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Community Feature

Moving to Senior Living: Getting My Home Ready for Sale

Selling your home is a big deal at any stage of life. When it’s a home full of memories (and accumulated belongings) it can feel even more overwhelming. For many older adults, their house is their biggest asset and the proceeds can be used to move to a senior living community. So how can you make selling your house more profitable and less stressful? Here are our top tips:

Refresh Your Living Space

A cluttered home can be off-putting for potential buyers and can make rooms look smaller, a big disappointment for growing families or those looking to invest in a starter home. Luckily, there is a wealth of resources to help remove the burden of clearing out the clutter on your own.

If the thought of organizing a lifetime of memories feels a bit overwhelming, hiring a Move Manager may be a solution to make the process of moving to a new senior living community as seamless as possible. Senior Move Managers will coordinate the entire affair, from decluttering to sending off donations, and once you’re ready to move into your apartment, they’ll handle that process as well. Once they’re done removing the clutter and unwanted furniture, your house is sure to look much more spacious, making it significantly more saleable. 

You could also save some cash by calling the Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity. These charity organizations will pick up your heavy, unwanted furniture at no cost to you and donate it to a family in need. Be sure to get your receipt in case your donation can be tax deductible.

Keep It Clean

A sparkling interior shows your house has been well cared for, so call in the professionals to scrub the bathrooms and kitchens, wash the windows, clean your carpets, and sweep away any cobwebs. Be aware that potential buyers may want to look inside the oven and open up your cupboards as well.

Think About Lighting

A brightly lit interior makes your home feel warm and inviting. Before every viewing, open up blinds and drapes to let the sunlight in. If there’s an area of the house that doesn’t get much natural light, use floor lights and lamps to brighten it up or switch to more powerful bulbs.

Curb Appeal Counts

How your house looks from the outside will influence the number of viewings and determines how buyers feel as they step through the front door. Hire a landscaper or a friendly neighbor to remove debris, prune bushes, and mow the lawn to make the house look more attractive. Consider buying a new front door mat and planting some colorful annuals to create a positive first impression.

Pack Away Personal Items

Homebuyers like to see a blank canvas so they can imagine themselves moving in. Go ahead and pack away personal possessions, such as photographs and ornaments, as you stage your home for showings. Not only does this minimize decor but it can start the process of detachment. Without your belongings, the house starts to feel less like your home and more like a ‘product’ for sale.

Moving to Senior Living at Pennswood Village

Like many people, you probably have a deep emotional connection to your home and some wonderful memories to cherish. Visiting your new apartment will help you feel excited about the future. Get in touch with us to arrange a viewing and find out more about independent living at Pennswood Village.

Keeping the Pennswood Community Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Keeping our residents and staff safe is always a top priority here at Pennswood Village. COVID-19 presents a huge challenge for independent living communities, and we’re proud of how our community has stepped up to deal with the crisis.

One of the benefits of living in a continuing care retirement community like Pennswood is that rigorous health and safety standards are already in place. While we primarily offer services for independent living residents, we also have a skilled nursing staff available 24/7 so that we can be both proactive and responsive. Thanks to heightened precautionary measures, we’ve had no cases of COVID-19 among our independent living residents, and we’re working urgently to keep it this way. Here are some of the protocols we’ve put in place to ensure everyone’s safety.

Restrictions on Visitors

Before the government issued the “Stay at Home” order, we took steps to secure our campus and implemented a safe environment. Woolman House, our skilled nursing area, was built to contain a virus of this nature and keep it from spreading into our community. This allowed us to keep our most at-risk residents safe while ensuring peace of mind for our independent living residents.

As our community begins to open up in the coming weeks, we’ll be following the Red, Yellow, and Green phases recommended by the PA Governor’s Office. We will constantly monitor and assess the situation as we move forward.

Sue Espenshade, Pennswood Village Independent Living Resident, was one of many resident "Maskateers" who volunteered to sew masks for staff and residents.

Protective Equipment

All staff and residents are required to wear masks in public spaces, which is made easy thanks to our many “Maskateers.” Community members skilled in sewing put their expertise to good use by crafting protective masks. As a community, we’ve issued guidelines for how and when the masks are to be used, including how they should be stored, washed, or disposed of. Protective measures such as hand washing and maintaining a distance of at least six feet are also meticulously applied.

Medical Care

With our own on-site physicians, we were able to continue to provide excellent care to our residents. As another option we offered Telehealth services. Some of our residents do need care, which requires physical contact. Our procedures ensure that any necessary contact is carried out on a professional level following best practices.

Socially Distanced Services

Grocery shopping is made easy with our farmer’s market stand on campus, where residents shop for local produce and other goods. To help our residents, our team has also been offering complimentary shopping services with pickups from the grocery store, pharmacy, and nursery. We’ve been able to deliver meals directly to residents’ homes, as well as collecting mail and helping with bank deposits and other financial needs.

Pennswood Village residents participating in outdoor exercise during COVID-19 social distancing and safety protocol.

Community Spaces

Our public spaces are an important part of our senior living community. With the cooperation of staff and residents, wearing masks and social distancing we have been able to keep them open. While we are closed to the public, our residents still enjoy opportunities to walk our beautiful grounds, take a dip in the pool, and get their regular workouts in with our exercise programs like Tai Chi, Zumba, and yoga. For those staying indoors, Pennswood is broadcasting everything from exercise classes and movies to community “fireside chats” directly to the homes of our residents so they can stay informed and connected. Zoom meetings have been an integral part of keeping resident groups connected, allowing them to play games and hold socially distanced book club meetings.


To ensure our community works together to combat COVID-19, we believe good communication is vital. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve kept our staff and residents well informed with regular newsletters and updates. The CEO meets weekly by Zoom with the resident association leadership. The shared collaboration allowed us to make Pennswood a safe place for our staff to work and our residents to live without fear. Although the future remains uncertain, we believe every individual has an important role to play in adhering to the guidelines. We thank everyone for their cooperation and commitment to making Pennswood Village a safe, caring, and supportive environment in which to live and work.

Life at Pennswood Village

To find out more about independent living at Pennswood Village, contact us to arrange a guided virtual tour, where a counselor will be on hand to answer any questions.

The Pennswood Village Cognitive Well-Being Team: Combating Fear with Education

Pennswood Village residents are known for their caring, welcoming and inclusive culture. Recently, residents became more interested in learning more about how to support those dealing with a dementia-based diagnosis. Although all new residents move to an independent living apartment when they first come to Pennswood Village, most already know of someone who is dealing with dementia.  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.8 million American are currently living with dementia and that number is expected to rise to 14 million by 2050. As a proactive senior living community, Pennswood Village’s leadership has supported the foundation of the Cognitive Well-Being Team, a group comprising of both staff and residents that focuses on cognitive health and support for those with cognitive difficulties.  Their efforts will better serve existing residents, as well as those who will become a part of our community and may face this diagnosis in the future.

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Pennswood Hosts “Inspired by the Garden” Gallery Show

Winter didn’t stop Pennswood residents from celebrating the color and life found in its gardens. Last month, the art show, “Inspired by the Garden,” opened in the Passmore Gallery, featuring beautiful art centered around a garden theme.

The show featured a range of colorful art curated by Pennswood residents, including paintings, photographs, collages, pottery, figurines and jewelry—all inspired by the garden. Among these curators were Flossie Fullerton, Jan Neitzel, Jane Crumlish, Daisy Grubbs, Lucy Hastings, and Lee Cavanaugh.

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The Benefits of Life Care: Federal Income Tax Deductions

Pennswood Village is a proud continuing care retirement community that offers residents a maintenance-free lifestyle and a full continuum of healthcare services, all covered under a Life Care contract. But, what is a Life Care contract?

A Life Care contract is an agreement between a resident and the community that covers most future healthcare expenses. It is the most comprehensive level of healthcare coverage available in a retirement community. With this contract, residents pay a one-time entry fee, as well as a monthly service fee, that covers everything from campus maintenance and dining to amenity upkeep, utilities and programing. The cost of a Life Care contract is largely dependent on both the floor plan and contract type you select.

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Pennswood Village Residents Give Back to Employees with Employee Scholarship Fund

Pennswood CEO Ben Hoyle making his remarks during the Employee Scholarship Luncheon.

As a Quaker Continuing Care Retirement Community, Pennswood Village often celebrates stewardship, generosity, and giving back. The Employee Scholarship Fund is just one example of this culture in practice.

Every year, Pennswood Village residents contribute donations to the Employee Scholarship Fund, a fund dedicated to investing in the education of current Pennswood employees.

“The scholarship means that I am supported by the community,” says Nicole Folston, scholarship recipient and fitness trainer at Pennswood. “The support and encouragement I have received from the residents and my peers has been the most valuable to me through my back to school process.”

Donating to this fund is a special way for residents to thank employees for their hard work and to invest in their futures. Currently, the Scholarship Fund has benefitted almost 100 employees, with over half a million dollars donated.

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Joining the Pennswood Village Community: An Interwoven Tapestry

Helen Greven, and her sister Lisa Taylor

Pennswood Village is a community that prides itself on celebrating diversity and inclusion, so when you move to Pennswood, you will no doubt be welcomed with open arms and open hearts.

The transition to community living is made easy by being paired with a current resident, also known as a sponsor. Matches are made on a personal level. Your sponsor will be there from the start, even before you move into the community, to help guide you through the process and show you the ins and outs of community life.

Pennswood resident Helen Greven shares her experience of moving to Pennswood, and what inspired her to get involved in making Pennswood a more welcoming place for new residents. Read her story below:

“My husband and I moved to Pennswood Village in 2005 in our early 70s. We knew no one already living here, but in the course of numerous visits had been impressed with the beautiful campus, friendly atmosphere and the many activities offered. We came earlier than originally planned because exactly the apartment we wanted became available. I realize now how farsighted the founders were to plan for centralized mailboxes surrounded by a cafe, bank, mailroom, library, art galleries, gift shop, auditorium, hallway of bulletin boards, with Resident Health offices, Personal Care and Skilled Nursing facilities just down the hall.

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FAQ: I Want to Reserve My Spot, What’s Next?

After searching for the right community, and planning for the next step in your life, you’ve finally decided to call Pennswood Village your home. So, what is your next step? The process of becoming a resident of Pennswood Village is made easier with the help of our friendly, experienced staff.

Each person moving to Pennswood is unique, and is often faced with circumstances, questions, and challenges that we are happy to talk about and suggest solutions. Our staff knows that moving can be fun and uplifting, but it can also sometimes be confusing, scary and unfamiliar. Our staff takes great pleasure in making your move as stress-free as possible by getting to know you and your expectations.

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A Night at the Movies!

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“Everything I learned, I learned from the movies,” iconic movie star, Audrey Hepburn once said.

Movies are a widely popular form of entertainment at Pennswood Village, and the Film Committee strongly believes in Hepburn’s sentiment. Movies are a wonderful way to impart meaning to the mundane, evoke emotion, and teach us valuable lessons, as well as to simply provide entertainment. This belief in the importance of film and celebrating different types of cinema forms the backbone of what the Pennswood Village Film Committee aims to achieve with every film they project.

Every week, three times a week, you will find a movie playing in Penn Hall. Fridays are typically family film nights, Saturday nights are for more mature, complex films, and Monday nights feature a more diverse showing of special interest films ranging from black and white classics, to musicals and cutting-edge documentaries.

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A Day in the Life of the Dining Services Utility Department

IMG_2925Blue, black, burgundy or purple polo shirts … These are the uniform colors of the Utility Staff of Dining Services that residents see all day and evening, walking the halls in Woolman, Barclay or the Village.

The Utility Staff is comprised of many bright young minds who strive to provide great service to all the residents, guests and their fellow co-workers. They are responsible for numerous and essential tasks throughout the Dining Services Department on a daily basis.

IMG_2908When residents hear “utility,” they think of dirty dishes! Each day the Utility Staff collect, wash, sanitize and store approximately 4300 pieces of silverware, over 5000 pieces of china and nearly 2000 pieces of assorted glassware. Our resilient pot washers hand scrub, rinse and sanitize between 1000 and 1200 pots, pans, sheet trays, and utensils daily to support the culinary team and department.

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