PrideLife Expo Platinum Sponsor Highlight: Carol Woods

Aging in Style at Carol Woods

Inclusive Retirement Community is the Hottest Ticket in the Triangle

Community. Education. Culture. Engagement. Caring. Diversity.

These are the ingredients of Carol Woods’ secret sauce that makes it one of the country’s leading Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC). And its right in our backyard!

Named for the lush Carolina landscape that surrounds the community, Carol Woods is an accredited not-for-profit situated on 120 wooded acres in Chapel Hill. The community, which was founded in 1979 by a group of local residents who wanted to retire in comfort and style, attracts residents who want to be close to the superior cultural, educational, and medical resources our area offers.

Gretchen Likins Headshot
Gretchen Likins, Director of Admissions and Public Relations at Carol Woods

According to Gretchen Likins, Director of Admissions and Public Relations at Carol Woods, CCRCs provide a continuum of care, including independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing. These occur in a variety of settings, from the facility’s studio apartments to its 1- and 2-bedroom cottages and townhomes to its Early Acceptance Program.

“The Early Acceptance Program (EAP) is for people who like to plan their retirement living and care options,” Gretchen explained. “This enables them to stay in their own homes in the greater community but also have the security of knowing they can come to Carol Woods later when they need more care. They’re part of the Carol Woods family and can engage in all the cultural, educational, and spiritual programs we offer, such as the fitness center, dining room, clubs, and committees—all while living in their own homes. Then, when they’re ready or need more care, they can move on campus and get the care they need.

Most CCRCs required residents to be independent and healthy to move in. Joining the Early Acceptance Program gives people the assurance that as they age in their own home, a change in their health status won’t keep them from moving onto the Carol Woods campus.

“It’s a bit like an insurance product—you don’t know if you need it or not, but if you do, you can still come here because you’re already part of the community,” Likins observed.

She continued, “Our residents enjoy an active lifestyle of learning, growing, and contributing to both Carol Woods and the local community. The residents organize and manage more than 80 on-campus activities and interest groups. They come from different backgrounds, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints to create an environment that is diverse and inclusive and welcoming.”

The success of Carol Woods means it’s the hottest ticket in town. There are currently 485 on-campus residents and about 100 off-campus residents enrolled in their Early Acceptance Program. There is a lengthy waiting list, however, to join the community, so Gretchen advises people to start planning their retirement living options now, as early as 60 years of age, to help ensure they will have the option to move to campus one day.

Because the nonprofit is thriving so well, they’re always looking for highly motivated, caring staff members to join their team. With competitive pay and great benefits, they have much to offer job seekers.

So, why did Carol Woods choose to be a Platinum Sponsor for this year’s PrideLife Expo?

“We want to ensure our community at Carol Woods is reflective of the greater community we live in,” Likins stated. “We have a very strong, organic reputation as a welcoming, inclusive, and accepting place where people can live authentically. We do sponsorships to let people know our values and what groups we support. We’re especially excited about participating in the PrideLife Expo because we’re always looking for opportunities to showcase our values, and it seems like such a wonderful event and service. And it sounds like fun!” she added with a laugh.
AND their sponsorship gets them in front of their two target audiences—potential residents and those ever-important job seekers.

To learn more about Carol Woods and its many amenities and benefits, or to learn about job opportunities there, visit their booth in the front foyer the Expo, which will be held April 2 from 9 am to 3 pm at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh.

You can also learn more and take a virtual tour on their website at, or follow them on Facebook page at

To download their brochure, go to:

Carol Woods resident painting

And speaking of the hottest tickets in town, don’t forget to join them at the PrideLife Expo! To learn more, visit We’ll see you there!