Welcome Home

Westminster Canterbury Richmond has openings for deserving seniors-in-need from the Richmond area to apply to live on our campus and receive financial aid that provides housing, meals, medical care and enriching programming. Read on to learn more!

Westminster Canterbury Richmond, a life plan community on the north side of Richmond, Virginia, is a very special place.  It is home to more than 800 seniors and a great place for 650 employees to work.  A small town, really, a place where people enjoy a safe and elegant home, savor delicious meals and participate in lives of purpose and enjoyment.  But there is an even more important story that, though we often tell it, many don’t know. 

This is a place of excellence, yes! But it is also a place of compassion.  It is a place many who have enjoyed financial success choose for their elderhood.  It is also a place where people are welcomed who spent their lives doing important service-oriented work that was financially sacrificial.  Teachers, firefighters, missionaries, home makers, caregivers.  Those for whom the circumstances of life cost them their precious savings.  This is a true community where, during elder years, the measures of past achievements blend together to form a generous environment. We practice excellence and compassion in equal measure. 

You see, years ago, even before our opening in 1975, our founders committed to the creation of our Fellowship Program, which is now stronger than ever, thanks to a generous community that still holds this mission dear.  Fellowship provides a generous portion of the cost of housing, meals, medical care and vital living for seniors in financial need.

During these pandemic times, which have had such dire effects on seniors throughout our country, Westminster Canterbury’s excellence is more important than ever.  Our commitment to safe practices and top-quality healthcare has kept our people safe.  While this is critically important to every single resident and employee, it may feel unattainable to those whose incomes offer fewer options for a healthy retirement.

Today, Westminster Canterbury is in a unique place to welcome new residents.  We have a number of smaller apartments available on our campus.  And we have funding available to offer Fellowship Program assistance.  Should you, or a senior you care about from the Richmond area, be searching for your next home, please consider Westminster Canterbury Richmond.  To inquire about availability and start the qualification process, please call Laurie Hemler at 804-264-6419 or email her at lhemler@wcrichmond.org.  To participate in generously providing for seniors-in-need, learn more about Westminster Canterbury Foundation HERE.

Fall into the Arts!

Westminster Canterbury Richmond is ready to Fall into the Arts!

Arts organizations around the world are getting creative about how to fill our cravings for live music and art when getting up close and personal isn’t advisable. Westminster Canterbury residents are soaking up new experiences!

Westminster Canterbury’s Sara Belle November Theater is known to local and touring performers as a beautiful performance space. During the pandemic, we are also building a reputation for having advanced and capable technology for streaming. For example, Westminster Canterbury is partnering with Richmond Performing Arts Alliance on their Legends Livestream series with three one-hour concerts airing live from our Sara Belle November Theater on YouTube and our in-house television station. These are available exclusively for not only our residents, but also for RPAA patrons. Other upcoming livestreams for residents will feature the Richmond Symphony, pianist Michelle Huang and Mike Davidson and the Latin Jazz Messengers.

What if watching on TV or your computer isn’t for you? We’re taking it outside! Our residents will safely enjoy socially distanced shows in our beautiful outdoor gardens featuring RVA Baroque, Virginia Opera, and a special Movies on the Ellipse showing of Apollo 13. For many performers, our outdoor concert series is the first time they have been able to play for a live audience since COVID-19 reached our region. We are feeding the hearts and souls of performing arts lovers and those for whom the arts is their livelihood during this season of uncertainty.

You can learn more about theater and arts programming at Westminster Canterbury here. You may also support arts programs with a gift to Westminster Canterbury Foundation here.

Helping to Forge the Path Towards the “Next Normal” for Senior Living

Westminster Canterbury Richmond joined thought leaders from around North America—providers of housing and services for older adults—to create strategies and tactics to help all segments of the senior living industry as it emerges from being locked down.

The strategies are collected in the white paper, “Creating a path towards the next normal in senior living,” available here.

John Burns, President and CEO of Westminster Canterbury Richmond, was a participant in the project organized by the ICAA COVID-19 Senior Living Task Force because of his overall emphasis on comprehensive wellness for residents of every level of living and care. The International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) focuses on active aging—an approach to aging that helps older adults live life as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness.

The six strategies can apply to many types of organizations:

1.            Design, re-design and/or renovate exteriors and interiors of buildings. 
2.            Develop purpose-driven, caring, passionate staff. 
3.            Provide technology to increase connections, aid efficiency and optimize health. 
4.            Develop the culture of positive aging, framed by all the dimensions of wellness. 
5.            Establish trust by being prepared to respond to emergencies and unexpected events. 
6.            Update perceptions to reinforce the new value proposition of each type of senior living. 

The strategies and tactics developed by members of the task force are intended to trigger actions that individual organizations can take today, and what they could do to prepare for the midterm and long-term lifestyles necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Westminster Canterbury Richmond will continue to balance the safety of residents and staff while looking toward a bright future. The organization has successfully undertaken many steps during the pandemic to keep residents and staff safe and healthy. Effective measures include strong ongoing infection control practices, engaged and dedicated staff, emphasis on comprehensive wellness, commitment to regular transparent communication and a supportive pastoral care team. Staff and residents are committed to keeping one another safe while enjoying the vital lifestyle provided in this community. Westminster Canterbury Richmond is navigating the pandemic in positive ways.

New Spiritual Center Nears Completion

Isn’t it about time for some good news?  Excitement is rising at Westminster Canterbury Richmond as our new Spiritual Center nears completion! The one-year project is living up to our promise to put our mission first, lean into our spiritual roots and prioritize spiritual care for residents, staff, families and guests.  Spacious and beautiful, the well-planned Spiritual Center will be a place where all are welcome.  Though gatherings will need to be limited in size to keep safe during the pandemic, we now realize just how sacred it is to gather for worship, learning and even to grieve.  Watch this video to take a tour and hear insights from our Director of Pastoral Care, Vice President of Resource Development and several residents.  If you’d like an in-person tour, contact Gayle Haglund at ghaglund@wcrichmond.org.

Innovation in Times of Crisis

The new coronavirus has forced us to become innovative as we strive to find some normalcy. Innovation is a long held value of Westminster Canterbury Richmond – the creative pursuit of excellence. We are finding new ways to bring our residents the services they need to live life well. We hope a few of our successes will spur you to find your own innovative approach to enjoying your life and helping other to enjoy theirs.

Performing Arts
Our on-campus Sara Belle November Theater typically hosts audiences of more than 20,000 people at 50+ performances annually. When we had to cancel much of our spring season due to COVID-19, we began an outdoor series of concerts, featuring VCU Jazz students for Tunes on Tuesday in June. A new Summer Nights series highlighting local musicians in our gardens. Partnerships with local arts organizations, the Richmond Performing Arts Alliance and Richmond Symphony, bring prerecorded performances to residents via our in-house television station.

Wellness offerings shifted from 38 in-person fitness classes weekly to filmed exercise classes that could be done at home while our residents self-quarantined. These videos air twice daily on our in-house television station and are available on demand through our Touchtown Community Apps program used by residents and family members. Many residents love staying fit from the comfort of home! As we slowly reopen our campus, residents make appointments to exercise in our Fitness and Aquatics Centers and sign up for small group, socially distanced in-person fitness classes.

Almost overnight, Westminster Canterbury closed all dining venues and began delivering meals door to door, a huge shift in how we provide nutrition to around 850 residents! An additional Pantry service provided delivery of key grocery staples and wine. As our campus carefully reopens, residents now make reservations for socially distanced meals in our Promenade dining room.

Employee Education and Support
Within a week of COVID-19 reaching the Richmond region, our School of Learning implemented an online coronavirus training that was quickly completed by all of our 650 employees. It taught our staff what they needed to know about this new disease and how to protect themselves and our residents. Our Clinical Educator offered training on proper personal protective equipment use, especially masking, for residents and staff. As tensions around the world became heightened due to the pandemic and racial justice, our Human Resources and Pastoral Care teams hosted Listening Sessions with staff to discover what life is like both on our campus and in the greater community. These conversations are helping us shape current and future plans for supporting diversity in our organization.

2020 has brought about endless opportunity for change, improvement and innovation as we strive to serve our residents and employees in the best possible ways under these new circumstances.

To learn more about our coronavirus response, visit our blog.

Staying Well During Challenging Times!

The coronavirus pandemic has changed everyone’s life in so many ways. Stressful times like these challenge us to adhere to health-promoting routines and habits. Nourishing our body, mind and spirit to stay strong and healthy is exactly what we need to combat the stress while learning and improving!

At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, the coronavirus pandemic did not hinder our dedicated staff Wellness team from finding innovative ways to help our residents stay healthy and engaged. We worked “together,” from afar, to keep one another motivated while maintaining safe social distancing.  

Throughout April and May, a Wellness staff member frequently joined our weekday televised Live Briefings to share a tip, such as demonstrating a new stretching activity or suggesting a way to liven the spirit and maintain a positive perspective. Prior to the onset of this pandemic, many residents across all areas of our campus participated in instructor-led Wellness classes. Once it became unsafe for us to gather together, our Wellness staff pivoted to recording video workouts for our residents with the help and expertise of our Communications team. We aired these workouts on our in-house television channel, TV970, and on Touchtown Community Apps.

There’s nothing like a challenge to keep us motivated. Perhaps you can use these ideas yourself!  Throughout the pandemic, our Wellness staff engaged our residents in some friendly self-competition with challenges. April’s CV-19 challenge engaged residents in a new exercise, stretch or positive practice six days per week. In May, residents were coaxed outside in an “I Spy Scavenger Hunt.” Find something for which you are grateful. Find a family photo that makes you laugh out loud. Such practices reflect our multidimensional approach to wellness, nurturing the body, mind and spirit. With the arrival of June and beautiful late spring weather came the “Mind Body Spirit Challenge.” Our residents were further encouraged to walk more, try new independent exercises and truly appreciate their outdoor environment. In Assisted Living and the Mary Morton Parsons Health Center, our residents stayed active by working out in their hallways, enjoying one another’s presence from a safe distance. Our high level of resident participation in these opportunities demonstrates that it is possible to stay well using ways we may not have thought of before, all while adhering to safety standards.

We are excited and grateful that residents may use our fitness and aquatics centers on an individual, supervised, scheduled basis. We look forward to offering some small group exercise classes to our residents when it is safe to do so. In spite of the challenges, our lives have become richer knowing we have found innovative ways to stay strong in body, mind and spirit! Learn more about our Wellness offerings here.

What creative ways have you found to remain active during the pandemic? What new ways are still out there, waiting to be discovered? We wish you well as you discover them!

Our Roots in Faith Call Us to Love…

Love, however, is often not easy – and infinitely difficult to know how it should look in community, in our homes and in the broader marketplace.  We acknowledge with deep humility that mere words cannot convey the pain and sorrow experienced in our country now, nor how that pain has been experienced for centuries.  We do believe that now is a time that cries out for us to open ourselves to learning, listening and striving to grow in understanding and empathy. 

Our community of staff and residents together is made up of people from many walks of life, more than 40 countries-of-origin. We represent nearly every world religion and many ethnic backgrounds.  Despite perception, our residents join us from every socio-economic strata. So, while our collective horror over the death of Mr. Floyd is shared, our inner feelings and reactions are many and varied.  But we all grieve. 

In a recent video update, Director of Pastoral Care Rev. Dr. Lynn McClintock encouraged us all to ask this question of others different than us, “How is it for you?”  The beginning of dialogue that seeks to understand begins with that question. 

When Jesus instructed his followers to love one another, he knew this was not an easy request. He reached out to the disenfranchised and knelt at the feet of his friends.  He experienced wrath and execution and he knew what was coming. We are remiss if we think faith leads us to complacency.  No matter what your faith tradition, you learn that love must be at the core.  While we pray for justice and peace, let us each pray that God will show us how to be part of redeeming the world.  Many of our residents and staff are eager to continue this important conversation, knowing that peace, justice and love are a call for each of us.

As we all seek to cope with two enormous crises – one of worldwide health and one of nationwide racial tension – may we open our hearts to one another, knowing love can be painful and hard, but it is the rock upon which we can stand. Together. 

Join Us in Honoring Our Veterans

A huge thank you to all of the residents and staff who worked so hard to create this Memorial Day program. The prerecorded event aired on our in-house TV station and our YouTube channel so residents, families and friends could share this moving tribute to all those who have served our country. We invite you to enjoy the presentation as you remember those who have given so much to protect our freedoms.

Leadership in Senior Services

One of Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s values is leadership – maintaining a position of excellence in the senior services industry. Much of that focus is on ensuring we have the right employees in the right roles and offering them excellent training. We also serve as leaders outside of our walls, sharing our resources and expertise while learning from others who serve seniors in similar ways.

Westminster Canterbury has continued its industry leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. John Burns, President and CEO, serves as a resource to other organizations around Virginia through the LeadingAge Virginia Board. He serves on the Governor’s Long Term Care Task Force, Management Roundtable Coronavirus Task Force and International Council of Active Aging COVID-19 Industry Task Force. Other Westminster Canterbury team members shared our coronavirus experiences during speaking engagements including Senior Living 100, LeadingAge National Coronavirus Daily Member Updates and the LeadingAge Virginia Philanthropy Network and more. These connections give perspective that we bring to our day-to-day work while we strive to keep our campus safe during uncertain and unprecedented times.

Westminster Canterbury is also known for its focus on customer service. Sherry Grady, Vice President of Facilities Management, was recently appointed to the University of Richmond’s Advisory Board for their Customer Experience Certificate Program. This program focuses on helping business leaders shape customer experiences with their brand and products. Participants in the program apply principles and techniques that drive customer experience innovation and solve real-world challenges. As the world faces challenges in serving customers in all sectors in new and different ways, this program will become an important tool.

The field of senior services is one that is filled with endless opportunities and challenges to ensuring the best life possible for our residents. There is much to be learned and shared among similar organizations, and Westminster Canterbury has been blessed to have a wonderful network for collaboration.

If you’re interested in making a career out of caring in the senior living industry, visit the Westminster Canterbury Richmond careers page or LeadingAge Virginia Career Center to find your next opportunity.

so proud of our nursing team!

During National Nurses Week, we thanked, honored and celebrated our nursing staff at Westminster Canterbury Richmond. National Nurses Day was on May 12, in honor of Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Florence Nightingale was born 200 years ago today, and she is known as the founder of modern nursing. She is best known for redefining nursing as an honored profession.

The COVID-19 pandemic has again redefined nursing. The year 2020 has been designated as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, by the World Health Organization. Countries all over the world are acknowledging the contributions nursing staff make to the health of their communities.

Nurses are leading and teaching teams in infection prevention and control. At Westminster Canterbury, our nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are selflessly providing loving care in hot gowns and masks for the sake of our beloved residents. Our nursing team is a source of professional, caring knowledge, not only for our residents, but also for their families, neighbors and the greater community.

To all the nursing staff at Westminster Canterbury, thank you for your service and dedication. You are truly heroes and angels to our residents and their families. Please watch this video that features our fantastic nursing team!