Coastal Virginia — from the Northern Neck down to Hampton Roads — is one of the most unique regions in America. Its shores attract millions of tourists each year, and the concentration of cities and military bases make it an active, busy place.
This combination of relaxed oceanfront living and urban conveniences makes coastal Virginia an ideal place to retire. Boardwalks and sailing opportunities abound, as do world-class medical facilities.
The area’s unique characteristics have resulted in some incredible senior living communities. You’ll find everything from beachfront resorts to tranquil rural retirement communities to nursing homes staffed with exceptional medical professionals.
Here are 19 senior living communities your family should know. Each caters to different needs and lifestyles, but all are first-class.
Bay Lake, Virginia Beach
One of Retirement Unlimited’s seven retirement communities, Bay Lake has a gorgeous facility that, per the community’s website, “experts call one of the most progressively designed senior residences in the country.”
Staff at Bay Lake can provide such assisted living services as help with dressing, daily reminders and medication management. Bay Lake also has a dedicated memory care facility—The Garden—that features 12 private studios and around-the-clock care.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Virginia Beach
Readers of The Virginian-Pilot named Our Lady of Perpetual Help their 2016 choice for best assisted living facility in Virginia Beach. Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a non-profit community sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, and offers assisted living, nursing and memory care.
Memory care has its own dedicated facility—The Christopher Center—and a specially developed care program called Reflections. “Our team incorporates the most up-to-date therapeutic approaches as well as reminiscence, art, music, and pet therapies, and sensory stimulation into daily life,” the Christopher Center website reads. “Our goal is to enhance resident engagement, provide opportunities for success based on current abilities, and to build positive relationships among residents, families, and caregivers.”
Brookdale Virginia Beach
Brookdale Virginia Beach is one of Brookdale’s 1,100-plus senior living communities across the United States. The Virginia Beach location is specifically designed to accommodate seniors who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s or some other cognitive impairment.
“Brookdale is a pioneer in the development of memory care, and our small community offers a comfortable, homelike environment which is ideal for individuals with memory loss,” says the Brookdale team. “We believe that no matter where an individual is in their life, they have the right to live in a dignified manner, and enjoy meaningful experiences everyday. Our highly-trained associates enable each resident to experience daily moments of success.”
The Crossings at Independence, Virginia Beach
Recently opened, The Crossings at Independence is managed by Harmony Senior Services in Roanoke, which also manages The Chamberlin in Hampton. The Crossings offers residents both independent and assisted living options, as well as memory care. The facility has 24-hour concierge services, on-site rehabilitation and even an on-site barbershop and beauty salon.
The Gardens of Virginia Beach
Five Star Senior Living’s The Gardens of Virginia Beach offers assisted living and memory care, and even respite care for short stays. Its location is great: Residents can get to downtown Virginia Beach, Norfolk or the oceanside in about 15 minutes.
On-site services include restaurant-style dining, wellness and fitness programs, a barbershop and beauty salon, and a library.
Atria Virginia Beach
One of Atria’s 180-plus communities across North America, Atria Virginia Beach is an assisted living community that features an active recreational calendar, a fantastic location and a pet-friendly policy.
On-site services include a dedicated physical therapist and caregivers who are available around the clock.
Atlantic Shores, Virginia Beach
Just 10 minutes from Virginia Beach’s boardwalk, Atlantic Shores has received numerous local and national awards for the community it fosters. “Collectively, we are an active, independent group who celebrate life and enjoy our own community, and the greater community at large,” community leaders write. “Just as importantly, we don’t just live here; we own here.”
Atlantic Shores features a dining hall, on-site medical services, and a number of activities to keep residents active and having fun.
First Colonial Inn, Virginia Beach
A Kisco Senior Living community, First Colonial Inn is right in the middle of the city’s Hilltop area, and it offers options for bot target=”_blank”h assisted and independent living. As The Hamptons Roads Show reported recently, First Colonial Inn just completed a multi-million dollar renovation, which includes a new wellness facility where instructors are available for anything from Tai Chi to chair yoga lessons.
Marian Manor, Virginia Beach
Marian Manor is a sister facility to the award-winning Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The Catholic Diocese of Richmond founded this assisted living facility in 1989 to provide local seniors a comfortable and affordable community.
“It is our mission to enhance the quality of life for each resident through personalized attention and care,” the team writes. “We believe in preserving dignity through personal choice, respect and understanding in a comfortable and welcoming environment that brings joy and fulfillment for those that live and work at Marian Manor.”
Beth Sholom Village’s The Terrace, Virginia Beach
Beth Sholom has a pair of facilities in the city; one is The Terrace, located on College Park Boulevard. It’s the only assisted living community in southeastern Virginia built around traditional Jewish values. This gives residents the opportunity to enjoy Kosher meals. The Terrace also features a fine arts studio complete with a kiln for ceramics.
Westminster-Canterbury on Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach
Westminster-Canterbury is a non-profit retirement community that is sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia and the Presbytery of Eastern Virginia of the Presbyterian Church. It offers true resort-style living for its residents.
The foundation organizes retreats, sporting activities and even cocktail parties on the beach. It also focuses on the continuum of care for its residents, so everything from independent living to assisted living to long-term nursing care is available.
River Pointe, Virginia Beach
A Kindred Healthcare nursing and rehabilitation facility, River Pointe offers both short-term rehabilitation and long-term care. “Our wide array of services enables our patients and residents to receive the medical care they need, the restorative therapy they require, and the support they and their families deserve,” says executive director David Vevoda.
“…Working with your physician, our staff — including medical specialists, nurses, nutritionists, therapists, dietitians and social workers — establishes a comprehensive treatment plan intended to restore you or your loved one to the fullest practicable potential.”
The Chesapeake, Newport News
The Chesapeake is one of LifeSpire of Virginia’s four continuing care retirement communities in the state. “The beauty of the CCRC concept with a LifeCare contract is that the monthly fee does not significantly increase as a resident moves from independent living to other levels of care (e.g., assisted living, memory care or nursing care),” LifeSpire of Virginia Director of Corporate Communicates Ann Lovell tells us.
“This arrangement also significantly reduces the stress on the adult children of aging parents because decisions are made and a plan for care is in place before the need arises rather than in the midst of a health or aging-related crisis, which would require more extensive involvement of the children.”
Lovell says LifeSpire’s focus on faith, wellness and community ensures residents have access to everything they need to maintain a rich quality of life.
Mennowood, Newport News
The Mennowood Retirement Community — which offers independent living, assisted living and memory care options — took home the Newport News Daily Press’ award last year for best senior living community.
The facility, founded by the local Mennonite community in 1985 as a non-profit, non-denominational retirement community, occupies land that was once used as a dairy farm. The setting is idyllic and surrounded by tranquil nature, but is close enough to the city for convenient access.
Harbor’s Edge, Norfolk
Harbor’s Edge is a continuing care retirement community that offers skyline views over Norfolk plus a vista of the Elizabeth River. The luxurious community offers assisted living, memory care and a health care center for residents.
“Our assisted living services and amenities are all about flexibility and choices,” the Harbor’s Edge team says. “We offer casual, formal and private dining options with meals prepared by the area’s finest chefs. Housekeeping, interior and exterior maintenance, 24-hour security, scheduled group transportation, and concierge services are included as well as the convenience of a secured covered parking garage.”
The Chamberlin, Hampton
The Chamberlin is a luxurious retirement community right on the Chesapeake Bay, and is Coastal Virginia Magazine’s 2016 readers’ choice award winner for best retirement community on the peninsula.
The Chamberlin also took home bronze in the same readers’ poll for best brunch on the peninsula, so there’s a good chance its chefs are spoiling residents with all the gourmet fare they’re serving up.
Georgian Manor, Chesapeake
Commonwealth Assisted Living’s Georgian Manor community is conveniently situated near shopping, seaside activities and the Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. The staff at Georgian Manor encourage as much independence as possible for residents, but they’re glad to help with any day-to-day tasks such as meals, grooming and getting around.
Commonwealth Assisted Living has 22 communities around the state, and takes special care to ensure residents enjoy a rich quality of life. Case in point, the company recently announced, as the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, “a partnership with Hampton-based Sam Rust Seafood, Inc., to bring fresh seafood to its communities.”
Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, Irvington
Located in a small, idyllic community on the Northern Neck, Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury has a 165-acre campus for residents to pursue outdoor interests such as fishing, golf, hiking or even outdoor Tai Chi. RWC puts a special emphasis on fitness and living well, and its team is happy to create a custom wellness program for each resident.
Colonial Harbor, Yorktown
Colonial Harbor is one of Holiday Retirement’s seven communities in the Commonwealth. It’s a half hour to the north of Hampton and a short drive from Williamsburg.
“Elegant grandfather clocks and a fireplace make the space inviting while you read in the library or play cards in the parlor,” the team at Colonial Harbor writes. “A life-enriching activities calendar offers cooking classes, singing groups, popcorn and movie nights, trivia, billiards and genealogy classes. Family and friends gather in the community dining room for chef-prepared meals and enjoy quiet evenings chatting in the gazebo outside or walking with pets.”