Retirement community welcomes first residents

Posted: February 6, 2013

The Winchester Star

Judy and Hampton Hylton are the first to move into the Village at Orchard Ridge, a National Lutheran Community. They moved in Tuesday. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
ABOVE: Phase one of The Village at Orchard Ridge, a National Lutheran Community, is 93 percent complete. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
RIGHT: Judy Hylton unpacks in her new cottage. It’s her first move in 45 years.
BOTTOMRIGHT: Hampton and Judy Hylton like Orchard Ridge because it is in the area and offers them a “fresh start.”

WINCHESTER — It had been more than 45 years since the Hyltons moved to a different house. However, the Winchester couple said they’re going to enjoy their new digs.

Hampton Hylton, a 77-year-old retired pediatrician, and his 74-year-old wife, Judy — who still manages the gift store at Winchester Medical Center — moved into the new Village at Orchard Ridge retirement community on Monday. They are the first residents of the complex — located about two miles west of WMC on Northwestern Pike (U.S. 50) — after deciding to downsize from their home on Hawthorne Drive in the city.

“We were in a pretty big house on an acre lot ... I had a lot of flower gardens,” Hampton Hylton said.

“I looked at our age, and he’d had a spell of illness for about a year [that] sort of put him out of commission and put me in charge of doing a lot of yard work and that kind of thing,” Judy Hylton said. “I did not wish to have to do that kind of work and the flower beds got neglected.”

The Hyltons said they were attracted to the Village at Orchard Ridge because it is in the Winchester area and offers them a “fresh start.”

“We fit in here nicely,” Judy said.

“We’ve been here one day and we’ve enjoyed it so far,” her husband added.

The Hyltons say they plan to take advantage of Orchard Ridge’s amenities — which include a library, a pub and dining services — since their two-bedroom cottage is close to the community’s main building.

“They couldn’t have done any more for us,” Judy said. “The whole organization has been a class act, and they haven’t spared any expense for anything.”

The Village at Orchard Ridge is a continuing care retirement community that offers its residents lawn care services, home cleaning, 24-hour security and other services, according to Executive Director John Midolo.

The $110 million facility is located on 132 acres — 40 of which have been developed for the community’s phase one design — purchased by National Lutheran Communities and Services (NLCS) in 2009, Midolo said.

The Village at Orchard Ridge is NLCS’s fourth such community. The others are located in Staunton, and Rockville and Annapolis, Md.

Phase one can accommodate 300 residents, and the community will have 80 full-time employees, according to Midolo.

“Eventually it could go as high as five phases, but the beauty of this community is that each phase — should we get through phase two and we find that’s as far as we want to go — the community will be able to operate right there,” Midolo said.

The Village at Orchard Ridge has been in the works for several years, according to Courtney Malengo, director of public relations for NLCS.

Phase one is approximately 93 percent complete, and 109 apartments and a health center will open on March 15. The community will begin taking admissions for assisted living, memory support and nursing care residents around May 1, once the facility receives the proper licensing, according to Midolo.

The community’s church, which will offer nondenominational services, also is scheduled to open May 1.

Part of what helps to set the Village at Orchard Ridge apart from other retirement communities is that most medical treatments can be handled either at the health center or in a resident’s home, Midolo said.

“Here we have the home and community-based services, which, should you need a nurse to come in and do a dressing change in your apartment or cottage, we’ll provide that service,” Midolo said. “If you need breathing treatments, physical therapy, occupational therapy, whatever the resident needs we’ll be able to provide in the comfort of their cottage or apartment.”

The community’s health care center will primarily be for assisted living and memory support — Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers — residents, as well as others who require around-the-clock care, according to Malengo.

“One of the neat things about the Village at Orchard Ridge is that we don’t focus on sickness,” Midolo said. “Our model is based on health and wellness, so we take everything from the approach of we look at the person holistically — spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically — assess the resident then provide services as needed.”

Malengo described the community as trying to maintain a “vibrant living” atmosphere for its residents by offering community classes and trips.

“Our idea is that we want to keep people as independent as possible for as long as we possibly can,” she said.

There are currently 51 cottages, 127 apartments in the Orchard View area, 25 apartments in the Clocktower area and 18 apartments on the main building’s second and third floor, according to Midolo.

Apartment sizes range from 786 square feet to 1,502 square feet, with monthly service fees between $1,785 and $2,415. Cottages are between 1,339 square feet and 1,686 square feet, with monthly service fees costing from $2,415 to $3,045.

Living spaces also have entrance fees, which residents must pay to move into their apartment or cottage. Either 50 or 100 percent of the entrance fees are refunded to residents or their families when they leave the community.

Fifty percent refundable fees for cottages range from $311,820 to $393,500 and 100 percent refundable cottage fees are between $455,540 and $562,230.

The 50 percent refundable fees for apartments go from $203,490 to $337,215 and 100 percent fees go from $290,700 to $489,600.

Apartments also have a fee that offers a declining refund over an 18-month period. Those fees are between $156,980 and $264,385.

Only two move-ins per day are being allowed at the community to ensure a smooth process, Midolo said.

Preliminary plans are under way for the community’s second phase.

Additional information on the Village at Orchard Ridge is available online at nationallutheran.org.

— Contact Matt Armstrong at marmstrong@winchesterstar.com