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

 

 

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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


Fowlers demonstrate a century of faithfulness

07/10/17

By Ann Lovell

Dr. Franklin and Mrs. Dorcas Fowler pose with an early proof of his autobiography in April 2017. Dr. Fowler celebrated his 100th birthday March 28, 2017. Mrs. Fowler passed away June 26, 2017.

RICHMOND, Virginia—Franklin and Dorcas Fowler had been married 70 years when Dorcas died peacefully June 26, 2017, in her home at Lakewood, a LifeSpire of Virginia community in Richmond’s West End. She was 96. Just before Franklin’s 100th birthday in March, the couple was asked how long they’d been married. They exchanged a puzzled glance and then laughed.

“We don’t remember!” Dorcas said. “Forever.”

In that same conversation, Franklin reached for his Bible, opened the front cover, and pulled out a photo of Dorcas as a young woman. He didn’t say much, but his message was clear. His God and his wife are his two most important relationships.

The Fowlers epitomize lives of faithfulness. From childhood, both sought to share God’s love through medicine. Franklin grew up as the child of missionary parents in Argentina, and committed his life to Christ at age 10. After college at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, he 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. Franklin served in combat in France, Luxembourg, and Germany as a doctor with the 110th Evacuation Hospital, semi-mobile. He returned from the war and married Dorcas, a registered nurse, on Aug. 25, 1946.

Dorcas was born in Oklahoma City and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri; a nursing degree from St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri; and a Master of Arts degree from The Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia.

In 1947, the couple was appointed to Paraguay as medical missionaries with the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board). Their task was to build a hospital. Two years later, after surveying the needs, deciding on a location, and purchasing property, Dr. Fowler sent a cable to the FMB: “HOW DO YOU BUILD A HOSPITAL?” He soon received a simple reply from Dr. Everett Gill, FMB’s area secretary for the Americas: “WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU.”

Looking back on his 100 years, Dr. Fowler credits the hospital in Paraguay as one of his greatest accomplishments. He has reason to be proud. Today, the Baptist Medical Center in Asunción treats about 16,000 patients a month. Under Paraguayan leadership, the hospital has a reputation for excellent medical care and fair business dealings. In 1995, the Baptist Medical Center expanded to include a heart institute, and the next year, doctors there performed Paraguay’s first successful heart transplant.

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 on the home office staff and Dorcas worked as director of the nursing school at Johnston-Willis Hospital until it closed. 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.” The missionary life is mobile, and ironically, the Fowlers have lived in retirement at Lakewood for 30 years — longer than anywhere else in their storied and very active lives.

“I can’t imagine Lakewood without the Fowlers,” said Eileen Kwak, the community’s director of resident services. “They are an icon here.”

The Fowlers represent a generation of people who understand the meaning of words like faithfulness, loyalty, commitment, and community — values on which LifeSpire communities are built and continue to thrive. Even at the end of her life, Dorcas faithfully cared for Franklin, Kwak said. As Dorcas’ life ebbed away, Franklin sat quietly, holding her hand.

Franklin and Dorcas also believed they could make a difference in the world for the cause of Christ, and they were willing to endure any hardship to do so. Franklin’s autobiography tells of their first trip to Paraguay by boat when Dorcas was eight months pregnant with their oldest child.

“This proved to be a bad time for Dorcas to travel,” Franklin wrote in “From There to Here.” “Eight months pregnant, the rolling of the ship kept her in her bunk most of the way. I’m afraid this was not a pleasant Caribbean and South American cruise for her.”

A few weeks later, she delivered their oldest son in a clinic in Asunción, Paraguay — without anesthesia.

“I asked Dr. Aguire later why he did not use anesthesia,” Franklin wrote. “He said that if he lost a Paraguayan patient, it would be considered the will of God, but if he lost an American patient or the baby, his reputation would be ruined, thus he took no risks. Dorcas wished he had taken a little more risk!”

In spite of the difficulties, the Fowlers laid the foundation for international missions — medical and otherwise — for generations to follow. Southern Baptist missions efforts today rest on the shoulders of men and women like Franklin and Dorcas Fowler. More importantly, in a world shaken by brokenness, turmoil, and violence, their lives are steadfast examples of genuine love and faithfulness.

In honor of Dr. Fowler’s 100th birthday and the couple’s strong legacy of faith, LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to publish his autobiography, “From There to Here: The Story of a Missionary Child,” including the history of Southern Baptist medical missions, which he wrote in 1975, and a collection of poems and paintings, which he created during his years at Lakewood.

Proceeds from the sale of the book benefit LifeSpire’s VBH Foundation, which raises funds to help LifeSpire’s life care residents who outlive their financial resources remain in their homes. The book is available for $14.99 on Amazon and from the VBH Foundation. Contact Ann Lovell for more information. 

 

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.


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 awards staff scholarships

06/15/17

By Ann Lovell

 

Kristen Peters, a dining services employee, receives a scholarship award from Jim Jacobsen, The Culpeper’s executive director.

CULPEPER, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia recently awarded its first-ever employee scholarships to staff and family of The Culpeper, a LifeSpire of Virginia continuing care retirement community in Culpeper.  Kristen Peters, a dining services employee at The Culpeper, and Brandi Houck, daughter of Paula Bolton, The Culpeper’s assisted living administrator, each received $1,500 to continue their education. Peters, a graduate of Culpeper County high school, plans to pursue a degree in nursing. Houck, a graduate of Eastern View high school, will attend Christopher Newport University in the fall.

Brandi Houck and her mother, Paula Bolton, The Culpeper’s assisted living administrator, display her scholarship award from LifeSpire’s Virginia Baptist Homes Foundation.

The scholarships are funded through donations to LifeSpire’s employee education fund and administered by the Virginia Baptist Homes Foundation, LifeSpire’s benevolent arm. Scholarships are available to employees and children or grandchildren of employees.

“We are pleased to provide scholarships to these students, and we are grateful to our donors who helped make these inaugural awards possible,” said Patricia Morris, vice president of the VBH Foundation. “We wish Kristen and Brandi the very best in their future studies.”

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.


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.


Loop selected to lead The Chesapeake

05/19/17

By Ann Lovell

RICHMOND, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to announce the selection of David Loop as executive director of The Chesapeake, a LifeSpire continuing care retirement community in Newport News.

Loop brings more than 25 years of senior housing experience to The Chesapeake and has valuable involvement with expansion and renovation projects, hospitality program development, strategic planning and fiscal management.  Loop has worked in both large and small retirement communities; with single-site and multi-community organizations; for non-profit and for-profit companies; and with start-up and existing properties. He has also served on numerous professional committees, state association boards and the LeadingAge House of Delegates.

“David’s broad experience will serve The Chesapeake well as the community goes through a major renovation project and strategic planning over the next few years,” said Jonathan Cook, President and CEO of LifeSpire. “We believe he is the perfect fit for The Chesapeake and for LifeSpire.”

Originally from Ohio, Loop holds a bachelor’s degree from Miami University of Ohio and received a certificate in nursing home administration from The Ohio State University.  He has a passion for excellent customer service and has received training from Disney, Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons. He and his wife, Vera, have five children and four grandchildren with a fifth grandchild expected soon.

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.