Tag Archives: Retirement

LifeSpire of Virginia appoints new leadership at The Glebe

By Ann Lovell

Ellen D’Ardenne is the new executive director of The Glebe.

RICHMOND, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to announce the selection of Ellen D’Ardenne as executive director of The Glebe, a LifeSpire continuing care retirement community in Daleville.

Most recently, D’Ardenne served as administrator of health services at The Glebe. She joined The Glebe in 2005 as the director of dining services. After 25 years of food service management in the hotel, restaurant, and senior living industries, D’Ardenne was looking for a new challenge. In May 2006, she began a health care administration degree program, which led her to become a licensed nursing home administrator in June 2010. With experience in assisted living administration and skilled nursing management, she further expanded her role in April 2011 by assuming leadership of The Glebe’s health and wellness programs.

“We are pleased to promote Ms. D’Ardenne to lead The Glebe,” said Jonathan Cook, LifeSpire president and CEO. “She has been a part of The Glebe from its beginnings and has played a major role in The Glebe’s success. We have every confidence she will lead The Glebe with excellence and a focus on resident-centered care.”

D’Ardenne and her husband, Dwayne, have three children. She enjoys cooking, kayaking, cycling, and running.

Brandon Evans is the new administrator of health services at The Glebe.

In a related move, The Glebe’s director of nursing, Brandon Evans, has been promoted to administrator of health services, the position vacated by D’Ardenne’s promotion. Evans joined The Glebe in 2011. He is a registered nurse who began his health services career as a nursing assistant, progressed to a licensed practical nurse and then obtained his registered nurse license. Evans’ nursing background includes supervisory responsibilities over a large skilled nursing program with more than 180-skilled beds, infection control, quality improvement and staff development.

Brandon received his associate’s degree in science, registered nursing, cum laude from Virginia Western Community College, and he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. He received a bachelor of science in nursing from the Jefferson College of Health Science. He and his wife, Amy, have two children. He enjoys hunting and fishing.

 

Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia, formerly Virginia Baptist Homes. For more information, email alovell@lifespireliving.org or call (804) 521-9192.

LifeSpire of Virginia operates four continuing care retirement communities in Virginia: The Chesapeake in Newport News, The Culpeper in Culpeper, The Glebe in Daleville and Lakewood in Richmond.

 

Dr. Franklin T. Fowler, missionary physician, dies at 100

By Ann Lovell

RICHMOND, Virginia—Franklin Thomas Fowler, M.D., died Sept. 10, 2017, at age 100 at Lakewood, a continuing care retirement community in Richmond’s West End. Dr. Fowler grew up in Argentina as the child of missionary parents. After college at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, Dr. Fowler went on to Vanderbilt Medical School in Nashville where, thanks to the start of World War II, he and his class earned their medical degrees a few months earlier than planned. In 1947, Fowler and his wife, Dorcas, were appointed to Paraguay as medical missionaries with the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board (FMB, now International Mission Board). Their task was to build a hospital. In an interview shortly before his 100th birthday in March, Dr. Fowler credited the Baptist Medical Center in Asunción, Paraguay, as one of his greatest accomplishments.

The Fowlers left Paraguay in 1956 to accept an assignment in Mexico, and in 1960, the family moved to Richmond where Dr. Fowler served as the FMB’s first medical consultant. During his tenure in FMB’s home office, Dr. Fowler focused on missionary health and started the Baptist Medical/Dental Fellowship, which remains active today.

The Fowlers moved to Lakewood in 1987, where they quickly became active in the community. They started a worship service for healthcare residents, and Dr. Fowler continued to write and paint, chronicling his life in “From There to Here: The Story of a Missionary Child,” which was published in July. Dorcas, his wife of 70 years, died June 26 at the age of 96.

A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. at River Road Church, Richmond, where Dr. and Mrs. Fowler’s ashes will be entombed.  Arrangements by Woody Funeral Home, Parham Chapel. Condolences may be offered at woodyfuneralhomeparham.com

 

Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia, formerly Virginia Baptist Homes. For more information, email alovell@lifespireliving.org or call (804) 521-9192.

LifeSpire of Virginia operates four continuing care retirement communities in Virginia: The Chesapeake in Newport News, The Culpeper in Culpeper, The Glebe in Daleville and Lakewood in Richmond.

Dr. Valerie Carter elected as LifeSpire Trustee

By Ann Lovell

Richmond, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to announce the election of Dr. Valerie Carter as the newest member of LifeSpire’s Board of Trustees. Carter was elected at the trustee’s quarterly meeting Sept. 12 at The Glebe, a LifeSpire continuing care retirement community in Daleville, outside Roanoke.

Carter is currently the executive director/treasurer of Woman’s Missionary Union of Virginia (WMUV) and has worked in ministry roles with Virginia Baptists since 1988. In addition to her current position, Carter’s roles included Director of Hillside Baptist Center, WMUV Associate of Christian Social Ministries, and Associate Pastor of “Glocal” (global and local) ministries at Bon Air Baptist Church in Richmond. She is also an adjunct instructor of sociology at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Carter to the board of LifeSpire,” said Jonathan Cook, President and CEO. “Her background in ministry and her strong ties to Virginia Baptists will help us realize our vision of vibrant communities where faith, wellness and community flourish.”

Carter holds the doctor of ministry degree from the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, a master’s in sociology from VCU, a master’s of divinity from Virginia Union University School of Theology, and a bachelor’s in sociology from Adelphi University. Carter is a native of Long Island, New York, the widow of Rev. Hylan Carter, Jr., and the mother of two sons.

 

Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia, formerly Virginia Baptist Homes. For more information, email alovell@lifespireliving.org or call (804) 521-9192.

LifeSpire of Virginia operates four continuing care retirement communities in Virginia: The Chesapeake in Newport News, The Culpeper in Culpeper, The Glebe in Daleville and Lakewood in Richmond.

Top Ten Questions Prospective CCRC Residents Should Ask

08/21/17

If you or a loved one is considering a continuing care retirement community, here are ten of the most important questions you should ask:

10. What is the ratio of independent living residences to assisted living and healthcare residences?

Some CCRCs are mainly independent living communities with a proportionately small number of assisted living or skilled care units available. This is particularly concerning for newer communities, where very few residents require care now but may in the future. The question is whether there will be enough availability in the healthcare center for residents requiring care at that time. On the flip side, some CCRCs evolved out of established nursing care facilities that added a few independent living residences. In this case, you may find proportionately more residents requiring care services than living independently. On average independent living residences represent 60-75 percent of the total residential units.

9. How have your monthly rates changed over the last five years?

This is important to ask for two reasons. First, it gives you an indication of what to expect going forward so you can plan accordingly. Second, it could also be an indication of the community’s financial viability. Average fee increases of 3-4 percent per year are not uncommon in the industry. If you find there have been years when the increase has been substantially more, you should find out why. Be sure you ask what the increases have been each year over the past 3-5 years, as opposed to an average. Averages can sometimes hide larger increases in a given year.

8. What services are included in my monthly fee, and what will cost extra?

When a provider shares with you their monthly rates, be sure to find out what types of services are included, and which are extra. In some cases, you could ultimately spend considerably more than the published rate each month. This is particularly important if you are comparing two communities and one operates à la carte, while the other operates under an all-inclusive model. One example of this would be the number of meals per day included in the monthly rate.

7. What is the level of experience of your management team and board of directors?

An experienced management team is vitally important to maintaining high operating standards and diligent financial management. Ask whether the management team has a track record of managing other CCRCs. Also look for a board of directors that is culturally and professionally diverse. The board should have directors with strong backgrounds in healthcare, hospitality, finance, and real estate. You can learn more about LifeSpire’s management team here.

6. What happens if I run out of money and can’t pay fees?

Most CCRCs, particularly not-for-profit providers and even some for-profits, will do everything possible to help residents stay put and receive services if the resident runs out of money due to no fault of their own. In fact, many providers maintain a financial assistance or endowment fund to help with this effort. Yet, there are some CCRCs that will ask you to vacate your residence if you are no longer able to pay. LifeSpire’s VBH Foundation raises funds to help LifeSpire’s life care residents who outlive their financial resources remain in their homes. In 2016, the VBH Foundation provided more than $1.1 million in benevolence to 59 residents across all four LifeSpire communities.

5. How will my monthly rate be impacted if I require assisted living or skilled nursing care?

There are several different types of residency contracts offered by CCRCs. The key with each one is to understand what happens to your monthly fees if you ultimately require assisted living services or skilled nursing care. All other things being equal, there is generally a trade-off between the amount of the entry fee and monthly fees, and the amount you will ultimately pay if you require care services.

4. Does your published rate for healthcare services include a semi-private or private room?

The published rates for a room in the healthcare center may reflect only semi-private rooms. You may be required to pay the difference in cost for a private room. Some providers only offer private rooms.

3. What are the stipulations for receiving a refund (if the community offers refundable entry fees)?

If you are considering a CCRC that offers partially or fully refundable entry fees, ask if your home or apartment within the community has to be resold before the refund will be paid. Is there a maximum time limit whereby the refund will be paid regardless of whether the residential unit has been resold or not? Also, are you or your heirs required to continue paying the monthly fees during that time period?

2. What information can you provide to help assure me that the level of care provided in your healthcare center is of the highest quality?

Although it could be years before you require assisted living or healthcare services, you want to know that when that day comes, you will receive the best care possible. Ask to take a tour of the healthcare center, and closely observe the facilities and the care team. Does the staff seem happy and attentive to residents? Is the facility clean and without odor? Ask about staff turnover ratios. The industry average for skilled nursing centers is around 40 percent. A low turnover rate generally indicates a happy staff, which translates into better care for residents. If the healthcare center is Medicare certified you can also visit Medicare.gov to find information on complaints, deficiencies, staffing, and more. All of LifeSpire’s communities have received either a 4- or 5-star CMS rating.

1. What information can you provide to help assure me that your community is financially positioned to meet its long-term commitment to residents?

In order to fulfill its long-term obligation to residents, a CCRC must maintain a strong financial standing. A financial professional who is well-versed in the financial operations of CCRCs can help you analyze key financial ratios, such as operating margins and debt service coverage, but a few things to look for initially are a willingness by representatives of the community to share their audited financial statements, positive net worth, strong demand (usually indicated by occupancy ratios above 90 percent), well-kept facilities, and an experienced management team. Also consider whether the community is located in a state that regulates CCRCs. If so, the state may have minimum financial requirements that must be met on a year-to-year basis. Read more about LifeSpire’s current financial standing.

Retirement counselors at each of our communities are available to answer all these questions and any others you may have. Contact them today!

The Chesapeake (Newport News): 757-223-1600
The Culpeper (Culpeper): 540-825-2411
The Glebe (Daleville): 540-591-2100
Lakewood (Richmond): 804-740-2900

 

 

Content provided by MyLifeSite.com

Helpful Tips for Downsizing in Retirement

One of the main reasons older adults put off downsizing or moving to a retirement community is the need to deal with all the “stuff” they’ve accumulated over the years. Yet, if done right, the process of downsizing may not be as daunting as you think. It may even be enjoyable — even refreshing. A lot of the physical work can be done by others, so your main role is to categorizeorganize, and direct. Here are six tips to get you started:

Start now

If you are thinking about moving, whether to a retirement community or to a smaller home, now is a good time to start the downsizing process. Don’t wait until you are ready to move. At that point, the process and emotions may be overwhelming, and you will have other things that require your attention. Even if you ultimately choose not to move, your family members will thank you! There will be less stuff for them to deal with one day.

Recognize you can’t keep it all

To know what items you can and should purge, you first need to know which items you absolutely cannot part with. But here’s the key: After you have created the initial list, pare it down even further. This can be a tough exercise, but the reality is that some of the things you think you need to save may not be necessary to keep after all. For example, that sport coat in the closet you’ve held onto for 15 years because you are sure you will wear it again? It’s probably time to part ways. That stack of magazines with holiday recipes dating back 10 years? Those can go, too. Your most cherished recipes will not be hidden in a tall stack of magazines anyway, right?

Prepare yourself: Your kids may not want your stuff

Another popular reason for hanging on to various items is that kids or grandkids will want them. But many people eventually discover that the things they thought would be coveted by their adult children were not so desirable after all. To help sort this out, consider inviting your children over for a day to go through your things and find out what they actually want.

Sort by large and small

Once you know what you want to keep, make a list of big and small items. The big items are anything that will not fit in a regular size moving box, such as a sofa or table. As you consider these items, be sure to think about the dimensions and style of your new home so you will know if they will fit. Many CCRCs have move-in coordinators who can help you with this.

Obviously, it could be tough to list out every single smaller item, but you want to think about your most utilized items first. Consider things like silverware, pictures, kitchenware, books, etc.

Sell, donate, or discard?

Once you’ve decided what items are no longer needed, it is time to decide what to do with them. Create a separate list with three columns: Sell, Donate, and Trash. As you consider what you want to sell, remember that items rarely bring in the amount of cash the owner thinks they will. In some cases it may simply be easier to donate or discard an item than to go to the trouble of trying to sell it.

However, if you feel sure it would be worth the time to try to sell some of your belongings, then you have a number of options. You could try to sell them online with sites like Ebay or Craig’s List. (Please take caution if you use Craigslist or a similar website. If possible, meet the buyer in a public place and take someone with you.) Sometimes a good old-fashioned yard sale could do the job, but you will want to get someone to help you with the set up and break down. Alternately, if you have more than a few valuable items, any number of local companies will be willing to administer an estate sale for you.

Hauling the junk

Finally, after you have gone through the above-mentioned steps, you may be surprised by the amount of left over junk. This would include things that have piled up in a garage or crawlspace over the years, such as old paint cans. Many national companies will come by and haul these things away for you. All you have to do is point to the items you want removed, and they will recycle or trash the items accordingly.

If you are considering moving to a LifeSpire community, our move-in coordinators are happy to help you think through what you might or might not need in your new home. Give our marketing departments a call and set up an appointment today!

The Chesapeake (Newport News): 757-223-1600
The Culpeper (Culpeper): 540-825-2411
The Glebe (Daleville): 540-591-2100
Lakewood (Richmond): 804-740-2900

 

 

Content provided by MyLifeSite.com

Mick Feauto, LifeSpire COO, announces retirement

06/30/17

By Ann Lovell

Mick L. Feauto
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

RICHMOND, Virginia—Mick Feauto, LifeSpire of Virginia’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), announced his retirement June 27, effective Dec. 31, 2017. Feauto has served as LifeSpire’s executive vice president and COO since 2015. He has 34 years of senior industry experience as a nursing home administrator, executive director, regional vice president of operations, and senior regional vice president of operations. In the 10 years before coming to LifeSpire, Feauto served in regional roles with Life Care Services with oversight of 28 continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs).

During his tenure at LifeSpire, “Mick led our communities through a number of substantive changes with remarkable results,” said Jonathan Cook, LifeSpire president and chief executive officer. “We would not be where we are today without his leadership and vision.”

Cook said the search for Feauto’s successor is underway, and applications will be accepted through July 31, 2017, with interviews expected in August.

“We anticipate having the person selected and on board prior to Mick’s departure to assist with transition,” Cook said. More information and a job description are available on LifeSpire’s website.

In retirement, Feauto and his wife, Laura, plan to split time between their homes in Iowa and Florida.

“Please thank Mick for his service and join me in congratulating him on a fantastic career,” Cook said.

 

Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia, formerly Virginia Baptist Homes. For more information, email alovell@lifespireliving.org or call (804) 521-9192.

LifeSpire of Virginia operates four continuing care retirement communities in Virginia: The Chesapeake in Newport News, The Culpeper in Culpeper, The Glebe in Daleville and Lakewood in Richmond.

 

Now Hiring: Chief Operating Officer

LifeSpire of Virginia (formerly Virginia Baptist Homes), a non-profit organization with four continuing care retirement communities within Virginia and a strong benevolent foundation, is currently seeking a Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The COO will be responsible for directing the overall operations in all communities through leadership, management, and vision. This position ensures the company has proper operational controls, administrative support, and reporting procedures in place to ensure financial strength, ratio performance and operating efficiency. The COO will foster a culture of accountability, hospitality, integrity, compliance, quality, and transparency.

This position is based in the home office in Richmond, Virginia, and travel to the communities and continuing education will account for 30-40 percent of time spent traveling outside the home office.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Support the strategic plan and direction of LifeSpire of Virginia.
  • Direct the overall operations of all communities while complying with state and federal regulations as well as the company’s policies and procedures
  • Oversee the Executive Director of each community to ensure compliance with regulations and to support financial stability of each location
  • Oversee the Corporate Directors of Human Resources, Clinical Operations, and Information Technology to ensure success in those areas across all communities
  • Work directly with the President & CEO, Chief Financial Officer, and the VP of Marketing & Public Relations to provide strong leadership and direction to all communities and the home office
  • Assist with development and management of each community’s operating and capital budgets

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration or a related field
  • Licensed, or eligible to be licensed, as a Nursing Home Administrator by the State of Virginia
  • 10+ years Healthcare operational experience
  • 5+ years of progressively responsible management experience (preferably in a service based not-for-profit organization, and within a CCRC)
  • Thorough understanding of the senior housing industry
  • Financial management skills; ability to develop and manage operating and capital budgets; identify areas for expense savings or revenue generating opportunities
  • Ability to maintain and strengthen positive working relationships with staff, residents, and leadership across communities
  • Develop and sustain a company culture of teamwork, professionalism, mutual respect, continuous quality improvement, and accountability
  • Articulate a vision and develop a strong team of competent and committed professionals who are committed to service excellence

This job offers a competitive base salary with a bonus incentive structure, as well as an excellent benefits package. The full-time benefits package includes options for health, dental, and life insurance, retirement plan, generous paid time off, and relocation assistance. EOE.

Qualified applicants should email resume to:  jobs@lifespireliving.org

Resumes will be accepted through 7/31/2017.

LifeSpire of Virginia is not using an executive search firm for this recruitment. 

LifeSpire releases 2016 Annual Report; CFO has reasons to smile

06/12/17

By Ann Lovell

RICHMOND, Virginia—Joe Kelley is a stereotypical accountant. A quiet guy with a dry sense of humor, you’ll most often find Kelley sitting quietly at his desk in his corner office surrounded by mounds of paperwork.

As LifeSpire of Virginia’s Chief Financial Officer, Kelley spends his work days analyzing the financial situation of LifeSpire’s four continuing care retirement communities. For financial reporting purposes, Kelley explains, LifeSpire’s Lakewood in Richmond, The Chesapeake in Newport News and The Culpeper in Culpeper make up what’s known as “the obligated group.” The Glebe in Daleville is a separate financial entity.

Although he’s always up for a good laugh, co-workers say Kelley rarely gets excited. When he’s happy, those closest to him notice a slight smile and a twinkle in his eye. Based on the consolidated financial statements released in LifeSpire’s 2016 Annual Report, Kelley’s smile is broader than usual — for very good reasons.

“For the first time in nearly 20 years, LifeSpire posted a net operating gain in 2016,” Kelley reports.

UNDERSTANDING THE NUMBERS

Joe Kelley is LifeSpire of Virginia’s Chief Financial Officer.

Kelley gets particularly excited about debt service coverage ratios. The debt service coverage ratio compares debt payments to adjusted net operating income, Kelley explains. Anything over 1 means a company has enough cash to cover its debts. Generally, banks require a debt service coverage ratio of at least 1.2. The higher the ratio, the stronger the organization is financially.

“Our debt service ratio for the obligated group is 2.09 and for The Glebe it’s 2.11. That’s amazing considering where we were just a few years ago,” Kelley says.

Jonathan Cook, LifeSpire’s president and CEO, also appreciates the significance of these numbers.

“A few years ago, it was very common for the financial benchmarks in each of our communities to hover around debt compliance levels,” Cook says. “Thanks to the hard work of staff in each of our communities, we now have the opportunity to build some reserves to sustain us in the event of future economic downturns.”

Kelley has a number of charts that accompany his presentations on LifeSpire’s financial position. One of them highlights the downward slide of operating income that began with a $1 million loss in 2000 and bottomed out with a $9 million loss in 2007 at the start of the global financial crisis.

“If I had looked at the financials when I came to work here, I might not have come,” Kelley jokes. “The auditors thought we were going out of business; we received ‘going concern’ audit opinions from 2008 through 2011.”

A number of factors contributed to the financial difficulties of VBH:  the development and startup losses at The Glebe, the recession and capital market collapse in 2008 and 2009 and The Glebe’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010, Kelley says. These factors impacted all VBH communities.

“Because of the organizational distraction and the costs associated with the bankruptcy, VBH was unable to adequately reinvest in our communities the way we wanted to,” Kelley says.

But the problems actually began two decades before the economic downturn of the 2000s, says Cook, who recently discovered a 1980s-era letter from then-VBH board chair, Hunter Riggins. Titled “Facing the 80s: Problems and Solutions,” the letter begins, “Virginia Baptist Homes, Inc., faces the greatest challenge it has ever faced in the decade of the 80s. This challenge is at or nearing crisis proportions. The challenge facing the Homes is how to put the overall operation on a firm financial foundation and at the same time maintain current operations and continue the substantial work done in the past and the present for elderly Virginia Baptists.”

“In reality, the organization had been struggling for years before 1999 because we focused more on the spiritual and mission components of our business and less on fiscal stewardship,” Cook says.

LifeSpire board chair Susan Rucker defines it as a “downward spiral.”

As a result of the flagging economy, “losses had begun and were accelerating,” says Rucker, who joined the LifeSpire board in 2014. “One or two years of losses are not a disaster, but you don’t want to get in a position where you can’t recover.”

Fortunately, both the board and senior leadership realized the organization’s dire predicament and took steps to reverse the trends. “Sustainability became the board’s goal,” Rucker says.

REVERSING THE TRENDS

The reversal began in early 2008 when, in response to The Glebe’s escalating difficulties, an external management firm came in to oversee operations.

“The management company provided the chief operating officer, the chief financial officer and other operational expertise,” Kelley says. “They brought a level of proficiency VBH didn’t have in-house at the time.”

Specifically, this management expertise helped VBH communities receive Medicare certification, adding “$4 to $5 million in annual reimbursements for services we were already providing,” Kelley says.  “This coupled with economic recovery was the turning point.”

VBH utilized the company’s services for about three years and then moved to hire the talent they needed, Kelley says. In 2014 the board hired Cook, and the steepest recovery began then.

“We understood the next CEO had to have financial acumen,” Rucker says. “Part of the job was getting the communities on track to be profitable and sustainable.”

But, financial stability is more than just “good business,” Rucker stresses.

“Being financially stable positions us to live up to our commitment to our seniors. When we are financially stable, we are able to try new things and invest in new ventures and new technology. We want to help seniors age where they want to age and continue to look at ways to serve seniors outside the walls of our CCRCs,” Rucker says.

A PROMISING FUTURE

Rucker says LifeSpire’s current situation is “night and day” different, and the future is very promising, thanks in large part to the commitment of staff at each community. Sustainability can’t be achieved “by senior management alone.”

Cook agrees, “Our goal is to provide lifestyle-based services with hospitality, dining and wellness as the focal points,” noting this vision relies on the full buy-in of staff at every level.

“We want to build on being a place where people want to come,” Rucker says. “Over the next five years, we envision significantly refreshing our physical plant, offering new programs and finding other ways to serve the market that are relevant to seniors.”

Kelley and Cook share Rucker’s vision and enthusiasm for the future.

“LifeSpire has been transformed,” Kelley says. “We are actively engaged in becoming one of the premier mid-sized senior living companies in the mid-Atlantic region, financially and operationally. The groundwork we have been laying recently will enable LifeSpire to meet its commitments to current and future residents for many years to come.”

Cook agrees, adding, “If these trends hold, and I have every reason to believe they will, we may even hear Joe start to whistle.”

 

Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia, formerly Virginia Baptist Homes. For more information, email alovell@lifespireliving.org or call (804) 521-9192.

LifeSpire of Virginia operates four continuing care retirement communities in Virginia: The Chesapeake in Newport News, The Culpeper in Culpeper, The Glebe in Daleville and Lakewood in Richmond.

 

Lakewood’s ‘Cumberland group’ wins Leading Age Virginia Award

By Ann Lovell

The Cumberland group displays the Power of Purpose award they received from LeadingAge Virginia June 7.

NORFOLK, Virginia—What do these have in common: six sisters, a sister-in-law, a brother-in-law, and a cousin; four housekeepers, three CNAs, an LPN, and a floor tech? At Lakewood, a LifeSpire of Virginia continuing care retirement community in Richmond’s west end, they represent 156 years of combined service.

Seven current and two former employees are a family who make up what’s known as Lakewood’s “Cumberland group.” The family received the inaugural “Power of Purpose” award June 7 at LeadingAge Virginia’s annual conference in Norfolk. The award recognizes a front-line caregiver — or in this case nine — who demonstrate remarkable commitment to the people they serve.

The legacy began in 1988 when Dorothy Trent joined the staff of Lakewood as a housekeeper. Her sister, Nancy Wheele, joined Lakewood as a CNA in 1989 and worked there until her death in 2016. Other members of the family soon followed. Sister Annie Trent worked as a housekeeper from 1991 until 1998, and Julie Athey, a third sister, joined as a CNA in 1992. Five years later Becky and Jimmy Edmonds, Trent’s fourth sister and brother-in-law, joined Lakewood in August 1997 as a CNA and floor tech, respectively. Annette Johnson, a cousin, came to work as an LPN in 2003, and Laura Langhorne, Trent’s fifth sister, and her sister-in-law Lucy Langhorne joined Lakewood as housekeepers in 2008 and 2013, respectively. Together, this all adds up to a combined 156 years of service from one family.

“We call the Cumberland group a ‘legacy family,’” explained Patricia Morris, vice president of the Virginia Baptist Homes Foundation who nominated the group to receive the award. “A ‘legacy family’ includes residents or staff families who have chosen to live or work at Lakewood for a number of generations.”

“The family carpools about an hour each way from their home in Cumberland County to Lakewood,” Morris said. “They are dedicated people who show up on time and work hard.”

Barrett Way, Lakewood’s Executive Director agreed. “Residents depend on them, and they answer the call of service happily. Their commitment to the Lakewood family is evident every day, and we are grateful they chose to join us.”

“We are very honored to have been nominated for this award,” said Jimmy Edmonds, speaking on behalf of the family at the awards ceremony held at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. “We are real pleased and even more honored to have won the award.

We enjoy working at Lakewood. We enjoy the residents and consider them part of our family,” Edmonds continued. “We do travel long distances, but we do that because we love our jobs, the residents and the staff. We greatly appreciate this award.”

Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia. For more information, email alovell@lifespireliving.org or call (804) 521-9192.

LifeSpire of Virginia operates four continuing care retirement communities in Virginia: The Chesapeake in Newport News, The Culpeper in Culpeper, The Glebe in Daleville and Lakewood in Richmond.

 

The Culpeper breaks ground

05/23/17

By Ann Lovell

Residents and guests recite “The Pledge of Allegiance” at The Culpeper’s groundbreaking May 10.

More than 225 residents, staff and guests of The Culpeper, a LifeSpire of Virginia continuing care retirement community, gathered May 10 to break ground on their new home — an estimated $23 million, 125,000 square-foot facility that will include space for independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing and memory care. The new Culpeper will also offer residents larger living space, modern dining facilities, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.

Randall Robinson (right), former president and CEO, and Mick Feauto, Executive Vice President and COO of LifeSpire, talk with LifeSpire of Virginia staff .

Utilizing the theme, “Building for Tomorrow,” the afternoon was a celebration of The Culpeper’s past, present and future. Randall Robinson, former president and CEO of Virginia Baptist Homes, the predecessor to LifeSpire of Virginia, recalled The Culpeper’s history and the courage and vision it took for Dr. J.T. Edwards, then pastor of Culpeper Baptist Church, to build the very first Virginia Baptist Home just following World War II.

“(Edwards) took it upon himself to travel down to Richmond to meet with the executive committee of the Baptist Board,” Robinson said. “You have to remember this was during World War II, during a time when people knew nothing but cutbacks. This was a time not to spend but to save.”

However, Robinson noted, when The Culpeper was dedicated in October 1950, the new building was paid for as the result of an intensive state-wide capital campaign by Edwards and his team. “That’s an essential part of our past,” Robinson said.

Susan Rucker, chair of LifeSpire’s board of trustees, talks with a guest during The Culpeper’s groundbreaking celebration.

While Robinson shared about the past, residents Mary Miller and Kathy Davis shared their enthusiasm for living at The Culpeper today, describing it a “wonderful experience.”

“I’ve felt safe and secure, Miller said. “And the residents have been like a second family.”

Davis agreed. “We were tired of raking leaves. Facing reality, we knew we’d face life changes, and we would need to move into a retired assisted living community,” Davis said. “We have found exactly what we were looking for.”

Residents and guests enjoy breaking ground on the new building.

Looking toward the future, Jonathan Cook, current president and CEO of Lifespire of Virginia, began by reading a 1980s-era letter from former board chair, Hunter Riggins. The letter detailed the need for a new building at The Culpeper and the lack of resources available at that time to provide one.

“This letter was written in 1980, meaning we’ve been talking about a new building for quite a long time within Virginia Baptist Homes,” Cook said. “Today we are excited to say that we are making that a reality. While we honor our past, it is now time to look toward the future.”

The original Culpeper building stands behind the site of the new community, which will face the Blue Ridge mountains.

“This building has been our ancestral home for almost 70 years,” Cook continued. “This building has provided care for tens of thousands of Virginia Baptists; this building has provided a living for thousands of staff in the area, and this building has been closely tied to the identity of Virginia Baptist Homes.”

“Today we are starting a new beginning for the Culpeper,” Cook concluded. “I just want to thank you all for being a part of it and challenge us all to make sure we carry that long and rich history and tradition of care into our new building.”

Ann Lovell is Corporate Director of Communications for LifeSpire of Virginia. For more information, email alovell@lifespireliving.org or call (804) 521-9192.

LifeSpire of Virginia operates four continuing care retirement communities in Virginia: The Chesapeake in Newport News, The Culpeper in Culpeper, The Glebe in Daleville and Lakewood in Richmond.