A 30 Year Legacy for a Retirement Community Resident
As new residents of Pennswood Village in Newtown, Pa., David and Caroline Swain are not only celebrating this continuing care community’s 30th anniversary, but they plan to continue the legacy of David’s father, Henry Swain, who was the first resident to move into the community. With their impressive list of work experience and volunteer efforts that have continually centered on community improvement, it comes as no surprise that they would carry this same initiative with them in their retirement years.
David’s career jumpstarted when he began volunteering for VISTA, which led to the couple’s volunteer services in other parts of the U.S.
“My wife and I learned a lot about social action, community organization and doing something about poverty,” he said.
Eventually, the couple moved to Jacksonville where David continued his activist work in the local community and Caroline conducted educational programs. During the 40 years the Swains lived in Florida, David received degrees that also enabled him to fulfill his original goal of teaching in higher education.
With the Swains focusing all of their time and efforts doing what they were most passionate about, they never had any children, but they always had their future years in mind.
“Part of our planning was finding a place we could go in our retirement years; a place with social and cultural stimulation along with medical care and security,” said David.
After an extensive search, the couple chose Pennswood, which they had become very familiar with while David’s father was a resident. Knowing the community was full of creative and vibrant individuals, the Swains also learned first-hand its high quality of medical care and resident involvement.
“The efforts and enjoyments my father had here for 20 years were part of what attracted us to Pennswood,” he said. “We knew we could come to a community that had a lot going for it and contribute in our own active way through our volunteer work over the years.”
The Swains officially made their move in June, the same month Henry had 29 years earlier. And now, with the community celebrating its 30-year anniversary, David hopes to build on the Pennswood life of his father, whom he considers a pioneer having moved to the community from Chicago and contributing considerably to its development.
They know they can do just that with a staff that supports an active environment and is receptive to residents’ ideas. While pursuing their outside hobbies, the couple has been encouraged to share their travel experiences with others in the community. David also plans to join the Concert Committee and help bring in educational speakers as part of the Forum Committee. Caroline, on the other hand, has already been asked to become secretary of the Residents Association and sits on the Pennswood Village Resident Association Board of Directors. She has also become active in the Pennswood Intergenerational Program with Newtown Friends School, a program with which Henry was one of the first, and very beloved, residents involved.
With his father playing a major part in Pennswood’s past, it is clear that as a new generation, David, and Caroline, have their minds set on the even better years to come.
“We have a great future here undoubtedly because we’ll make it that way, that’s the beauty of this place,” said David. “We’re not looking at what has been, but looking to the future and thinking of how we can improve and continue the excellence.”