Westminster Canterbury Foundation Programs

Inspiring generosity makes it possible for Westminster Canterbury Richmond to have a margin of excellence you won’t find just anywhere. Every year more than 1,000 generous donors ensure the best life possible for our residents.

Fellowship provides seniors-in-need with life care – housing, meals, medical expenses and all the vital living Westminster Canterbury has to offer. Around 100 individuals are served through this program annually with the promise that no one will ever be asked to leave due to an inability to pay. We have the largest financial aid program for a single-site retirement community in the entire country! Donors like you make that possible.

Thanks to your gifts to the Fellowship Program:

  • Recipients include new and existing residents; more than 85% are women, many of whom are single or widowed.
  • Since 1975 more than 575 residents have received $81.5 million in assistance.
  • Fellowship is supported by gifts to the Annual Fellowship Fund and income from Fellowship Endowments.
  • All Fellowship grants are covered solely through charitable gifts, never as part of resident fees.

Too often senior care focuses on managing sickness, but we hold a different point of view – one of proactive overall wellness. Our vision of healthy aging emphasizes nurturing each person’s unique independence at every stage of life. Our next project is to raise funds to bring the planned Vital Living Center to life! The Corporation will pay for capital costs of the Vital Living Center that includes new Fitness and Aquatic Centers and Exercise Studios. Donor generosity will provide $2.5 million for specialty fitness equipment, technology, instruction, education and additional staff support. Construction will start later in 2022, but prior to that our Wellness Team will begin a pilot program for residents to test the goal-based approach to comprehensive wellness. No doubt you’ve heard that more than 10,000 people turn 65 every day in the United States. The senior demographic is growing faster than any other. There has never been a better time to engage in healthy aging – and we’re excited to lead the way with your help!

Donors make it possible to:

  • Offer unique trial fitness programs that test resident interest and results and shape future opportunities.
  • Allow staff to advance their knowledge and receive certifications that allow them to provide our residents with improved service.
  • Improve memory and strengthen concentration through fun computerized games. Dakim® Brain Fitness touch screens are placed throughout campus.
  • Provide a comprehensive Fall Prevention program that includes educational classes and weeks of targeted strength training. This innovative program produces measurable results.

We are a world-class healthcare organization and celebrate our high-quality Mary Morton Parsons Health Center. We want to do more. We must grow and improve every aspect that contributes to physical vibrancy – Westminster Canterbury Richmond at Home, Independent Living Clinic, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Parsons Health Center and the Vital Living Center. Your gifts for Healthcare Excellence support:

  • Education and therapeutic recreation programming that simply isn’t available in many other long-term care facilities.
  • A dedicated Clinical Educator and detailed Preceptor Program that ensure all nursing staff are highly trained to provide the best care when you need it, whether for a short-term rehab stay or when a permanent move is necessary.

To meet our commitment to ensuring the best life possible for our residents, we are committed to cultivating leadership in senior services. We created the W·E·A·V·E (Workforce-Education-Assistance-Volunteerism-Engagement) Program for our dedicated employees.

W·E·A·V·E provides training and scholarships to help employees advance skills and careers here. There are former Dining staff who studied to become part of our Health Services team, Certified Nursing Assistants who became Registered Nurses and more! Throughout the pandemic, many staff faced financial emergencies, and more than 40 received help from W·E·A·V·E. Your gifts change lives and help when it’s needed most. W·E·A·V·E also supports volunteer programs with project:HOMES and Senior Connections as well as engagement to encourage retention and satisfaction. Thank you for the care you demonstrate to our workforce!

Outreach means more mission to more people, helping seniors-in-need beyond our walls. Westminster Canterbury Foundation completed a Community Needs Study to discover the challenges to healthy aging in greater Richmond – and there are many. We strive to help. Donors, including more than 150 Westminster Canterbury employees, help:

  • People in the Richmond area age in place by building and installing ramps for seniors with mobility challenges through a partnership with local nonprofit project:HOMES.
  • Provide resources for healthy aging that have included health screenings, education and nutrition for seniors-in-need.

The Sara Belle November Theater, specially designed for the comfort of older adults, is one of only a few on the campus of a retirement community anywhere in the country! Coming together to experience live, world-class quality performing arts is vitally important to creating a sense of community that unites us all. More than 75 performances, forums and lectures are offered each year, due to the generosity of donors – never from resident fees.

  • 100% of performances are free to all residents to assure that all residents might attend, regardless of their health or financial status.
  • The best of Richmond’s local performing arts groups entertain and engage with our residents regularly throughout the seasons.
  • Exciting touring productions bring even more joy and connection, with favorites including Golden Dragon Acrobats, The Capitol Steps, A Band Called Honalee, Hot Club of San Francisco and more.

In our arts studios, experienced and budding artists and crafters flourish, discovering new passions and hobbies that ensure a vibrant life. Your gifts provide classes taught by experienced instructors and materials for expressing creativity in wide-ranging classes in painting, jewelry-making, woodworking, crafts and more.  According the National Institutes of Health, arts engagement for seniors improves memory, creativity, problem solving, everyday competence, reaction time, balance/gait and quality of life.

  • 89% of the cost of studio arts programs is covered by charitable gifts.
  • Wide-ranging classes are offered in painting, jewelry making, woodworking, crafts and more.
  • The McGue-Millhiser Arts Studio, McCord Clay Studio and Gordon Woodworking Shop are open for individual exploration as well as classes taught by experienced instructors.

As a faith-based community we believe spiritual growth and connection are imperative. Our weekly schedule includes study and prayer, respectful of many faith traditions. Lectures and interfaith series, social gatherings and workshops are held regularly, bringing local and national speakers to our community to challenge us to grow in faith and in connection with those around us. Through the Vibrant Vision Campaign, donors provided $4 million toward the construction of our new Spiritual Center. Donors who are passionate about the importance of faith make it possible to:

  • Provide additional chaplains and interns to serve our residents.
  • Fund a memory support ministry dedicated solely to our residents with dementia, their families and their caregivers.
  • Host lectures by sought-after spiritual leaders and educators.

Intergenerational magic takes place at our top-notch onsite Child Development Center for children of employees and the neighboring community. Your gifts support need-based financial aid for children of employees – help that can be life changing for families who might not otherwise afford this level of high-quality childcare. Innovative programming teaches children the often overlooked skill of compassion and caring for those around you. Generous donors provide for:

  • Discounted childcare and need-based scholarships for staff children
  • Summer camp enrichment opportunities
  • Conscious Discipline training
  • New curriculum, materials and equipment

Dementia diseases are on the rise.  This reality spurs Westminster Canterbury Richmond toward finding ways to help current and future residents, caregivers and families deal with the impending wave. Throughout our three distinct levels of memory care living, we employ caring nursing and recreational staff who are experts in their field.  Studies and experience show that frequent, regularly scheduled therapy programs for people with dementia unlock memories. Because of generous donors who truly understand the impact and believe in compassionate, evidence-based intervention, we are able to offer:

  • Music therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Horticulture therapy
  • Exercise therapy
  • Spiritual programs offered by our memory support chaplain

Innovation is one of our organizational values as we find ways to creatively pursue excellence. Donor support has helped train staff and encourage them to think of ideas that help our residents live the best life possible and move us forward as leaders in senior services. Our Innovation Grant program gives us flexibility and a framework to support new ideas for solving new and old problems.

Generous donors provide support for:

  • Robust Intergenerational Programming with our Child Development Center and residents
  • New Pilot Programs in Wellness, including employee wellness
  • Important steps forward in sustainability for our campus
  • Opportunities for peer support to foster resident engagement in the Parsons Health Canter