Independent Living in Charlottesville: a Day in the Life

Life at Branchlands offers possibilities. Chances to socialize, exercise, challenge yourself, pamper yourself, engage with arts and culture—and more. With so many opportunities, no two days are ever quite alike, and the same day can be pretty different for two different residents.

Still, in deciding where you want to spend your golden years, it helps to be able to picture those details that make up a particular day. Here’s a glimpse of a day in the life of an independent living resident at Branchlands in lovely Charlottesville, Virginia.

In the Morning

Jane putters around in her light-filled living room. Looking out over the trees from her window, she briefly recalls when her days were full of chores and errands. Dishes to wash. Rooms to vacuum. The finicky water heater to worry about.

A table with three chairs in a dining room

Then she smiles and heads down to meet her friends.

The three of them choose a cozy nook in the restaurant-style dining room. Over a delicious, light breakfast (coffee, croissant, and fresh fruit) they chat about the married couple who just moved in. And they argue good-naturedly about art and which book to choose for their next book group.

The conversation spills out with them into the walking paths and the quiet neighborhood beyond, where it soon becomes a spirited discussion of their favorite childhood holidays. Kate, who’d excused herself earlier, reappears with her pet corgi, Baxter, who had been waiting patiently in her apartment for his walk.

Afterward, Jane takes a break in her own apartment to read and rest. Just when her novel’s heroine is about to confront the scheming villain, her phone rings. Her daughter tells her that one of her meetings was cancelled, so how would Jane like to get lunch?

Not today, Jane says. I’m meeting Nancy. Speaking of which—oh! I’d better get going or I’ll be late!

An Afternoon Outing

A concierge car takes her to meet Nancy at The Center, which is where they’d first met each other a few months before. The Center, only two miles away from Branchlands, offers a community, cultural, social, fitness, and civic center all in one. It expands Jane’s social circle and opportunities even further beyond those already at Branchlands.

The Center at Belvedere in Charlottesville

Over lunch, Jane quizzes Nancy about the oil painting class she’d started and invites her to stop by Branchlands tomorrow afternoon for a game of cards with her bridge group.

When she gets back to her apartment, she sends a text to her daughter to say sorry about rushing off the phone, and then dives back into her book.

A Fine Evening

A couple hours and a few plot twists later, she meets her friends from the morning, plus their friend Tom. The four of them take their dinner at a larger, more central table, to better enjoy the hubbub of the lively community. The conversation dips for a few minutes when the scratch-cooked, chef-prepared meals arrive, with everyone giving their attention to the food.

A well-appointed dining room

Soon the group moves to the Green Room for cards, and Jane spends a lovely couple hours bluffing and gossiping. When at last the pleasures of the company begin to be outweighed by the desire for a soft mattress, she heads to her room and the comforts of bed.

No Two Days Alike

A woman playing pool

On another day, Jane might have enjoyed a light breakfast of yogurt in her room and joined the 11am group cardio session. She might have gone on an afternoon visit to the Fralin Museum of Art or have found time for lunch with her daughter.

Maybe she’d have caught the evening movie, taken a quiet night in to finish her book, or spent the evening running the Branchlands pool table.

On any given day, there are no pressures and ample possibilities. Living up to the level of engagement that’s right for each resident is at the heart of the Branchlands experience. The organized activities listed on each month’s activities calendar, the excursions for meals, plays, wine tastings, and more, the opportunities at The Center and throughout the local area—all of these are available to residents, on top of the social and personal connections they create with their friends and families.

This is what keeps our residents feeling that their golden years are truly golden.

If you haven’t already, schedule a tour. Then you can answer the question: what kind of day can you imagine having here?