Does Buckingham need an assisted living facility? Hearing set.

Published 5:10 am Wednesday, October 4, 2023

NEW CANTON – When it comes to assisted living facilities for loved ones, Buckingham County currently doesn’t have a lot to offer. One couple is trying to change that and their plan has been approved for a public hearing at the next planning commission meeting.

Jessie Woodson-Johnson of CWJ Properties LLC brought her request to the planning commission to receive a special use permit to own and operate an adult home/assisted living facility. This facility will be at 3781 Petersville Church Road in New Canton on approximately one acre of land. 

Woodson-Johnson and her husband, Lonnie, plan to open this assisted living facility in a four-bedroom modular on the property. It will start as a private facility under the social services regulations which only allows for no more than three residents. Woodson-Johnson plans to get a license with the state eventually so that they can expand and have more residents. It is expected to take around three months to get the license once they start the process. 

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“Right now there are no adult or assisted living facilities in Buckingham County,” said Woodson-Johnson. “The last one that I knew of was Mary’s Rest Home, but now… they house individuals that have developmental delay. So, our proposed business is for adult people. People that are of age and people who are disabled.” 

Details about the Buckingham facility 

This proposed home will be for elderly adults who are able to feed, bathe and dress themselves. The facility will provide shelter, food, laundry services and help them with their medication. They can also provide transportation to medical appointments when needed and there will be recreational activities.

The goal is to have a safe environment for these individuals. Woodson-Johnson has spent her time advocating for the elderly and has visited numerous homes where these individuals are living alone or with loved ones who work all day leaving them alone. With so many scammers and break-ins this facility will give them a safe environment. 

“As you know people are living to be much older so there is going to be a need for it,” said Woodson-Johnson. “Not everyone is qualified to be admitted to a nursing home because that is a higher level of care.”

When it comes to the bedrooms, the largest bedroom can fit two people in it and ideally be for a couple. In two of the rooms, there is a possibility of getting two people in the room, but Woodson-Johnson is hesitant because she personally wouldn’t want to be in a room with someone else. One bedroom is too small for more than one person, but two of the bedrooms could go either way. This would be after they are able to expand once they get a license with the state.

Who will run it?

Woodson-Johnson and her family will be the ones running the facility and taking care of the residents. This will be a family business as she and her husband live in a home behind the proposed adult home and their four children plan to help out too. Woodson-Johnson and her husband have experience in this area as they had to care for both of their fathers in their old age.

The location is on a quiet street where only 10 or fewer cars pass. It was the home where Woodson-Johnson grew up and is now empty and available for this change. It is 15 minutes away from the Central Virginia Community Health Center, 18 minutes from the rescue building in Avonia and 15 to 20 minutes from the Dilwyn Rescue Squad. 

A public hearing for this adult home/assisted living facility will take place at the next planning commission meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 23.