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– Vince Giordano

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January 10, 2024

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            [post_content] => This article is part of a series on Senior Living published on HappyValley Industry. The original article appears here. 

Seniors coming home to a place they love

01/09/2024
By Holly Riddle  Pay any attention to news surrounding senior care, and you’ll likely hear a few of the same themes over and over again. “We’re approaching a senior care crisis.” “Senior care is more expensive than ever.” “The senior population is growing at an unsustainable rate.” Some of these claims are more or less rooted in truth. According to a Harvard 2023 study on housing America’s older adults, America’s senior population, defined as those ages 65 and up, is growing. In 2022, this population numbered approximately 58 million individuals (up from 43 million in 2012). While the study found that the majority of these seniors live in their own homes or with a family member, about 2.5% live in senior communities — so about 1.45 million people.
Pennsylvania is well-equipped to serve the state’s seniors, and Happy Valley is at the forefront
More than 2.5 million seniors call Pennsylvania home. The American Health Care Association reported more than 1,100 assisted living and personal care homes in the state, offering nearly 70,000 beds. If the national percentages apply to Pennsylvania as well, then, we can assume that 2.5% of our seniors will need or want to live in a senior community, and that’s 62,500 people, for 70,000 beds. Pennsylvania is well-equipped to serve the state’s seniors, and Happy Valley is at the forefront, where senior care is a thriving industry that taps into the state’s $1.62 billion total economic activity generated by assisted living. Meeting today’s needs and anticipating the future For many in the business of senior care in Happy Valley, recent growth in the area’s senior care options is simply a direct response to growing demands. Jennifer Getgen, executive director at Juniper Village Senior Living at Brookline, noted, “The growth of senior living options is a direct reflection on the surge in senior population. Our Baby Boomers will all be retirement age, 65, by 2030, and life expectancy is generally longer than prior generations, given the better healthcare and nutritional advantages available.” She added, “There are a lot more options in senior living, so now families and seniors can be more selective in what would work best for them.” Plentiful options, though, doesn’t necessarily mean that all the gaps are filled. At Valley View Retirement Community, in Belleville, the organization performed a market study in 2022 that revealed “a large need for memory care in central Pennsylvania.” As such, the retirement community is expanding to meet that need, starting in 2024. “As senior care providers, we have an obligation to know the needs and preferences of those we serve today or will serve in the future,” Valley View CEO Nicole Sarver explained. “…People are living longer than they were 50 years ago, and many need care during the later seasons of life. A big push has been for more wrap-around, in-home services that are created for people who desire to stay at home. Even with local growth in home and community-based services, we still see strong interest in and demand for the services we provide.”
I think there’s always room for additional communities across State College and Centre County
Mark Sapko, owner of Senior Living Placement Specialists, started his business about three years ago, with the aim of helping regional seniors and their families find the best living facilities to meet their needs. The business provides free care need assessments and then connects families with area facilities best suited to their requirements. “As the Baby Boom population ages, there’s going to be an increased need,” he said. “There’s still a waitlist for some of the different independent living facilities in the area…I think there’s always room for additional communities across State College and Centre County.” The Happy Valley appeal Many in the regional senior care industry are seeing not just growing needs from the area’s existing aging population — some notice that seniors are actively relocating to retire and age in Happy Valley, too. This is for myriad reasons. Some are Penn State alumni and love the area; some have family nearby. Sarver said, “Our personal experience shows that, instead of moving to a warmer state or moving to be near their grown children, many seniors want to come home to a place that they love. We have many residents who moved back — some from Hawaii, Florida, overseas — to what they call ‘God’s country’ and see mountains and cornfields and beautiful sunsets.” Similarly, Sapko also mentioned how a good portion of his clients are those who retired to Happy Valley within the last 15 to 20 years and, as their needs have changed, they’ve sought out assisted living communities.
Our personal experience shows that, instead of moving to a warmer state or moving to be near their grown children, many seniors want to come home to a place that they love
“State College has kept up with these needs over the last few years,” he said. “There have been a few more facilities built to help with this population… State College is a growing community and a lot of individuals who…went to school here, they want to come back here. Maybe they have kids or grandkids in the area and they want to be closer to their families. Especially with Covid, some individuals wanted to leave the city and State College offers a small city feel, but is also remote and, with the university, there’s still activities and events.” We’re covering senior living in Happy Valley for the next four weeks. Stay tuned for more insights on the costs of senior care, what today’s seniors demand and the process of choosing the best senior living facility in Happy Valley.
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Learn more about upcoming expansion plans, get answers to frequently asked questions about next phase, and read Lois Notestine's story of how Valley View became home after a life around the world.

Read each article here, or see the full newsletter below. From the CEO: Blessed to share in the lives of older adults From the CFO: Expanding model of care to meet needs in our community Celebrating 55 years with a special announcement Valley View is expanding services –  here’s what you need to know Valley View named top in PA and the nation Dave & Dolores Metzler: "It was full circle coming back here" Betty & Paul Kalmbach: "God was so good to bring us here" After a military life around the world, Lois Notestine found home at Valley View From the Director of Marketing: WWII nurses, pizza parties, and coming home   [wonderplugin_pdf src="https://vvrconline.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Fall-2023-View-from-the-Valley.pdf" width="100%" height="1000px" style="border:0;"] [post_title] => Fall & Winter 2023 Newsletter [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => fall-winter-2023-newsletter [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-12-19 19:02:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-12-19 19:02:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://vvrconline.org/?p=770 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 739 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2023-12-18 15:14:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-12-18 15:14:03 [post_content] => The first time Dave Metzler got involved at Valley View, he was a young husband and parent, working construction at Allensville Planing Mill. He joined the board of directors and quickly found that he had a keen interest in how Valley View cared for older adults in Big Valley, and he had ideas for how it could grow and change into the future. “I remember the night Trennis King (president of the board) told me that he thought I should take on the role of assistant administrator, and I laughed thinking he was joking. I’d thought about working at Valley View, but maybe in maintenance since I had a background in construction. I wasn’t credentialed. I didn’t think I was qualified.” With King’s encouragement, he agreed to the job. Dave jumped into learning quickly — taking night classes in finance and then a class to become a licensed nursing home administrator. Dave served as the assistant administrator from 1979-1985. In 1985, he became administrator of Valley View Haven — only the second to hold the position since the original administration. “One of the first things I did was take several board members to the Mennonite Health Association’s annual meeting in Denver, CO. I wanted all of us to look at the way things were changing for retirement communities across the country. Differently became the hallmark of Dave’s leadership. Hiring a consulting firm to do long-range planning, which eventually meant hiring a nursing home administrator and changing his role to Executive Director. His tenure also oversaw the building of the chapel, completed 400 and 500 wings, and started plans for the Terrace personal care apartments, while continuing to add more residential cottages. The organization also became credentialed as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). “During the time I was administrator, Valley View became much bigger than it had been before,” he said. “But it was still small enough to be personal — like family.” His wife Dolores served as a nurse, and their two daughters worked at Valley View as well — one in dietary and one in nursing. “We had connections here,” she said. “Valley View became our second home.” In 1990, Dave stepped down as CEO. A few years later, he and Dolores moved to Cumberland County, where they both served at Messiah Village (now Messiah Lifeways). In 2004, the couple moved back to Mifflin County. Even then, Dave and Dolores had begun processing the future of their retirement years. “I knew that if I was going to choose anywhere, Valley View was going to be my first choice,” he said. “I knew the place, how it was run, and that cost-wise, it would be more affordable than other places. It was full circle coming back here.” “It is a beautiful place,” Dolores added. “People are very warm and bring a wealth of culture from other areas. Our cottage is a perfect place to come and go. The ministry in which we are currently involved, Pure Freedom of State College, takes us all over the United States and we know we can leave and come back weeks later with perfect peace of mind. It already feels like home.” “It seems right to come back to a place that poured into our lives, and to reap and benefit from that,” she added. “To know that we made a difference back then, and now Valley View is making a difference in our lives.” This article is from the Fall 2023 View from the Valley Newsletter. You can see the full issue here:

Fall 2023

[wonderplugin_pdf src="https://vvrconline.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/Fall-2023-View-from-the-Valley.pdf" width="100%" height="1000px" style="border:0;"] [post_title] => "It was full circle coming back here" [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => it-was-full-circle-coming-back-here [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-12-18 16:29:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-12-18 16:29:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://vvrconline.org/?p=739 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 762 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2023-12-18 15:12:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2023-12-18 15:12:12 [post_content] => Newsweek Newsweek has just released its 2024 rankings of top retirement communities in the country, and we’re honored to share that Valley View Retirement Community was listed in the top five in Pennsylvania! US News & World Report Valley View is honored to have been named one of the best nursing homes in the nation by U.S. News and World Report for both short-term rehabilitation and long-term care. Lewistown Sentinel Valley View has also been voted “Best Nursing Home/Rehabilitation Center” and “Best Independent Living” in the Lewistown Sentinel 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards for the 15th year in a row. Pennsylvania Business Central Valley View’s personal care level of living, The Terrace, was listed as a top pick in Pennsylvania Business Central, saying “it represents the very best in senior living — safe, affordable, and active.” This article is from the Fall 2023 View from the Valley Newsletter. You can see the full issue here:

Fall 2023

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Fall & Winter 2023 Newsletter

December 18, 2023

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“It was full circle coming back here”

December 18, 2023

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Valley View named top in PA and the nation

December 18, 2023

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