Fairhaven, a new life-care retirement community now in its final stages of construction, recently accepted its first residents.

Located on the 300-acre Beasman Fairhaven Farms property just north of Sykesville in Maryland's Carroll County, the community will be completed later this year.

Residents who move to Fairhaven pay a one-time accommodation fee for life occupancy in the community. Thereafter, they pay a monthly charge for meals and essential services, including care of buildings and grounds, transportation to and from the community and guaranteed health care.

Although life-care communities such as Fairhaven are relatively new, they are increasing in acceptance.

James I. Melbhorn, executive director of Fairhaven, said: "Life-care retirement communities such as Fairhaven provide the security and independence which many older people seek."

The community will have 240 cottages and apartments, ranging in size from efficiency to two-bedrooms with den. All are connected by covered walkways to the central building where the main dining room serves three meals a day with varied menu choices. This central structure also houses private parlors and dining rooms, a library, a music room, a lounge and an auditorium.

A separate health center, with an outpatient clinic and 99 private rooms, is connected to the central building. It provides outpatients care, medical and nursing care, as well as physical and recreational therapy. Registered nurses are on duty and physicians on call. The health center also maintains affiliations with area hospitals.

Fairhaven's Beasman House has been fully renovated and is now staffed as a welcoming center. It also contains guest rooms as well as meeting rooms and other facilities for Fairhaven residents. The grounds around Fairhaven include walking paths, streams, trails and areas for nature study and bird-watching. Shuffleboard alleys, putting greens and croquet courts are in the quadrangle. A chapel is now under construction adjacent to Beasman House.

Although Fairhaven is located in farming country, it is only 17 miles from the Baltimore Beltway and 40 miles from Washington.

Because the land and an initial endowment was donated to Episcopal Ministries to the Aging, Inc., the sponsor of Fairhaven, costs of living are within reach of many retired persons. Accommodation fees ($19,000 to $61,500) are scaled to the design of living units. Monthly charges are $590 to $675 for essential living services and guaranteed health care.

Information on Fairhaven is available from Paul Spadone, project director, at the Diocesan House, 105 W. Monument Street, Baltimore, (301-727-3738) or James I. Melhorn at Fairhaven, 301-795-8800.