The 7 Best Resources for Seniors in Charlottesville

Charlottesville has been starring on “Best Places to Live” lists for many years. Retirees from near and far settle here to enrich their golden years with its cultural and geographical attractions. If you want to take advantage of all our area has to offer, we recommend these seven resources for seniors in Charlottesville.


The Jefferson Area Board for Aging provides an incredible array of support. You can call them for advice or answers on any senior-related issue. They offer Medicare and Affordable Care Act counseling, and they can connect you with services related to senior care, housing, meals, community interactions, and more.

They also offer support to caregivers and people with disabilities. Want to find an opportunity to volunteer in your community? They can help with that, too!

As the website says, “If you have questions about aging, maintaining your independence, or need assistance as you care for loved ones, call us. We’re here to help.”

The logo for the Jefferson Area Board for Aging

The Center

Located just five minutes from Branchlands Senior Living, The Center serves as a place where everyone 50+ can find programs, activities, and community. Like JABA, it’s a kind of hub connecting you to many great resources for seniors.

Our residents love that The Center gives them another set of opportunities, on top of the ones we so carefully cultivate at Branchlands. Want to find a place to exercise, try a new art or craft, volunteer, join a support group, or just meet new people in a brand-new coffee shop? The Center is a good bet!

Exterior of The Center, one of Charlottesville's top resources for seniors

The University of Virginia

Here in Virginia, anyone aged 60+ can audit up to three college courses a semester for free. This applies to any state institution, including Charlottesville’s own University of Virginia. As long as a course isn’t filled to capacity, you have as much right to be there as any fresh-faced undergraduate. You will need to coordinate with admissions and the registrar to officially apply and then get into the course. Still, the opportunities are well worth it!

Would you prefer a stimulating experience specifically geared toward active adults? UVA’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) offers short courses, in-person and virtual classes, lectures, outings and events.

Even if you don’t want to take any kind of course, you’ll probably want to check out one of the many events—from lectures and book readings to football and basketball games—hosted by the university. With UVA right in the center of Charlottesville, you have all its rich educational and cultural opportunities at your disposal.

University of Virginia Lawn. Photo by Andrew Shurtleff.


Our residents enjoy concierge shuttle service to get where they want to go, whether that’s a Branchlands outing or a smaller errand. Most seniors don’t have this option. Luckily, Charlottesville has a service to help. Jaunt helps to fill gaps not covered by the city’s regular bus system.

Its ADA service provides free door-to-door transportation within Charlottesville for any riders with a documented disability. Meanwhile, everyone living in the counties surrounding Charlottesville can use Jaunt for curb-to-curb transportation outside the city. Finally, there are fixed-route, fixed-time commuter services traveling from the counties into the city and back.

Riders with disabilities have always been able to use Jaunt’s ADA paratransit service for free. Previously, other users paid a fee, but during Covid the fees were suspended—and there are still no fees in effect, as of the start of 2023.

The interior of a small transit bus with several passengers


Libraries are more than just book providers. The Jefferson Madison Regional Library, which has eight branches across Charlottesville and its surrounding counties, offers a whole host of great programs and resources for seniors. Free of any charge, you can join knitting and crafting groups, game nights, guided meditation, workshops, and book groups of many kinds—including one that meets at a brewery beside the downtown walking mall.

Of course, the Library does offer a lot of movies and books for check out, too!

The JMRL bookmobile makes regular stops at Branchlands. When our residents want to go to the library, we give them a ride. When they just want to stay and read at home, the books can come to them!

The Jefferson Madison Regional Library bookmobile is a great senior resource

UVA & Martha Jefferson Hospitals

U.S. News & World Report evaluated 122 hospitals in Virginia. The University of Virginia Medical Center ranked #2, and Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital ranked #8. Despite being a small city, Charlottesville boasts two of the best hospital systems in the state.

When you are choosing the perfect community for your senior years, good medical care is a must. It gives great peace of mind to know that if you ever need them, top-notch medical facilities await.

Exterior of Martha Jefferson Hospital

Shenandoah National Park

OK, it’s not in Charlottesville, but you can reach Shenandoah National Park in only 30 minutes from Branchlands. The park features more than 500 miles of trails, several historic sites and exhibits, and countless scenic vistas that take no more effort to reach than pulling the car over to soak in the views.

Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, the park makes a wonderful and affordable destination. What makes it one of the best resources for seniors? For $20, seniors 62+ can purchase a year’s pass good for every national park in the country. For just $80, you can buy a lifetime senior pass and visit these golden woods all throughout your golden years.

A road winding through a forest, with golden leaves on the ground and in the trees

We like to think of ourselves as our residents’ best resource. From our daily activities and the services and amenities we offer, to our concierge transportation and our dedication to helping residents live life to the fullest, we pride ourselves on our exceptional service.

If you want to explore what it’s like to live at Branchlands Senior Living and to take advantage of all that our community and Charlottesville have to offer, please get in touch.