Although Loudoun’s newest senior living community, Waltonwood Ashburn, has yet to open its doors, it is already building a sense of community.
The finishing touches are being applied and executive director Justin Roberts expects a grand opening within 90 days.
“Every time I go in there, it’s a different community from when it started when it was just a shell,” Roberts said. “It just makes us feel like we’re welcoming within Ashburn Village. That’s the main goal for us, to just be a part of the community as a whole.”
Once open, the senior living community will accommodate residents in 99 apartments between independent and assisted living. Residents sign a year-long lease and have access to a dedicated fitness program with individual and group programming, physical therapy follow-ups, a saltwater pool, game/billiards room, a home theater and salon and spa center, among other amenities.
Another key component to Waltonwood’s mission is its desire for community engagement. Roberts said Waltonwood Ashburn seeks to be a community partner with other groups and charities and regularly sets up community service events.
“There’s a lot of people who walk in and say, ‘How can we get involved?’ And it’s up to us to find those outlets for people. It’s been a fun six to eight months so far just finding out what’s out there,” Roberts said. “It’s important for us. There’s so much out there.”
Don Nagley, 82, will be moving into Waltonwood Ashburn once it opens and was attracted to the community by the friendly staff and philosophy of community engagement. He’s taken part in projects like a food drive and reading The Cat in the Hat to school children on Read Across America Day.
In its latest community partnership, Waltonwood Ashburn is hosting a “Stamp out Alzheimer’s” bingo fundraising event 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 2 at Community Church at 19790 Ashburn Road in Ashburn. During this event, participants will be able to buy bingo cards for $5 each with proceeds going to Waltonwood Ashburn’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s team.
Waltonwood Ashburn has nine members of its management team with the recent additions of a marketing manager, environmental services manager and director of culinary services. Roberts said the life enrichment manager, who would be in charge of community projects and outing, is the last piece of the puzzle.
“It’s important to us to start getting involved with different organizations so when we do hire that person, it’s more like a hand off for them and they can take it and run and involve our residents and future team members,” Roberts said.
The facility will create 120 to 150 new jobs. The independent living facilities will open later this year with assisted living and memory care facilities opening in spring 2018. The assisted living and memory care facilities will have similar amenities and serve the independent living community, Roberts said.
The memory care facility will assist residents with dementia with a welcoming but secure environment, Roberts said. Waltonwood integrates Montessori-based activities in memory care programs. The Montessori method of teaching holds that when you’re working with children, you must consider their needs and capabilities in concert, according to Alzheimers.net. This method is also being applied to elderly people with dementia.
“That’s what we want to do in our memory care, have successful interactions and outcomes,” Roberts said.
Ambiance was also a strong consideration for memory care residents. “In about 75 percent of our apartments in memory care right now, you walk out and see this tremendous courtyard and all this light coming in. It’s inviting for our residents to be able to walk out and enjoy the outdoor weather.”
Not only will residents have access to community projects, events and nearby shopping centers, but Waltonwood Ashburn has a county bus stop across the street from the community, which can connect residents to even more places. Residents will be able to get to the Dulles Town Center, which also has access to the Metro and Washington D.C.
“There really isn’t anything like this out here,” Roberts said.