Retiring in Style
At Pine Run Retirement Community, seniors enjoy a lifestyle tailored to their needs in the heart of Doylestown
by Leigh Stuart

At the corner of scenic Ferry and Iron Hill roads, in one of the loveliest parts of Doylestown, is a haven for residents seeking an enriching lifestyle of safety, convenience and culture nestled among Bucks County’s pastoral charms: Pine Run Retirement Community.

Pine Run, a not-for-profit community owned and operated by Doylestown Hospital, provides a number of world-class housing options for individuals ages 65 and older, with a range of living areas including everything from independent living to personal care and rehabilitation. While Pine Run attracts people of all interests, it is especially attractive to active, community-engaged seniors such as Kathy and Peter Achorn. Kathy, a former consultant, and Peter, a former research chemist, looked far and wide for their post-retirement dream home.

“We were leaving a beautiful state and a beautiful series of homes in Connecticut, and we thought, as my mother used to say, Act in haste, repent at leisure,” Kathy says. “We didn’t want to be capricious or silly; we wanted to find a home.”

Kathy explains that she and Peter had a list of seven distinct criteria they wanted their new locale to possess: walkability, affordability, a vibrant cultural life, excellent hospital and school systems, a house of worship for them to become members of and a nearby college.

The Achorns traveled to 22 towns in seven states in their search. When they paid Doylestown a visit five years ago, they knew they’d found their new home. Peter, who earned his doctorate from Lehigh University, and Kathy, who graduated from Misericordia University in Dallas, met in their youth and got married in Pennsylvania, but somehow the charms of Doylestown had eluded them. “We used to date by taking my Volkswagen down River Road to New Hope and back, but we had never been to Doylestown,” Peter says.

“We found Doylestown first,” Kathy adds, “and then we found Pine Run.”

In addition to the bucolic setting with ready access to downtown Doylestown, Pine Run offers standard amenities including bi-weekly housekeeping, one meal per day provided by the restaurant at the community center and authorized meal delivery. In addition, cable and utilities are included, as is 24-hour security and emergency response, maintenance services and an in-unit washer and dryer, as well as home insurance and real estate taxes. “It really frees you to live carefree,” Kathy says.

Part of this carefree living entails access to top-notch medical care, as well as an excellent staff-to-resident ratio. Pine Run has approximately 300 residents in independent living, 100 in personal care, and 100 in skilled nursing and rehabilitation, all served by more than 400 associate staffers. Peter notes, “The security team [members] are skilled EMTs also, so they can answer security questions as well as respond to medical needs.”

While it is not a requirement of residents, individuals such as the Achorns have ample opportunity to customize their dwellings. From fabrics and furnishings to finishes and fixtures, Kathy and Peter played an active role in creating their Pine Run dream home. As self-described minimalists, the Achorns had only three requirements of their home: light, wood and simplicity, elements that Pine Run provided with gusto.

“That’s the miracle of Pine Run; they’ll tailor to you,” Kathy says. She adds with a laugh, “They moved heaven and earth for us—they also moved walls.”

In the category of “light,” the company that works to make Pine Run residents’ dreams a reality, John Ford Builders Inc. of Harleysville, installed skylights (three interior and one exterior) to brighten the Achorns’ space. The builders also added something Kathy had always wanted but never had: a custom window seat, where she can read and relax in the sunlight.

Their next requirement, “wood,” is reflected in the new hardwood floors found throughout the home. Wood is also a major element in the interior design of the home, which professional interior designer Debbie May, president of Three D Designs, helped the Achorns design to suit their desire to obtain a true cottage-style look and feel for their home. Although every Pine Run unit is unique, “ours is unique to our style,” says Peter.

It wasn’t just the Pine Run staff’s attention to detail and personalized attention that attracted the Achorns, however.

“You’ll find everyone exemplifies the ‘Pine Run spirit,’” Peter says. “The first thing they do is say hello to you—anybody you meet on the campus—and the second question is ‘Can I help you?’”

This spirit of camaraderie extends to the many activities available at Pine Run, too. Upon their arrival, the Achorns dived right into the active social calendar, which includes activities ranging from continuing-education seminars and author lectures to clubs, movie nights, religious services, live entertainment and excursions to the Doylestown Arts Festival, James A. Michener Art Museum and The Bucks County Playhouse.

In the realm of education, for example, the “Keep On Learning” educational sessions held on Tuesday afternoons focus on a variety of interests, including documentary film, live theater, nature and history. Pine Run also offers residents ample opportunity to enhance their skills in a hands-on manner, through classes and activities such as pottery and art, meditation, knitting and theater.

“The most content villagers are those who are planners, and Kathy and Peter certainly fall into that category,” says Barbara Chierici, senior director of marketing for Pine Run. “They’ve been planners all their lives and also have been part of families and work and other organizations that echo what we’re offering here.”

The campus even hosts regular live entertainment by top musicians and performers every Tuesday evening. “We heard a wonderful piano concert and percussionist one week, and the next week it was the Mummers from Philadelphia. I couldn’t sit down; we stood through the whole thing because we couldn’t stop dancing,” Kathy says with a laugh.

Pine Run residents looking to stay fit can also participate in classes such as yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba, “Strong Seniors,” Strength & Balance, and Advanced Total Body, which are all part of the Fit for LIFE (Longevity, Independence, Function and Empowerment) Program. Residents receive free membership to the Cornerstone Club at Doylestown Health and Wellness Center, including the Aquatic Center and Spa, with regular transportation to and from the facility.

“We came looking for the future and we knew the moment we left that this would be right,” Kathy says, adding, “There is an effort here to make sure that you are in the right place for you.”

Pine Run Retirement Community
777 Ferry Road
Doylestown, PA 18901-2119
215-345-9467 | 800-992-8992

Photograph by Allure West Studios