An Affordable Option: Assisted Living

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elder woman in assisted livingEach morning, Esther Bearl, age 75, expertly maneuvers her electric wheelchair down to Penn Home’s activity center. Here, she participates in the daily exercise program that she says is one of her favorite activities. Esther has been a Penn Home resident for eight years.

Bearl, who was born with cerebral palsy, lived with her parents before coming moving to the community. After her father died, Esther fondly recalls that, “Mom and I took care of one another.” Although she is independent, when her mom passed away in 1995, Esther needed to think about finding a place where someone could be there to lend assistance when she needed it. Her family helped with the search. “Penn Home was a miracle,” said sister-in-law Mrs. Loretta Bearl, who had visited many retirement communities looking for a place that could give Esther the care she needed, yet be affordable.

As soon as they walked through the front door, Esther knew immediately that Penn Home was the perfect place for her. “I was impressed by the kind and helpful staff. They made me feel welcome, and it was so pleasant and clean! I knew I could be happy here, and I could afford it!”

Esther settled into her new apartment on Sept. 11, 1995. According to Loretta, Esther is living a more active lifestyle than ever before. She participates in the many special events and programs offered at the Home. In particular, she is a regular visitor to the activity center. As well as exercise classes, Esther also enjoys the arts and crafts program. Though her condition slows her work a bit, she painstakingly assembles beaded jewelry, crafts, and other knick-knacks. She is very proud of her work and shares it with others by giving her projects as gifts.

Also active in the community, Esther was first introduced to St. Anne’s Senior Center through Penn Home. Twice a week she visits the Center to share companionship and fun with friends. She has also continued her long association with The Catholic League for Persons with Disabilities, which Esther attends once a month.

“I am happy at Penn Home,” said Ms. Bearl, “I have friends and people here who care about me, and I feel safe.” She affectionately shares her photo album she always carries with pictures of her family and friends at Penn Home. Being a resident at Penn Home “has been a godsend for Esther,” says Loretta. “We know Esther is receiving excellent care, and she is happy and content.”

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