Support senior living on this #givingtuesday

#GivingTuesdayNow is a global day of giving and unity taking place today, May 5, 2020, as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. A global threat like COVID-19 affects more than just the infected. A pandemic like this touches every person on the planet, and it presents an opportunity to come together as a global community. Together, let’s show our support for frontline workers, unsung heroes and the grassroots organizations that are helping our most vulnerable communities around the world, including those in the senior living industry nationwide.

During challenging times like these, Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s mission becomes even more important and more precious. As you think about how to respond generously within our community, we invite you to consider these needs:

  • Fellowship Program: No matter what, no resident of Westminster Canterbury Richmond will ever be asked to leave for financial reasons that happen through no fault of their own. We want to reassure each of you that this remains absolutely true. We also want to be able to continue to respond to people whom we might welcome into our community. Now more than any time since 2008, we encourage your gifts to our Fellowship Program.
  • W∙E∙A∙V∙E (Workforce-Education-Assistance-Volunteerism-Engagement): As you know, our employees are working tirelessly, creatively and with great dedication during the COVID-19 crisis. Though Westminster Canterbury employees are needed on their jobs, it is likely that many will be adversely impacted by work layoffs of family members. The “A” in W∙E∙A∙V∙E stands for Assistance. When employees face financial emergencies, they can ask for assistance. We need to stand ready to help! We encourage you to consider a generous gift to W∙E∙A∙V∙E so that we will be able to respond positively when needs arise. Another way to appreciate our employees is to make a gift to the Employee Christmas Fund, a resident-run effort not managed by the Foundation.
  • Area of Greatest Need: When you choose to give to the area of greatest need, you give us the flexibility to respond quickly when needs arise.

During times of crisis and concern, helping one another is an inspiring response. Thank you so much for all the ways you’ve helped in the past. Thank you for considering ways to help now, when the needs are so great. Let’s rally together to make a real difference now! Click here to make a gift online now.

Celebrating our Amazing Volunteers and Staff!

This week, we celebrate National Volunteer Week and Careers in Aging Week, honoring all who help others in so many ways. At Westminster Canterbury Richmond, we are so fortunate to have more than 500 residents and non-residents volunteer on campus. These hardworking people do so much: serving with Pastoral Care, transporting residents to and from activities, providing clerical support, assisting residents with recreation activities, ushering in the Sara Belle November Theater and providing a listening ear and a friendly companion for a resident, among other things. And we are also blessed with another fantastic group of people – our outstanding workforce! Our staff love serving seniors, and what better way to celebrate that spirit than during Careers in Aging Week.

Everything looks a little different in the midst of the international COVID-19 crisis – for everyone, everywhere. Like so many other senior living communities, we changed our day-to-day operations to accommodate this new “normal,” while maintaining a steadfast focus on our most important priority – improving the lives of the approximately 830 residents we serve every day. Many employees’ typical job duties changed as we temporarily suspended group activities such as fitness and studio arts classes, theater performances, group dining and more. The staff who typically fill these roles so well still serve our residents in the very best ways possible, just in different ways.

And let’s not forget our residents themselves. Although they may not be able to gather in groups, that has not stopped many of them from volunteering in a different way – sewing cloth masks. This is all done with our eyes on the collective mission of keeping our community, both within and outside our campus, safe and healthy.

We could not serve our residents during this challenging time, or any time, without our wonderful, caring staff. We thank them for all they do for our residents, especially now when many are doing things they have never done before. They truly have made a career out of caring. During a very challenging, unprecedented time, we have banded together and are approaching each day according to The Westminster Canterbury Way!

From Westminster Canterbury Richmond, we wish good health to you and your family.

If you’d like to learn more about making a career out of caring, click here for employment opportunities at Westminster Canterbury.

Click here to stay updated on how Westminster Canterbury is responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

Coming together in our isolation

This has been a “holy season” like none other. While those of the Jewish faith were celebrating Passover—and Christians, Holy Week and Easter—we may feel more like we are still wandering in the wilderness rather than brought to the promised land or entered into resurrection joy. In this time of COVID-19 what we are to celebrate?

While we are unable to come together to share our grief, confusion and loneliness, we can still share our burdens and our hope.

These hardships have kindled a new sense of community and collective responsibility as we each do our part to keep each other safe. We are finding how strong and resilient we are as we learn to adapt to this “new normal.” Notes and phone calls of appreciation from residents and their families boost the spirits of staff. Even under the cloud of uncertainty about when we can all breathe a little more easily, we are holding steady, and we affirm the strength of this community. We are living out our strong roots of faith as we get through this.

Success often starts in struggle. The COVID-19 path is hard because it is so unknown. The path is messy, but it is holy.

In our struggle, we may feel more alone because we are more isolated. What, then, are we to celebrate? We are here for each other. God is here, too. Together, we’ll get through this.

Resources for Healthy Aging – Medicare Billing and Health Insurance

Forging community partnerships, engaging our employees who love to volunteer and serving greater Richmond define Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s Fellowship Outreach. One of the many ways we provide more mission to more people is through access to Resources for Healthy Aging. These videos contain useful content on nutrition, healthy eating, maintaining wellness and more.

In this installment, Westminster Canterbury Richmond at Home’s Kevin Daignault, Administrator; and Tim Mohr, Health Information Manager; discuss different types of insurance and answer common questions about billing. Westminster Canterbury Richmond at Home offers Home Health and Hospice services on our campus and Home Health services in the Richmond community. We are sharing these video resources with the community. Watch below.

Getting a Workout from the Comfort of Home

Many of us are feeling antsy from remaining socially distant inside our homes. While we are able to get outside for a walk and to enjoy some sunshine, many fitness centers and group exercise classes have temporarily ceased normal operation. Two of Westminster Canterbury Richmond’s fitness specialists, Patti Pickering and Julie McElduff, put together a short exercise program you can do from the comfort of your own home. Watch this video see Patti and Julie take you through a series of workouts while demonstrating how each exercise can be performed while sitting or standing.

Your help is needed now…more than ever!

Now, perhaps more than ever, the health and wellbeing of seniors-in-need could be in jeopardy. Through Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s Fellowship Program, more than 100 seniors-in-need know their futures are secure…but it was not always this way for them. Consider this letter we recently received from the daughter of a newer Westminster Canterbury Richmond resident.  

“After Dad’s death, Mom was left with very little. My parents had given their entire lives to helping others. I became so worried about Mom being alone. The neighborhood where she lived had become unsafe. What if she fell? What repair would her aging home need next? What if she became seriously ill? Her financial situation was fragile. As much as I wanted to help, my income is small. Mom seemed so lonely, so isolated. I saw her health and her spirit decline. The worst part was, I knew Mom was worrying, too, but she never wanted to burden me.

Through the grace of God, a friend at church told me about Westminster Canterbury Foundation’s Fellowship Program. Thanks to so many generous people, Mom is now in a thriving environment she calls home. These compassionate donors whom I’ve never met have given our family such peace of mind. They have literally saved Mom’s life!

I will always be a donor to the Fellowship Program. My small gift, added to the gifts of others, makes a huge difference in the lives of more than 100 seniors just like my mom, who are receiving help right now. We thank God each day for this incredible generosity.”

Security and safety should be the right of every senior…

YOUR inspiring generosity to the Fellowship Program saves lives!

YOU provide secure housing, meals and life-saving medical care.

YOU help keep our seniors safe in times of great uncertainty.

Security, safety and health are more important now than ever before. YOU can help our community with a generous gift to the Fellowship Program, a gift that helps us continue serving seniors-in-need at  Westminster Canterbury…and reaching others who need our help.

For more information or to give, please contact Jeanette Ucci at (804) 264-6204 or visit our website.

Press Release: Westminster Canterbury Richmond COVID-19 Response

 A resident of Westminster Canterbury Richmond, a continuing care retirement/life plan community, has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The resident is in the hospital after returning from travel to Florida. Westminster Canterbury is working closely with public health officials, who are on campus partnering with Westminster Canterbury healthcare staff. Virginia Department of Health officials are now determining who may have come into contact with the resident and a number of healthcare staff are at home in self-quarantine.

Starting at the beginning of March, a Coronavirus Task Force comprised of staff from various departments, including an RN Infection Preventionist, met to review existing policies and procedures related to infectious diseases and make a plan for other concerns. Our existing infection control policies and procedures guide us as we work to prevent the spread of infection and control it as necessary.

  • On March 4, staff began tracking the travel plans of residents, staff and their families in order to monitor those travelling to affected areas.
  • On March 11, as soon as a case was confirmed in greater Richmond, Westminster Canterbury took strides to lock down the campus, closing the campus to visitors and screening everyone who entered campus, including all staff members, with questions and temperature screenings.

  As soon as COVID-19 was diagnosed for the hospitalized resident, Westminster Canterbury took additional steps, including requiring all residents to remain in their apartments.  All needs of residents will be attended to by staff.

“We initiated aggressive and proactive efforts in tracking the travel of our residents and employees as well as implemented proactive screening procedures which we believe helped us manage this case as effectively as possible,” said John Burns, President and CEO.

Virginia Department of Health will be involved throughout the process.

Westminster Canterbury Richmond Coronavirus Preparedness and Response

Westminster Canterbury Richmond wants to assure you that we are well prepared to respond to Coronavirus. A Coronavirus Task Force comprised of staff from various departments began meeting last week to review existing policies and procedures related to infectious diseases and to plan for other concerns. Our existing infection control policies and procedures will guide us as we work to prevent the spread of infection and control it as necessary.

The first coronavirus case in central Virginia was reported Wednesday morning in a press conference held by Governor Northam. Officials say the Commonwealth’s ninth case comes from the Chickahominy Health District – a person from the Ashland area who traveled internationally. We do not have COVID-19 on our campus yet, but as a precaution, we are taking many steps to prevent it entering our doors.

Our best possible outcome is preventing spread of the virus to our campus. As the situation develops in our region, there are certain guidelines from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that we will be required to follow, so we want to update you on what you can expect in the coming days and weeks.

For the safety and health of all our residents and staff, we ask that you be our partners as we take the following precautions.

  • Effective Thursday, March 12, Westminster Canterbury Richmond will be screening every person who enters the campus.
  • Effective immediately, no outside visitors or guests are allowed to enter campus. We encourage you to stay connected with your loved ones via phone, video conferencing, email, social media and other means.
  • No visitors, including Independent Living residents, will be allowed in Parsons Health Center and Assisted Living areas. Staff will be medically evaluated before being allowed to enter these areas.
  • Effective immediately, outside vendors and contractors will be screened and are restricted from common areas.
  • Memorial services will not be held on campus for the foreseeable future to limit outside guests.
  • We will be suspending all large events on campus and make decisions about other activities and events in the coming days.
  • Residents and employees are reporting travel plans so that they can be monitored upon their return to the region.
  • Everyone is encouraged to continue practicing good infection control by washing your hands and using hand sanitizer; covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze; maintain “social distances” of around six feet from people who show symptoms; and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. If you need medical care, please call ahead to your primary care physician.
  • Updates on the latest developments will be shared here.

Thank you for your assistance as we work diligently to keep our campus safe and healthy. Our staff Coronavirus Task Force and leadership is meeting daily to address ongoing concerns. Our Medical Director, Director of Nursing and Infection Control Preventionist review Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and CMS updates several times each day. Our goal is to ensure we can all live life well, no matter the circumstances. We will share updates with you as we have them.

Mary Morton Parsons Foundation Challenge Underway!

Westminster Canterbury Richmond is growing from our roots in faith. We are grateful for a long legacy of generosity that has helped us get to where we are today. That generosity began as long ago as 1971, when Mary Morton Parsons herself was a huge part of the inception of our community. She made a gift that helped us buy the Westbrook property that has been our home for the past 45 years!

The legacy continues as we create a new Spiritual Center that embraces our faith traditions and welcomes people of all faiths. To help, Westminster Canterbury Foundation is raising $4 million toward the creation of our new Spiritual Center. So far, generous donors have given $2.1 million toward the project. We need your help!

The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation has given us a 2:1 challenge grant. If we raise $600,000, they will give $300,000 to the Spiritual Center. Your gift may be toward any area that is supported by generous gifts, such as the Fellowship Program, the Area of the Greatest Need, the Spiritual Center and more.

You can read all the details about the challenge and the Spiritual Center in our latest issue of The Lamp. See the latest construction progress video.

Thank you for your inspiring generosity! If you are interested in participating in the challenge, contact Anita Adkins at (804) 264-6202 or or make a gift now!

Consider Adding Something Meaningful for Lent

Every year since 1996, Westminster Canterbury Richmond residents and staff write Lenten devotionals published in our annual Lenten Journey.  These beautiful booklets are printed and distributed to churches throughout the Richmond region.  The devotional is also available on our website.  The project’s purpose is beautifully described in the Introduction, written by the Rev. Dr. Jim King, Pastor and Head of Staff of Salisbury Presbyterian Church.  Here is what he says about the practice of daily Lenten devotion:

“By opening this devotional you are taking an important step in the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lent is the Season of Preparation for Easter. Planning and preparation for a major event are always a good thing. By reading this devotional daily you are participating in Lent.

Many people observe Lent by giving up something for the season. What they give up is usually desirable, something they will miss. The idea is to “go without” for 40 days, just as Jesus went without in the wilderness. Jesus went without food, so I should give up chocolate?  Some have tried to go without coffee; they were miserable, they made those around them miserable. Is that what Lent is supposed to do?

By opening this book you are adding a daily devotional (or adding something to your ongoing daily devotional time). Spending time daily reflecting upon Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is the best way to prepare for Easter. Do not to rush through this part of your day. Enter into this time with prayer, read and reflect upon the devotion, and then conclude your time with prayer.

You and those around you will be blessed by your taking the time and preparing for the celebration of God’s ultimate expression of love.

Enjoy these 40 days, may you grow in your excitement for the celebration of the Resurrection!

Click HERE to read the Lenten Journal.