“When a new resident joins our community here at The Hidenwood, we consider his or her whole family to be included,” says Zsavonne (pronounced ZsaZsa) Perryman, director of community relations. “Family members are always welcome as visitors and participants in many of our activities. We want the newcomer to make new friends, but we recognize the importance of family in the transition process as well as successful future adjustment. We have a ‘party room’ available for family gatherings. Family is welcome to arrange eating in the dining room and to accompany the resident on field trips.”
Perryman maintains close contact with residents. Her office is on the main hall which leads to the dining room and the Life Enrichment room. One wall has all glass windows, so that she can wave to residents as they pass by. Her door is always open.
The Hidenwood has been in its present location off Warwick Boulevard near Hidenwood Shopping Center for 30 years. The first floor has been recently renovated, and more upgrades are planned. Room choices are studio, one bedroom and two bedrooms. The memory care unit (called Inspiritas) is in a separate, secure location; however, it is not completely isolated. These residents have a busy activity calendar, which includes eating out, visiting the zoo, exercise and other activities, as they are able to participate.
There is no large “buy-in” fee. The monthly rent includes housekeeping, maintenance, utilities, 24/7 on-site licensed nursing staff and three chef-prepared meals daily. There is a scheduled van service for shopping, and snacks, toiletries and limited grocery items are available at the in-house “store.” There is a walking trail and gardening areas and a movie theater with a feature offered every night.
There are 112 apartments, and 15 in memory care, Inspiritas (which opened in November 2017). “We usually have full occupancy,” says Perryman, “with a waiting list.” There are a number of couples. They are not required to separate if one needs more care. Additional services can be arranged. Ages range from under 65 to 102.
The Hidenwood connects with community by offering its facilities to outside organizations. For example, the Warwick-Denbigh Lions Club meets onsite, and on Election Day, an outside room turns into a voting precinct. “It’s convenient for our residents and the community,” says Perryman. “We believe in ‘Southern hospitality,’” she adds.
A wide range of activities is available for residents. Along with art, cooking lessons (each apartment has a kitchen), exercise, worship services, lectures, games and entertainment from outside, there is the RUI University, which offers lifelong learning experiences. Local speakers (from nearby Christopher Newport University and Mariners’ Museum, for example) lecture on topics such as local history, nutrition or music. The monthly newsletter and activities calendar help to keep residents informed. And Bingo is a popular pastime. “We strive to foster a sense of community,’ says Perryman. “A resident can find plenty of activities or can remain in his/her apartment. You can be as busy as you want!”
Residents Maria and George Yelle are from Massachusetts. “We lived there 50 years,” says George. “Our daughter in Newport News picked this location. I like Virginia, but the summers are hot.” The Yelles have been at The Hidenwood for two years. Maria, a former teacher, says,” We are very comfortable. After awhile, we know everybody.” Bingo is a favorite activity.
Sandra Teichman has lived in the Hidenwood for five years. A long-time Newport News resident, she “loves” her new home and says “come on down!” She has an apartment with her disabled husband. She is very pleased with the medical care. “I am comfortable leaving him to go on outings because I know he has good care,” she says. “I also like no cooking and no cleaning!”
James Davis has been at the Hidenwood for a year. Recently he persuaded his sister to move in. They have adjoining apartments. Davis is from Tennessee but has a lot of local family. They enjoy using the facilities for family gatherings.
Perryman, originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee, came to Newport News a year ago to accept her current job. She majored in communications at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. “I love interacting with the residents, and I am proud of the many services we offer. We have a lifestyle our residents desire and have earned.”
TO THE POINT:
Business: Independent living, assisted living, and memory care
Address: 50 Wellesley Dr., Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Zsavonne Perryman, director of community relations