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Choosing a Full-service Retirement Community vs. an Active adult/55+ Community ?

November 27, 2023

You’ve worked hard to secure a successful career, to raise a family, to save money, and to maintain your home.

You’ve earned a retirement…a great retirement; it’s time to dial back the responsibilities and amp up the opportunities. The years ahead should be full of promise, purpose, friendship, and fun.

Deciding to move to a senior living community now is the very best step to take while you’re primed to make the most of all that the next chapter has to offer.

However, it’s important to note that not all senior living opportunities are equal; not even close. And there’s no reason to compromise on what will be important in your future.

Many older adults have their choices narrowed down to an active adult/55+ community or a full-service retirement community. Both promise that you’ll be surrounded by your peers and that they will offer programs and activities.

Let’s take a look at what each of these options has to offer…and, more importantly, what they do not.

Security and safety

Active adult/55+ communities are sometimes gated, preventing unauthorized people from entering.

Brightmore of South Charlotte senior living community has professional, trained staff at the front desk of the building, 24/7.

Furthermore, we have a resident check-in system. This is a great way to ensure that residents are safe. Residents can simply push a button before 10 a.m. each morning to let the front desk know they’re okay. After 10, if we haven’t heard from a resident, we’ll call or, if needed, knock on their door to check on them in person. Our simple, non-intrusive system provides peace of mind.


At a 55+ community, outdoor maintenance and landscaping will likely be part of a Homeowners Association (HOA) fee. Residents are often responsible for maintenance within their homes.

At Brightmore of South Charlotte, all of the landscaping and outdoor maintenance is handled by our professionals. Additionally, inside your home, we provide regularly scheduled house cleaning, change your lightbulbs, unplug your sink, ensure your air conditioning is running, and more.

Maintenance-free is truly that— maintenance-free, inside, and out.


At a 55+ community, if you don’t want to or cannot drive, you’ll likely need to call a friend, family member, or rideshare to go to the store, a doctor’s appointment, out to meet someone for lunch, to an area attraction, etc.

At our senior living community, we have a shuttle service that is either scheduled or can be reserved to go wherever you want or need to go. This includes fun group outings to museums, concerts, shows, shopping, restaurants, etc.

Of course, at Brightmore of South Charlotte, there’s the added benefit that while you might want to go out, you seldom need to. We have virtually everything you may want or need all under one roof, including multiple restaurant-style dining venues, meeting spaces, a full-service hair salon, a library, a wellness center with fitness equipment, an indoor heated pool, and more. Furthermore, we bring onsite live entertainment and speakers.


Dining is such an integral part of our lives, not only as a necessity but also as an opportunity for socialization. Only some 55+ communities have onsite dining facilities for residents; options are limited. Meals are billed separately from the regular monthly fee.

Recognizing the importance of the role of dining, Brightmore of South Charlotte offers multiple distinctive options within our beautiful building. We offer restaurant-style fine dining, casual and pub-style meals with seasonal menus. And our dining program is more than just fabulous fare. We feature themed meals, special healthy eating events, and wine pairing events. So, dining here is not just a place to eat but offers an experience for residents to enjoy.

Professionally overseen fitness programs

At a 55+ community, there is, in all likelihood, a fitness center, perhaps even exercise classes.

At Brightmore of South Charlotte, we have certified fitness specialists to ensure that your workouts are effective and safe. Our team creates customized programs for each resident and helps set, track and celebrate goals met while residents participate in the program. Our priority is to help you stay as healthy and independent as possible through our fitness programming and professionals.


Expenses such as utilities are in addition to what one pays as part of HOA fees for 55+ communities.

At Brightmore of South Charlotte, cable, water/sewer, electricity, and wireless internet service are all provided as part of your monthly residential fee. There aren’t any additional surprise charges that you’ll incur.

A future

We’ve saved the most important for last.

Once you’ve made the move to a senior living community, you don’t want to have to move again. But if your health needs change, moving may be your only option unless you’re living in a full-service retirement community with all levels of care.

Many 55+ communities are located in close proximity to hospitals. That’s as close to receiving health care as it gets. If residents require consistent care, they typically will need to find, vet, and hire in-home care providers on their own.

At Brightmore of South Charlotte, we offer several healthcare opportunities on our beautiful campus. If your health needs change, you will have priority access to The Terrace at Brightmore, which offers assisted living and memory support, and The Pavilion, which provides rehabilitation and skilled care.

Your future is assured. You will never have to leave your friends or spouse or the community you’ve come to call your ‘home.’

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Brightmore of South Charlotte & The Terrace at Brightmore

10225 Old Ardrey Kell Rd
Charlotte, NC 28277