FAQ about retirement living at Lakewood

If you have additional questions, please call us at 804-729-5563

Below are the questions we receive most often about living at Lakewood.

Lakewood is an all-inclusive, Continuing Care Retirement Community that inspires active living and a healthy lifestyle. We’re a non-profit, faith-based community located in Richmond’s West End. Lakewood offers the warmth and friendliness of a small town, together with all the conveniences of daily living.

Residents choose to live in maintenance-free apartments or cottages and benefit from a host of amenities and services that promote independence and optimal health. This includes access to a full continuum of on-site care, including Assisted Living, licensed nursing care, rehabilitative therapy, a special neighborhood for residents with dementia, and an on-site clinic. The community includes 276 Independent Living residences consisting of apartments, cottages and villas, 74 private Assisted Living residences (including Memory Support), and 96 private nursing care residences.

Lakewood welcomes people of all faiths and adheres to the Fair Housing Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and HIPAA. The community attracts a diverse group of residents from the Richmond area, as well as across Virginia and several other states. Residents enjoy a wide variety of interests and have varied backgrounds. They are planners who share a desire to remain in control of their lives, while assuring a fulfilling quality of life.

Lakewood is owned and operated by LifeSpire of Virginia, Inc., which is a non-profit, non-stock corporation. LifeSpire of Virginia has operated retirement communities in Virginia since 1948. It’s governed by a Board of Trustees, which is composed of business, clergy, and lay leaders. Trustees serve without compensation. Lakewood is managed by an administrative team employed by the Board.

Life Care means residency, services, and care for life. Seniors contract in advance to live in a comfortable residence, enjoy community-based amenities and services, and plan for their future needs. As health conditions change, residents remain onsite close to friends and neighbors – and move between Independent Living, Assisted Living including Memory Care and Nursing Care.

With Life Care protection, monthly fees stay the same as care and service levels increase. When residents move to Assisted Living or Nursing Care, the only additional charge is for two extra meals per day and any ancillary costs such a medical supplies and pharmacy services. While monthly fees don’t increase for changes in levels of care, the monthly fee continues to be subject to an annual adjustment.

Life Care helps shield residents from spiraling healthcare costs and provides the assurance that they will receive the care they need through the services available at Lakewood – even if they outlive their financial resources.

With a wide range of comfortable residences at Lakewood, you can choose to live in a spacious apartment, villa, or cottage. There are seven apartment floor plans that range from a studio to an apartment with two bedrooms, two baths, den, and dining room. We offer three types of two-bedroom villa apartment floor plans that offer dining, den, and a parking garage. For those who enjoy cottage living, Lakewood offers four two-bedroom floor plans and two-car garages – some offer a bonus room.

Our community is open to adults who are 62 years of age and older. Lakewood attracts a diverse group of residents with varied backgrounds, faiths, interests, and incomes. We encourage seniors to move to Lakewood when they are active and young. This will enable them to fully enjoy the amenities and active lifestyle at Lakewood.

You maintain only what you bring with you or install yourself, and even then there will often be help available. Lakewood maintains the appliances that come with your residence, the inside and outside structures, carpeting, heating and air conditioning, and landscaping. We also provide removal of trash and snow.

No. However, you will want to consider renter’s insurance to cover your possessions.

Carpeting, blinds, a washer and dryer, and kitchen appliances are provided by Lakewood. You bring your own furniture. You will enjoy decorating your residence to suit your taste.

There is a one-time entrance fee and a monthly fee. The fees vary based on the type of residence, number of occupants, and the entrance fee refund option selected. Monthly fees are reviewed and adjusted on an annual basis. Adjustments are based on the cost of operations to ensure sound fiscal operations and prudent reserves.

No. There is no ownership or equity involved at Lakewood. The entrance fee is similar to a single premium annuity, or prepaid rent with a lifetime lease. In return, you receive accommodations, services, use of amenities, and access to Assisted Living, dementia care and Nursing Care.

Residents are able to use a percentage of the fees as a prepaid medical expense and apply it toward an income tax deduction. In the first year of residency, a portion of the entrance fee may be used; a portion of monthly fees may be used annually. The amount that may be used varies from year to year.  Every year, guidance is issued to residents letting them know what portion of their entrance fee and monthly services fee is related to the provision of medical care. Every resident’s tax situation is unique and Lakewood does not provide tax advice. For personal tax advice, please seek advice from a trusted tax adviser.

The first step is to select your apartment or cottage and make a fully refundable $1,000 deposit. Next, you will complete application forms and have a clinical evaluation. Based on meeting physical and financial criteria, you pay the balance of the entrance fee and move to your new residence at Lakewood. We have a move-in coordinator on staff who will provide assistance with your move to the community.

Basic cable television, Internet, and Wi-Fi service are included in your monthly services fee.  Premium cable is available at an additional cost.

Utilities are included in your monthly services fee. This includes heating and air conditioning, electricity, water, sewer, basic cable TV, Internet and Wi-Fi access, local and long-distance telephone service, trash pick-up, and snow removal.

Extensive cultural, spiritual, educational, fitness, and social activities are available. In addition, on-site amenities at Lakewood include an art studio, woodworking shop, game room, billiard room, business center/library, chapel, and a variety of gathering rooms for conversation, relaxing, and fellowship. In addition, there is outdoor space for flower and vegetable gardening, as well as beautiful walking trails.

The West End is rapidly becoming the sought-after place to live in Central Virginia. There are recreational, sightseeing, shopping at multiple outlets including Short Pump Town Center, historical, cultural, and educational opportunities for residents and visitors. In addition, you can enjoy hiking, golfing, fishing, and picnicking in several nearby parks and recreation areas. There are also multiple 18-hole golf courses nearby. For more information on the area, see visitrichmondva.com.

Each apartment, villa, and cottage has an urgent call system. Our security staff patrols the building and grounds on a regular basis during the evening hours. Visitor traffic is controlled through one major entrance. Automatic security on all exterior doors restricts access to residents and staff 24 hours a day.

Yes. You may continue to see your own physician and other healthcare providers. If needed, you may request transportation services from Lakewood for medical appointments, scheduled through Lakewood’s clinic. For the added convenience of Lakewood’s residents, doctors are available to be seen by appointment in the on-site clinic.

Yes. Cats and small dogs are permitted at Lakewood with some restrictions. Pets must not bother the neighbors, and residents with pets are required to abide by Lakewood’s pet policy.

Certainly! Lakewood is your home and we encourage you to have your family and friends visit as often as you want. Guest rooms are available or guests may stay in your apartment, villa or cottage. All are encouraged to use any of the amenities and facilities on campus.


There are 50 churches of all denominations within close driving distance of Lakewood. Many of them also provide transportation to services.

Yes. Lakewood offers scheduled trips to shopping areas, medical centers, and physician offices. Transportation is also available for scheduled events.

In a sense, everything about Lakewood is part of a “fitness” program. Our concept is to make it easy for residents to lead satisfying lives and maintain good health in every way. We offer a modern fitness center, exercise classes, and a variety of wellness programs. In addition, the dining room and café offer nutritious meals – and we have a dietician available for residents to consult with as needed.

Lakewood has a Residents’ Council and all residents are voting members. All residents are eligible to become a member of Lakewood’s resident council.

Yes. A resident may move to another cottage, villa or apartment, based on availability and priority. Written requests will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis and require administrative approval. Residents have priority over non-residents.

Lighted parking areas are provided for apartment residents. Cottages have driveways and garages.  Villas each come with an underground parking space. Also, ample guest parking is available.

Health services include a clinic with scheduled nurse office hours, administration of prescribed treatments, pharmacy services, and services of other medical specialists. In addition, Lakewood offers rehabilitative therapy services, Memory Care, Assisted Living, and a licensed nursing facility that is staffed around the clock.


Residents at Lakewood enjoy residency that includes their choice of a spacious apartment, villa or cottage home, comprehensive amenities and services, and access to an on-site continuum of care. These benefits are provided through a one-time entrance fee and monthly services fee. The entrance and monthly fees vary depending on the type of residence, number of occupants, type of agreement, and refund plan selected.

Residents choose our community for many different reasons. Yet, all agree that living at Lakewood is a value compared to the cost of home maintenance, lawn upkeep, property taxes, utilities, wellness programs, social activities, health club membership, 24-hour security, emergency services, and access to quality care. For pricing information based on your individual preferences, please call us at 804-709-0869.

If you outlive your resources or experience financial hardship for reasons outside your control and you are unable to pay your monthly fee, you may apply for benevolent assistance. Your Life Care or Continuing Care agreement will still entitle you to priority access to on-site health care. Your children or other loved ones won’t bear any financial burden.

You may call Lakewood at 804-729-5563, contact us by using our information request form, or simply send us an email. We are happy to send you information, schedule a tour, and answer your questions. We are here to serve you and help you make the most of your retirement years.

Yes, all residential interior and exterior doors will be a minimum of three feet wide.


We are looking into the specific chemical makeup of the pool. In the meantime, industry best practices are being incorporated into designing and maintaining the pool. 

Yes. We are in the process of planning informative seminars that will help make your move easy.

If you have further questions and would like to speak with someone in person, please call us at 866-909-9777.

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