Fountain of Youth
How local retirement communities enable seniors to enrich their lives and “stay young”
by Jocelyn Murray

In what seems like the blink of an eye, many people find themselves celebrating their 60th birthday when their 40th was seemingly just yesterday, wondering where all the time has gone. Fortunately, U.S. culture has made it increasingly possible for people to maintain their youth—both physically and mentally—while getting older.

As individuals search for this proverbial fountain of youth, the senior living facilities—as well as other service providers that cater to this group—available in the Philadelphia suburbs provide them the opportunity to keep their lives fresh and active in a variety of ways. And while some may stigmatize “senior living” as solely communities and facilities for those ailing with health issues, care is merely one of many features that communities offer residents.

With the aging baby-boom generation rapidly increasing the demand for these types of facilities, the firms that manage these communities are not only spending millions of dollars to construct additional spaces, but they are also investing money in upgrading preexisting spaces so they can offer residents the most luxurious living experiences, aiming to enhance their bodies, minds and souls. With the inclusion of fully equipped fitness centers and pools, billiard rooms, movie theaters, on-site restaurants and even opportunities to volunteer, take classes and go on vacations, retirement communities are making even more appealing the prospect of transitioning from the homes in which they raised their families to a communal living spaces. Many of them hope to impress upon their prospective and current residents that it is never too late to discover a new talent, travel to a new place and make new friends.

Now, with these rejuvenating activities and new capabilities, many Americans are able to lead longer and more fulfilling lives than ever before. However, this new chapter starts even before they settle in. It begins with downsizing or simply relocating from a home that has simply become unnecessary and too much upkeep. The maintenance and size alone can lead to a tiresome life for an individual or couple that no longer needs an expansive backyard, three bedrooms or multiple flights of stairs.

Fortunately, an array of options throughout the area allows Philadelphians to continue (or even start) doing the things they love, while being reassured with the ease of living in an assisted community. And, depending on one’s lifestyle and personal needs, there is an option for everyone.

For those who are simply looking to live among other people their age and lead an active lifestyle, many chose independent retirement living in a more resort-like atmosphere, while assisted living centers cater to those who need help with the routine of activities of daily living (getting dressed, taking medications, etc.) but still want to live independently. Most offer the capability for advanced around-the-clock care to suit short- and long-term needs. These may also include care centers to accommodate residents with Alzheimer’s or related forms of memory loss.

Throughout all the various facilities, however, there is the underlying ease of living that makes them so appealing to people as they age, not having to worry about tasks they might forget or not be physically capable of doing on their own or at all. Additionally, most centers offer progressive care that will cater to the changing needs and lifestyle of the patient.

Additionally, retirement communities are almost always are maintenance free. This means no more appliance repair, grass mowing, leaf raking or snow shoveling, allowing individuals to live without stress over tasks that may become too difficult or disagreeable.

With all of these amenities—activities and trips, health care, home care—today’s senior-living renaissance has led to an easing of the stress and worry that can build as Americans age. So instead of having to worry about getting to the doctor, making various appointments and keeping up with the home, seniors can spend their time doing the things they love with the ones they love. For many, this is one of the most appealing aspects of living in a senior community, not just for the ones living their but for the family and friends that care about them: knowing that they are being taken care of while still being able to enjoy life as independently as possible.

Some people, however, do not feel they ever need or want to join one of these communities, and that is all right too. There are plenty of other ways to stay young while aging, as long as one challenges their mind, keeps their body in shape and socializes. Getting involved with volunteering, picking up a part-time job and joining a book club are all ways to stay active and socialize.

Regardless of whether one decides to move into a retirement community, it’s critical to communicate one’s future plans and wishes with loved ones. All too frequently, adult children are faced with tough decisions to make for an aging parent who can no longer make the decision. Additionally, with the popularity and demand for such places on the rise there is the chance there might be a wait list for a particular community. By discussing these options early, the process typically goes much more smoothly.

Local retirement communities make it easy to get the conversation started so a senior can look forward to—or begin—the next chapter in an active, well-lived life.

Time to Shine
Getting older doesn’t mean having to get old. The following retirement communities and service providers enable seniors—and their families—to enjoy life to the fullest.

Chandler Hall
Encouraging residents to live creatively and meaningfully, Chandler Hall considers aging a developmental process, and offers potential for growth and personal satisfaction to residents.
99 Barclay Street, Newtown
215-860-4000 |

Dunwoody Village
With an emphasis on respect, dignity and quality of life, guests can enjoy comfortable accommodations, friendly service and an array of amenities, including indoor walkways throughout the facility.
3500 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square
610-359-4400/800-Dunwoody |

Exton Senior Living
Close to major medical facilities, restaurants and shopping, Exton Senior Living provides a home-like setting for seniors that need some assistance with daily life.
600 N. Pottstown Pike, Exton
610-594-0200 |

Freedom Village at Brandywine
In this scenic community for residents ages 55 and older, residents discover living options ranging from independent living to Alzheimer’s care and orthopedic rehabilitation.
15 Freedom Boulevard, Coatesville
610-383-5100 |

White Horse Village
Here residents are able to design their own retirement lifestyle through activities and in the varied size and design of homes available on this 96-acre countryside campus in Delaware County.
535 Gradyville Road, Newtown Square
610-558-5000 |

Bonner Age Management
Dr. Dennis J. Bonner’s age-management program helps patients “age youthfully,” based on a comprehensive evaluation. Patients using his program have reported enjoying more strength, greater vitality and other life-changing results.
St. Clare Medical Building, Suite 120
1203 Langhorne-Newtown Road, Langhorne
215-375-4200 |

Premier Personal Care
Focused on the family, Premier Personal Care specializes in supporting ailing and injured loved ones in the home environment for as long as possible through their compassionate and personalized in-home care.
333 North Oxford Valley Road, Fairless Hills
215-943-0201 |