Posted by Guide to Retirement Living SourceBook on 08/13/2018

Shenandoah Valley for Active Adults and Seniors

The vibrant oranges, golds, and yellows of fall foliage are beautifully showcased against a dramatic backdrop of blue mountains rimmed with white fog. The pinks and reds of spring flowers beckon visitors. Summer brings lush greenery and a bounty of colorful flowers. White snow falls on dazzling blue and purple mountains, bringing winter to life.

The colors of the Shenandoah Valley are on display year-round for the thousands of visitors who travel to the region. One of the major attractions is the Shenandoah National Park, a 197,389 acre park that straddles a section of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Skyline Drive, the scenic drive that traverses the Blue Ridge Mountains for the entire length of the Park, is also a major draw for tourists who enjoy panoramic views of the colorful valley below. When visitors venture off Skyline Drive, they discover that nature’s colors are not the only ones on display in the Shenandoah Valley. From main-street communities to historic sites, the Shenandoah Valley is a region colored by its history and full of colorful residents.

Encompassing a large section of western Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley stretches from Winchester to Staunton and is nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains on the east and the Allegheny Mountains on the west. The Shenandoah River snakes through the entire region, and the Massanutten Mountain range runs through its center. The Valley stretches deep into southwestern Virginia and into the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, but the heart of the region is in Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah, Warren, and Page counties in Virginia.

Thriving Small Towns
From Winchester to Luray, the Valley offers a new small town to explore around every bend. Winchester, a city that changed hands nearly 70 times during the Civil War, is now home to historical sites including Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters Museum. This Virginia Main Street community features a historic downtown that is still very much alive with shoppers, diners, and sightseers. The beginning of Skyline Drive and home to Skyline Caverns, Front Royal is a picturesque community filled with attractions. Tours of the “Brother Against Brother” Civil War battle bring history to life. Antiquing and arts and crafts shopping thrive in downtown Front Royal. Opportunities for outdoor activities are readily available in the self-proclaimed “Canoe Capital of Virginia.”

Atop look-out tower in Woodstock, the seven bends of the Shenandoah River are clearly visible. Below, visitors will find museums, restaurants, shops, and the historic county courthouse dating back to 1792. Luray, on the southern end of the Valley, is home to Luray Caverns, a singing tower, and a well-preserved downtown district. Luray Caverns is a U.S. National Landmark and features the world’s only Stalacpipe Organ. The Singing Tower contains a carillon of 47 bells and provides free recitals throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Downtown Luray offers various accommodations for visitors, shopping, dining, and a seasonal farmer’s market. These are just a sampling of the many charming towns that dot the countryside of the Shenandoah Valley. Visitors will find unique historic sites, a variety of seasonal festivals, and, most importantly, a welcoming atmosphere in each new town they explore.

View from the Valley.
In the Shenandoah Valley, every season brings with it a new set of outdoor activities for everyone from the adventurer to the weekend explorer. Shenandoah National Park offers beautiful views and opportunities for nature watching and hiking. Hikers will find trails of varying difficulties, many which provide access to the famous Appalachian Trail. Accommodations ranging from cozy lodges to primitive camping sites are readily available. At the base of the mountains, the Shenandoah River flows through the Valley. Various river outfitters offer boat and tube rentals, and various campgrounds, lodges, and motels are nearby. Lake Arrowhead, a 34-acre, stream-fed mountain lake, is also a popular destination. A sandy beach, picnic area, and several trails surround the lake, which is open year-round. Whether visitors want to participate in outdoor sports or just watch the sun sink low over the mountains, the view from the Shenandoah Valley is bound to satisfy.

Retiring in the Shenandoah Valley
As residents age in place and seniors move from nearby metropolitan areas, the senior population in the Shenandoah Valley is burgeoning. Seniors are flocking to the Valley not only because of the gorgeous countryside but also because of the slower pace of life. Retirees are able to take full advantage of the amenities of the quaint small towns and the beauty of the rural countryside.

State and local governments and area professionals have answered the demand of this population growth with new and innovative programs for seniors. In addition, a growing number of retirement communities offer a full range of amenities and care options to Valley seniors. Senior-serving professionals are also available to help with everything from moving and downsizing to administering a care plan. Seniors in the Shenandoah Valley can fully enjoy their majestic surroundings while knowing that any care they may need in the future is readily available.

The Shenandoah Valley’s magnificent views have served as worthy subjects for more than a few photographers and painters, but only the region’s residents can truly absorb the varied palette of colors offered by this real-life, full-color postcard.

Resources for Shenandoah Valley Seniors

Case Management
Case managers conduct in-home assessments and prepare individual care plans utilizing available agency and community services.
Phone: 540-635-7141

Congregate Meals
Shenandoah Valley Senior Centers offer nutritious meals and fellowship to people 60 and over at each of the six sites. Each year, the centers serve 48,000 meals to 700 people. Call your local senior center for more information.

Home Delivered Meals
Senior Center staff and volunteers prepare and deliver meals to homebound elderly within their communities. Call for eligibility.
Phone: 540-635-7141, ext 212

Services are offered to promote the highest possible quality of life and care for persons residing in Nursing Homes, living in Assisted Living Facilities, and those receiving Home Health Care Services.
Phone: 540-635-7141, ext 211

Personal Care
Provision of in-home care that enables the eligible recipient to remain or return home. This service includes assistance by Certified Nursing Assistants with: bathing, shaving, grooming, transferring, and dressing for one to three hours weekly. Call for eligibility.
Phone: 540-635-7141

Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
Volunteers contribute time and talent in services to their communities. RSVP membership is offered to people age 55 or older. Benefits include some insurance and recognition.
Phone: 540-635-7141, ext. 303, ext.207, or ext. 210

Shenandoah Area on Agency
This agency provides services and opportunities that improve the dignity and independence of senior citizens and promote their contributions to the community. Phone: 540-635-7141

Shenandoah Senior Centers
The Shenandoah Area on Agency operates six senior centers located throughout the region. The centers offer nutritious meals, fellowship, transportation, and programs. For more information about specific programs, contact the center near you, or visit

Clarke County Senior Center 540-955-3572
Frederick County Senior Center 540-869-2444
Page County Senior Center 540-778-1100
Shenandoah County Senior Center 540-984-8811
Warren County Senior Center 540-635-8652
Winchester Senior Center 540-662-5433

Title V Employment
Funding provides part-time subsidized employment to people 55 and older who meet low-income guidelines. Call for eligibility.
Phone: 540-635-7141, ext 204

A grant was received to allow medical transportation on a case-by-case basis for needy seniors in Warren and Page Counties. Call for eligibility.
Phone: 540-635-7141

Certified insurance counselors provide information about Medicare, choosing a supplement, prescription assistance, and long-term care insurance. They can also assist with bill resolution and appeals.
Phone: 540-635-7141, ext 303

Virginia Department for the Aging
This government agency develops and administers programs and activities to support Virginia senior citizens. Services vary by area and may include housekeeping, home repairs, meals, transportation, support for family members who care for elders, insurance counseling, and referrals to other service providers in the community.
Phone: 804-662-9354

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