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Hermitage Northern Virginia, image courtesy Goodwin House

Alexandria-based Goodwin House Inc., a non-profit organization built around senior living, has acquired the West End senior living community Hermitage Northern Virginia with plans to undergo an expansion in the coming years.

While the current operator of Hermitage will remain in place until August 1, after that the facility will become part of Goodwin House.

Rob Liebreich, President and CEO of Goodwin House, said the acquisition of one not-for-profit of another is unusual for fortuitous because Goodwin House plans to keep staffing and pricing at Hermitage intact.

“It’s unusual for two non-profits to have this interaction,” Liebreich said. “[Hermitage] could have been bought by a developer or sold to a for-profit, but as not for profit, we can keep those residents in mind.”

There are currently around 100 residents in Hermitage, but Liebreich said the plan is to increase that to around 135.

“Going to take a good amount of work, but it’s a good product already and we think we can elevate that in the market,” Liebreich said.

Liebreich said talk about the acquisition started around three years ago. For Hermitage, it will be a chance to take advantage of the deeper well of resources available from the larger Goodwin House organization, which operates facilities in Alexandria and Bailey’s Crossroads. Meanwhile, Liebreich said the acquisition also gives Goodwin House Inc. a chance to expand its mission into middle-income residents.

“We’ll be able to serve more older adults in ways we haven’t been able to,” Liebreich said. “[Hermitage] is at a price point lower than what we currently offer and they offer a different amenity package. We’re excited to learn that model.”

Liebreich said many seniors are stuck in a “middle market” where they don’t qualify for government assistance programs but can’t afford the expenses of many senior living facilities.

Current monthly rates at The Hermitage are:

  • Assisted living rental rates range from $3,675 to $7,660
  • Long term care rental rates range from $9,900 to $13,100
  • Some residents pay additional fees for extra services.

Those rates represent an increase by the current operator, which will take effect in June, but Liebreich said there are no plans to increase the rates above that.

Liebreich said Goodwin House also plans to increase the pay structure for Hermitage staff to offer a “competitive living wage” and offer additional benefits, like an educational program.

The full press release is available below the jump:

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A rendering of the John Carlyle Center (courtesy of Cushman Wakefield)

With construction slated for later this year, the planned John Carlyle Center for Health and Wellness is looking for tenants.

The developer behind the 126,000-square-foot medical facility is starting to push out the word ahead of construction that space is available to lease. Cushman & Wakefield is handling the leasing of the medical offices and retail spaces.

“We are in active discussions with potential tenants including hospital systems, national and local specialty practice groups,” Cushman & Wakefield representative Lindsey Groom said.

The facilities are expected to begin construction at the end of the third quarter or beginning of the fourth quarter of this year but an exact date has not been determined as construction logistics planning and the permitting process continues. The project at 765 John Carlyle Street will also include a 268,000-square-foot senior living residence and four-level parking garage.

Groom said there is a lack of these type of medical office properties in Northern Virginia.

“With the average age of medical office buildings in the I-395 North submarket being 40+ years old, this brand new facility will help address this strain going forward and help meet the demand for specialty care by providing healthcare providers and their patients with access points and care delivery in communities that are currently underserved, as the area’s population continues to grow,” Groom said.

The project saw some bumps in January when the developer made changes to the approved design that city staff did not support.

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Alexandria seniors can now get free transportation from Alexandria Yellow Cab to get their COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot.

“The City’s Division of Aging and Adult Services is coordinating transportation for City of Alexandria residents to and from vaccination sites in or outside of Alexandria,” the City reports. “Individuals do not need to be signed up for Senior Taxi for this service.”

VDH says that unvaccinated Virginians make up a majority of new cases. So far, 93,630 residents have been fully vaccinated and 105,859 residents have been partially vaccinated. More than 68% of residents over the age of 18 have been vaccinated, and so have nearly 80% of seniors.

Seniors are allowed to bring a companion with them, and are asked to make a vaccination appointment by calling 703-746-5999 at least two days in advance.

COVID-19 by the numbers

In the meantime, the cases in Alexandria have climbed to 13,938, an increase of 177 cases since this time last week. The death toll remains at 148.

There has been no change in the 20 cases reported in Alexandria City Public Schools in October. There were also 64 cases reported last month in ACPS.

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 people is 15.8, which is up from 13.9 last week. There have been just over 200 cases reported in the last two weeks, and the seven-day average of positive COVID-19 tests is 3%, according to the the Virginia Department of Health.

Alexandria has experienced high transmission for more than a month, while Manassas Park and Fairfax City are seeing moderate transmission, and Arlington, Fairfax County and Kings and Queens County have moved from high to “substantial” transmission.

The Alexandria Health Department also recommends that pregnant women get vaccinated.

Find vaccine providers in Alexandria here. If you feel sick, get tested.

Via ARHA

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Growing older hasn’t improved Dr. Robert Wallace’s memory, and he’s doing something about it.

For the last two months, the resident of Alexandria’s Goodwin House Incorporated has participated in StrongerMemory, a memory care program designed to combat memory loss in seniors. Goodwin House started the program in January 2020, with a handful of daily activities that encourage working memory and triggering brain activity in the prefrontal cortex.

“I never felt I had a strong memory,” said Wallace. “This deficit progressed a bit with age. So when the program became available, I thought it was worth trying.”

Wallace said reading the newspaper and doing math exercises helps, and that subjectively he noticed changes between when he was and wasn’t doing the memory care exercises.

The program has even received the endorsement of U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), who virtually celebrated Goodwin House’s work in being dementia-friendly at an event today (Friday).

City Council member Amy Jackson said that Alexandria will need more memory care-type programs in the coming years.

“[With my mother-in-law] I saw a decline in cognitive abilities,” said Jackson. “Stronger Memory would have helped her longevity. Our city’s senior population is growing every day, and as our senior population grows, we’re relying more on programs such as these so we can have important human interactions to continue to relate to each other on a personal level.”

There are nearly 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, and 5.6 million of them are seniors, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Photo via Goodwin House Inc./Facebook

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Morning Notes

Alexandria ranks ninth in Virginia for small businesses — “Alexandria ranked ninth overall among Virginia localities with a small business index score of 39.17. The city was seventh for percentage of small business income — 10.11 percent.” [Patch]

Alexandria ranked by CDC as third best city in U.S. for surviving zombie apocalypse — “It seems the CDC-yes, the Centers for Disease Control were kind of bored a while back and actually posted a Zombie Apocalypse Preparedness Guide which recently inspired a company called Lawn Love to dig into a bunch of data and develop 2021’s Best Cities for Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse and Alexandria, Virginia turns out to be a good spot to be in such an event.” [Zebra]

Senior Services gets $12,500 from Meals on Wheels and Petsmart — “Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA) is proud to announce that it has received a $12,500 Meals on Wheels Loves Pets grant for its pet support program, AniMeals on Wheels.  Funding will be used to provide expanded access to needed veterinary care, grooming services, and other support as needed for the pets of Meals on Wheels and current AniMeals clients, which can often be a financial and physical challenge for older adults to manage on their own.” [Senior Services of Alexandria]

The Italian Place opens second location — “The Italian Place is proud to announce it has officially opened it’s 2nd location in Fairfax! Thank you for your love & support! We are very excited to welcome you to visit our new Fairfax location! See QR code below for ordering from our website! Skip the line and scan the below QR code from your camera & order online in Old Town or Fairfax!” [Facebook]

Today’s weather — “Sunny skies during the morning hours. Scattered showers and thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. Hot and humid. High 96F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40%… Considerable clouds early (in the evening). Some decrease in clouds late. Low around 75F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Basketball, flag football and soccer coaches — “Kids in Motion is hiring sports coaches to teach super fun, fitness based, classes for kids ages 5-8 years. Classes are M-F 3:30-4:30 and the time can vary based on individual schools. Teachers can work 1-5 week days.” [Indeed]

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As temperatures start to go up, Alexandria’s annual program aimed at helping residents without home cooling make it through the summer is coming back.

The Summer Cooling program allows residents to beat the heat at several recreation centers and libraries around the city. The program came in handy for residents last summer during a heat wave. Like last year, however, there are some capacity restrictions due to COVID-19.

“During periods of extreme heat, the City offers cooling centers to residents at the Neighborhood Recreation Center locations… along with expanded hours, additional resources and support for those in need,” the city said on its website. “Due to COVID-19 prevention mandates, however, access to City recreation centers normally available to the public may be reduced.”

Locations to cool off include:

An additional program is available for Alexandrians 60 or older. The Senior Cool Care Program provides a cooling fan and assistance to seniors who meet some income requirements. Residents can call 703.746.5999 or email [email protected] to check eligibility requirements.

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Morning Notes

Alexandria announces modified out of school time school year recreation program — “The City of Alexandria will offer a modified Out of School Time Program (OSTP) for elementary school aged children enrolled in kindergarten through fifth grade for the 2021-22 school year. The after-school recreation program is scheduled for August 23, 2021 through June 10, 2022, from 2:30 to 6 p.m. at the Charles Barrett; Charles Houston; Mount Vernon; Leonard “Chick” Armstrong; Nannie J. Lee; Patrick Henry; and William Ramsay recreation centers, and at the Ferdinand T. Day; John Adams; and Douglas MacArthur elementary schools.” [City of Alexandria]

Council candidate Patrick Moran testifies for bringing back School Resource Officer funding — “Moran calls for the full implementation of body cameras for Alexandria Police Department (APD) officers and for corrective action to protect Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) students’ safety in 2021-22 School Year.” [YouTube]

Senior center gets upgrade — “St. Martin de Porres Senior Center on Taney Ave. has served Alexandria’s seniors for 45 years. During the pandemic, the site has been closed. This provided HomeAid Northern Virginia (HANV) with an opportunity to undertake a $44,000 upgrade of the facility.” [Zebra]

Today’s weather — “Mostly cloudy skies (during the day). High near 80F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph… Cloudy skies (in the evening). Low 61F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.” [Weather.com]

New job: Floral clerk at Balducci’s — “As a Floral Clerk, some of your duties will include stocking the department with fresh flowers, potted plants, balloons, and other floral merchandise. You will design and create custom floral arrangements and make product recommendations for our customers’ special occasions. Your job will be to provide customers with exceptional customer service.” [Indeed]

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An Alexandria certified nursing assistant faces multiple charges of identity theft against six residents under her care at Vitality Senior Living in Arlington.

On April 16, the suspect was arrested after allegedly admitting to the Vitality Senior Living executive director that she cashed a fraudulent $1,200 check from a resident in her care.

The victim reported to Arlington Police that six of his blank personal checks were stolen from his checkbook, and that two checks were cashed without his permission. He also told police that there were a number of fraudulent charges against his debit card.

The suspect’s name was written on one of the checks, and her brother’s name was written on another. Her brother also works at the facility and has not been charged.

Police searched the suspect’s phone and on it found photos of the victim’s driver’s license, and the front and back of his debit cards, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The officer also discovered further evidence on her phone “affecting five victims from Vitality Senior Living, potentially among several others from other facilities,” according to police. “Photographs of all five victims’ credit and/or debit cards were located in addition to some photographs of their respective driver’s licenses and/or social security cards.”

Police confirmed that the additional five victims were under the care of the suspect, and that three of them confirmed fraudulent activity from the cards that were found on her phone.

Also on the phone were screenshots of Apple products purchased, as well as “other fraudulent activity which appeared to include the filing of unemployment and taxes under identities that have been unable to be verified,” according to police.

The suspect goes to court for more than a dozen identity theft charges on May 25.

Vitality Senior Living released the following statement:

At Vitality Living, we are committed to ensuring our residents feel comfortable and confident in the care we provide. We recently became aware that an employee had stolen and used a resident’s ATM card and a number of checks. We immediately notified state and local authorities and terminated this employee. We are working with the police as they conduct their investigation and pursue further legal action. We also are conducting an internal investigation and taking the necessary steps to ensure we prevent similar incidents in the future. We are diligent about protecting the privacy and safety of our residents and will continue to hold our community to the highest standards of compassion, quality and safety.

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A number of residents of the Ladrey Senior Highrise Apartments in Old Town received their second doses of the coronavirus vaccine on Saturday.

Delores Tyler was one of about 90 residents who got her second shot.

“I was nervous a little bit, but I said no, I’ll go ahead and take it,” Tyler said. “We also are so appreciative that they were able to come to us. It made it so convenient and now I feel safer.”

The first doses were administered last month to the residents in the complex, which is managed by the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

The shots were facilitated by the Alexandria Health Department and administered over the course of three hours by pharmacists from VanDorn Pharmacy in the Ladrey community room at 300 Wythe Street. Some residents who were hesitant to get the vaccine will be visited by the pharmacists to get inoculated over the next several weeks.

“I’ve known a couple people that had the virus, and they were saying how bad it was,” said resident Caroleather Brown. “I feel a little more comfortable going out now.”

ARHA CEO Keith Pettigrew thanked the health department for the help. The nonprofit is reportedly reaching out to seniors at its other sites on vaccination eligibility.

“We wanted our seniors at Ladrey vaccinated as quickly and conveniently as possible to ensure they are safe and protected,” said Pettigrew. “Since the beginning of the pandemic we have implemented several policies, including limiting the number of visitors allowed in the building, to minimize the risk of contracting the virus. This vaccination POD (point of dispensing) event was an extension of that policy. I feel grateful to our partners, and particularly Dr. Stephen Hearing, AHD’s Director, who helped us coordinate this service.”

Virginia is currently in Phase 1B, which allows anyone 65 and older to get prioritized for the vaccine. Also included are essential workers, such as police, fire and EMS officials, Alexandria City Public Schools staff and people ages 16 and older with underlying medical conditions.

In Alexandria, there is also a long waiting list for eligible residents to get vaccinated.

As of last Friday, 17,099 residents have received at least one dose and 5,799 residents have been fully vaccinated. Residents can pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine in Alexandria here.

Photo via ARHA

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Morning Notes

Mayor Asks Residents to Shovel Snow — “Grab your shovel and help us make it safe for pedestrians around our City. Sidewalks must be cleared by Thursday at 3 PM! @Volalex is back supporting our ‘Snow Buddy’ program for those who need assistance or can assist.” [Twitter]

Beyer Criticizes Trump’s Lawyers — “Trump’s lawyers misspell “United States” right at the beginning and somehow it only gets worse and more amateurish from there.” [Twitter]

Governor Urges Virginians to Recognize Black History Month — “Virginia native Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded #BlackHistoryMonth in 1926 to help recognize the achievements and contributions of Black Americans. Black history is American history–this month, and every month, let’s continue working to acknowledge, honor, and celebrate it.” [Twitter]

Del. Levine Firearm Bill Passes House — “My Safe Capitol Bill just passed the House! The bill bans firearms in the Capitol, Capitol Square, and state government buildings. If you want to lobby us, use your voices. Threaten our re-election, not our safety. Guns have no place in the public square.” [Twitter]

Former Del. Krupicka Endorses Bennett-Parker for 45th District Seat — “As a former Council Member and a former Delegate for the 45th district, I know that local government experience in Richmond is crucial and that’s why I know Elizabeth will be the best candidate to serve the residents of Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax. Her deep commitment to the environment and our public schools and students are traits that I know will make her an effective Delegate. We need her leadership in Richmond and I am proud to endorse her.” [Elizabethfordelegate.com]

ALIVE! Gets Donation From Scottish Group — “Mike Bible and Rick Cady, representing the Alexandria Scottish Rite, presented a check to Jennifer Ayers of ALIVE! in Alexandria, VA for $2,350 on January 19, 2021. This will help with providing food to the local Alexandria community.” [Twitter]

Former Mayor Euille Among Senior Services of Alexandria Award Honorees — “Senior Services of Alexandria is pleased to announce that it will honor three individuals who have made significant contributions to the Alexandria community through their work, activism and philanthropic efforts at its 2021 Virtual Annual Gala. They are Barbara Anderson; William D. Euille and C. Eugene Steuerle. A special honor will be given to Kate Garvey, Director of Alexandria’s Department of Community and Human Services for her leadership of the City and non-profit agencies’ responses to the global pandemic.” [Zebra]

New Job: Police Crime Analyst — The Alexandria Police Department is looking for a Police Crime Analyst to join our team. You’ll play an important role in our investigations and operations. [Twitter]

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