

7 Common Warning Signs of Age-Related Vision Problems

1. Scratchy or Irritated Eyes

The occasional eye discomfort is typically not something to worry about. But if you are struggling with dry, scratchy eyes regularly, there could be a bigger problem at hand. Tearing, scratchy and painful eyes are symptoms of dry eye syndrome. While this is often more of a nuisance than a vision-threatening condition, it can have a negative effect on your quality of life. Severe dry eye syndrome is common as we age because the body stops producing high quantities of tears as the body chemistry changes. Luckily, there are many over-the-counter and prescription solutions available that can help.

2. Sudden Floaters or Spots

Typically, floaters in the field of vision are caused by a benign, age-related condition known as vitreous detachment. This condition occurs when the gel-like interior of the eye begins to liquefy and separate from the retina. However, if you notice that floaters or spots are interrupting your vision at a very sudden rate, you could be experiencing a serious retinal tear or detachment.

3. Double Vision

There are a wide variety of eye conditions that can cause double or “ghost” vision in seniors. But there are cases where double vision may signal other underlying health emergencies, like a stroke. If you suddenly experience double vision, it is important to see your primary care physician or eye doctor as soon as possible.

4. Sudden Blurred Vision in One Eye

In seniors over the age of 60, the chance of developing a macular hole in the retina increases over time. Macular holes can affect fine focusing and if they worsen without treatment, they can cause a permanent loss of vision.

5. Cloudy Vision

Cataracts are one of the most common vision issues for Americans over the age of 40, with more than 24.5 million people living with them today. Cataracts are characterized by an opaque or cloudy area in the lens of the eye that interferes with normal vision. Some of the most common symptoms of cataracts include blurry or hazy vision, difficulty seeing at night, reduced sensitivity to colors and an increasing sensitivity to glares.

6. Distorted Vision

If you have noticed that you have gradually been struggling to see objects clearly, you could be experiencing the early warning signs of age-related macular degeneration or AMD. AMD is currently the leading cause of vision loss for Americans over the age of 50. This common eye health issue typically includes symptoms like a loss of clear vision, a dark or “empty” area in the center of your field of vision and a distortion of shapes and objects.

7. Narrowed Field of Vision

Glaucoma is the second-leading cause of total vision loss in the U.S. and may present in senior patients as a reduction in the ability to see objects on either side of your field of vision. If you’ve noticed that you’ve been struggling with a narrowing field of vision, it is important to get your eyes checked. If left untreated, your peripheral vision could worsen and eventually lead to tunnel vision or blindness.

Preventing Senior Eye Problems

In addition to regular eye exams with your optometrist, there are a variety of different ways that you can help to prevent serious eye conditions as you grow older. Maintaining a healthy diet that is full of lots of leafy greens is one easy way to help lower your blood pressure and prevent or keep diabetes under control. Eye vitamins may also help in the fight to avoid certain vision problems, so be sure to discuss the possibility of adding them to your daily routine with your eye doctor.

Our friendly and knowledgeable team at The Cypress of Charlotte is always here to ensure our continuing care retirement community members have the tools they need to live a healthy and happy lifestyle in their senior years. For more health and lifestyle tips or to schedule a tour of our beautiful community, be sure to visit us online today!


7 Easy Ways to Boost Your Immune System this Winter

With the winter season settling in nicely here in Charlotte, it’s important to remember that cold and flu season is in full swing. This can be a risky time for seniors and at The Cypress of Charlotte, we want to make sure each of our Members has the tools they need to avoid coming down with something. So, what can you do to keep your immune system balanced and strong as these common viruses are thriving? Check out a few of our favorite immune boosting tips to stay healthy and avoid infection all winter long.

1. Eat Smarter

Eating a diet rich in healthy nutrients and vitamins is the easiest way to give your immune system a boost. Whether you like to cook yourself or you’re more of a take-out fan, try aiming for meals that feature foods which are high in vitamins A, C, E, and D. Other important nutrients that help to boost your immune system include whole foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and walnuts, as well as fruits and veggies that are high in selenium and zinc.

2. Get More Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps to naturally strengthen the immune system while keeping the body healthy and can be found abundantly in fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of the best sources of vitamin C include kiwi, berries, citrus fruits, dark green vegetables and bell peppers.

3. Drink Lots of Water

Not only is staying hydrated one of the greatest things you can do for your health, but it also helps fight common viruses like the cold and the flu. Water is a vital element in the production of lymph, which works to carry your white blood cells and other immune system cells throughout the body. So be sure to drink plenty of water this winter and for a little extra boost try adding a few orange or lemon slices to your water to get a bit more vitamin C with each glass.


4. Exercise

Not only is exercise a great way to keep your body in shape, but it also works to increase your immune function, improves the quality of your sleep and helps to relieve stress. Anything from a few laps in the pool to a day spent walking around exploring the local museums can be great for getting your heart rate up a bit and sending a boost to your immune system.

5. Don’t Skimp on Sleep

After the holiday rush, it can be difficult to get back to a normal sleeping schedule. But you should be doing all that you can to make sure you’re getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Chronic fatigue has been shown to increase your risk of many different types of illness, so try to get some shut-eye whenever possible. Having a tough time sleeping for 7 to 8 hours straight? Try taking a nap to get a few extra hours of rest each day.


6. Try Cooking at Home

Whether or not you fancy yourself a home chef, experimenting with herbs and spices in the kitchen can also be a great way to boost your immune system. Try out a few new recipes that feature healthy herbs and spices like ginger, cayenne pepper, turmeric, garlic and black peppercorn. Each of these common spices contains lots of healthy components that work to naturally give your immune system a boost.

7. Catch Some Rays

Even as the weather gets colder, it’s important that you make an effort to get outside every now and then. Vitamin D is vital for strengthening the immune system and has been shown to fight off the winter blues. We suggest getting out each day for about 30 minutes or so when the sun is not at its highest. An early morning or evening walk is one great way to get in some gentle exercise and enjoy your daily dose of vitamin D.

Relax and Enjoy a Healthy Winter Season

In addition to following a few of our favorite healthy tips this winter, we think it’s always a good idea to relax and have fun whenever you can. Stress and depression are also big contributors to a weakened immune system, so do your best to have some fun as the weather gets colder. Whether you are spending more time with friends or you’ve joined a book club, setting aside some “me time” can do wonders for your health!

Interested in learning more about our Life Plan Community? For more information on what makes The Cypress of Charlotte so great or to schedule a tour, be sure to visit our friendly staff online today.


Top Things for Seniors to do Around Charlotte this Month

With sporting events, fresh foods, top museums, and a high quality of life, Charlotte has a lot to offer older adults. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite activities for seniors to enjoy around the Queen City. 

1. Dine Out for Restaurant Week 

January brings Restaurant Week to Charlotte. Held from January 19-28, the event allows diners to enjoy discounted prix fixe meals at 130 restaurants across nine counties in the metro Charlotte area. For $30 to $35 dollars, excluding tax and tip, seniors can sample fresh food from some of the city’s most inventive chefs. Enjoy a romantic date with your spouse or get a group together for a memorable night out. Reservations are not required during Restaurant Week but they are recommended, as the discounted prices can bring crowds at local favorites. 

2. Get Together for Coffee

After the busy holiday period, why not connect with friends for coffee and conversation? The metro Charlotte area is full of great coffee shops. Some local favorites include Not Just Coffee (which has several locations across Charlotte), Parliament Espresso And Coffee Bar, Central Coffee Company, Hex Coffee and Mugs Coffee.

3. Visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame 

You don’t need to be a race car enthusiast to enjoy a visit to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame features the plaques and medals you might expect, but it also explains NASCAR’s history and offers an interactive pit stop experience at the Race Week exhibit. Seniors 65+ receive a discount on tickets. While the NASCAR Hall of Fame is a fun experience any time of year, we like it for chilly winter days when you want to stay active, but don’t want to be outdoors.  We will be taking our members on a private tour on the 23rd!

4. Learn Something New 

It’s always a great time to learn something new or increase your skill with a favorite hobby. While some classes are targeted toward seniors, others take an intergenerational approach. 

In Charlotte, seniors can attend the Senior Scholars Programs at Queens University of Charlotte, where they enjoy lectures from prominent speakers. Past topics have included gerrymandering and the Supreme Court, strategies for coping with difficult people, and a field trip to the Reed Gold Mine. 

Additionally, Central Piedmont Community College offers practical and personal enrichment courses in topics that include automotive, culinary arts, culture, language learning, personal finance, floral design, fitness, Alzheimer’s and dementia care and much more.

5. Spot Birds and Learn About Gardening at Wing Haven 

Wing Haven is a great experience any time of year, but winter features special programming including horticultural lectures, birding excursions, and gardening field trips. Upcoming programs include winter gardening, storm proofing trees, pruning perennials, and the Great Backyard Bird Count, held in February. 

6. Catch Pop-Up Opera

Opera Carolina is hosting a unique pop-up event at the 7th Street Public Market. See the opera’s take on New York Fashion Week gowns, hear top arias and musical theater numbers sung by the opera company’s talent, and get discounted tickets for upcoming performance. The free pop-up event takes place January 26 at 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

7. Explore the Carolinas Aviation Museum 

North Carolina is pivotal to aviation history, and there’s no better place to learn about the history of flight than at the Carolinas Aviation Museum, which (appropriately enough) is located at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. There, you’ll find exhibits about commercial aircraft, military aircraft, and helicopters. When weather permits on weekends, you can visit an active ramp on a docent-led tour of several airplanes. Seniors get a discount on admission.

8. Take the Trolley to Uptown Crawl 

On Uptown Crawl, held January 25 from 9:00-9:00 p.m., art lovers of all ages can take the trolley to local galleries and musicians. You’ll enjoy free trolley rides, free admission, and a chance to experience some of the city’s art scene. 

9. Hear Local Musicians 

Every Friday evening, you can catch local musicians at the Final-E Friday Acoustic series, held at Coco and the Director in Charlotte Center City. Admission is free and bands vary. Whether you prefer pop or country, you’ll find something to appreciate. 

If you’ve visited Charlotte and enjoy the area, have you considered relocating? The Cypress of Charlotte is a luxury Life Plan Community in Charlotte where active and healthy older adults can live independently, enjoy community, and take advantage of all the wonderful things to do in Charlotte. 

The Health Benefits of Reading

During the winter months, it is easy to stay in and watch your favorite holiday programs whenever the weather is too cold for outdoor recreation. And while no one can fault you for catching a couple of those holiday classics on TV, what should you do if you get tired of watching TV? Instead of cozying up with your remote this winter, reach for a good book to pass the time! If your reading habits have been limited to Facebook posts or Twitter news feeds, now is the perfect time to give your brain power a boost by reading a book or two.

The Many Amazing Health Benefits of Reading


When was the last time you read an entire book? If you’re like many Americans, it may have been quite some time since you’ve enjoyed a book instead of browsing through headlines and current events online. If you don’t make a habit of reading books or substantial magazine articles regularly, you could be missing out on a wealth of health benefits, including:

1. Mental Stimulation

Numerous studies have shown that keeping your brain stimulated is one of the best ways to slow the progress and possibly prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s. By keeping your brain engaged and active with a great book, you can help boost your brain power. Just like the other muscles in the body, the brain requires lots of exercise to stay healthy and strong.

2. Stress Relief

Whether the stress of the holidays is getting to you or you’ve had some recent issues come up in your daily life, let your stress fade away for a while as you get wrapped up in a good story. A well-written book can easily distract your worried mind and transport you to a far-off place. This distraction is ideal for letting those daily stresses drain away and perfect for a bit of relaxation when you need it the most.

3. Expand Your Vocabulary

The more you read, the more words your brain is exposed to. And the more often you’re exposed to new words, the more likely they are to slip their way into your regular vocabulary. Being well spoken and better able to articulate yourself is something that seems to be fading with the times, so why not take it upon yourself to sound more well read? With a larger vocabulary, you can easily keep up in social situations and even give your confidence a boost too.

4. Knowledge

When you read a substantial piece of work, your brain absorbs a ton of new information. Whether your brain picks up a bit of information on how to change a tire or you discover a better way to fold your sheets, the more knowledge you gain from reading, the better equipped you’ll be to tackle new challenges.

5. Improved Memory

When you read a novel, your brain has to remember character names, their backgrounds, story arcs and plot changes to get through to the end of the story. While that may sound like a lot of work, for the human brain it’s relatively simple. But the great health benefit to you is the fact that each time your brain creates a new memory, it strengthens and creates new brain pathways to help keep your memory sharper.

6. Better Focus

In today’s world of computers, smartphones and the internet, it’s totally normal to have your attention pulled in a million directions at once, which can be very mentally exhausting. However, when you take the time to read a book, you are allowing your brain to decompress and focus on one simple task. Even with just 15 to 20 minutes of reading each day, your ability to focus and concentrate will improve tremendously.

7. Improved Writing Skills

Reading comprehension goes hand-in-hand with the ability to write more clearly. Similar to expanding your vocabulary through reading, when you read your brain absorbs all of that perfect sentence structure and grammar. Over time, this will help to improve your own writing as well.

8. Strong Critical Thinking Skills

If you’ve ever read a mystery novel and been able to figure out the puzzle before finishing the story, then you’ve put your critical thinking skills to good use. From solving everyday mishaps to preventing accidents around the home, reading gives your brain a boost to help process important details more clearly.

Snuggle Up with a Good Book This Winter at The Cypress of Charlotte

At The Cypress of Charlotte, we want to ensure that all of our residents enjoy a safe and relaxing winter season. So instead of spending those colder days inside watching TV, reach for a book and reap the many benefits of reading! Want to learn more about life at our continuing care retirement community? Contact us today to schedule a tour.

Advice for New Caregivers

Becoming a new caregiver can be daunting. You may have moved gradually into this role or you may have found yourself stepping up to take care of a loved one in a crisis. Here are few tips to follow to help you transition naturally into the role of caregiver.

Prepare Ahead of Time

In crisis situations, you may not have a lot of time to prepare. However, it is important to have tough conversations with the senior in your life as early as possible. Many adult children wait until their parents are age 70 or older to talk about future care. However, it is better to bring up these topics about expected responsibilities and financial situations as soon as possible. This helps you plan out the level of care you will be able to provide to the senior and also figure out what type of monies are available to subsidize care. You also need to discuss wills and power of attorney early on. Taking the initiative will help you avoid facing the unknown in the future.

Become Informed

The best thing you can do as a new caregiver is to learn everything possible about caring for your senior family member. If the senior has been diagnosed with a particular medical condition, research the condition and reach out to a medical professional to set up a consultation. Work alongside the senior’s medical team to make sure you’re following medical protocols while acting as a caregiver. The healthcare provider could also suggest courses you could take to assist you in learning the basics of proper care giving.

Join a Support Group

When you act as a caregiver, you may find yourself facing frustrations time to time. Not all family members will be supportive or offer up their time for you to vent. You may also feel uncomfortable venting to friends and family. Community support groups are the perfect place to connect with others to talk out your concerns and also solicit advice from those going through similar situations. If you don’t have a local support group, don’t worry. Online support groups are available round-the-clock and are a fantastic place to connect with other caregivers virtually.

Practice Good Self-Care

When you are a caregiver, it’s important to take care of your own needs by getting plenty of rest and eating nutritious meals. Take breaks and participate in activities you enjoy. If a certain task is overwhelming, such as bathing or preparing meals, find someone to assist you. Recognize your limits and know when to take a breather. If you’re noticing increased irritability or have issues sleeping, then you need to re-evaluate your current situation. Sometimes, a vacation is enough to feel renewed and get you ready to jump back into your caregiver role.

Get Help

No one should be a martyr. You have your own life and sometimes the responsibilities of caring for an elderly family member is too overwhelming. Not only should you share care giving responsibilities with other family members, but also consider seeking outside support. Continuing care retirement communities offer a reprieve for both you and your family member. Professionals are on hand to make sure every need is met within a relaxing environment. If a higher level of care is needed in the future, this is an option open to you within the community. Don’t feel you are somehow forfeiting your role as caregiver by having them make the move. Your ongoing love and support will make all the difference. Continuing care communities are welcoming to visitors and are likely to have family-themed activities planned to include everyone during your visits. 

The Cypress of Charlotte can act as a sanctuary to both you and your senior family member. Our award-winning community has a country-club vibe with luxurious amenities to make all residents feel right at home. Onsite healthcare and our home health agency will help address any medical issues. Contact us to learn more or to schedule a tour of our community.  

What are the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Independent Living?


Whether you are thinking of moving into independent living or researching the topic for a loved one, you probably have a lot of questions. While we are happy to answer these questions about our luxury senior living community, The Cypress of Charlotte, we thought we would gather answers to some of our most frequently asked questions here for your convenience. Read on to get answers to the questions at the top of your mind (and some you haven’t even thought of yet)!

What is independent living? 

Independent living is a home, apartment, or other complex that provides independent housing for adults. Some independent living communities cater to older adults in retirement, while others cater to adults with disabilities or mental illnesses. The Cypress of Charlotte is a luxury independent living community dedicated to retirees. 

What are the benefits of independent living? 

An independent living community is designed to provide a spectrum of care to older adults. Individuals who need less care may live autonomously within the community, while individuals who need daily assistance can move within the community to a space that offers the level of care they need or arrange for in-home care.

All homes within the facility are designed for the needs of older adults. From entrances that have no stairs to bathrooms with shower guardrails, all rooms offer safeguards for adults of different abilities. 

What does continuing care mean? 

Continuing care means that residents are allowed to remain a part of the community while receiving the appropriate level of care. Residents can enjoy independent living, assisted living, or memory care in our Alzheimer’s wing. Many of our residents enjoy the stability and peace of mind of knowing they will be getting the care they need in one community where they know and trust their neighbors, nurses, and staff. 

Is it expensive to live in an independent living facility? 

Independent living facilities cost, on average, less than or the same as staying in your existing house. However, these facilities deliver greater value in terms of health care, providing a financial safety net and community. 

Independent living facilities are able to offer lower cost assisted living care due to economies of scale. You can enjoy a high quality of life without the need for additional care, then rest assured that you can get the care you need for a price you can afford, which is something you cannot say if you choose to remain in your home.  

What amenities do independent living facilities offer? 

In general, independent living facilities offer planned social activities for residents, wellness activities, healthy meals that accommodate dietary restrictions, and access to medical care. 

At The Cypress of Charlotte, we offer luxury amenities geared toward our residents’ ultimate enjoyment. Our dining hall serves chef-prepared meals, and there’s catering service too. With health and wellness, spa services, a library, and a swimming pool, our Clubhouse is the apex of our community’s social scene. Active residents will enjoy gardening, walking on the dedicated walking paths, or gazing at the lake. 

What levels of support are available for residents who need it? 

Care at independent living facilities is always tailored to the level of need. Assisted living features available to our residents include medication management, dressing and grooming assistance, housekeeping, light meal preparation, and bathing care. Staff are on hand to help with transportation, walking assistance, letter-writing, companionship, and nursing care. The onsite medical center is available 24/7. 

From progressive rehabilitation and short-term stays to long-term care, our medical center offers high-quality care. There’s even an Alzheimer’s wing onsite. Every community member receives 90 days of care at our medical center at no additional cost. After 90 days, our members pay one-half the rate that non-community members would pay. 

What types of homes are available in independent living? 

The answer to this question is “it varies.” We offer freestanding cottages with attached two-car garages. Cottages can be customized inside, and home exteriors are maintained by our maintenance crew. The Villas offer condo living with either one or two bedrooms. Villas come with balconies that can overlook the lake. 

If you don’t see your question answered here, just contact us. We are happy to provide additional information on transitioning to independent living or show you our favorite things about The Cypress of Charlotte in a personalized tour. Contact us today to schedule a visit or request more information. 

Explore Charlotte’s Museums & Arts Scene This Coming Winter


Winter is coming and many Charlotte residents may have concerns about being stuck indoors as the weather gets cooler. Although southern winters are mild, the temperatures are cold enough that you won’t be scheduling trips to the beach or pool. Luckily, Charlotte has a rich cultural history and there will be plenty of museums to visit this winter.

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Do you live and breathe modern artistic expression? Are you a fan of mid-century pieces from the modernism period? Then, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art should be added to your winter itinerary. Jazz nights and paint and wine gatherings are popular events that are added to the museum’s calendar each month. Daily admission is inexpensive with adults paying $8.00 and seniors charged $6.00.

City Art Room

If you’re looking for weekly paint and wine nights, then check out the events sponsored by the City Art Room. They have instructor led and freestyle sessions featuring canvas painting, pottery, jewelry making, and much more. Most sessions range between $20 and $30 and include all the materials needed to release your creative juices.

NASCAR Hall of Fame

Racing fans must make it a point to visit Charlotte’s own NASCAR museum. Historic cars, interactive exhibits, and high definition racing shows are just a few of the things you can do while visiting the state of the art facility. Special tapings and behind the scene tours will be available throughout the winter months. Seniors and military discounts are available for admission packages.

Carolinas Aviation Museum

The aviation museum is open daily throughout the winter season and offers very low admission rates to all visitors. Examples of aircraft you’ll find during your tour include a F-14 Super Tomcat, CH-46 helicopter, and Flight 1549 – the famed “Miracle on the Hudson” airbus.

The Mint Museum

The Mint Museum has two different buildings in Charlotte, each housing different collections. The museum on Randolph Street keeps their focus on Native American artwork and historic decorative arts. The uptown branch on South Tryon Street is a larger, five-story space with contemporary and European art pieces. Tickets are valid for two-day visits and members of the museum receive free admission.

Charlotte Symphony

Also nearby the uptown branch of the Mint Museum is the home of the Charlotte Symphony. Popular shows during the winter season include the Magic of Christmas, The Four Seasons, and Handel’s Messiah.

North Carolina Dance Theatre

Home to the Charlotte Ballet, this theatre has a terrific show schedule planned for the winter season. Throughout December, you will not want to miss the classic holiday ballet, The Nutcracker. If you’re more of a fan of modern ballet performances, January’s shows will feature contemporary dances. The company incorporates elaborate sets and breathtaking costumes into all of their performances. Tickets typically start at $25 per seat.

The Light Factory

This museum is a standout because it is one of only four of its kind in the entire country. This museum focuses exclusively on film and photography exhibits. Besides exhibits, the museum hosts special movie screenings as well as photography and videography workshops. The gallery is typically open Wednesdays through Saturdays between the hours of 12pm and 6pm.

Living at The Cypress of Charlotte will put you in close proximity to all that the city has to offer. Our breath-taking community has luxurious amenities on a beautiful wooded lot. Contact us today to schedule a tour of our grounds.

Tips for Choosing and Transitioning to a Retirement Community

Transitioning into a retirement community is much easier than you likely anticipated. Modern senior living has mass appeal because many communities are now offering luxurious accommodations and convenient amenities. Not all moves to retirement communities are based on need. Many seniors decide to make the transition because it makes the most sense financially. Consider the following as you begin to plan a move to a retirement community. 

Make the Move Sooner Than Later

Moving into a retirement community early helps you adjust better to this major life change. If you’re not well physically or mentally, the relocation can be taxing and lead to problems adjusting. Moving in early also gives you more time to enjoy the many benefits of the community such as fun outings, luxurious amenties and helpful services.

Make a Must List

If you know a community has the amenities you most desire, the transition will go much smoother. Write down a list of inclusions you want at your retirement community. For instance, if you’re a fan of long walks, you’ll want a place with nearby walking trails. If you’re the social butterfly type, you must review the community’s list of daily and monthly activities to see if they sound appealing. Meal options are also an integral part of community living. Find a center with delicious meals that will satisfy the most discerning palate.

Involve the Family

Researching communities should be a family affair. Your family members can offer their advice on options and can also do some research on your behalf. Ask them to accompany you on visits and speak to staff members. Your family can also assist you with developing a budget for your move. With their input, you could research costs and plan out your future living expenses.

If you’re worried about the separation from family members, make plans ahead of time. Keep a standing date with your relatives and friends to visit you on a weekly or monthly basis. Knowing that you’ll still have the support of family behind you will make the move so much easier.

Stay for Awhile

Before making the permanent move to a retirement community, consider an extended visit or temporary stay. Many communities encourage you to stay and test the waters before committing to a single retirement community. Get involved in local activities and meet other residents. Once you socialize with others, you’ll feel comfortable with your surroundings. Residents can also give you the inside scoop on what they enjoy most about living within the community. Talk to staff members too as much as possible. Before settling on a permanent residence, you want to get a sense you’ll be surrounded by caring professionals. Follow up with the residents and staff you meet at your visit to ask any questions you may later have about retirement living.

Get a Checkup

Talk to your doctor about moving into a retirement community. The community will be supportive as any health issues creep up or can assist with any pre-existing conditions. As an added convenience, a retirement community may have an onsite medical facility. This ensures 24/7 medical care is only steps away from home. Ask your doctor for any copies of medical records you may want to provide the community. You should also provide lists of any medications you take regularly and power of attorney paperwork.

Give Yourself Time

Don’t expect to feel right at home immediately after the move. As with any relocation, you need time to develop that sense of belonging. Decorate your home in your preferred style and make sure to hang up plenty of family photos. To help get settled, you should invite friends and family over to visit your new place. Introduce them to your new neighbors. Take part in community activities or simply have them tag along to a meal or go for a swim at the clubhouse pool.

The Cypress of Charlotte is an award-winning retirement community in the vibrant city of Charlotte. Our luxurious accommodations and versatile amenities encourage seniors to continue with their active lifestyles. Give us a call now at 866-803-4424 to find out more or to schedule a visit.    

Cool Off, Unwind, and Try Some New Wine at the Whitewater Center’s Uncorked Festival

As summer slowly eases into fall, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of Charlotte’s lovely early autumn atmosphere. The staff at the U.S. National Whitewater Center know how to make the most of this time of year – and it involves wine, live music, and outdoor yoga. At their annual Uncorked Festival, attendees are invited to sample wine, participate in a trail race, take in a live music set, and more; all on the grounds of the Center’s gorgeous 1,300-acre park. So mark your calendar for Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23 and plan to come unwind!

Sample Wine From Wineries Near and Far

Wine tasting is the heart of the Whitewater Center’s annual Uncorked Festival. From 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 23, festival attendees will have the chance to try out red and white vintages from 16 renowned winemakers. From North Carolina’s own Wine, to Water and Shelton Vineyards, to the Napa Valley’s Z. Alexander Brown and Michael David Wineries, vintners from across the country will be on hand with some of their best wines for guests to try.

For just $10, you can purchase a sample card that entitles you to four two-ounce samples of any of the award-winning options available. Attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase a take-home, USNWC branded wine glass to enjoy their drinks in at the festival.

Relax With Yoga Under the Open Sky

While its wine tastings may give the festival its name, the event’s outdoor activities truly take advantage of the Whitewater Center’s gorgeous grounds. Several yoga classes will be offered on Saturday to help you further relax and unwind. At 9:30 a.m., a traditional class lead by a certified yoga instructor will be held on the South Ridge lawn. The class is free for all participants; just bring your yoga mat and enjoy.

Up for a more challenging yoga practice? Try out the Center’s SUP Yoga class. Held on the calm waters of the Catawba River, adventurous yogis will be guided through poses while balancing aboard stand-up paddle boards. If you already have your own equipment (including a SUP board, paddle, and personal floatation device), the class is free; equipment can also be rented with the purchase of an activity pass, starting at $25. If interested, come early; this class is capped at 15 participants.

Take Part in a Race – On Land or Water

If you’d like to really get your blood flowing in the crisp autumn weather, sign up for one of the festival’s several race offerings. Runners can choose from the 5k Trail Race or the Wild Vine Half Marathon; casual runners will find the 5k option the perfect match for their level, while runners looking to challenge themselves can further their training by completing the half marathon. Registration is available online or on the day of. The half marathon kicks off at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday with the 5k beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Those who prefer to spend the day on the water can take part in the SUP Stream Catawba River Race. Both beginning and experienced stand-up paddle boarders are invited to test their skills on the river in this four-mile race beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday. No paddle board? No problem! Rental equipment will be available on a first come, first serve basis that morning.

For all three races, the top three male/female finishers over 55 will receive awards — so bring your running shoes or paddle board and your game face!

Enjoy Live Music Al Fresco

Prefer to unwind in a less active way? Enjoy some wonderful live music while sipping your wine under the sky. Beginning in the early afternoon on Saturday, Belmont Abbey Island’s main stage will host acts from a range of musical genres. The concerts will kick off at 1:00 p.m. with a set from the country duo of Sally & George, followed by classic rock-and-roll band the Dead 27’s at 3:00 p.m. The Southern rock group, The Vegabonds, will take the stage at 5:00 p.m., and Austin, Texas’ garage rockers White Denim will finish off the day with two sets starting at 7:00 p.m. Best of all, all shows are free to enjoy!

At Cypress of Charlotte, our goal is to create a community for our residents that promotes an active, fun lifestyle in retirement. We seek to foster a country club-like atmosphere with ample amenities and services to help you make the most of your golden years. To find out more about everything our continuing care retirement community has to offer, please contact us today.  

Best Hikes and Nature Drives Within 3 Hours From Charlotte

While Charlotte may be the country’s third-fastest growing city with an impressive skyline and many rich urban neighborhoods, residents of the Queen City are lucky enough to be surrounded by beautiful and unspoiled natural landscapes. Incredible hiking trails and beautiful nature drives abound within a short three hours of the city’s center, making it easy for Charlotteans to escape to the great outdoors. Of the many options, these three hiking trails and three nature drives make up the best of what the Charlotte area has to offer.

The Charlotte Area’s Most Beautiful Hiking Trails

In the mood to connect with nature up close and personal? The Charlotte area is home to gorgeous hiking trails suitable for all fitness and experience levels. Naming them all would be impossible, but these three sets of trails are a great jumping-off point to begin exploring eastern North Carolina’s natural beauty.

Comprising more than 50,000 acres, the Uwharrie National Forest is home to dozens of hiking trails. Some can get quiet strenuous, but options abound for trails that are easy yet no less beautiful. The Densons Creek Nature Trail is suitable even for total novices, while the more challenging Badin Lake Trail provides beautiful views of this pristine lake.

Kings Mountain State Park in Blacksburg offers a similar array of hiking trails, ranging from easy to moderately difficult. One trail of note is the Kings Mountain Nature Trail, which makes a leisurely 1.2-mile loop and offers close-up views of beautiful flora and incredible fauna such as wild turkeys and deer. 

Lastly, Stone Mountain State Park–just an hour and a half from Charlotte–provides some incredible trails for more seasoned hikers. Paths such as the Middle Falls/Lower Falls Trail lead you to breathtaking views of waterfalls that make the hike worth the effort.

The Most Scenic Nature Drives Within Three Hours of Charlotte

If you’re in the mood to sit rather than hike but would still like to bask in the glory of the great outdoors, one of the Charlotte area’s many scenic nature drives may fit the bill. Enjoy lush forests and breathtaking vistas from the comfort of your car on one of these three drives.

Winding its way through Crowders Mountain State Park, the Crowders Mountain Drive provides some amazing views of the countryside before climbing to the top of Pinnacle Peak. (If the drive invigorates you for a hike, the trails to the top of Crowders Mountain are fairly short and provide views of downtown Charlotte’s skyscrapers.)
Want to see some of North Carolina’s most impressive wildlife? Hit the road on the Grassy Island Crossing. This road traverses the Pee Dee Wildlife Refuge, and a waterfowl observation spot allows you to observe migratory birds resting in their natural habitats.  

Of course, no list of scenic drives near Charlotte would be complete without mentioning the Blue Ridge Parkway. Often referred to as America’s favorite drive, this relaxing drive supplies close-up views of the incredible landscapes and rugged mountains that make up the Appalachian Highlands. The entire Parkway is 469 miles long, but some of the most stunning portions of the drive that run along the Blue Ridge Mountains are just two hours from Charlotte. 

Looking for an active, vibrant retirement community in which to spend your golden years? At the Cypress of Charlotte, we aim to foster a country club lifestyle for the residents of our upscale continuing care retirement community. To learn more about our residences or to schedule a tour, please contact us today.  

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