New Harbour View assisted living facility coming

Published 9:11 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A new assisted living center is under way in Harbour View, and officials expect it to be ready for opening in the spring.

Bickford Assisted Living and Memory Care is under construction at 6860 Harbour View Blvd. This will be the company’s third Virginia branch, along with locations in Chesterfield and Spotsylvania.

Bickford will hold a cupola-raising event for the new facility in April, and the facility is expected to reach substantial completion in June. A grand opening is set for July.


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The facility will include 60 private apartments secured and staffed for its residents. Forty-four of those apartments are designed for assisted living patients, with the remaining 16 rooms set aside for memory care patients.

The memory care wing will be called “Mary B’s Symphony,” after Mary Arlene Bickford, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1989. Her family started the company in honor of her and to provide better assisted living and memory care services.

“She played the harp,” Bickford Community Relations Director Adriane McKoy said. “We consider that when we get to know our residents, and we call their stories ‘lifesongs.’”

Suffolk has several assisted living facilities, including The Crossings at Harbour View, which is also located in the Harbour View community.

McKoy said Bickford separates itself from other care providers with a “unique” level of attentive care. One example she gave was that Bickford hires only registered nurses, even though Virginia law requires only a minimum of licensed practical nurse education and training.

LPNs are required to complete a practical nursing course for certification. RNs are required to complete an accredited nursing programs, in addition to passing the National Council Licensure Examination.

“We’ve chosen to only hire RNs, because they’re better prepared when it comes to assessments of our resident’s needs,” McKoy said.

Bickford also does not have the same age restrictions of other assisted living service providers. Some companies require residents to be a certain age or older, such as 55 or 62, but Bickford cares for any residents 18 or older.

“We don’t have that specific age requirement, but we are specific in how we care for people, whatever their age is,” McKoy said. “I look forward to seeing those age ranges.”

McKoy spent last week at Bickford’s Chesterfield branch, and she said the personal interaction between the staff and the residents was what she was looking for when she joined the “Bickford family.”

“We go above and beyond as far as medicine management and coordination, but I think we go above and beyond with interacting with our residents as well,” McKoy said.