Where do we go from here? The Seabrook of Hilton Head
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
In the olden days, our parents and grandparents faced a grim future as they aged. In most cases, they had two choices: Live with family or go to an old folks’ home.
Now those “old folks’ homes” are gone and replaced by fancy retirement communities that offer a promising future, regardless of age. Who knew how many choices we would have right here in our own little corner of the world?
This retirement community is the last in our series, and it happens to be home-grown, so to speak.
The Seabrook of Hilton Head has been a highly-regarded independent retirement community on the island for 30 years. It enjoys the distinction of being the only non-profit continuing care retirement community in Beaufort County.
- The Seabrook – Commercial. Watch Video
- Retiring to South Carolina, website article, click here
- ElderCare Channel article on The Seabrook, click here
The story behind its existence is so unique that it’s worth telling. You might say the residents of Hilton Head Island built it.
Its history goes back to 1971 when Hilton Head was in its infancy. At that time, the population was beginning to grow at a fast pace, primarily with older adults who recently retired. They were lured to the island by its semi-tropical beauty and ideal weather and for its active lifestyle.
These retirees were not ready for rocking chairs. However, Rev. John Calvin Reid of the First Presbyterian Church recognized that these adults would eventually need a helping hand as they aged and felt that the island should look into building a retirement community to provide for their later years.
Rev. Reid discussed this concept with the church leaders, who responded enthusiastically. They formed a committee comprised of pillars of the community to do a feasibility study, chaired by Bob Killingsworth, who passionately pursued this endeavor. They left no stone unturned as they researched every minute detail.
News of this proposed plan spread throughout the island and the response was overwhelmingly in favor of it. The venture became so popular that five additional island churches endorsed the project and encouraged their members to make generous donations toward helping it become a reality.
With the many headaches involved and hurdles to climb, it took 10 years to finally get going with the project. Bob Killingsworth negotiated with Charles Fraser, founder of Sea Pines Plantation, to buy 12 acres of land a short distance from the ocean.
The formal groundbreaking finally took place in 1981 and they wasted no time in getting started with the building. Seabrook opened its doors for business in 1982. At that time, they had only two five-story apartment buildings. They now have five and have acquired 11 additional acres.
Rev. Reid’s brainchild is now solidly established on Hilton Head Island.
Location and amenities
The Seabrook is nestled among tall pines in a lovely serene setting.
To get there, take the Cross Island Expressway to the island, which then becomes Palmetto Bay Road. When you reach Sea Pines Circle, turn onto Pope Avenue toward the ocean. Drive a short distance, pass the Holy Family Catholic Church on the right, then immediately turn into the entrance to the church and keep going until you see the gate into the Seabrook.
Since it is a gated community, it would be wise to call the director of sales prior to going for access to the grounds at 842-3747.
Your first stop will be the clubhouse, which is the heart of everything that happens at the Seabrook. This is the focal point where the residents gather for dining and for the many interesting and planned activities offered.
- The Seabrook Calendar of Events, click here
A covered rustic walkway leads to and from the clubhouse and branches out to the five apartment buildings, so regardless of the weather, the residents are sheltered.
The clubhouse boasts a large, attractively decorated dining room where the residents enjoy lunch or dinner; their choice. The Seabrook is well known for its excellent cuisine. Their meals are buffet style, but the residents may be served at their table if they prefer.
The clubhouse provides a sizeable library for readers with diverse interests, a huge gathering room that can be partitioned off for their many activities such as parties, lectures, movies, entertainment and their twice-weekly, on-the-house happy hour.
They also have a fitness center complete with a billiard table and table tennis. In addition, they have a “Cozy Corner” for the serious bridge players and other board games. Their outdoor heated pool can be reached from the clubhouse.
There also is a certified in-house home health department with a licensed nurse on duty for minor injuries or to answer questions, and they also make house calls.
A beauty salon is available five days a week. For those who enjoy a cup of coffee or tea with a sweet treat between meals, that’s available, too, in an inviting little break room.
Their outdoor activities are a woodworkers’ shop for the do-it-yourself hobbyist. There is a putting green to sharpen your game and horseshoes and shuffleboard for a challenge. Or you can just sit and enjoy the beauty of the manicured courtyard and the flowing fountains in the lagoons or take a walk on their hiking trails.
For a change of scenery, the ocean is less than a mile away, where you can take a walk on the beach. Nearby Coligny Plaza offers shops, restaurants and a theater for a pleasant diversion.
The Seabrook offers apartment living only, but you may find that’s a good thing.
The apartments are quite spacious. Your choices are studio or one or two bedrooms. Some offer an additional room for a den or office. The two-bedroom apartments have two baths with at least one walk-in shower. All apartments have private balconies.
- NOTE: Photos of Apartment 1209 are on this blog. The spacious 2 bedroom corner apartment is for sale and features a luxury bath and great views! Click here
In the event of a fall or other health problem, the apartments have emergency pulls strategically located for quick response if help is needed.
Asking prices for the apartments vary, depending on the size, special features and the owner. Prices range from under $40,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to under $300,000 for two bedrooms and may be negotiated.
Keep in mind that many amenities are included in the monthly fee, which is based on the size of the apartment. To name a few, one meal a day (lunch or dinner), maintenance and housekeeping of the common areas, basic cable TV, water, sewer and trash removal, pest control, use of all clubhouse facilities and many more.
Expenses not included are homeowners’ insurance, electricity, phone, internet and premium cable. Also, new members pay a one-time membership fee of $15,000, which helps fund the capital reserve for improvements to the facility and grants voting rights.
Although the majority of the apartments are owned, the Seabrook also offers an alternative plan called an entry fee lease. Instead of purchasing, you may lease a specific apartment that is considerably less than purchasing and allows you to live in it for life. Fifty percent of the entry fee is refundable if you should choose to leave.
You are not responsible for any appliance repairs or property taxes. You have the same privileges as the homeowner with the exception of the right to vote on regime issues.
The Seabrook is governed by an active board of trustees, five of whom are elected Seabrook resident members, and six are community leaders. This board makes policy decisions related to the budget and long-range planning.
On-site health center
Fraser Health Center is a vital part of the Seabrook and was factored into the cost at its inception.
Since the Seabrook is a continuing care community, the planners recognized that the time may come when the residents may no longer be able to live independently or may require 24-hour skilled care for other reasons, such as assistance with daily tasks and medications.
Fraser Health Center has its own outside entrance, but is attached to the Seabrook for the convenience of the residents. Although Fraser is open to the public, Seabrook members have priority. Also, members who have been residents for at least one year have the advantage of a reduced rate.
Fraser Health Center offers spacious private rooms with private baths and can accommodate 33 patients. It offers both long-term and short-term stays. Fraser Health Center’s excellent reputation has been far-reaching in the Lowcountry. It has the distinction of being one of the top-rated Medicare-certified facilities in the state.
The Seabrook will celebrate its 30th anniversary Nov. 9 with a special member event. New models will be open Nov. 7 for preview.
It is a good time to tour the entire facility, which will give you a first-hand view of what they have to offer and the many upgrades they are proposing. You will have a one-on-one opportunity to ask a representative the many questions you will have.
If you are unable to be there, just call Joe Agee, director of sales, at 842-3747 and arrange for a tour at your convenience. The Seabrook website: www.theseabrook.com
- Video of Hilton Head Island, click here
- Hilton Head Visitor & Convention Bureau, click here
- Hilton Head VCB Videos, click here
It has been an interesting journey reviewing these local retirement communities. Each has its own charm and special features, and all are worth visiting to see first-hand what they have to offer.
If you missed any of these articles, go to blufftontoday.com, search for Ginger Stone, and print them out and add them to your scrapbook. Then, when the time comes that a life change is necessary, you’re a step ahead.
May your future be all that you want it to be.
More About The Seabrook
As a fully resident-owned, not-for-profit community, we control our own destiny. Sound judgment and prudent planning have provided us with a level of independence and autonomy enjoyed by few communities in the nation. We are not committed to corporate profits. Rather, we are committed to the health and happiness of one another.
Given the array of services available right here in our community, it’s no wonder residents are confident in the care they receive. Members who do not require special attention or services nonetheless take comfort in knowing they are there. Whenever necessary, living assistance, housekeeping, maintenance, transportation, in-home care, and medical services are available.
Living at The Seabrook is much like living at your favorite club. Our residents enjoy some of the best food on the island and the convenience of many on-site resort amenities and services, as well as all the benefits of Hilton Head Island living. Whatever your mood, whatever your interests, you’ll find everything you need right here in the comfort, security, and privacy of your
The natural beauty of our private community provides residents with daily inspiration and peace of mind. Featuring nature trails, tree-lined boardwalks, lagoons, fountains, expansive decks, and more, our campus was designed for island life and outdoor enjoyment. Beyond our grounds, the sugar-sand beaches, shopping plazas, and restaurants of Hilton Head await you, only a short walk or bike ride away.
Among Hilton Head retirement communities, only The Seabrook has stood the test of time. We measure success in decades, not years. Indeed, our 25-year history of stability and sound management has distinguished us as the island’s first and finest Continuing-care retirement community. We remain the standard by which all others are measured.
- Natural Gardens & Landscaping
- The Seabrook Clubhouse
- Heated Swimming pool
- Extensive Library
- Skilled Nursing Center
- Exercise Facilities
- Covered Walkways Throughout the Campus
- Wheelchair-accessible Campus & buildings
- 24-hour Security Supervision of Property
- Beauty Parlor & Barber Shop
- Recreational Rooms (Billiards, Crafts, Ping-Pong & More)
- Cable Television Service
- Meeting Rooms
- Scheduled transportation Provided
- Walking Path to the Beach
Meals & Activities
- Dinner/Lunch Provided Daily*
- Special Diet Accommodation
- Social Programs & Activities
- Weekly Happy Hour for Residents
- Visiting Lecture Series
- Educational Seminars
- Orchestral Performances
- Private Balconies
- Lagoon & Forest Views
- Security Call System (building entrance)
- Emergency Call System (Healthcare)
- Smoke Alarm/ Sprinkler Systems
- Lighted Parking Areas
- Fully Electric Kitchens
- Pets Allowed*
- Wheelchair Accessibility
- Optional Services Available