Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

Lake Prince Woods Story


A vibrant, spirited life-style surrounded by the beauties of nature

by Rob Lauer

Residents can enjoy active independent lifestyles in the cottages and villas of Lake Prince Woods.

Residents can enjoy active independent lifestyles in the cottages and villas of Lake Prince Woods.

At first glance, one might mistake Lake Prince Woods for an upscale golf course or country club. The green of the manicured lawns stretches in all directions, ending in well-kept flower beds that surround handsome red-brick buildings. The Colonial Revival accents on these buildings are reminders that one is in Virginia, but because of the vast woodlands on all sides, the hustle and bustle of Hampton Roads seems a million miles away.

Follow the street that winds gracefully to the east and one finds it lined with handsome cottages and villas, all with beautifully tended lawns and flower beds, and all situated within the solitude of 172 wooded acres. Is this place a prestigious new housing development in the heart of a nature preserve?

Follow the street west and one comes upon a community pier overlooking a lake—the perfect spot for relaxing or dropping one’s fishing line. Nearby, posted nature trails beckon to those out for a walk. To stroll these paths on any day of the year is to commune with nature in the way that a hiker might when walking the Appalachian trail.

But this is neither the Appalachian trail, a nature preserve, a golf resort, nor a country club. Lake Prince Woods is a continuing care retirement community that provides independent living in cottages, villas and apartments, as well as assisted living. Located in rural Suffolk, it is moments away from the downtown area of the city and Obici Hospital.

“No one has what we have here,” Marketing Director Tammy Garrett declares with a smile. “I mean, how many retirement communities have 172 acres of woodland? We’re a welcoming residential retirement community where neighbors quickly become friends.”

“You can have your choice of being in an apartment, a villa or a cottage,” resident Jacque Edwards notes.

The spacious villas and cottages have airy, open floor plans, with options such as carports, garages, sunrooms, and screened porches. Villas are attached one-story houses that come with appliances and are equipped with built-in daily motion checks and emergency pull cords, along with convenient step-in showers. “Basically, residents can customize their villas and cottages, turning them into their dream homes,” Tammy explains.

Doris Gaddis, who lives in a cottage with her husband, John, notes another benefit of life at Lake Prince Woods: “It’s great not having to cut the grass. Our particular lot is covered on two sides by woods, so that gives us a lot of privacy, and a lot of beauty, too. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed it here.”

Residents also find comfort in the fact that Lake Prince Woods is a continuum of care community. Should circumstances change for those now enjoying independent living, they can move into Lake Prince Woods’ assisted living accommodations, while remaining a part of the community and enjoying all that it has to offer. 

“I always tell people
that life at Prince Lake Woods
is like being on a cruise ship
without the ocean.”

—Tammy Garrett

When needed, Lake Prince Woods Health Center offers nursing care on a temporary or long-term basis in a cozy setting that has all the comforts of home. Comprehensive rehabilitation and Skilled Care are offered to residents who may be recovering from routine surgeries, such as joint replacement, as well as serious illness or injuries, such as fractures or strokes.

“If something was to happen to me, I’ll be cared for in the healthcare area,” Jacque explains. “That’s a great relief to my children.”

Resident Judy Gallagher agrees: “If you had to go to the hospital—say you broke a leg—you can go to Skilled Care, and then come back home.”

Lake Prince Wood Marketing Director  Tammy Garrett

Lake Prince Wood Marketing Director Tammy Garrett

When Jacque was injured in an accident, she entered Skilled Care for a couple of weeks. “My husband’s health at that time was at the point where he could not be at home alone,” she recalls. “So, we were both admitted to Skilled Care for a few weeks, until I could start to take care of him again. That was a huge relief, both to me and to the kids.”

Doris also had a positive experience when her husband, John, had to be admitted into Skilled Care. “I was living here,” she explains.”All I had to do was walk over to see him and make sure things were going well for him—rather than having to drive to a hospital to see how he was doing.”

“You know you’re going to be taken care of the rest of your life here, come what may,” John adds. “That’s security you can’t get around.”

Lake Prince Woods also offers a wide range of social, educational and spiritual programming designed to nurture individuality and help residents live life to its fullest.

“They have so many activities here that it’s hard to resist,” Jacque says.

“I just learned how to play pool,” Doris chimes in with a laugh.

“And she’s getting better at it than I appreciate,” John quips.

Classes in Yoga and Tai chi are offered through the Lake Prince Woods fitness program. Residents with an interest in art can enjoy classes in painting. Those who love music have organized singing groups or formed chime choirs, rehearsing regularly and performing at community gatherings.

Meals in the dining room are always big social events. “Everybody stops at the tables, and talks to each other,” Judy adds enthusiastically. “And I love the fact that we have the buses to take us out at night to all the theaters—because as you get older, you don’t want to be out driving by yourself. Not having to take care of a house really releases you to do so much more. A lot of us get together and travel. Six of us went to Florida one year. We couldn’t do that if we had to take care of houses.”

Hearing these remarks makes Tammy smile. “I always tell people that life at Prince Lake Woods is like being on a cruise ship without the ocean,” she says with a laugh.

“It’s a great place to make and enjoy new friendships,” Doris concludes. “I am at home here. I have no desire to be anywhere else.”

Lake Prince Woods

100 Anna Goode Way
Suffolk, VA 23434

757 923-5500