Free Spirits
Older adults pursue lives of interaction, enrichment, and independence by relocating to area retirement communities.
by Bill Donahue

Jimmy Coburn and his wife, Noreen, recently moved into a 55-and-over community in Montgomery County. He’s barely 56, but she still has a few years to go before she hits double fives.

“We love it here,” he says. “The lights go out at 9 p.m., and I can sit on the porch and smoke my cigar in peace.”
The Coburns never imagined moving into a 55-and-over at such a young age—most of their neighbors are in the 70s, if not older—but the challenging housing market made for a dearth of relocation opportunities when they tried to move home after a few years of living in the South. They don’t expect to live in their current community “forever”; in fact they have already begun talking about another change of address.
“I’m in my early 50s and I’m happy to say I’m healthy,” Noreen says, “but I’m surprised at how quickly I got here. We’ve already started taking a look at some of the retirement communities in the area. Just seeing what my parents went through, those are conversations we need to be having sooner rather than later.”
Her parents had health scares that have since been resolved, more or less. Even so, both have since relocated from their family home in Abington to a continuing-care retirement community (CCRC) within a 20-minute drive of her front door.
The Coburns will likely stay in Montgomery County, but neighboring Bucks, Chester, and Delaware counties, as well as Philadelphia, have an abundance of reputable CCRCs. These communities offer lavish amenities, facilities to cultivate a high quality of life, and plenty of opportunities to make new friends. In addition, these communities offer the continuum of healthcare services, meaning each resident can sleep well at night knowing they are in capable hands no matter where life takes them.
“If I never have to shovel snow again,” Jimmy Coburn says, “that’s good enough for me.”
Independence Days
Older adults have an abundance of options in terms of where to call home. As the Coburns have found, folks of a certain age may have more options than their younger counterparts. Following are some of the area’s finest CCRCs and other communities known for helping residents maintain a life of interaction, enrichment, and independence. We acknowledge that there are many exceptional CCRCs and life-plan communities in the Philadelphia, not all of which are included here.
Acts Retirement Life Communities
Brittany Pointe Estates in Lansdale, Fort Washington Estates, Granite Farm Estates and Lima Estates in Media, Gwynedd Estates in Ambler, Normandy Farms Estates in Blue Bell, Southampton Estates, and Spring House Estates in Lower Gwynedd
Arbour Square of Harleysville
Artis Senior Living
Huntingdon Valley, Yardley, and Princeton, New Jersey
Atria Senior Living
Atria Center City in Philadelphia and Atria Lafayette Hill
The Attleboro Community
Brandywine Senior Living
Dresher Estates, Haverford Estates, Longwood in Kennett Square, Senior Suites in East Norriton, and Upper Providence in Phoenixville
Chandler Hall
Cornwall Manor
Cornwall (Lebanon County)
Dunwoody Village
Newtown Square
Elm Terrace Gardens
Five Star Senior Living
The Devon Senior Living, NewSeasons at New Britain in Chalfont, and Forwood Manor in Wilmington, Delaware
Friends Home & Village
Garden Spot Village
New Holland
HarborChase of Wilmington
Wilmington, Delaware
HarborChase of Princeton
Princeton, New Jersey
The Hearth at Drexel
Bala Cynwyd
Warminster and Yardley
Hershey’s Mill Villages & Golf Club
West Chester
The Hickman
West Chester
The Mansion at Rosemont, Rydal Park and Rydal Waters in Jenkintown, and Spring Mill Pointe in Lafayette Hill
Glen Mills Senior Living, Exton Senior Living, Magnolias of Lancaster
Kendal-Crosslands Communities
Kennett Square
The Landing of Collegeville
The Manor at York Town
Maplewood at Princeton
Plainsboro, New Jersey
Masonic Villages
Lafayette Hill and Warminster
Meadowood Senior Living
Merrill Gardens
Arbour Square in West Chester, Eagleview Landing in Exton, Mercer Hill at Doylestown, Merrill Gardens at Glen Mills, The Pinnacle in Plymouth Meeting, Truewood by Merrill in Glen Riddle
Oxford Enhanced Senior Living
Pennswood Village
Pickering Manor
Pine Run Retirement Community
Pleasant View Communities
Priority Life Care
Symphony Manor of Feasterville and Independence Court of Quakertown
Riddle Village Retirement Community
The 501 at Mattison Estate in Ambler, Chestnut Ridge and Plush Mills in Wallingford, Daylesford Crossing in Paoli, Echo Lake in Malvern, and Ovation at Riverwalk in Princeton, New Jersey
The Solana Doylestown
Springton Lake Village
Sunrise of North Wales
North Wales
Symphony Square
Bala Cynwyd
The Watermark at Bellingham
West Chester
Waverly Heights
White Horse Village
Newtown Square
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life, December 2022.