As retirees embrace the next phase of life, many make the big decision to move to a senior living community. Some want to downsize from a big house, and shed the burden of yard work and home maintenance. Others move to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Many are looking for a community with a wealth of social opportunities to make new friends. And most want the safety and security that a Life Plan community offers, with a full menu of care services. Whatever the reason, Lions Gate is so proud to welcome new residents to our beautiful campus everyday, and we are excited to share some reflections from our newest residents here. While no two stories are ever the same, when read as a whole they reflect the happiness and contentment so many people have found living at Lions Gate. We hope you’ll take a moment to enjoy their anecdotes, as you learn more about this supportive community. Our door is always open to you…
“We worried every night about Mom living by herself.
We can relax now. She is in great hands here and she still feels like she’s home.”
“Unexpected health issues early on with my husband made the decision to come here so worth it. We were together. And the help and support here is priceless.”
We have led a charmed life, and living at Lions Gate makes us feel forever young!”
Roy & Etta Cills have traveled the world many times over. “No matter how many places we’ve visited, the happiness to be found in life is really in all the people you meet,” said Roy. “There are so many new ideas to learn about, new stories to hear, new friends to be made. We have never missed an opportunity to make new friends, no matter where we found ourselves in the world.”
“I knew I’d feel most comfortable living with people who shared my faith. They celebrate all the Jewish holidays here, and the High Holidays are especially nice.”
Dr. Rose Glassberg, Lions Gate resident since July 2020, knows the importance of keeping your mind active.
“My parents were Eastern European immigrants,” said Rose. “I was the youngest of four children, born one month before the Great Depression hit. To think that I would ever be able to attend college, let alone get my PhD, was something my parents couldn’t even conceive of. But I just loved to learn. I am always reading, and learning, and teaching others. When your mind is active, you never feel old.”
“I feel like I have had a very productive, interesting life,” Rena said. “I started singing professionally at age 13. I went to college and got my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work. I was a clinical social worker for 25 years at Jewish Family Services of Philadelphia, and I found it very gratifying to be able to help families and children in need. Over the years I have done volunteer work, and found ways to give back to a world that had given so much to me. I am grateful for all of it.”
Inek Einziger has lived a life of loss, but he prefers to remember it as a life filled with love. “To survive the Holocaust is to always carry with you the memories of those you lost,” said Inek. “But I also carry the memories of a life I built for myself here in America with my wife and daughters. I opened two stores. I owned my own home. I had many friends. My parents would be so proud to see how I made a full life for myself built on kindness. Kindness always comes back to you.”
“I went to UPenn February 1953 – January 1957,” said Len. “I married my beautiful wife, Nikki, in March 1957. I joined the Army Reserves in 1956, and served two tours of active duty (May – October 1957, September 1961- August 1962). My father and uncles owned the business A. Feldman & Sons, in Camden, where we sold toys and novelties. It was fun working there in between my two tours of duty. After I left the Army, my father closed his novelty toy business, so I got a job with what is now Glaxo Smith Kline in September 1962. The years went by in a blink.”
“I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in physics,” said Michele. “At the time, the telephone company was desperate to hire engineers because all the men were off fighting in the Korean War. The company pivoted, and hired women who had degrees in physics, mathematics, or chemistry. I absolutely loved my job, and eventually was named one of the “Prominent Women of Philadelphia. So many in my family have attended UPenn, and I can honestly say that my UPenn education has served me well my whole life. The longer I live, the more I want to learn!”
Bernie and Marcia Shapiro are both lifelong educators — she taught English, and he taught history. They know the benefits of research to fully understand a topic. “When we made the decision that we wanted to downsize, we didn’t just hop in the car and start touring senior living communities,” said Marcia. “We did our research first… “
Pearl Drelich played many roles throughout her life — wife, mother, and educator. She is proud of her contributions in every role she played, but one of the most meaningful roles she played in her lifetime was that of an enlisted member of the United States Naval Reserve (Women’s Reserve), better known as the WAVES (for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) during World War II.
At 94 years young, Millard Braunstein is like the Energizer bunny. A graduate of both Penn State and Temple Dental School, he practiced dentistry for 40 years before passing the practice on to his two daughters. “My wife, Renee, and I were married for 57 years. We have 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. I’m a regular at Temple Beth Sholom Shabbat services where I have been a member for 61 years.”
“I don’t always take years and years to make a decision,” laughed Sybil. “I first attended a luncheon introducing the Lions Gate community 15 years ago before they even had a groundbreaking. I thought everything they had planned sounded wonderful, so I always had it in the back of my mind that if my husband passed away I would move here when I was on my own. He died in June 2020, and I moved into Lions Gate on December 8, 2020. It was exactly where I needed to be at exactly the right time in my life.”
“To be happy, be grateful for what you have around you” said Elinor. “Look around Lions Gate. How can you not be happy with all of the services here? I have dinner cooked for me every night. I have housekeeping once a week. If I need anything, I just pick up the phone, and the concierge has someone at my door before we even hang up
“Why would I need a bucket list?” asks Lois. “I have everything I want here at Lions Gate. All of my furniture fit perfectly in my apartment, so it felt like home immediately. I wake up every morning, look out on my patio to this absolutely beautiful view of the big lawn and trees, and I say ‘Thank G-d I am here.’”
“We’d only been living at Lions Gate for a few months when the pandemic hit,” said Elliot. “We didn’t know what to expect, but Lions Gate handled it extremely well. Of course they follow all CDC orders to a T, but it’s all the little things they have done to keep our spirits up that have been so meaningful. They drop little surprises at our door all the time.”
Fred Rickey is a researcher. As an historian of mathematics by profession, Fred loves an immersive deep-dive kind of project. He always said that when he retired he planned to go to the library. But the pandemic made that impossible, so now he spends his days — and nights — reading and writing about mathematics. His big projects include the mathematics of Leonhard Euler, the surveying work of George Washington, the history of the mathematics department at West Point, and the history of logic in Poland between the two wars.
“Every morning I wake up to a bedroom full of sunshine,” smiled Ruth. “And at the end of the day, I enjoy a beautiful orange and purple sunset in my living room. My apartment at Lions Gate has the most warm and peaceful atmosphere. It reminds me every day what a great decision it was to move here as I embrace this next phase of my life.”
“Do you hear that?” asks Steve. “That’s the quiet bliss of suburbia. After living for 25 years in downtown San Francisco, you don’t realize how much your body and soul values a little peace and quiet. We can sit out on our back patio, watch the sun set, and enjoy this beautiful open space full of sunshine and blissful quiet. It’s life changing. I look around sometimes, and can’t believe we’re actually here.”
“I. Hate. To. Cook!” laughed Beverly. “I was getting tired of cooking for myself, so getting dinner served to me every day here at Lions Gate is a treat. And soon we’ll be eating together in the formal dining room again. If I’d known what a relief it would be to have someone else cook for me, I’d have moved here years ago.”