National Lutheran Communities & Services’ (NLCS) CEO Larry Bradshaw wrote a guest column for The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., which appeared on May 9. With more than 30 years experience in the senior care industry, Larry Bradshaw details why the mixed-use intergenerational concept for Crystal Spring is what Annapolis seniors desire and the trend for many future retirement communities.
Guest Column: The Village at Crystal Spring good for seniors
May 9, 2013
By LARRY BRADSHAW
For the past two-and-a-half years, National Lutheran Communities & Services has worked closely with Crystal Spring Development to create a desirable continuing care retirement community — The Village at Crystal Spring — to meet the ever growing, and changing, needs of seniors in the Annapolis area.
We believe the collaborative approach our project development team has taken with city planning departments and the Maryland Department of Aging has made Crystal Spring Annapolis a better project.
From the beginning, The Village at Crystal Spring has been a planned component of the larger, integrated Crystal Spring Annapolis project to include the element of mixed-use. This concept of planned integration has been very attractive to prospective residents of this community; to date more than 1,600 seniors have shown great interest in TVCS and approximately 900 have attended informational sessions.
TVCS is not the stereotypical retirement community many think of. This mixed-use, inter-generational concept represents another alternative to more traditional retirement communities, and it is what makes this project so unique. Younger seniors in Annapolis have indicated a desire that their retirement years be interactive and involve more than just interactions with other seniors.
No detail of this project has been made in insolation; rather every detail has been integrated with thoughtful and intentional connection from all parties involved. TVCS’s proposed site has been carefully considered during the planning process and operationally planned to utilize the site effectively while exceeding the environmental standards.
The vision for TVCS is that seniors are vibrantly connected to the community around them with the security of health care at their fingertips. Seniors will be within walking distance of many amenities including retail, restaurants, a cultural arts center and more; but can also retain privacy and peaceful surroundings once they return to their respective residences on campus.
We envision residents using their village identification cards to pay for a meal in the CCRC, as well as any goods or services in the adjacent restaurants and shops. Many of the health care services will be provided directly in the residences on campus. This care model allows for enhanced independence and decreased separations from a spouse/significant other, providing safety is not compromised.
Annapolis seniors want to retire with the security of health care and wellness in a city they have grown to deeply love. In zip codes 21401 and 21403 alone, there are 22,540 individuals in the 55+ range (Nielson projected 2013 data). As more baby boomers look to retire, these needs will only increase.
Meeting the changing needs of seniors is the story NLCS started writing in 1890, and continues to write each day. What was The National Lutheran Home in Washington, D.C., is now a family of retirement communities and services located throughout Maryland and Virginia. As a faith-based, not-for-profit ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America serving people of all beliefs, our desire to care for seniors comes from a deeply-rooted mission that we have championed for 122 years.
Innovation in the delivery of services and our continued commitment to benevolent care programs, which totaled more than $5 million in 2012, is quickly becoming the National Lutheran hallmark. In our 122-year history, we have never asked any resident to leave because of financial hardship. It is these same values and services we want to bring to the seniors of Annapolis.
The writer is president and chief executive officer of National Lutheran Communities & Services and has more than 30 years’ experience in senior care.
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