With Belmont Village, founder and CEO Patricia Will has shown that seniors can truly have it all. Together with Baptist Health South Florida, they’re creating a high-end, wellness-focused community in Coral Gables.
When it comes to understanding the needs of seniors, few have the personal and professional background of Belmont Village founder and CEO Patricia Will. By the early 1990s, she was already well established as a real estate developer in the medical properties field. Then she faced the challenge of a loved one developing Alzheimer’s disease.
“It was something that I experienced on a personal level, as my mother-in-law had been diagnosed with this condition,” says Will. “In the process of trying to find care for Josephine, I realized that there simply wasn’t a place with the capabilities to effectively care for her.”
A New Concept Is Born
From personal adversity and professional experience came a bold new idea: a senior living community that met both the lifestyle and wellness needs of its residents. The result was Belmont Village, a truly revolutionary idea in senior living.
“We founded Belmont Village in 1997. We developed and expanded our relationships in the medical community and schools of hospitality to merge the best of both worlds,” says Will. “We also spoke with seniors and their families. We took all that we had learned — all these great ideas — and built a community around it.”
An Expanding Community
Will’s innovative approach to senior care and living certainly struck a chord with people, as Belmont Village has expanded rapidly since opening its first community. There are now more than 30 locations across eight states, with a community in Mexico City as well. Their success is directly attributable to staying true to their core vision and values.
“No two people age the same, and over time their needs change, so we want to create a community that embraces the vitality and engagement of seniors who are independent and offer that to everyone,” says Will. “At the same time, we want to allow seniors who have assisted living needs or medication management to live in the same building without the need to move. This also means that couples who have separate needs can live together and have peace of mind.”
While the medical care at Belmont Village is second to none, Will notes that the lifestyle opportunities for seniors are world class as well. “Our mission is to create a place for adults to thrive in their later years,” she says. “Our award-winning programs promote successful aging with a goal to improve brain health. We offer a Whole Brain Fitness lifestyle meant to nurture and engage mind, body and spirit each day in specific ways. We focus on essential elements like the right nutrition and physical exercise, mental workouts, lifelong learning and a strong social network.”
Speaking of that social network, it’s not uncommon for Belmont Village residents to meet and fall in love. Most recently, a couple in their 80s wed in Austin, Texas, after meeting at the weekly Bible study class. “I do think people who have been single for a while (most often widowed) begin to experience life again and emerge from a kind of social isolation and engage in activities together,” she says. “They have a lot to speak to with respect to outlook on life, enjoyment, gratitude and the things that happen when you’re not living by yourself anymore. It frees you up to be social and enjoy life again.”
The New Coral Gables Location
Belmont Village Coral Gables, which is slated to open in September 2023 with 232 apartments, is already accepting reservations for new residents. They have partnered with Baptist Health South Florida to ensure the highest-quality health care possible. “The Belmont Village and Baptist Health partnership is an ongoing initiative to create high-end, wellness-focused senior housing communities in South Florida. Belmont Village Coral Gables is the first in a series of communities for the region,” says Will. “The ground floor will feature Live Healthy by Baptist, which will offer a holistic approach to healthy living through fitness, nutrition and disease prevention while building awareness of how to preserve optimal lifetime health by focusing on mind, body and spirit.”
In terms of lifestyle opportunities, the beautiful grounds of Belmont Village Coral Gables are sure to cater to its residents’ needs. “It’s an incredibly vibrant and walkable indoor/outdoor space with a fitness center and rehab facility that offer yoga, tai chi, multiple sports, dining venues and more, with a big focus on architecture and interior design,” says Will.
Results that Deserve Recognition
Both Belmont Village and Patricia Will have been honored for their incredible contributions to senior living. Belmont Village Fort Lauderdale was recognized as the Best Retirement Community by Fort Lauderdale Magazine in 2021. Patricia Will herself is a 2021 McKnight’s Women of Distinction Hall of Honor and an American Seniors Housing Association Senior Living Hall of Fame inductee. In 2022, she was honored with the McKnight’s Senior Living Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award.
To learn more or reserve an apartment, visit the Discovery Center at 4201 South Le Jeune Rd. in Coral Gables, visit their website at belmontvillage.com/coralgables or call 305.260.6149.