With this mission of service in mind, National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS) is here to help older adults get more out of life: more friendships and new pursuits, more comfort and spiritual fulfillment, and more security and freedom to live the life you love. As a National Lutheran community, The Village at Orchard Ridge continues to progress, leading the next generation of retirement communities from a foundation of experience.
Although The Village at Orchard Ridge welcomed residents in 2013, its roots in Winchester date back to the 1980s when a local church congregation reached out to the National Lutheran Home of Rockville, Maryland, now known as National Lutheran Communities & Services (NLCS), and invited them to expand their ministry of serving into Virginia by building retirement cottages on church property. Though that offer never materialized, it did prompt the National Lutheran Home’s exploration efforts of establishing a community for older adults in Virginia.
Knowing that National Lutheran desired over 100 acres of land, superior health care, and a local community that fosters engagement, the board members spent almost ten years searching for the perfect location. This search took them to nine locations throughout Northern and Central Virginia, but the group was always drawn to Winchester. Eventually, a 132-acre tract of land west of Winchester Medical Center was selected as the location of NLCS’ first retirement community in Virginia.
In its first phase, Orchard Ridge included 203 independent living apartments and cottages, a community center to serve as a hub for resident life, a chapel to serve as a center for faith and community life, and a health center to encompass programs for both residents living with dementia and residents needing long-term care or short-term rehabilitation. Within three years of opening, The Village at Orchard Ridge completed an expansion that included 103 additional apartments and 18 additional cottages, making a total of 324 independent living homes a part of their campus. During this expansion, Orchard Ridge added the Engage Center, a wellness center focused on helping residents engage in body, mind and spirit.
Over the last several years, The Village at Orchard Ridge has received several accolades, including being named the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber Large Business of Year in 2019 and earning Best Nursing Home status by achieving a rating of “high performing” by “U.S. News & World Report.”
The Village at Orchard Ridge is a not-for-profit, faith-based ministry and is part of the National Lutheran family. Today, NLCS is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) Delaware-Maryland, Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and Virginia synods, serving people of all beliefs. Although the heritage of NLCS is rooted in the Lutheran expression of faith, people of all beliefs and backgrounds are welcome.
NLCS provides older adults with various lifestyle, residential and health care options through retirement communities and services in Maryland and Virginia. In addition to The Village at Orchard Ridge, the National Lutheran family includes The Village at Rockville in Rockville, Maryland, The Village at Augsburg in Baltimore, Maryland, The Legacy at North Augusta in Staunton, Virginia, The Village at Providence Point* in Annapolis, Maryland, myPotential at Home and Impact1890.
*The Village at Providence Point is pending final approval by the Maryland Department of Aging.