Best Wishes
No matter how someone plans to retire, first-class retirement communities and other local resources help retirees realize their vision.
by Bill Donahue

There’s no “one way” to retire. Everyone has a different vision for their retirement.

Some people do not intend to ever fully retire, too enthralled with the rhythm, purpose, and other benefits that come from a fulfilling career. Others might want to move nearer to the beach or the mountains, and simply enjoy the serenity their new surroundings provide. Perhaps retirement includes a packed schedule, including new hobbies, trips abroad, and frequent visits from the grandkids. Others might want to retreat to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) to meet new people, pursue new activities, and live with the assurance that, no matter what happens in the years ahead, they will be well cared for.
The Philadelphia area has an abundance of first-class CCRCs, each devoted to helping their residents make the most of their retirement. While residents treasure the many opportunities to enrich their lives through first-class wellness facilities, fine dining, and opportunities to reinvent themselves, many are drawn to certain communities for the assurance of lifelong care. These communities have evolved to accommodate virtually every healthcare need, from independent living and personal care, to medical care, memory care, and more.
Following is a guide to the some of the area’s finest CCRCs and allied care communities. We acknowledge that the Philadelphia has many exceptional communities and facilities devoted to caring for people of retirement age, not all of which are listed here.
Best of Retirement, Class of 2023
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
Freedom Village at Brandywine
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
A Sense of Purpose
Diane Brueilly may have reached “retirement age,” but she does not intend to stop working anytime soon. She has too many people to help, too many lives to touch.

Brueilly, age 68, is a caregiver with Griswold Home Care, an organization founded by Jean Griswold in suburban Philadelphia more than 40 years ago. Brueilly has been caring for others since she was a teenager, when she tended to her ailing grandmother in Pennsylvania’s Tioga County. Later, she moved to Glenside and cared for an aunt who had multiple sclerosis.
“Originally, I lived on a farm and [my grandmother] lived in town,” Brueilly recalls. “She taught me how to clean a house, about home cooking—those kinds of things. She taught me a lot about life.
“On the farm, I had a lot of love and compassion for animals,” she continues. “Not to compare animals with people, but I think that experience helped me when I started coming into people’s homes and caring for them. I’m there to help them feel better. If they’re in hospice, I can offer care and comfort, both to the person and their family.”
With Griswold, Brueilly cares for individuals in need of everything from daily activities to hospice care. One individual required care for nine months, while others have required care for as little as one week. Live-in care requires tremendous sacrifices of time and energy, as most individuals require around-the-clock attention.
“The work involves body, soul, and mind,” she adds. “It’s a matter of building trust and demonstrating that I’m there for care. For me, this work has changed my opinion of aging for the better. It has given me a sense of purpose.
“In the past few years I have been brought in to do hospice care,” she continues. “It is difficult, and I hate it; it’s painful for me as well as the person. They often know the end is coming, and they need a sense of steadiness. That’s my purpose.”
Terri Rosen, the owner and director of Griswold Home Care in Center City, says caregivers like Brueilly provide care and support to people of all backgrounds, means, and ages. She describes Brueilly as hardworking, honorable, and reliable.
“Caregiving is a calling, not a job,” Rosen says. “She wants to give back. That’s what sets Diane apart.”
Brueilly recently won a National Caregiver Scholarship from the Jean Griswold Foundation, awarded to caregivers across the country for their courage, compassion, and perseverance. She intends to use the $2,000 award to continue her education in intercultural studies.
“We are an intercultural society now,” she says. “I’ve learned quite a bit with each class I’ve taken. I feel I’ve been able to pinpoint a lot of things relating to people with cultural differences to make a trusting and positive relationship.”
When asked about the future, including her own retirement, Brueilly focuses not on herself but on the people she can help.
“This work has been an investment of my life,” she says. “Hopefully it will make a difference.”
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, June 2023.