‘A Great Place to Live’
Pennswood Village in Newtown provides a welcoming, serene, and ever-evolving community devoted to helping each resident lead a vibrant, inspired life.
by Bill Donahue

Jim and Jackie McClellan were in their early 70s when they opted to move from their longtime home in Hoboken, New Jersey, right across the Hudson River from Midtown Manhattan. Inez and Norm Bing had been living in Doylestown for more than 40 years when they decided to change addresses. 
While both couples came from vastly different backgrounds and experiences, they chose the same destination to spend the rest of their days: Pennswood Village, an 82-acre Continuing Care Retirement Community in bucolic Newtown.  

 
The McClellans and Bings are among the more than 400 individuals ages 65 and older who have chosen to call Pennswood home. Guided by the philosophy of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, Pennswood offers a welcoming community rooted in Quaker principles such as equality, integrity, and peace. Whether someone wishes to spend their days making new friends over a cocktail or a chef-prepared meal, perusing the latest historical tomes in the expansive library, or pursuing new interests in some of the many in-house clubs, Pennswood encourages each resident to live life on his or her terms.
 
When new residents come to Pennswood, many share their surprise at two things: first, the level of sincere conviviality among their peers; and second, the campus’s rich natural beauty. Pet-friendly Pennswood boasts a comprehensive wellness facility (an aquatics center, a gym, and a fitness studio for group exercise classes), four walking and biking trails, art galleries, a bird sanctuary, and community gardens where residents can make the most of their time outside.
 
When the McClellans moved to Pennswood, they considered themselves fortunate to have found “a real, active, genuine, caring community of people who are sharing their lives together.” 
 
“What makes this a community is the shared values that Pennswood instantiates in various ways,” says Jim McClellan. “The notion of equality, of simplicity, of stewardship, of love and care for another really makes it a very special place.”
 
Changing addresses at any age requires some adjustments, of course. When the Bings left Doylestown, the couple left behind familiar surroundings in a part of the world they loved, but the sense of community they found at Pennswood made the transition as seamless as possible. 
 
“Living at Pennswood is like living in a neighborhood of old friends, people who care about you, but respect your privacy and independence,” says Inez Bing. “There is a strong sense of community here, that we’re all in this together. One can feel the Quaker values that influence our daily lives.”  
 
The Best Is Yet to Come
Much like its residents, Pennswood is a community in a state of continual evolution. The community has undergone numerous renovations of late, perhaps none more noticeable than the forthcoming addition of The Meadows at Pennswood Village. Comprising 30 independent living apartments, The Meadows offers three elegant floor plans: Newtown, Yardley, and Princeton. Inez Bing describes The Meadows as “a beautiful addition to Pennswood. The layouts are spectacular.”  The square footage for each model ranges from 1,445 (Newtown), 1,485 (Yardley), to 1,750 (Princeton). The apartments will be move-in ready by this summer. 

 
The Meadows is just one of many headline-making developments at Pennswood. The Community Building, for example, recently underwent a transformation to make it more open, contemporary, and comprehensive; it now includes four dining options led by an expertly trained culinary team devoted to satisfying residents’ appetites, as well as an updated library, an auditorium, and a convenience store/gift shop.     
 
Pennswood offers dining options to suit every taste and lifestyle. Seasons is a new fast-casual concept that includes an open-hearth pizza oven and food stations, as well as an intimate fireplace room where residents can share meals and conversation. The concept enables residents to pay for fresh, made-to-order meals using a community app on their handheld devices. 
 
The community’s newest restaurant, called 1382, offers fine dining in an elegant atmosphere, where the Bings “look forward to enjoying many meals in the years to come.”  
 
While residents appreciate the completeness of the offerings at Pennswood, the greatest consideration for anyone mulling a move to a CCRC is often the peace of mind that comes from having their health cared for when and if needed. Pennswood maintains a staff of board-certified geriatricians, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses to address residents’ illnesses, injuries, and other medical needs. Residents benefit from having the continuum of care—personal care, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, home health care, and social work—right on campus. 
 
The McClellans, who do not have children of their own, appreciate the comfort of knowing they will be cared for if their health ever changes. Jackie’s memory of a serious injury resulting from a fall in their former Hoboken home remains fresh in her mind. She likes the idea of having the safety net of comprehensive health care just a few steps away. As Jim puts it, Pennswood offers “a really positive solution to the [healthcare] problems we wanted to avoid.” 
 
“Overall, we have let go of concerns and worries about aging, a future illness, and the care that will be given to us,” says Inez Bing.  Norm Bing adds, “We have also let go of concerns about maintaining a house or property, cooking, cleaning, etc. Here we can be involved in groups or activities, attend concerts, forums, etc., without having to drive anywhere.
 
“And yet, as independent residents, we are free to come and go as we please, take vacations, have overnight guests, etc.,” he continues. “It is such a great place to live because the staff are so friendly, helpful, kind. They make living here enjoyable.”
 
As Pennswood continues to grow and evolve, its residents look forward to growing and evolving right along with it: making new friends, pursuing new interests, leading active and inspired lives with the comfort of knowing their health and safety are in more than capable hands.
 
Pennswood Village
1382 Newtown-Langhorne Road
Newtown, PA 18940
(866) 536-4707
www.pennswood.org
 
Photo by Alison Dunlap
 
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life, December 2022.