Adventures Await
Now more than ever, older adults defy the outdated notion of “acting your age.”
by Bill Donahue

In my junior year of high school, my closest friends were already in college or making money in the working world. Today, my closest friend is in his 60s. Another gentlemen, a globe-trotting businessman I interviewed for a story almost 20 years ago, is now in his late 60s and remains a confidant and source of inspiration.

I also belong to a peer group of fellow fiction writers, many of whom are in their 70s and 80s; one of them, a baritone-voiced fellow named Don Swaim, is one of the most skilled storytellers I have ever had the chance to know. He continues to pen incredibly compelling prose, and secure contracts with reputable publishers eager to reproduce his work.
He’s not the only “senior” in the group to have experienced success. Although I am unsure of their precise age and would never dare to ask, two other group members “of a certain age” have either recently published or will soon publish their debut novels. A third has been nothing short of prolific; he inked a multi-book deal to publish one series and recently took sole ownership of another high-profile series featuring a beloved character created by another author.
In other words, my time on this earth has been enriched by friendships with men and women my senior. They have taught me that getting older does not necessarily mean getting old. Sure, many of them have contended with challenges pertaining to health, mobility, and finances, but none of them have let those challenges stop them from achieving the goals they set out to achieve.
This includes adventures of the physical kind. My wife and I do our share of hiking and backpacking, and we often see couples or solo thru-hikers on the trail who are in their 60s, 70s, and maybe older. When we do, she and I inevitably turn to each other and proclaim, “Let’s make sure we’re able to do the same at that age.” Such interactions have influenced our lives in terms of diet, lifestyle, and mindset.
Earlier I mentioned my closest friend, John, who is 11 or 12 years older than I am. Last year we completed one of the most challenging hikes in all of New England. Although he had not done much hiking prior to the excursion, at least not of that level of difficulty, he pushed himself up every incline, climbed over every boulder, and clawed and scrambled his way to the summit. He admitted how strenuous the hike had been, but he also said he loved it. In fact, we’re in the process of scheduling a return trip to old haunts up north, either for this year or next.
What I have learned: No matter one’s age, there are always new mountains to climb.  
The Next Chapter
With 19.1 percent of its population age 65 or older, Pennsylvania has the ninth oldest population in the nation, according to the Population Reference Bureau. Naturally, the Keystone State has an abundance of continuing care retirement communities designed to help residents make the most of life’s final chapters. The Philadelphia area in particular has many exceptional CCRCs and likeminded facilities, each devoted to delivering excellent care for residents in independent living, personal care, and memory care. Many of them are listed below, though we acknowledge that this is not a complete accounting of all the area’s many exceptional communities.
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, 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, Plush Mills in Wallingford, Daylesford Crossing in Paoli, and Echo Lake in Malvern
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, August 2023.