Chef Wars 2020

Between August 10th and 13th we tantalized everyone with new daily cooking videos, along with recipes, food fact tidbits, quizzes and more. Throughout the week, our own Executive Chef Dave Thomas from The Cypress Retirement Community along with other area Chefs prepared desserts and appetizers for your viewing pleasure.

You all joined us for the main event on Friday, August 14th to vote for your favorite dish, chat virtually with your favorite chefs, win door prizes or even a dish delivered right to your door. AND THE CYPRESS OF CHARLOTTE WON! 

This is such a wonderful event that we love to participate in, and we really love it when we win! Check out the videos below –

4 Reasons Why Life Begins at Retirement

4 Reasons Why Life Begins at Retirement

Free time. Fun. Friends. Family. Food. Travel. All of these are commonly advertised reasons why life begins at retirement, even perceived as “the golden years” of someone’s life. Research shows that it’s not just retirement that lengthens your life expectancy, but what you do during that time that contributes positively to your overall health. Not only can you say that life begins at retirement, but life also prospers at retirement. Read on for some positive perks you can expect after you begin the next chapter of your life.


  1. Good for You.

    Being free from work responsibilities is a profound source of stress relief and it shows when you enter retirement. A Dutch study analyzing retiree data in the U.S. found surprising results concluding that about seven years of retirement can be as good for your health as reducing the chance of getting a serious disease (like diabetes or heart conditions) by 20 percent. Engaging in wellness programs like circuit training or a swim class, attending regular social activities or even taking a walk can all have positive impacts on your overall health and well being. Many retirement communities approach wellness in a comprehensive way, covering multiple dimensions of their residents’ health ranging from physical, emotional, spiritual and even vocational (volunteerism) aspects. Ensuring a well rounded approach can support their life expectancy and also quality of life while they are maintaining an active lifestyle.

  2. Room to Make Memories.

    Retirement isn’t just the dawn of the empty nest, but also the opportunity to make new memories. It’s true that we make time for the things that are important to us, but when your day is up to you, it becomes easier to prioritize how you want to spend your free time. Now that your week is less structured by the Monday through Friday work week, you don’t have to conform to all things fun and family for just two days. This new, bonus room of time and energy is discretionary, or a recreational wild card for whatever you’re interested in doing, learning, exploring, etc. Many seniors find themselves dating again, finding joy in simple pleasures like cooking or painting, or finally discovering the mental space to finish their memoir. A vacant guest room doesn’t mean you are alone, you can start filling up your living space with you and your passions, which can feel like a new beginning for many. Start thinking of this chapter with the prefix “re” as you would find in the term “retirement”, but more like “renewal”, “rebirth”, or even “rebound”. Retirement can be the greenhouse that gives you the room and resources to blossom. 

  3. Focus on Family and Friends.

    Your family and friends will always be on your priority list, but after you retire, the roles may shift slightly. Instead of being the primary caretaker, you can shift attention back on you, your needs, dreams or desires. Being a parent or even a grandparent sure is rewarding, but more so if you have the time to recharge. Friends, if they have hit the same milestone of retirement, are suddenly filling your social calendar up with get-togethers and group getaways. Whether you’re the matriarch or the patriarch of the family, your home is often the hub of all family activities. With a spacious, custom home in a close knit community setting is the perfect backdrop for casual visits or family holidays, with you at the center of the excitement.

  4. Exploring You and Your World.

    An open calendar can lead to an open door- to traveling and exploring your world. Retirement is the most opportune time to discover something new and distance yourself from the normal comforts of home. Booking that flight for a food tour of Italy or reserving a romantic getaway in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains could be the start of a tiny adventure. Let your passport be your guide to new tastes, people, cultures, sights and beyond. You now have the time and head space to welcome new experiences or chase old dreams that called the back burner home while you were working. 

Life Begins at Retirement, and Prospers at The Cypress of Charlotte

When you’re ready to to take the leap into retirement, we encourage you to come and see all The Cypress of Charlotte has to offer firsthand. Life begins at retirement, and life really prospers at The Cypress of Charlotte.  Please call us today at 704.714.5500 to learn more or schedule a tour. 

How To Find The Perfect High End Senior Living

How To Find The Perfect High End Senior Living Community


If you’re beginning to picture the possibilities of a worry-free lifestyle, then now may be the right time to start evaluating high end senior living communities. Of course, everyone has a different definition of perfect. Carefully consider several communities to identify the one that appeals to your tastes and needs. Moreover, you want to find the place that you can rightly call home. Following are some of the top factors to think about before making your move. 


Location, Location

Where you choose to live says a lot about how you wish to live. What are your priorities? Do you envision yourself soaking up the sun and fun in a coastal location? Members of our prestigious sister community, The Cypress of Hilton Head, dip their toes in the ocean and play golf year around. 

Other seniors may prefer the vibrant and exhilarating “city life,” where diverse arts, culture, entertainment, and dining venues abound. Members of The Cypress of Raleigh are frequent North Carolina Symphony patrons, for example. 

And yet, some retirees want to be close to their families. Many Members of The Cypress of Charlotte take great pride in hosting their children and grandchildren for Sunday brunch, then retreating to their homes for joyful family gatherings.   


Community Type   

There are different types of high-end senior living communities, each with varying levels of services and amenities. One such type is the Life Plan Community, formerly known as the Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC. Life Plan Communities offer a broad range of living options, and a continuum of care designed to meet the changing needs of residents as they age. 

For those who desire to age in place, a Life Plan Community is the best option. You can avoid having to relocate to another facility, should your health needs change. In like manner, Life Plan Communities are especially good options for couples; partners can remain physically close, should their care needs diverge. 


Housing Options 

If you’re accustomed to living life on your terms, then seek an upscale senior community that allows you to customize your home, your way. When you have a say in the accouterments of your new home, from flooring to finishes to individual touches, you’ll have a perfect fit from day one. 

In addition, take note of the range of floor plans, from styles to sizes, that various  senior living communities offer. If you’re ready to embrace a minimalist, clutter-free lifestyle, then a sleek, modern villa might be a good decision for you. On the other hand, a spacious cottage could be better suited to house an extensive collection of arts and antiques. There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s all about finding the optimal fit for the way you want to live. 


Financial Model 

If you’re shopping for an upscale senior facility, then you’ve no doubt invested a great deal of care in the management of your personal finances. For this reason, the financial model offered by the retirement community is an important consideration, as there are a range of models to choose from.

Many communities require large, non-refundable entrance fees. Others allow for a pro-rated portion of the entrance fee to be refunded, should you decide to move elsewhere for any reason. In either case, once you’ve paid the entrance fee, you essentially become a renter. 

A few high-end senior communities, such as The Cypress of Charlotte, offer equity ownership. This model grants the benefits of home ownership, like the opportunity to build equity as the housing market appreciates. Equity ownership can be a valuable financial tool for both residents and their heirs. 

In addition, ask about any debt owed by the community to lenders or investors. If an upscale senior facility owes debt, then the monthly fees that you pay are applied to debt service. However, if the community is debt-free, the fees will go towards things that will make your life their more enjoyable. It will also enhance the longterm stability of the community. 


High-End Services and Amenities 

One of the perks of having worked long and hard, is to now be able to kick back and enjoy the good life. High-end senior living communities offer a host of services and amenities that add pleasure and ease to our daily life. 

Many of these services and amenities are included in the monthly fees that you will pay. It’s important to understand what is included, so you can decide what’s valuable to you. At this stage, it’s all about defining your preferences. 

Some of the perks to look for may include

  • Meals credits,
  • Home delivery of meals, 
  • Complimentary breakfast,
  • Home maintenance,
  • Housekeeping and linen services,
  • Utilities,
  • Transportation and valet services,
  • Concierge, activities, and event planning, 
  • A fenced and gated community,
  • And round-the-clock security



To paraphrase the comedian Steve Martin, the older we get, the more important each meal becomes. If you’re like many of today’s savvy seniors, dining is high on your list of priorities as you’re comparing upscale communities. The quality of the food, but also the range of menu options and dining spaces, from casual to formal, can make a big difference. After all, there are not many restaurants that you visit several hundred times a year. So the food has to good, and being offered a variety of choices every day keeps things fresh and inspiring.  



We all know that a proactive approach to wellness can help you live a longer, healthier, and more satisfying life. But people move to retirement communities at different levels of fitness and abilities. So, learn about the range of fitness facilities and programs that different communities provide. You will discover a range of philosophies, as well as offerings from group classes to individualized assessment and training. In addition, the natural environment of the community itself can either provide or restrict opportunities for outdoor exercise on campus. 

Some of the wellness programs available at high-end senior living communities today include

  • Balance and strength,
  • Cardio,
  • Aqua aerobics,
  • Water walking and range of motion,
  • Tai chi,
  • Yoga,
  • And in-home exercise 



Although we’d rather not think about it, a reality of aging is that access to healthcare can be a vital consideration. Some “active adult” retirement communities do not offer onsite healthcare services. So, you would have to live elsewhere for anything from respite care – when recovering from an illness or surgery – to longterm assisted living. 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Life Plan Communities (or CCRCs) offer virtually every level of healthcare onsite, from recuperative care to Homecare, to 24-hour assisted living, administered by Registered Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants. 

It is also important for you to know upfront what you can expect to pay for these services when offered by upscale retirement facilities. As an example, The Cypress of Charlotte, as well as The Cypress communities in Raleigh and Hilton Head Island, offer 90 days free for Members in their Medicare-certified senior care facilities. 

If you have questions about Medicare, here is a great article that can answer all of your questions.



If you’ve already started thinking about simplifying your life (and if you’re reading this article, that probably includes you or someone close to you) then now is probably a good time to begin looking at high-end senior living communities. Generally speaking, the sooner you begin your search, the more choices you’ll have. And the more opportunity you’ll have to weigh the multitude of considerations, to assure you select the best community for you. 

One of the misconceptions of transitioning to a senior living community, is that you’ll lose your freedom. But many residents of retirement communities find that their freedom and leisure increase beyond what they had in their prior home. They now have the time to do all the things they’ve always wanted to do, rather than worrying about the things they’ve always had to to. Simply put, most residents of upscale senior facilities wish they’d moved sooner. 


Why The Cypress of Charlotte May Be A Good Fit For You

When you’re ready to begin shopping for an upscale senior facility, we encourage you to come and see all The Cypress of Charlotte has to offer firsthand. Your future could be filled with long walks around our scenic lakes and grounds, exceptional dining that rivals Charlotte’s best restaurants, and abundant wellness and social opportunities. At The Cypress of Charlotte, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of true home ownership, yet none of the burdens of upkeep will fall of your shoulders. And should you ever need it, comprehensive healthcare is available onsite in our 5-star quality rated Stewart Health Center. Please call us today at 704.714.5500 to learn more or schedule a tour. 

Fun Things for Senior Citizens to Do

Fun Things for Senior Citizens to Do


Your definition of fun may look different than others or may even evolve as you mature but as long as it brings you joy, there are plenty of fun things for senior citizens to do. What you do can positively impact who you are and how you enjoy your best life in those golden retirement years. In fact, staying engaged and active just 15 minutes a day is linked to living longer, so why not spend it doing something you find entertaining? Check out some of the common (and not so common) activities that you can enjoy when you reach the season of life where your only job is having the time of your life.


You’re a Natural

Whether you like to watch wildlife from the comfort of your balcony window or actually participate with a hike or a backyard garden, seniors often find nature to have a calming, renewal effect. Simply unplugging from your usual electronics and indulging in some fresh air sure is appealing during the warmer months when everything is in bloom.

Visiting your local park or pioneering a new walking trail are accessible gateways to enjoying the outdoors. Dogs have been known to be natural companions to encourage trips outside, sometimes transforming a serene stroll into a frolicking adventure if you let them. If you are not a fan of interacting with nature, simply dine al fresco to take in all the chirping, breezy ambience. 


Fitness that Fits

Initiating or maintaining your exercise routine supports leading an independent lifestyle, especially in a community setting that has all the amenities available on-site. Because it is a naturally dynamic and customizable activity, it’s also a prime opportunity to fall in love with a new form of fitness like Zumba, Yoga or Tai Chi. If the exercise that Zumba features in many of it’s choreography feels more like dancing then you are bound to enjoy yourself every high energy step of the way, plus the group setting is great for social wellness.

Many programs modify the intensity so seniors can get the most out of it without straining joints or muscles. In fact, research shows that Yoga for seniors can actually help prevent the onset of osteoporosis, relieve stress, improve sleep habits, and strengthen those bodily systems (balance, flexibility, inflammation) that traditionally break down with age. A fun activity that is also good for your well being? Outstanding.


Hands On Creation

It’s never too late to create something original and one of the best ways to feel more vibrant is to invoke change with your own two hands. There is genuine artistry in everything, but if you choose sculpture, gardening or knitting those are great options to start the process of making something you can be proud to share or cherish. So go ahead and grow those heirloom tomatoes, make a quilt from old t-shirts, or glaze a mug that will soon be your go to goblet for your morning coffee. Remember, there are no boundaries or rules to what fun looks like, just the fact that you can find fun things to do is a little victory worth celebrating. 


Find Your Social Center

Clubhouses are usually the center of activity in any continuing care retirement community but if you find your social core, a big event could be just as fun as an intimate dinner party. Bring the fun inside with a home movie night or a book club meeting. Making connections and staying connected to the people who make you laugh is the best company to keep. Invite a neighbor over for a drink, FaceTime your grandkids, or take your spouse out for dinner.

You are now available to make the most of every moment, and how fun is it to indulge in a wine tasting in the middle of week? The possibilities are boundless when friends and family come together.


Helping Others

Finding your happiness sometimes looks like helping someone find their own. Being altruistic is a profound way to not only do some good, but also feel good about yourself. Volunteering opportunities are everywhere and can be rewarding. Donating your time or resources to your local humane society, non-profit organizations or a neighbor in need gives a deeper sense of fulfillment than sitting passively in front of the television.

Spending an afternoon or a couple weekends teaching school aged kids how to read, or serving the underserved populations some home cooked food definitely nourishes your soul muscles and brings joy to the masses.


Creative Ways

Fun things for senior citizens to do may only be possible by imaginative self-starting, so instead of waiting for perfect conditions or existing activities, forge your own “fun foundation” by creating a bird watching jogging group, or amateur chef charity program in your community. If one of your retirement goals is to do the things you love whether its a solo activity or involves the whole family, now is the time to actualize those dreams into motion.

Remember, the happiest people make time for the things they deem worthy and finding joy in everyday life definitely seems to be worthwhile. 


The Cypress of Charlotte

Looking for a refreshing take on retirement living? The Cypress of Charlotte offers luxury level amenities and on-site healthcare in a close knit community. Contact us to learn more about our exceptional life plan community and all the fun things for senior citizens to do right here on our campus!


The Governor Visits The Cypress!

We had a great time at our Alzheimer’s Awareness Kick Off event! In case you haven’t heard, The Cypress of Charlotte has been fundraising and raising awareness and support for the Alzheimer’s Association in preparation for the big Charlotte charity walk THIS Saturday the 26th!

At our Kick Off event, we were pleased to welcome Governor Pat McCrory, who was our special guest and speaker. We were touched by his personal story of his mother’s experience with Alzheimer’s.


The Governor was happy to cut the purple ribbon to begin our Golf Cart Parade while World Record Holder Harriette Thompson lead the charge!

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Our members and staff did a great job decorating their golf carts, they were all so colorful and original, it’s impossible to choose a favorite!


cart collage

It’s not too late to sign up and join Team Cypress in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s charity walk THIS Saturday at Symphony Park. To sign up and walk with us, or donate to this amazing cause, please click here!

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See you tomorrow!

The Cypress Supports the Alzheimer’s Association


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Throughout the coming months, you may begin to notice a little more purple around campus than what you’re used to. That’s because The Cypress of Charlotte is proud to announce our support for the Alzheimer’s Association in their Walk to End Alzheimer’s! Since purple is the official color of this great national organization, we plan to have a passion for purple all the way up to the day of the Charlotte area walk September 26th.

These are some photos taken on Purple Day, June 26th.

PurpleDay2 PurpleDay3 PurpleDay4

To build the anticipation for this great charity walk, we plan on having a variety of fun activities for members and staff as we raise funds, awareness and excitement for the Alzheimer’s Association. Some upcoming notable events to remember are: our jewelry sale for employees in the Stewart Health Center, our Talbots Shopping day (10% of all Charlotte location sales will go to The Alzheimer’s Association) July 23rd, our Night to Remember dinner on August 5th and our Team Cypress Kick Off event and Purple Parade September 3rd!

Our goal is to have the largest team participating in the walk AND to raise the most funds for this great cause. You can help us with both by visiting our team page and signing up to join Team Cypress! Don’t forget your purple!

Fire in The Cypress!

Don’t panic, there is no literal fire in our community; however, we are all “on fire” for the Fire in the City competition and our competing Executive Chef Brady Lutz!


If you are not familiar, the Fire in the City competition is a very prestigious chefs’ competition pitting the top chefs from the finest restaurants in The Queen City against one another in head-to-head battles to see who is the last chef standing. The competition’s main focus is utilizing local, North Carolina ingredients, centered around a “mystery ingredient” that is revealed to the competing chefs just hours before the competition! The attendees, along with a select panel of professional judges, blindly taste each course and vote on a variety of factors to determine which course is their favorite, which ultimately determines which chef reigns supreme. The winner of each evening competes again in a bracket of chefs until there is only one winner.

Competition Dining Series
And of course we know that one winner is Chef Brady Lutz! We are eager to prove that not only is the dining at The Cypress of Charlotte the best food in any Continuing Care Retirement Community, but the best food in Charlotte! With his years of training and flair for creativity, we are confident that our chef will wow the taste buds of everyone in attendance.

If you want to be a part of the fun, you can purchase a ticket to Chef Brady’s competition night, April 6th, right here.

If you want to read more about the dining at The Cypress of Charlotte, see images of both of our dining rooms, (The Cypress Club or The Copper Grille) view menus and more, please visit the dining section on our website. Or follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest Cypress news daily.

New-dining_2_758x521      Copper Grile Bar Front

The Spirit of ’45 Tour comes to The Cypress of Charlotte!

On Friday July 25th we were so excited to host The Spirit of ’45 Tour as they rolled up to our campus in their huge, decorative RV! The Spirit of ’45 Tour is traveling the country to raise awareness and generate excitement for the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII next August 2015. Their goal is to Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive and carry on the character traits of our Greatest Generation to future generations.


We welcomed the tour by pulling out all the stops to celebrate our favorite generation. We opened the day with a beautiful ceremony by our lake complete with a Navy Corps Color Guard and reenactors!


We were also awarded with the honor of being the first Purple Heart Community in the country, (along with our sister communities at Raleigh and Hilton Head) recognizing our dedication to go above and beyond to recognize our veterans.


We were also able to honor and remember our WWII veterans by the playing of taps and a flyover by a C-46 WWII plane, one of two in the country!


The festivities continued inside community hall with a live swing band, professional swing dancers, a delicious buffet lunch, WWII memorabilia and a photo gallery! We were even treated with a speech from Colonel Quincy Collins.


memorabilia ColCollins

It truly was a special day in the hearts of all generations who were present!