We are fortunate to have so many high quality living arrangements and services for seniors in this area. As people age into their seventh and eighth decades, they face many decisions on the best place to live, the best health options, and more.
In an effort to cut through the myriad options, we have invited some seniors to offer their first-person accounts of the positive choices they have made to enjoy a healthy, vibrant life in our region.
Ruth Bathe has lived at Chesterbrook for eight years. Originally working as a volunteer there, she was aware of the friendly and cooperative atmosphere of the very helpful and caring staff and knew it was a perfect place. Ruth enjoys meeting new people so it was natural for her to join the Welcome Committee to help new residents. “We share information and provide personal escorts to the dining room to introduce them to others. Moving to an assisted care facility from your home is a big, big change that can be very disconcerting. We want everyone to feel comfortable,” Ruth explains. “The basis for my daily living is reaching out to other people. I learn about humanity when I’m meeting others and this enriches my life.”
Chesterbrook blends quality care with affordability and maintains an active calendar of events for residents both onsite and off, such as outings to nearby attractions like Mount Vernon, or shopping, restaurants, and movies. The facility offers chef-prepared dining, exercise, crafts, meditation, hair salon, laundry, and more.
2030 Westmoreland Street
Falls Church, VA
Gail Osberg has been a resident of The Kensington since November, 2017. A retired librarian, Gail did her research on area facilities and decided that The Kensington was most appealing especially with all the amenities they offer, even holiday parties and brain exercises. As an added benefit her family is close by. Gail talks enthusiastically about everything The Kensington provides—the restaurant-style dining room with menus and wait staff, the café where folks gather to relax and play games, even a library and book discussion groups which excite this former librarian, the piazza ( “a porch,” she quips), and more. “The case managers are truly caring people,” she says. In fact, “The entire staff is very, very nice, and all give 100%”
This state-of-the-art assisted living community is less than two years old and was designed to achieve the comfort of home for residents while offering a variety of events and programs. Their best-in-class clinical program includes an on-site physician’s office, physical therapy, fitness center, and 24/7 licensed nursing care. It also offers memory care facilities.
700 West Broad St.
Falls Church, VA
Judy Whitesell became a resident at Poet’s Walk just a few months ago. She and her family were drawn to the private rooms. Plus it is designed entirely for memory care with a staff that is expertly trained in dementia patient care.
Judy’s husband, Don, reports that Poet’s Walk is a home setting but with state-of-the-art security and leading edge technology which was only being designed when he worked as an architect on memory care facilities. “I can’t give enough kudos to the staff. They are wonderful,” Don emphasizes. Shortly after moving in, Judy told her daughter, “I feel like I’m a guest in someone’s home.” They realized they had made the right choice.
Poet’s Walk offers a premier memory care facility in Leesburg. They demonstrate “Caring with a Commitment to Quality” in all that they do. From innovative, holistic programs that promote socializing and wellbeing to their proprietary senior caregiving standards, the team excels at fostering a nourishing, compassionate environment that supports each resident.
102 Desmond Plaza SE
Tom and Pat Harkins chose Sunnyside as their Life Plan community some 15 years ago. Both now 70, they saw the advantage of moving to a senior facility around age 55, giving them peace of mind and freedom from maintenance. They enjoy the comfortable setting with a large living space for the couple.
hey believe in giving back. As long-time residents, Tom has been active in leadership and Pat in volunteer groups. “You can be as busy as you want with the many activities, off campus excursions, trips overseas, cruises and more. We’ve met so many people. One winter storm knocked out the power for several days, but the staff did an amazing job of making sure that everyone was well cared for throughout the ordeal. “It really brought people together,” they noted.
All three Sunnyside Communities offer independent living, assisted living, and nursing and memory care so a resident can remain a part of the community even as their needs may change. They offer a full calendar of events and activities that can include day trips, lifelong learning opportunities, wellness activities, crafts, games and much more.
Vinson Hall Retirement Community
After 15 years on her own, Ramona Michaels moved to Vinson Hall in 2012. She says it gives her freedom, from the upkeep of her previous home: “I can come and go as I please. It has many conveniences that I like and I certainly enjoy living here.” She likes that it is military-based, and “it’s a lot smaller than other retirement communities” so it’s more intimate. She sits on the entertainment committee and they bring in groups like the McLean Orchestra and George Mason University. She also participates in the 35-person Vinson Voices who present several concerts each year.
“The people who work here are wonderful,” she adds. “they listen to us and they’re cooperative and friendly. It’s nice to see people with smiles when they work.”
Their Residents’ Association meetings always start with a salute to the flag and a prayer. She loves that patriotism and that they remember old-time values. “It makes me feel right at home,” says Ramona.
Vinson Hall is an independent living community for commissioned military officers and their immediate family as well as government workers of equal rank from select agencies, while the Arleigh Burke Pavilion offers assisted living and skilled nursing care and The Sylvestery specializes in memory care for all, so residents can remain on campus even as their needs may change.
Vinson Hall Retirement Community
6251 Old Dominion Drive
Another challenge for seniors can be loss of hearing, which can cause them to feel less involved in their surroundings. Kensington resident Howard Handy found a perfect solution with his new hearing devices designed and fitted by Ascent Audiology. He explains,”From the initial testing, the staff made sure everything went smoothly. These are so much better than my previous hearing aids. There is greater clarity and a suppression switch to block loud background noise. I am very satisfied and am having no problem. I am able to hear and fully participate in conversations.”
Ascent Audiology specializes in hearing, hearing loss and hearing solutions including hearing aid fittings. Using advanced diagnostic equipment they find the exact solution for each patient’s individual needs, fine-tuning those hearing solutions for optimal results, and working with patients to adjust to their new hearing aid devices. Ascent provides in-house consultations and testing at the Kensington and many other retirement or assisted living facilities.
Ascent Audiology & Hearing
1320 Old Chain Bridge Road
Gene Mechling—Realtor, CRS, Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES)
Keller Williams Realty – Reston
Gene Mechling is clear in her mission – to be a trusted advisor to her senior clients. Her SRES designation means she understands their needs and has the experience and training required to assist the mature demographic. That means dealing with the emotional issues of making lifestyle changes, not rushing, carefully working with family members, and coordinating what comes up in the future such as making sure legal documents are in order.
Gene has been providing this assistance throughout the greater Reston area for 12 years coming from a background in financial services, including estates and trusts which has added to her expertise as an SRES. As an independent agent, Gene is a lifetime top producer with the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors. As a Realtor, she adheres to the strict code of ethics of the NAR.
Gene Mechling Associates
Professional Guidance—Signature Service—Ultimate Success