Doswell, Virginia Native and U.S. Army Veteran Brings Wide Range of Experience and Leadership

GLOUCESTER, Va. – Riverside Sanders Retirement Community recently welcomed Antonio “Tony” Brooks, LNHA as its new administrator. Located in the heart of Gloucester court house on the Middle Peninsula, Sanders Retirement Community is one of Riverside’s three continuing care retirement communities. It includes independent living cottages, assisted living, long-term care and rehabilitation services.

Tony Brooks, Administrator, Riverside Sanders Retirement Community

“I believe there is a difference between caring for someone and providing care for them,” said Brooks. “The difference for me is the heart, and having real compassion and love for other people. At Sanders, we accomplish a lot – making residents feel respected, loved and cherished, with a devoted local staff that truly cares for them. I’m grateful to be in this position, to have this great team and I look forward to getting to know more about, and becoming more a part, of the community.”

The Doswell, Va. native and U.S. Army veteran is no stranger to Riverside, having served as a long-term care administrator at nearby Riverside Convalescent Center – Saluda. He studied International Health, attending Randolph-Macon College and Trident University, where he earned his graduate degree. His career began after serving four years in the U.S. Army as a technical engineer specialist. Brooks started working as a Housekeeping Director in a nursing facility and quickly discovered he had a special gift for working with older adults.  

At Sanders, Brooks oversees the roughly 100 team members who provide nursing care, therapy and living services to residents. “Sanders is a retirement community, and the great thing about that is we have the full complement of care options,” said Brooks. “Someone can go from independent living to assisted living to rehabilitation and then go back. It’s a wonderful thing for the community that we are able to provide the different levels of care."

The retirement community has been part of the Gloucester Main Street community for more than 50 years. It was built, inspired by a community that wanted a home equipped to provide quality care to some of the area’s most vulnerable residents throughout Gloucester and Virginia’s Middle Peninsula. In 2012, Heron Cove at Sanders opened, replacing the then aging Sanders nursing home with Virginia’s first fully deinstitutionalized nursing home and launching the entire community into embracing what’s called the Household Model of care where individual resident routines are known and respected. Residents arise when they choose, eat when they choose, and have the autonomy to be the driver of their daily lives. In addition, Sanders recently completed a renovation of the kitchen and dining areas and is looking to complete additional upgrades and renovations in the coming year.

“All over the campus, for all of our residents, this is their home,” Brooks explained. “Team members become like family members to the residents, and the residents to the team members. We work to really provide an environment that is welcoming and heartwarming to the residents in a way that removes any institutional feeling.” Treating residents that way, Brooks said, is part of the Riverside mission, which calls for caring for residents as they would their own loved ones.

“We have to always realize we have to treat others as we want to be treated,” Brooks said. “That is the Riverside model. That is the Golden Rule. And that is how we work and live here at Sanders, too.”

Published: January 15, 2018