Rucker elected to chair LifeSpire’s board of trustees

03/17/17

By Ann Lovell

Susan Rucker

Richmond, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to announce the election of Susan Rucker as chair of its board of trustees. Rucker, who was elected to a 3-year term,  assumed her duties January 1 and presided over the board’s first meeting of 2017 in early March at Lakewood, a LifeSpire community in Richmond’s west end.

Rucker is currently the chief financial officer at the Mason School of Business at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She is also president of Prospective Insights, a consulting service that helps businesses define and execute business strategy and leadership development.

“I have worked with Mrs. Rucker as a LifeSpire board member for the past two years. Her business and financial leadership have helped propel us to the strong financial position we have today, ” said Jonathan Cook, LifeSpire president and CEO. “I look forward to working with her in this expanded leadership role.”

Formerly a partner with KPMG, a global professional firm that provides audit, tax and advisory services, Rucker holds a bachelor’s in business administration from William & Mary. She and her husband, Michael, live in Midlothian, Virginia.

 

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.

 


A spirit of giving

03/10/17

By Jodi Leonard

Culpeper staff display the Spirit of Giving award. Left to right: Janet Caplinger, Jackie Gordon, Vicky McClung, Twinkle Moore.

Nothing speaks more to the value of family than the 2016 Spirit of Giving Award, which was presented to Jim Jacobson, executive director of The Culpeper, in an awards banquet in October. The award recognizes the LifeSpire community with the highest percentage of staff who give regularly to the Employee Crisis Fund (ECF). Funded through payroll deductions, the ECF provides financial support in times of crisis for an employee, such as a family illness.

“The ‘Spirit of Giving’ award truly tells the ‘Family Story’ displayed at The Culpeper,” Jacobsen said. “Our staff care so much for one another. It is truly a blessing to have such a family atmosphere within our great community. I am so proud of my team and appreciate their dedication to the residents and to each other.”

Twinkle Moore, an employee for 29 years who now works in The Culpeper’s administration office, has been giving to benevolence since 1994 and to the ECF since it began in 2014. Vicky McClung, a nursing employee for 23 years, says she and her co-workers have grown up together. She contributes to the Fund knowing that the money raised supports her friends. Jackie Gordon, a housekeeping employee for six years, already understands the importance of the ECF as she has seen staff assisted by the funds. Janet Caplinger, who works in assisted living, says it this way: “I am more blessed to be able to give.”

In addition to the ECF, LifeSpire and the VBH Foundation have also created a new Employee Education Fund (EEF), which will provide financial support to staff in the form of college scholarships and tuition reimbursement. The EEF is funded through both employee and donor gifts and provides financial assistance to deserving staff through:

  • Tuition reimbursement toward a degree, continuing education, or certification.
  • College scholarships for college-aged staff and staff’s children and grandchildren.

To make a gift to the EEF, please visit the Employee Education Fund tab on the VBH Foundation’s website.

The comfort and assurance that our founder Dr. J.T. Edwards promised to Virginia’s seniors will always be at the forefront of LifeSpire’s values. But it is the commitment that every employee has to one another that enables our communities to feel like home for everyone.

Jodi Leonard is the annual fund manager for the VBH Foundation. She can be reached at jleonard@vbh.org or 804-521-9213. 


LifeSpire selects Executive Director for Lakewood

03/09/17

By Ann Lovell

Barrett Way

Richmond, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to announce the selection of Barrett P. Way as executive director of Lakewood, a LifeSpire continuing care retirement community in Richmond’s west end.

Way is currently the executive director of Westminster Village in Terre Haute, Indiana, managed by Life Care Services. During his tenure with Life Care Services, Way led a $2 million villa expansion project, oversaw the refinancing of $8.9 million in debt and helped the community achieve more than 400 days in “no lost work.” His efforts led to an overall increase in resident satisfaction to 92 percent, with 96 percent of residents recommending the community to family and friends.

“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Way to lead the Lakewood community,” said Jonathan Cook, LifeSpire president and CEO. “His background in senior living and health care administration, and his proven track record of success in community expansion, financial stewardship and resident focus will serve Lakewood well. We are excited to bring him on at a time when we are expanding our community and increasing our focus on wellness, hospitality and dining.”

Way, who grew up in Richmond’s west end, looks forward to returning to his childhood neighborhood. Way holds a master’s in business administration from the University of Massachusetts’ Isenberg School of Management and a bachelor’s in business administration from Ohio University. He and his wife have one daughter and will welcome their second child in late March.

 

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 of Virginia elects new trustee

03/07/17

By Ann Lovell

Matthew Scott

Richmond, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to announce the election of J. Matthew Scott as the newest member of LifeSpire’s Board of Trustees. Scott was elected at the trustee’s quarterly meeting, March 7, at Lakewood, a LifeSpire continuing care retirement community in Richmond’s west end.

Scott is currently the executive director for business development and strategy for MCV Physicians (MCVP) in Richmond. MCVP is a tax-exempt faculty practice plan organized to support the teaching and medical education missions of Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) School of Medicine. As executive director of business development and strategy, Scott coordinates strategies, business development and outreach plans, physician recruitment, and marketing functions.

“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Scott to the board of LifeSpire,” said Jonathan Cook, president and CEO. “His background in business development and health strategies is a welcome asset as we seek to expand LifeSpire’s mission and focus on wellness, hospitality and dining.”

Scott holds a master’s in health administration from VCU and a bachelor’s in economics from Brigham Young University. He and his wife, Allyson, reside in the Richmond area. They have four children.

 

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.

 


Planning for the life you want to live

1/27/17

By Ann Lovell

For many of us, retirement will be here much more quickly than we might expect. According to a 2015 fact sheet on aging and health from the World Health Organization, the pace of the world’s population is aging much faster than in the past. By 2020, the number of people aged 60 years and older will outnumber children younger than 5 years. Today, WHO reports, 125 million people are aged 80 years or older. By 2050, 120 million aged 80 or older will be living in China alone.

With these statistics in mind, it is never too early to begin planning for retirement. In a recent article for Forbes magazine, Richard Eisenberg offered nine keys to a happy retirement:

Spend time with your children and grandchildren if you have them.

Eisenberg references Stan Hinden, author of How to Retire Happy, who suggests one of the best ways to be happy is to find ways to spend time with your children and grandchildren, even though they may be busy. “You need them,” Hinden said. “Whether they realize it or not, they need you.”

What if you don’t have children or grandchildren? We suggest you connect with younger generations in a way that utilizes your experiences and strengths for their benefit. Tutor a high school student in math or science. Teach a class on investing at your church or community center. Allow kindergarteners at your local elementary school to read to you. The opportunities — and benefits — are endless.

Keep a schedule, but not like your pre-retirement one.

Eisenberg describes a study from Taiwan that asserts the key to a happy retirement isn’t how much free time you have, but how you manage your available time. A schedule helps prevent boredom, depression and loneliness, Eisenberg says. While you may be able to throw your pre-retirement planner away, having a daily or a weekly plan will help organize your activities and maintain control of your schedule.

Learn new things or pursue your passions.

Remember thinking, “When I retire, I’m going to …”? Now you can write that novel, travel, take a cruise, or learn to play the guitar. Retirement is the time to pursue your passions and learn new skills. Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book, Little House in the Big Woods, when she was 64. The eight-book series that followed has since been translated into 40 languages.

Get a part-time job.

According to Eisenberg, studies show that working in retirement keeps your mind sharp and helps you avoid feeling isolated and lonely. Your current employer may offer a phased-retirement plan, or you could set up your own business as a consultant or contractor. Maybe it’s time to pursue a part-time job in another field. A semi-retired writer I know now drives a school bus for his local public school system. The job not only provides him additional health insurance benefits, but the interactions with students fuels his stories. (See #1 above).

To the extent possible, stay engaged and healthy.

According to Eisenberg, career coach Bill Ellermeyer says the happiest retirees are either engaged in meaningful activity or are actively employed. Whether your work is paid or volunteer, finding a way to contribute to society will help you stay engaged. Regular exercise and good nutrition will help you stay healthy.

Choose when to retire and then follow through.

“The authors of The Retirement Maze surveyed 1,477 retirees to see what made the happy ones happy,” Eisenberg writes. “They found that 69 percent of the retirees who retired by choice were satisfied with their lifestyle but only 36 percent pushed into retirement said they were.”

But what if you had a plan for retirement, and organizational changes either hastened your departure or you were, as Eisenberg describes, “pushed into retirement”? Can you still be happy? A 2012 Forbes article by Margie Warrell references research by psychologist Marty Seligman who found that those most likely to succeed after a setback like involuntary retirement frame the experience differently from those who continue to struggle. Remember that your job status does not define you, Warrell asserts. If you can interpret forced retirement as an opportunity to grow and re-prioritize, you can look forward to your future with excitement.

Come up with a retirement income plan.

“Figure up how much your 401(k) and other accounts will translate into monthly income; how much you’ll get from Social Security and any pension; how much you can afford to withdraw each year, and which accounts you’ll tap first for withdrawals to keep taxes down,” Eisenberg advises.

 Adjusting your housing needs may also factor into your income plan. How much maintenance will your home require? Should you consider downsizing to minimize upkeep? Should you consider moving to a one-story home? Should you consider the future possibility of assisted living or healthcare for yourself or your spouse? Seek advice from your financial planner or a retirement counselor as you make these decisions.

If you have a spouse or partner, talk about your plans together.

Much like you did in the early days of your relationship, talking with your spouse or partner about your hopes and dreams for retirement may give you both a sense of excitement and hope for the future. Quoting Neal Frankle, a noted financial planner, Eisenberg suggests that couples discuss their retirement dreams and write them down. Identifying each item as a “must have,” a “want,” or a “wish” will also help clarify your goals and aspirations. Of course, as with every decision in your relationship, be ready to compromise!

Figure out in advance what you want out of retirement.

Whether you want to travel the world or retire to a cabin in the woods, knowing how you want to spend your days, where you’ll spend them, and who you hope to spend them with are key decisions if you hope to make the most of the years ahead. Remember the words of George Burns, “Retirement at 65 is ridiculous. When I was 65, I still had pimples.”

Retirement counselors at any of our LifeSpire communities can introduce you to the benefits of maintenance-free living and discuss with you how you can live the life you want to live. For more information, contact them today:

The Chesapeake: Liz Gee
The Culpeper: Rose Wallace
The Glebe: Helen Burnett
Lakewood: Donna Buhrman

 

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 Glebe and Lakewood named ‘Best Nursing Homes’

By Ann Lovell

RICHMOND, Virginia—Two LifeSpire of Virginia continuing care retirement communities recently received the distinction of “Best Nursing Home” by U.S. News & World Report. Lakewood in Richmond’s West End and The Glebe in Daleville were two of 38 retirement communities in Virginia — out of slightly more than 2,000 nationwide — that received the magazine’s honor.

U.S. News evaluated more than 15,000 nursing homes nationwide and released the list in November 2016. The ratings — based on overall performance and data from Nursing Home Compare at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — are designed to “help potential residents and their loved ones navigate this difficult process” of selecting a nursing home that meets an individual’s needs, said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News.

“We are very pleased that Lakewood and The Glebe received this distinction,” said Jonathan Cook, LifeSpire’s president and CEO. “This honor simply underscores what we already know: Our communities are dedicated to providing quality care based on our mission of service and our history of compassion. We applaud them for their work.”

 

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: Executive Director for Lakewood

RICHMOND, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is seeking to hire an executive director for its Lakewood community in Richmond, Virginia.

Lakewood is a not-for-profit life plan community located in Richmond’s West End.  It is one of four communities owned and operated by LifeSpire of Virginia, based in Richmond, Virginia.

The Lakewood community currently consists of 227 independent living apartments, 30 villas, 14 cottages, 60 assisted living beds, 14 assisted living memory support beds, and 96 skilled nursing beds.  The community is in a pre-sales phase for an additional 44 independent living apartments and 20 hybrid homes.  A comprehensive expansion and repositioning project is currently in process that will include the additional independent living units, four new dining venues, a performing arts center, and a comprehensive wellness center that includes an aquatic center.

The community has an outstanding reputation in the Richmond market and currently provides service to 440 residents and employs 360 staff members. The health center provides excellent care and has a 5-Star rating with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In November 2016, Lakewood received the prestigious “Best Nursing Home” rating by U.S. News & World Report.

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Executive Director is responsible for continuing and enhancing the reputation of the community by providing strategic leadership consistent with the LifeSpire mission, vision, and values.  The Executive Director shall provide leadership in the development of policies, procedures and plans which results in the accomplishment of both the organization’s long- and short-range goals.  The Executive Director is responsible for ensuring the development and delivery of appropriate services to the residents, clients, and their families.

Key qualifications, duties, and personal characteristics for this position are:

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Minimum 5 years’ experience as an Executive Director, Officer, or Administrator of a life plan community
  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
  • NHA license is a plus, but not required
  • Thorough understanding of the senior housing industry
  • Financial management skills; ability to develop and manage the budget for the entire community; identify areas for expense savings or revenue generating opportunities
  • Ability to maintain and strengthen positive working relationships with staff, residents, and leadership across communities
  • With support of the leadership team, develop and implement a strategic plan that aligns with the LifeSpire mission, vision, and values
  • Provide quality programming and services that meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s consumer
  • Develop and sustain a community culture of teamwork, professionalism, mutual respect, continuous quality improvement, and accountability
  • Develop a strong team of competent and committed professionals who are committed to service excellence
  • Articulate a vision, create consensus, and motivate people to build a sense of community

KEY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Support the strategic plan and direction of LifeSpire of Virginia.
  • Direct the overall operations of the facility while complying with state and federal regulations as well as the company’s policies and procedures
  • Ensure compliance and licensure with all licensing agencies
  • Manage occupancy development.
  • Plan, develop, and manage the facility’s operating and capital budgets
  • Develop and monitor all contracted provider services
  • Foster effective communications and teamwork among the facility’s management group
  • Maintain current knowledge about changes in federal, state, and local regulations
  • Focus on achieving and maintaining 5-star status in the community

PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS:

The ideal candidate will be a competent, compassionate, and committed professional who is willing to enter into a long-term commitment of service to the organization and to do so within a team-oriented, collaborative, servant leadership environment.  He/she will be a person of high integrity and ethical standards and have a personal reputation that will reflect well on the organization.  Of equal importance will be a high standard of care and concern for current and future residents. He/she will evidence a commitment to establishing community collaborations. As a relationship-oriented person, the Executive Director will be an excellent communicator and will maintain a visible presence among staff, residents, clients, and within the surrounding community.

 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 may apply by e-mailing a resume to:

Mick Feauto, Chief Operating Officer, at mfeauto@lifespireliving.org.

 

 

 


Book Review: Missing Mary by J. Keith McMullin

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that afflicts more than 5.3 million people in the United States and is the sixth leading cause of death for Americans. Behind the numbers and definitions, Alzheimer’s robs its victims of the ability to carry out the most basic daily tasks, and families often use words like “brutal” and “unrelenting” to describe its effects. At this point, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. It claims 100 percent of its victims.

In Missing Mary: A crash course in Alzheimer’s Dementia, J. Keith McMullin, shares the struggle of Alzheimer’s from the perspective of a caregiver. McMullin’s mother, Mary Compton McMullin, a former mathematics professor with a genius I.Q., succumbed to the disease in 2013. With insight and humor, McMullin describes the twists and turns a family experiences resulting from an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. He also offers practical guidance for managing the disease and candidly discusses the challenges associated with selecting an assisted living facility that would provide the highest quality care for his mother. Narrowing the list of options from the more than 100 senior care facilities in Richmond, Virginia, — Miss Mary’s home — could have been an arduous task, McMullin writes. In reality, “funneling the list down to a handful of facilities was far easier than it first seemed.”

For Miss Mary, the community that best met her needs was Lakewood, a LifeSpire of Virginia continuing care retirement community in Richmond’s West End. Lakewood provided the care McMullin’s mother would need until the end of her life, including hospice care. “There was no way my mother could play musical chairs and manage changing facilities and care teams every time her care needs increased,” McMullin writes. Her preference for a faith-based community narrowed the list of options even further.

Missing Mary is more than an easy, well-written read about the struggle with Alzheimer’s dementia. Ultimately, it is a story of love given and love received — a lasting tribute to a remarkable woman with the spirit of a champion.

Missing Mary: A Crash Course in Alzheimer’s Dementia by J. Keith McMullin is available for purchase from Amazon. The author will hold a reading and book signing, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, at 5 p.m. in the Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital Education Center (Room 161), 5801 Bremo Road, Richmond, Virginia. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.MissingMary.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.


BB&T Capital Markets closes $85,505,000 Financing for LifeSpire of Virginia

In October 2016, BB&T Capital Markets closed an $85,505,000 Series 2016 Fixed Rate Bond issue for LifeSpire of Virginia. The proceeds will be used to retire LifeSpire’s existing Series 2006A and Series 2006C Fixed Rate Tax-Exempt Bonds as well as a taxable line of credit.

The refinancing produced a savings of $750,000 per year and restructured LifeSpire’s taxable line of credit into long term tax-exempt debt.

LifeSpire president and CEO, Jonathan Cook, expressed his appreciation for the partnership with BB&T to make the refinancing possible.

“This level of coordination and effort requires a firm with depth, creativity and commitment,” Cook said. “We could not be more pleased that BB&T Capital Markets provides the same level of client service for LifeSpire of  Virginia that we exhibit in caring for our residents.”

LifeSpire board chair, Robert L. Musick, Jr., agreed.

“Over the more than two decades I have served on the board, we have been fortunate to have the BB&T Capital Markets team as a trusted financial advisor and partner,” Musick said. “Whether in the best of times or in challenging circumstances, they have provided wise counsel.  We consider them to be a vital resource for the board as it fulfills its fiduciary responsibility to residents and other stakeholders.”

For more information, read BB&T’s full LifeSpire Series 2016 Case Study.

 

 


LifeSpire welcomes Hospitality Ambassador

sansoucieRichmond, Virginia—LifeSpire of Virginia is pleased to announce the addition of Sally San Soucie to the newly created position of Hospitality Ambassador. As a member of LifeSpire’s corporate team, San Soucie is responsible for establishing hospitality standards across LifeSpire’s four communities, developing a detailed curriculum in hospitality training for all LifeSpire employees, and instilling a culture of hospitality unprecedented in today’s continuing care retirement communities.

“We’re very excited about bringing 5-star hospitality and customer service to senior living,” said Jonathan Cook, LifeSpire president and chief executive officer. “Under Ms. San Soucie’s direction, our reputation for hospitality will be unparalleled.”

San Soucie brings more than 15 years’ experience with life plan communities to LifeSpire, including Westminster Canterbury Richmond, St. Mary’s Woods and Shenandoah Valley Westminster Canterbury. Most recently, San Soucie worked in a contract management role with Aramark at VCU Health System.

San Soucie resides in Richmond with her mother, son and two cats.


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.