Are 55+ Communities in Bucks County, PA, the Right Choice for Me?
Picture the board game, The Game of Life, where players travel in tiny plastic cars along life’s road of many milestones. Like the board game, you have various options to consider when plotting your course for retirement. For husband and wife, George and Anaruth Hynson, and for Sara Pollock, their first stop in retirement was a 55+ community.
George and Anaruth moved to a 55+ community soon after George retired at age 70. The couple owned two large homes and knew it was time to downsize. Although they saw the 55+ community as a stepping stone toward downsizing and simplifying their way of life, they simultaneously placed their name on Pennswood Village’s waitlist.
Because of its location and reputation, the Hynsons knew they eventually wanted to live at Pennswood. They also wanted to make sure they secured a spot with time to spare. “We saw what happened to my mom,” Anaruth explained. “She waited too long and couldn’t get into Pennswood. We wanted to prevent that.”
Like George and Anaruth, Sara moved to one of the 55+ communities in Bucks County. After losing her husband in her early 60s, Sara wanted to remain in Bucks County and she liked the idea of living in a smaller, single-story home. But Sara also had Pennswood on her mind: “I had some health issues and I thought about this [Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC] for some time.”
A weight off your shoulders
The Hynsons and Sara realized early in retirement that they didn’t want to lean on their kids for help. “We wanted to take away concerns about how to care for mom and dad,” Anaruth explained.
While they enjoyed their large home in the 55+ community, they knew it didn’t have on-site healthcare—a feature they wanted as the years ensued. The couple also frequently traveled to Florida, and they didn’t like leaving a vacant home or trying to maintain a home inside and out.
“In a 55+ community it’s more like owning your own home,” George said. “There’s no one to check on your home or make sure a pipe hasn’t burst,” Anaruth added. They view Pennswood as “hands off” and truly appreciate maintenance-free living.
For Sara, she enjoyed living in a 55+ community for 17 years, but as time went by, she knew she wanted peace of mind for the future. “I had heard that CCRCs are the best present you can give your children,” Sara said. “That statement really hit home. I didn’t want my kids to be in a position of, ‘what to do with mom?’”
A sense of belonging
Although Sara, George and Anaruth were aware of Pennswood’s reputation for quality healthcare, they were also impressed by the overall sense of inclusiveness—a core Quaker value.
Nearly two years ago, Sara moved into Pennswood and soon received social invitations from people she didn’t know. “I never felt like I was intruding,” Sara commented. “Now I turn around and do the same for other newcomers.”
It’s no coincidence that Sara is a co-chair of the newcomers’ club and is now a member of the social justice committee. “I was always interested in topics like global warming and social inequality, but I was never in a community where the activity is so prevalent,” Sara said.
George and Anaruth also value Pennswood’s sense of community where people look after one another. They’re both volunteers for the resident-driven “co-pilot” program where residents act as “healthcare partners” for sick or injured residents who are admitted to the nearby hospital. Co-pilot volunteers stay with residents until a family member becomes available to assume and navigate the healthcare journey.
Anaruth is also a member of the landscape and house committees where she puts her keen eye for decorating and “all things aesthetics” to use. George is actively involved in Pennswood’s finance committee and the bridge group.
Unlike any other place
Sara, George and Anaruth all see Pennswood’s Quaker values as a unique identifier—unlike any of the 55+ communities in Bucks County. Here, they see diversity where all religions are accepted and also appreciate Pennswood’s interaction with a younger generation.
“What surprised me the most about moving to a 55+ community was not seeing kids,” said Sara. At Pennswood, all residents can interact with students from two nearby Quaker schools.
“The degree of caring and sharing with other people far surpassed what I had expected,” George summed up.
While some retirees see the 55+ communities in Bucks County as one path in retirement, CCRCs, like Pennswood, offer independent, active senior living and a continuum of care if you should ever need it. Experience Pennswood Village’s one-of-a-kind culture. Visit us online or call us at 215-504-1118 to request a tour.