When we consider that living in the Hamptons is often equated with a life of luxury, the question of retiring here doesn’t often come up. There is a way now to retire with dignity while still getting the help that elderly residents sometimes require. Opened in 2017, the Villa at Westhampton is an exclusive assisted living community nestled along 10 acres of sprawling lawns, spectacular gardens, walking paths and picturesque views. It’s designed for active seniors who value their independence, with the knowledge that caring attention and fellowship are readily available. We met with Jeffrey Thompson, executive director of The Villa at Westhampton, to learn more about the elegant retirement community.
How did you come to lead the Villa at Westhampton as the executive director?
I have been working in the senior care industry for more than 30 years. I had heard there was a brand-new assisted living property being built in the Hamptons and started to research it. I knew that it was the first and only one being built on the East End and knew that I had to be a part of it. I live about 20 minutes from the building.
The Villa is such a beautiful place.
The Villa at Westhampton officially opened on August 14, 2017. It was a project 10 years in the making, as the property that we sit on was acquired in pieces. There was a house on a section of this property and family members of the owner that sold that piece of property now reside here.
What kind of amenities are available for its residents
We have two separate patio areas where residents can enjoy the fresh air and sun. Many of our residents walk around the building and there have been multiple sightings of wild turkey and deer. In the spring and summer, we will have barbecues on the patio.
Are there age requirements or restrictions?
Believe it or not, 18 or older is the legal age limit but our median age is 85 and the services are geared more towards an older population. As far as restrictions, we do require a medical evaluation before admission to ensure that each resident meets the admission guidelines and we have the resources to provide the level of care that is needed.
What does “enhanced assisted living” mean exactly?
Enhanced Assisted Living is an optional license a property can get that provides a higher level of services or “enhanced” services for the residents. Enhanced assisted living was designed to allow residents to age in place in their assisted living home for a longer period of time. Enhanced services could include routine nursing services like assistance with insulin injections, oxygen, basic wound care, colostomy care, Foley care and other routine nursing services.
What does nurse care entail?
Medication management is the most common and most used service we provide. The nursing staff manage the medications for each resident. This includes ordering medications, working with the physicians and pharmacies when orders are changed and reminding residents to take their medications.
What is the significance of your residents being able to continue living an independent life?
The focus of assisted living is to provide an atmosphere where residents maintain as much independence as possible and know that assistance is available if needed. As people age, their needs change, and assisted living is designed to meet those changing needs. Our wide variety of scheduled events provides opportunities for our residents to continue the pursuit of lifelong passions and stimulate exploration in new interests and hobbies.
What living situations are available for residents?
We offer both private accommodations as well as options for couples. We offer shared options on a limited basis.
We have several models of large studio apartments and a limited number of spacious one-bedrooms with a separate living room. We also provide a higher level of service for those who require additional care due to the onset of dementia related conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. We are licensed as a Special Needs Assisted Living Residence, providing a warm and caring atmosphere, allowing our residents to achieve optimum quality of life in a safe, secure, home-like environment.
I noticed that the homes were named after wines: Dolcetto, Bordeaux, Chianti and Asti.
Long Island has some of the best wineries and vineyards around, and being out on the East End, we thought it appropriate to name the rooms after wine.
There is a lot of buzz about dining at Villa. Can you talk about that?
We have a beautiful dining room and a chef who prepares fresh meals daily. It is restaurant-style dining where the residents order from a menu that changes each day. The residents help us write the menu through our resident food council meetings where ideas for menu selections are discussed. We also have a private dining room that residents can reserve for family gatherings around the holidays or to celebrate special occasions.
What kind of leisure activities do the residents enjoy?
There is a full calendar of events planned each month. And like the dining, we have a resident council meeting where residents give their input on the activities that are being planned. We incorporate a variety of gross motor and fine motor activities as well as activities to stimulate the brain. We have wonderful entertainment, as well as current events, sittercise, religious services and lots of movies.
We recently had an Oscars party where residents got dressed up, walked the red carpet, and each got an award and a statuette. Photos and videos of our activities are posted on our Facebook page. We also have a bus to take residents out into the community to go shopping, to the library and to community events. The residents also enjoy going out to eat for a change of pace.
Anything you’d like to add?
In addition to getting three restaurant-style meals a day, residents get housekeeping and laundry services, and there is a hair and nail salon on the premises. Medical services are available in-house by appointment such as Primary Physician, Eye Care, Audiology, Podiatry, Physical and Occupational Therapy, Lab Services, X-ray and Imaging. Major medical insurances are accepted by the providers. People don’t realize they can tour The Villa any time (seven days a week) and that short-term stays are welcome. We even have a program for snowbirds who can stay at The Villa for up to six months during the spring and summer months and into the fall.
This story first appeared in The Independent.