Time to Kick Back – Living in Personal Care Home

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a resident of a personal care home in pennsylvaniaFor many, retirement is an opportunity to utilize time once spent on a longtime career for leisurely activities or new interests. This is not the case for Bud Oplinger. Having just retired at the age of 90 last year, he is now enjoying a maintenance-free and relaxed lifestyle at Dock Meadows, a Living Branches community that offers personal care in Hatfield, Pa.

Born and raised in Berwick, Pa., Bud married his longtime neighbor and friend, Betty, in 1941. He spent several years working for the American Car and Foundry Company (ACF), where he helped manufacture railroad cars. He then proceeded to become a traffic manager with Link Belt. “I built conveyers and basically took care of everything that came in and out of the place,” he said.

As the time came for his peers to start retiring, Bud decided he was taking a different path in life. Despite years of hard work, he did not want to give up his daily routine and instead chose to continue part-time employment with Deltronic Labs. “We made ticket dispensers, such as those used in theaters,” he said. “I inspected them and ensured they were working.”

For Bud, his job not only gave him a reason to jumpstart his day, but he formed strong friendships with a group of coworkers who were also in their 80s and 90s. “I enjoyed the environment and the people that were in the same line as me,” he said. “I still talk to them on the phone once in a while.”

When Bud stopped working, he quickly decided it was time for another change. Already living alone since his wife’s passing in 2000, Bud’s retirement left him desiring more activity and interaction. As a result, he sought the help of his son to find a senior living option that could meet his needs.

After looking at multiple communities, both men decided Dock Meadows was the best choice. As part of the nonprofit Living Branches, which provides a range of housing, support services and life-enriching activities, the community would offer Bud a convenient lifestyle with three daily meals, housekeeping services and medication assistance. Most importantly, he would have access to higher levels of care at any of the other Living Branches campuses, including the continuing care retirement communities Souderton Mennonite Homes and Dock Woods.

Although it has been less than a year since Bud made the move, he could not be more pleased. “It’s been really good here and my son is very satisfied with the decision,” said Bud. “I like the food and other amenities and the nurses are always available.”

Knowing that his health needs will be taken care of, Bud has enjoyed engaging in various activities and getting to know his fellow residents. The smaller environment at Dock Meadows, which consists of approximately 70 residents, allows individuals to appreciate a close-knit family atmosphere.

And while Bud has formed a new family, he takes advantage of being able to spend time with his loved ones outside of the community. “My son has a house in Cape May Point that we go to,” he said. “That is something I enjoyed doing in my younger years.”

With the strong work ethic Bud has displayed over the years, he is happy to have found a home that demonstrates this same dedication to its residents. Thanks to the care and support he has found at Dock Meadows, he can finally kick back and relax.

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