Opinion: Commentary: Setting an Example for Continuum-of-Care

Opinion: Commentary: Setting an Example for Continuum-of-Care

For years, Spring Hill has been a thriving 55-plus active adult community, with pristinely-cut lawns, quaint houses and condominiums. Recent additions of Lindsay Hill senior apartments and The Crossings assisted living and memory care facility provide senior living options from single-family homes to assisted living apartments. In addition to the Spring Hill living community, Lorton will also be home to a future Artis memory care facility.

On April 5, the Spring Hill community welcomed its newest addition, an assisted living and memory care facility aptly named “The Crossings.” This new building finally completes Spring Hill’s transitional senior care system, with residents having independent living, assisted living, and memory care all in one spot, so that should the need to move to the next phase of life arise, residents don’t need to go very far. I had the opportunity to tour the facility, and was blown away at both the variety of services they provided, as well as the size and brand-new appearance of the building. I met several residents, each occupied with different activities, some in the physical therapy room, some in the barber shop, and some lounging outside in the courtyard. The apartments themselves are also very unique, with 24 different models of a total of 108 apartments, 74 in assisted living and 34 in memory care. Residents can choose between two and one bedroom units, with many variations for people’s specific preferences. Dining is also very well put-together, with a dining room for assisted living and another for memory care, each with their own wait staff, giving off the atmosphere of an actual restaurant. Waiters bring out visual examples for those with cognitive impairments, and the facility offers many different common meals on their permanent menu, as well as specials that rotate every day. The staff throughout the building were very friendly, many of them busy helping residents get to where they needed to go or working in the dining rooms and other services.

The Crossings is just the latest in a growing number of quality senior care facilities in Fairfax County, following in the footsteps of Sunrise and Greenspring and making Spring Hill one of the first communities that truly offers a continuum-of-care for senior living. This kind of senior care is vital to our larger healthcare system, and it’s great to see that we have it right here in Lorton. When I informed Supervisor Storck about my experience on the tour, he mentioned that “it’s important for senior care facilities to not feel like senior care facilities, but like a resort, like a home.” I know from personal experiences in my family how stressful it is for people living in senior care and rehabilitation care to stay for extended periods of time in a place that doesn’t feel right, where they’re constantly reminded of their condition, age, or illness. At this new facility, a lot of work has been put into circumventing this feeling of being “treated,” making it feel more like they’re just permanent guests at a nice hotel, and it’s paid off.

Overall, Spring Hill is an impressive community, helping seniors feel more at home in the later stages of their lives, while being fully prepared to assist in the transitions between these stages. We warmly welcome this newest addition to the Mount Vernon District and hope to see our county make real progress towards better senior care for all.

The writer is a summer intern in Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck’s Office and West Potomac senior.