Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions – Independent Living

Where is Bridgewater Retirement Community located?

Bridgewater Retirement Community is located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, between the Allegheny and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our community is just five minutes from Exit 220 off Interstate 81 on Dinkel Avenue (State Route 257). The metropolitan areas of Charlottesville, Richmond, Roanoke, Washington, D.C., and Petersburg, West Virginia are each within a two- to two-and-one-half-hour drive. Because Bridgewater Retirement Community is ideally located near the center of the charming small town of Bridgewater, Virginia, you’ll find many options for dining, entertainment, shopping, errands, worship and recreation—all within walking distance. George Washington National Forest, Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway and the city of Harrisonburg are all just a short drive from the community.

What is a Life Plan Community (formerly known as a continuing care retirement community or CCRC)?

A Life Plan Community provides independent living, assisted living and nursing care as well as a full range of healthcare and supportive services on one campus. Residents benefit from an active lifestyle and gain peace of mind knowing that their future needs will be met without having to relocate outside the community.

What is the difference between a fee-for-service Life Plan Community (formerly known as a CCRC) and a Lifecare Life Plan Community?

Statistics show that only 7% of people will ever need nursing care. At a fee-for-service community like Bridgewater Retirement Community, residents pay for higher levels of healthcare services only if they are needed. In a Lifecare community, residents make pre-payment, usually in the form of higher entrance fees and monthly fees, for all levels of healthcare services, whether or not the higher levels of care are ever needed.

Who operates this community?

Bridgewater Retirement Community is a Life Plan Community (formerly known as a continuing care retirement community or CCRC) run by an on-site, professional management team that is guided and governed by a dedicated 12-person board of directors that serves without compensation. Founded by the Shenandoah and West Marva District Churches of the Brethren in 1965, Bridgewater Retirement Community consists of two distinct organizations. Bridgewater Village offers independent living, and Bridgewater Home provides assisted living and nursing care, including Medicare skilled care services.

May I decorate my residence as I wish?

Make yourself at home! We invite you to furnish and decorate your apartment, paired cottage or single-family cottage according to your personal tastes. Bring your own things or treat yourself to something new. You’ll have a variety of choices for paint and other finishes, as well as the option to upgrade or customize features of your home for an adjusted fee. Choices abound during the renovation of existing apartments and homes.

What does the monthly fee cover?

Your monthly fee includes the cost of all interior and exterior maintenance of your residence; participation in wellness programs, planned community activities and entertainment; transportation to medical appointments; access to all campus amenities and a meal allowance. Telephone, cable television and computer services are normally the responsibility of each resident. However, depending upon the residence you choose, some utilities may also be included.

Is the monthly fee subject to change?

Monthly fees are typically adjusted annually, although, with 30 days’ notice, other adjustments may be made if necessary. These adjustments help the community maintain the level of service residents expect, while compensating for inflation and other operating cost changes. Prior to move-in, residents may wish to consult their financial counselors to ensure that they will be able to live comfortably at Bridgewater despite inflation and its effect on fees.

How does the dining program work?

At Bridgewater, your service fee includes a monthly meal allowance that can be used in the Houff Community Center for the dining venues offered. Residents have the choice of the Custer Dining Room for lunch or dinner or the Stevens Café, which is open daily. Breakfast is served all day in the Café, and takeout orders are available from both areas. If you do not use the entire amount, a portion of the unused allowance is applied to the next month. Menu options include à la carte entrees and items from the grill. Dining venues offer both casual and a more traditional atmosphere, with buffets on Sundays, holidays and special event occasions. Residents now have the option to use their dining card at several local restaurants within the Town of Bridgewater, offering more dining options.

What role does long-term care insurance have in paying for a Life Plan Community (formerly CCRC)?

People who have already obtained long-term care insurance to help pay for higher levels of healthcare may find a fee-for-service Life Plan Community like Bridgewater Retirement Community to be particularly appealing. Long-term care insurance policies vary based on the provider but may cover assisted living, nursing care and other healthcare services.

I am not sure I am ready for a retirement community. Shouldn't I wait until I need to move?

The best time to make a move to any retirement community is while you are active and in good health. Residing at Bridgewater Retirement Community will free you completely from the worries and responsibilities of maintaining your own home, so you’ll have time to do the things you always wanted to do. If you wait until you need assistance to make your move, you may miss out on the many joys of active retirement living.

Will I be able to bring my car?

Community residents are encouraged to keep driving as long as they have a valid driver’s license. This is a choice between you, your doctor and your family or responsible party. Some residence styles have single garages. Residents of apartment buildings and paired cottage homes have easy, convenient access to ample parking.

What type of amenities does Bridgewater offer?

Our campus includes 76 acres of beautiful grounds, walking trails and well-maintained roads. Here is just a sampling of the convenient, enjoyable amenities Bridgewater offers: a state-of-the-art wellness center, artists’ studio, woodworking center, billiards room, putting green, croquet court, styling salon and a full-service bank. Neighboring Bridgewater College also extends use of its library and continuing education courses to our residents at reduced rates.

Does Bridgewater have a waiting list?

If planning ahead, the general application fee is $150 (1person) or $200 (2 persons). Or, if you want to be on our priority wait list, by making a deposit of $1,000 for an existing residence, you become a member of the Bridgewater Advance team. Your name will be placed on our priority list in the order in which it was received. As residences become available, members are notified in priority order. The sooner you join, the higher you’ll be on the list—which helps assure you’ll have the best possible selection of residences. Your deposit will be credited to your entrance fee when you move in, or returned to you in full if you cancel your membership.

How can I be sure my future health needs will be met?

Taking care of your needs is what we do best. Making the decision to move into a continuing care retirement community like Bridgewater is one of the best ways to ensure your options for a secure future. Living here, residents have priority access to assisted living, rehabilitation and nursing care including Medicare skilled care services, if needed. Making this choice now assures you’ll receive care in an environment of your choosing, sparing children or other relatives the difficulty of making care decisions in a time of crisis. In addition, the community’s foundation supports a benevolence fund to assist residents who outlive their resources.

Do I have to be a Church of the Brethren member to live at Bridgewater?

No. Although affiliated with the Church of the Brethren, Bridgewater is open to people of all faiths and is home to people from a wide variety of religious backgrounds.

Can I really afford to make the move?

Many people make the mistake of thinking that retirement communities are too expensive. In reality, the cost of living at Bridgewater Retirement Community compares very favorably with the cost of maintaining your own home. Depending upon the residence and contract you choose, many things that you pay for now, such as utilities, insurance, home maintenance costs and property taxes, may be covered by your monthly fee.

What type of home will I have at Bridgewater Retirement Community?

Bridgewater offers a varied menu of housing options with more than 40 different floor plans, from cozy to quite spacious! Housing options include single-story garden and courtyard apartments, ranch- and cottage-style duplexes, and single-family cottages. Residential amenities vary by style, and our marketing counselors will be happy to help you find a home with the features you prefer. With so many floor plans to choose from—all maintenance-free—you’re sure to find one that feels “just like home.”

Will my pet be allowed on campus?

Small, well-behaved pets may live in many campus residences. The marketing counselors can help you choose a residence where you and your pet will both be welcomed. The complete pet policy is detailed in the residents’ handbook.

Do residents need to carry homeowner's insurance?

Buildings and grounds are insured by Bridgewater Retirement Community. Residents need to obtain a renter’s insurance policy to cover any personal property and liability you wish to cover.

What kind of entrance fee does Bridgewater require?

Bridgewater offers several entrance fee options; residents choose the plan that suits them best. The 100% refundable plan requires the highest entrance fee but is returned in full to you or your heirs. The 50% refundable plan has a more moderate entrance fee, while still protecting your estate. The declining balance plan, which features the lowest entrance fee, offers a refund that decreases over a period of seven years. In addition, some existing residences are available as monthly rentals.

I am interested in visiting with a counselor at Bridgewater. What should I do now?

To get started on your way to many rewarding retirement years, please call our marketing counselors to request more information or arrange a personal tour! Call 540-828-2550 or, toll-free, 1-800-419-9129 today.

Frequently Asked Questions – Assisted Living

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted Living offers minimal assistance for seniors with activities of daily living. The purpose of Assisted Living is to help adults live independently in a safe environment while enjoying life.

How do you know if someone needs Assisted Living?

When you need more support with your daily tasks such as taking medication, bathing, dressing, meals, transportation, laundry and house-keeping, Assisted Living could be the answer. The professional support for our team will allow residents to maintain their independence and live an active and engaging life. If you are unsure on how to start the process for exploring Assisted Living we recommend that you start with a physician’s assessment with you primary care physician to discuss options.

Is there a waiting list?

Yes, you may join the waitlist by filling out an application for residence and return it with a one-time, non-refundable application fee of $150/individual or $200/couple. Your time spent on the wait list will depend on apartment availability and your own time frame for a move.

What is the application/assessment process?

The admission criteria are as follows:

  • Pre-admission screening done with our Marketing Counselor/Director of Assisted Living
  • Assessment completed by the Assisted Living Clinical Coordinator
  • Physical examination with documentation by an independent physician
Is there a financial requirement?

There is a financial requirement for admission into Assisted Living and residents must show that have at least 2.5 years of assets available to cover their care in Assisted Living. We do not accept Medicaid upon admission.

What is the staffing/nurse coverage?

In Assisted Living, there is a nurse on duty 24 hours a day along with an appropriate number of certified nursing assistants and medication aides per shift, with guidance from state regulations.

What is covered in the “monthly fee”?

Note: there are two levels of Assisted Living Care available, Assisted Living and Enhanced Assisted Living.

Services covered in the monthly fee for both levels of care include:

  • A studio apartment or suite with a full- or half-bath (some include kitchenettes)
  • Three selective meals per day
  • Assistance with activities of daily living which include bathing, dressing, incontinence
  • Restorative care
  • Medication management
  • Personal laundry and linens
  • Housekeeping
  • Varied activity programs
  • Scheduling for medical appointments
  • Chaplaincy services
  • Social services
  • Specialized diet accommodations if needed
  • Basic cable television connection
Is telephone, cable, and internet provided?

Basic cable is available to all residents within Assisted Living, Memory Support and Nursing Households. Telephone and internet services are to be set up privately by the resident or family.

Do you have physicians on-site?

Valley Family Elder Care, a team of primary care physicians, provides in house ongoing care for residents who chose them as their primary care provider. Residents may also elect to continue care with their physician outside of our community

Can I bring my own furniture?

Residents are encouraged to decorate their apartments with their personal items to give their apartment a more “home-like” feel. Rooms can be furnished by Bridgewater Home and include a single bed, dresser with a mirror, a night stand, a lamp and a rocker/recliner. Guidelines for furnishing your room, are included in your agreement.

Can I leave campus?

You may leave the campus anytime you like. If planning to do so, residents are asked to “sign out” at a log book located near their nurse’s team room when departing, and to “sign in” upon their return to campus.

Can I keep my car?

Yes, residents holding a valid drivers license may bring a car. Parking will be assigned as needed.

Can I have visitors?

Absolutely! Visitors are encouraged and always welcome. Sitting areas of various sizes are located throughout Assisted Living.

Can I have a pet?

Unfortunately, residents are not allowed to have pets. However, friends and family members may bring pets to visit! Guidelines and regulations for visiting pets are available upon request..

Is there additional storage available?

Storage space for resident’s personal belongings is extremely limited and may not be available upon request.

Do I have to eat in the dining room?

Residents are expected to eat their meals in the dining room. This provides them with the opportunity to socialize with others. They may also enjoy eating in the Steven’s Café and Custer Room located in Maple Terrace. An Always Available Menu is also provided for residents if they wish to order something other than what is prepared for the day.

What if I can’t eat certain foods?

Our goal is to provide a balanced, liberalized menu for all to enjoy. Your physician or RD may order therapeutic diets for certain medical diagnosis. Dining services works to accommodate food preferences, intolerances and food allergies. The Dining Services team is happy to meet with residents at any time to address their questions and concerns in order to make the dining experience the best one possible.

Can I have a refrigerator and keep food in my room?

If your room does not come equipped with a refrigerator, you may provide a dorm-sized unit for personal use. Favorite snacks or other nonrefrigerated food items must be kept in air-tight containers. For our resident’s convenience, several pantries on each floor are continually stocked with a variety of snacks and beverages, and are accessible to residents at all times. Pantries are also equipped with refrigerators, microwave ovens, coffee and ice machines.

Do you offer an activities program?

Our Assisted Living team provides a full calendar of events that strives to meet the needs of our residents. The wide variety of planned activities are available on and off campus. Residents are encouraged to take part in as many activities as they wish, as well as offer suggestions for more!

Is there a styling salon on campus?

The Salon @ 302, located on the 3rd floor of the Huffman Health Center, and Belles and Beaus, located in Maple Terrace are the beauty/barber shops available to residents on campus. A list of services and current pricing is provided to each resident during the admission process. Team members assist residents in making appointments, while volunteers aid them in getting to and rom the appointment.

What happens when I no longer qualify for Assisted Living?

An evaluation for Nursing Care will be made when it becomes apparent a resident’s needs can no longer be met or safety maintained in Assisted Living or Gardner House. If it is decided that a resident’s care needs are more than what is offered in Assisted Living, a meeting with the resident, family, and/or their designated representative will be scheduled to discuss these findings and options available to the resident.

Frequently Asked Questions – Gardner House

What is Gardner House?

The Gardner House specializes in memory support for residents with mild to moderate memory loss/dementia. The Gardner House is a secure, self-contained house with 16 state-of-the-art resident rooms. Our resident centered, and activity-based program allows our resident to experience a family atmosphere in an Assisted Living home.

What is the staffing/nurse coverage?

A full time Life Enrichment Nurse Leader is specifically assigned to the Gardner House and a minimum of two (2) direct-care team members are on duty at all times. The number and variety of registered medication assistants, homemakers, nurses and others who deliver care will vary throughout the day.

Are team members specially trained for dementia care?

Each team member is required to have ten hours of training in cognitive impairment due to dementia in their first year of employment. After the first year, they are required to have six hours of specific dementia training and at least six hours of training in special needs of older adults. All team members are required to have First Aid/CPR and emergency preparedness training.

Is there an activity program?

Our goal is to keep each resident as engaged as possible as we encourage them to participate in specialized activities directed toward promoting the greatest amount of dignity and personal freedom. We schedule at least sixteen hours of group activities per week and two outing per month. All activities are designed around the individual needs, interests and personal capabilities of residents. In our home we enjoy making three meals a week from scratch with resident participation. Our residents also participate in daily activities such as setting the table for meals, vacuuming, folding laundry, gardening and cooking. Our lovely secured courtyard is available to residents, whenever weather permits.

What is the application/assessment process?

The admission criteria are as follows:

A primary diagnosis of dementia

Pre-admission screening done with our Marketing Counselor/Director of Assisted Living

Assessment completed by the Director of Assisted Living, Life Enrichment Nurse Leader, Assisted Living Clinical Coordinator, and Resident Services Coordinator

Physical examination with documentation by an independent physician