This past month, Pennswood residents Ruth and Charley Peterson happily celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary. While they didn’t want to host a big celebration, they decided they would mark the special occasion with a formal dinner in the Pennswood Village dining room. But, as they found out, it takes a village to get ready for a 74th wedding anniversary celebration!
As Ruth and Charley began to assemble their best formal attire for the occasion, they soon ran into a few problems. Charley’s tuxedo trousers that he had worn in the past no longer correctly fit him so he was left with only a shirt and jacket.
“We thought to ourselves ‘Who would have a pair of tuxedo trousers that would fit him?’,” said Ruth.
Take a moment to reflect on the rooms you use in your house every day. You probably start each day waking in your bedroom, moving to the bathroom to get ready and then into the kitchen for breakfast. Maybe you spend some time in your living room watching a bit of TV or reading the paper before venturing out into your community for events, activities and errands.
Now also take a moment to reflect on the number of daily chores and regular maintenance you must do, like vacuuming and dusting, yard work, cooking, cleaning and laundry. Would you say that these chores and responsibilities only apply to the spaces you’re using in your house? What if someone was available to take care of these excess responsibilities for you instead?
Imagine if you no longer had to take care of these duties yourself, and only cared for the spaces you use on a daily basis, like your bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living area. Imagine that you also had services to help you take care of these spaces, with just one phone call? How much time would that leave you with to do the things you truly want to do?
“Whatever you want, that’s what it will be,” says Donna Bauman, Pennswood Village resident, about life at this Newtown, PA Continuing Care Retirement Community.
Donna moved from a three-bedroom house in Arizona to Bucks County, Pennsylvania in early 2017 to be closer to her children and their families. Initially, she and her children considered sharing a home, but Donna insisted that she find her own apartment home at a nearby retirement community instead.
Her son found three different communities to visit, each located within an hour of where he and Donna’s other children live in New Jersey. But, for Donna, the decision to move to Pennswood Village was an easy one. “By far, Pennswood was the most spectacular place I could ever want to be.”
Be Our Guest
Donna immediately knew that she wanted to make Pennswood Village her home after staying two nights in a guest suite through the “Be Our Guest” program. The program allows prospective residents to get the full experience of life at Pennswood Village by staying in a guest apartment, spending time with other residents, and enjoying all the services and amenities the community has to offer.
“I knew I was home as soon as I walked into that apartment. In fact, the guest suite I stayed in is my home now!” says Donna.
By Pennswood Village resident, Lorraine Pasadino
For members of our community who may not yet know me, but do recognize my little dog Casey (a white and caramel colored male Havanese) as we take our Pennswood Village daily walks, my name is Lorraine Pasadino. My heart’s desire is to share my experiences and learnings about hospice care before Pennswood Village ever existed in my mind’s eye, and after joining this community. Also, I’d like you to know that I am a hospice volunteer and, if requested by the resident, Casey and I do visit as a team.
Pennswood Village residents Nancy and Henry Arnold were planning a trip to Paris last year. As former life-long New Yorkers, they thrive in an urban setting and were looking forward to seeing as much of the City of Lights as possible – on foot, like good urban dwellers. Nancy was challenged by growing health concerns that her trip to Paris would change from long strolls by the Seine and hours in museums to being unable to participate in these activities. Coffee sitting in cafes is only enjoyable up to a point. The neuropathy in her feet was getting worse and she had recently begun using a walker to help with stability and balance. Her back had begun to curve from all of the looking down that she needed to do to maintain her balance.
After talking about the challenges of bringing a walker to Paris, Henry suggested she try Nordic Poles, something they had seen all ages using throughout a lifetime of travel in Europe. Nancy got her first set of poles in June and “immediately I felt a change in my body,” she says.
By Lorraine Pasadino, Pennswood resident
It has been said that all wisdom is plagiarized; only stupidity is original. It has also been said that there are two learning paths to wisdom – great love and great suffering. Given that I’ve experienced blisters on my feet and holes in the soles of my shoes from traveling both paths, I will try to avoid too much originality in sharing my perspective.
That said, both wisdom paths teach that labeling can be, and very often is, disabling. Generalized categories like “the greatest generation,” “boomers,” and “millennials” create sweeping, oversimplified characterizations of human beings in this country who are pigeonholed into static classification by sociologists, politicians, economists, and marketers.
Despite the fact that the year I was born has labeled me as a member of the “Me Generation” and hence, they claim they know what attracts or motivates me in my decision-making, I’d like to share what actually did attract and motivate me to move to Pennswood Village.
With over 100 GB of data travelling over our campus-wide WiFi system every day, and up to 300 devices logged-on daily, residents at Pennswood Village take their technology seriously. They are ever eager to learn how to use their technology better, and how to incorporate new technology into their daily lives.
Ten years ago, two residents, Jo Gross and Barbara Sellers, came together to begin a help group for learning about technology. As a result, Pennswood Village’s resident-run Tech Center was created!
This Above All, to Thine Own Self Be True! One Resident’s Passion Becomes A Much-Loved Regular Event
At Pennswood Village, many residents gather every other Tuesday for a thought provoking Shakespeare session led by Pennswood resident John Silver. When John came to Pennswood about 3 years ago, he knew there wasn’t a Shakespeare organization, so he decided to start one, along with two other residents, Elizabeth Huberman and Claire Ludlow. Because John was not quite a resident when the sessions began, Elizabeth and Claire’s contribution was essential. The first session, held in January of 2012 brought in about 12 residents, and since then, the sessions have grown to accommodate anywhere from 35 to 50 residents.
Each week prior to the session, John places an announcement in the Pennswood Bulletin so residents know which play to brush up on. Read the full article »
By Anne Baber, Pennswood Village Flower Committee vice chair
A huge and exuberant arrangement of fresh flowers greets you when you enter the Community Building. No dusty silk flowers for us! Fresh flowers are a Pennswood hallmark.
Wander though the building and you’ll see 13 more arrangements that bring color and life and warmth to our common areas. Some 20 residents – all members of the Flower Committee – create and care for these beautiful arrangements every week.
Conversations can change lives. Even ones that start simply: “And how are you doing?” Back in 1994, a similar polite conversation with a patient who mentioned his project of sending used bicycles overseas inspired New Jersey ophthalmologist George Kurz to learn more about collecting surplus bikes to be made available to people who need them.
“In the developing world, somebody might have to walk long distances to get to work and now (with donated bikes) they can get there in a much shorter period of time. And the bikes play an important role in kids getting to school, or people accessing health services,” George explains. The bicycles are sold at a modest cost and used primarily by working poor who don’t have ready access to affordable transportation. The bikes provide an alternative to traveling in open trucks, which can be dangerous and unreliable. Bikes for the World, based in the Washington, DC area, sends shipments of more than 450 bikes at a time to partner groups in the Caribbean, Africa, Central America and the Philippines. Read the full article »