This month, Meadowood turns 31 years old, however the inspiration for this unique community happened over 37 years ago. A community of neighbors, set on a large, sprawling campus enjoying each other’s company and thriving in a collegiate atmosphere. That was the vision that sparked the initial Board of Directors in 1982 where residents, board and management would come together to create and operate a dynamic community for older adults.
Bill and Sylvia Strasburg, the founders of Meadowood Senior Living, took great care when developing Meadowood. Bill wanted to create an atmosphere where seniors could experience “country living” and a collegiate atmosphere. Where retirement didn’t mean slowing down, it meant giving back and thriving. Sylvia’s experience volunteering for the local Meals on Wheels program sparked the passion to create Meadowood, as she saw many seniors become isolated in their own homes.
This mission and vision that the Strasburg’s envisioned lives on today. Meadowood’s sixteen member board of directors consists of professionals from a variety of backgrounds and industries as well as two resident members with full voting rights. In addition, there are several board-level committees that have board members, residents and staff making decisions and planning for Meadowood’s future. Some of these committees include: Finance, Marketing, Building and Health Services.
Living Wellness at Meadowood
Meadowood is known for it’s sprawling 131 acres, beautifully landscaped campus and over a mile of well-maintained wooded trails. A community set in the midst of natural beauty is the perfect backdrop for the Six Dimensions of Wellness, a philosophy that helps the community to stay true to the mission of “providing the highest level of care to all who experience Meadowood.” The six dimensions are: spiritual, social, occupational, emotional, environmental and physical.
Meadowood has been considered ahead of it’s time when it comes to wellness. The community continues to invest in the staff, fitness and wellness facilities, as well as the programming. The fitness and wellness team is comprised of credentialed and experienced professionals. There are seven employees, including two full-time Bachelors and/or Masters prepared, nationally certified personal trainers as well as certified aquatics staff. Rounding out the team of 11 are four contracted specialists who teach Yoga, Tai Chi, high-intensity land and water classes and line dancing. Why is this important? You want to know that if you are working with a fitness specialist, they are trained and can design a program that provides the maximum benefit for you.
Several years ago, Meadowood began the process of planning for a new cool-water lap pool to enhance the already cutting-edge programming and facilities on campus. The pool opened in September of 2017 and is now brimming with activity. On any given day there could be a few lap swimmers, water walkers, or a lively game of water volleyball. Not long after the pool opened, a new tradition started, the staff versus resident water volleyball games. As of this writing there have been four match ups with the staff winning the majority of games, however the residents have won quite a few games as well. They have even branded themselves, “The Aquasaurs!”
When designing the new spaces, Meadowood partnered with a well-respected landscape architect, Jack Carman of Landscape by Design. The Meadowood team, including our horticultural team, worked closely with Jack to create a space that could be enjoyed and used by the entire campus, including employees!
The Wellness Courtyard, just outside of the new pool, includes walkways, a stream, an outdoor kitchen, fire pit, wind sculptures and many areas to sit and enjoy the outdoors. In addition, the outdoor spaces include an area for aerobics, badminton, yoga and other group fitness classes. There is even an area for those participating in physical therapy to do some of their exercises outside. A gazebo with a gate and steps help those that are transitioning from an illness or injury prepare for the challenges of outdoor spaces.
Meadowood also features a 1,600 square foot strength training studio, an aerobics studio that is open and bright, overlooking the new courtyard, as well as a cardio room, existing warm-water lap pool and a newly renovated locker room feature seven private changing rooms complete with showers and bathrooms!
You can see why it is easy to get excited about the wellness program at Meadowood. The community continues to grow and look to the future to be sure residents are served in the best way that works for them. This way of living wellness at Meadowood perfectly aligns with the mission of providing the highest quality of life for all who experience the Meadowood community.
Thinking Beyond the Walls
When Sylvia Strasburg saw that some people remaining in their homes as they aged became isolated, she identified a major challenge for those that want to remain in their homes. Meadowood understands that the majority of people that can afford to move to a Life Plan Community choose to make the move. That number is only 10-15% (nationally) That leaves the majority of the population aging in their homes, often times without a plan to do so safely. This is why, after years of research and planning, Meadowood decided to launch Meadowood At Home. This all-inclusive program is designed to help active, independent seniors successfully age in the place they love the most, their home.
Meadowood At Home launched in May of 2018 and have accepted their first members. Meadowood’s At Home program is the 33rd across the country. Like many other of the programs, Meadowood At Home is utilizing a Life Plan Coordinator who assists members in future planning, assistance with navigating the complex healthcare landscape and providing valuable assistance in finding accredited vendors for home repairs and other needs.
When Meadowood opened in 1988, the trend for housingwas towards smaller spaces, such as one bedroom and one bedroom dens. Over the years, Meadowood has met the demand for larger spaces by adding 42 freestanding Carriage Homes, adding a smaller apartment building and combining smaller spaces to create larger residences.
In September of 2018, Meadowood broke ground on The Grove. A newer type of housing, The Grove will consist of 52 new residences, ranging in size from 1,400 to 1,800 square feet. These spacious residences will feature large, open floor plans with ground floor indoor parking. Each residence will be a “corner view” with large windows and balconies overlooking a beautifully landscaped courtyard or one of many tree-lined views.
These residences have been described as “part cottage, part apartment” – a true blend of the best parts of apartment and cottage style living. Indoor parking with additional storage only adds to the benefits of the newest residences! This offering will round out the variety of living options at Meadowood. From freestanding houses with two-car garages, one-story courtyard homes to apartments connected internally to the community center, there is truly a choice for everyone.
As Meadowood looks towards the future, the community is poised to adapt and grow to meet the changing desires and needs of the current and future population of seniors. Whether that means providing a vibrant, active community for residents to enjoy or delivering care and services to our Meadowood At Home members. Meadowood is truly the expert in senior services in Southeastern Pennsylvania.