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your guide to



True Living Tips, news and fun facts for active senior adults

Inside... Where to snag $4 senior baseball tickets

Spotlight: Finding the farmer in you

Carol Burnett turns up the house lights again.

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t h i s p u b l i c at i o n i s m a d e p o s s i b l e b y s h a n n o n d e l l at va l l ey f o rg e



Late Renoir Lands In Philadelphia Harrisburg: A Sweet Getaway One of the great things about Harrisburg is the diversity of things to do and see. So it’s a great place to meet your children and grandchildren. With a vibrant center city and tranquil surrounding countryside, you’ll find that dialing the excitement level up or down is easy with plentiful options.

Here are a few ideas:


uick, name the capital of Pennsylvania. Okay, so it’s not so hard when you live in the state. But apparently, the question stumps more students when tested than all but three other states in the country. An easy two-hour drive west of the Philadelphia area is the delightful city of Harrisburg (although locals will be quick to tell you that their city is more like a small town). And therein lies the charm and allure of this central Pennsylvania hotspot, located on the Susquehanna River.


It’s impossible to talk about things to do in Harrisburg without mentioning nearby Hershey Park. Known for its thrilling roller coasters (11), water attractions (9), and summer concerts, this amusement park is world-class and a whole lot closer than … what’s that park in Orlando?

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Phillies fans will find it easy to forgive the fact that the Harrisburg Senators are an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. With a new $45 million dollar renovation of Metro Bank Park, this minor league venue serves up a great day at the ballpark and $4 tickets for seniors. At home June 4-6, 11-13, 22-27, July 5-8, 15-21 and 29-31. Visit

30 minutes from Harrisburg is the state’s top draw for fly fishermen – Yellow Breeches creek in Boiling Springs, including a mile-long catch-and-release only section for trophy-size trout. Yellow Breeches Outfitters offers introductory classes June 12, 26 and August 7. Call 717-258-6752.

With all there is to do and see, make sure you reserve time to refuel. Within downtown’s Restaurant Row, three of the most popular restaurants are Zia’s at Red Door, Firehouse (in a renovated fire station) and Bricco. For reviews and reservations, visit

A must-see new exhibit Opening Thursday, June 17, and running through September 6, 2010 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, this major exhibition offers an unprecedented look at Renoir through the lens of modernism, bridging the perceived divide between the art of the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries. Focusing on the last three decades of Renoir’s career, Late Renoir features 80 paintings, sculptures and drawings. During his late years, rheumatoid arthritis severely hampered Renoir’s movement, forcing the artist to paint

by strapping a brush to his arm and sculpting by directing an assistant who worked the clay. Even with this disability, Renoir’s work reflected his optimism. “The pain passes, but the beauty remains,” he said. Tickets for seniors are $22 and can be purchased by calling (215) 235-SHOW (7469), Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. In addition, a limited number of weekday afternoon (3 p.m. entry) tickets are available for only $19. The exhibit is free to Museum members. Visit for more.

Around Town: Upcoming Notable Events Dream Girls – June 22 – 27 Direct from Harlem’s world famous Apollo Theater in New York City, a sensational new stage production of DREAMGIRLS comes to Philadelphia at the Kimmel Center Academy of Music. To purchase tickets call 215-893-1999.

Renoir Painting 3rd Most Expensive Ever

Valley Forge: Continental Encampment – June 19

Bal au moulin de la Galette, Montmartre, an 1876 Renoir piece, is actually two paintings. The larger one sold for $110 million and is located at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, while the smaller version was sold on May 17, 1990 for $78 million to the late Ryoei Saito who, reportedly, resold it years later. To whom and why it was sold has been shrouded in mystery.

A living history encampment located at the Muhlenberg Brigade huts with interpreters from the Oneida Indian Nation, Park Rangers and volunteers. Cannon firings at 11 and 3. A free event. Call the Visitor Center at 610-783-1099. Antique Road Show – August 21 This widely popular PBS TV show visits Washington, DC. Okay, it’s not exactly around town, but it’s the closest location to Philadelphia in the current schedule. The show will be taped for airing in 2011. Visit for more information. 3

Spotlight on The Shannondell Gardens “I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.” Ruth Stout


n a gorgeous spring morning in May, you can spot them leaving their residences shortly after breakfast. They stroll down the sidewalk, past the bocce courts and putting green on their way to a fenced patch of rich Pennsylvania soil they call The Shannondell Gardens. “They” are the growing number of Shannondell residents who cherish the community’s nursery and farm. As one resident put it, “We dig our own gardens. Get it (laughing)?” We get it. But what is it about digging in the dirt that stirs the soul and reinvigorates the senses? According to gardening columnist Jerry Filipski, “Horticultural therapy is an innovative treatment method using plants and plant-related activities to improve the social, educational, psychological, and physical adjustment of an individual, thus improving his/her body, mind and spirit.”

Three Tips for New Gardeners

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Start small. A 10-by-10 foot plot may not sound big, but when you’re on your hands and knees in the summer, the garden grows.

Sounds like a fancy way of saying, “It gets you outside breathing fresh air, keeps you active, is a lot of fun and even more fun when shared with others (the work and the harvest).” “People don’t realize how social

shared gardens can be,” says one Shannondell resident as she adds a shovel-full of compost to her garden. “Although you’re focused on cultivating your own plot, we’re all constantly helping each other, asking questions, lending a hand (spade) and, of course, swapping cuttings and crops,” she adds. As perennials, annuals, vegetables, herbs and even the odd olive tree (an experiment) find their way into the ground, Shannondell staff members are lending a helping hand, tilling residents’ plots. “Last summer my daughter didn’t believe me when I told her I was growing tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplant, so I boxed up a day’s harvest and sent it FedEx,” boasts a second year Shannondell grower. “She called me the next day and asked if I could grow some peppers. So guess what’s going in the ground this spring?” he adds, smiling. The smiles are contagious. And apparently, so are the Begonias. Trays of the popular annuals cover the ground on this spring morning. continued on page 8...

Plants die. Don’t obsess over your losses. Do use the experience to learn about insects, diseases and best practices for fertilizing and watering. Keep in mind the mature size of the plant. The most common mistake new gardeners make is crowding their garden.


Health & Wellness

Summer Travel

Personal Training: Not Just For Celebrities A friendly bridge game at The Club at Shannondell

Social Graces Keep Us Young 3 Tips To Stay Connected


id you know that social connections have been scientifically linked to happiness in senior adults?

“All adults need social interaction, but this is particularly important for seniors. Not only is it good for their hearts, but also for their minds,” says Lynn Chialastri, RN and wellness nurse at Shannondell. “Engagement requires dialogue, leading to questioning requiring thinking, causing the stimulation of brain cells and the honing of communication skills. So, the more you engage, the better.” The good news: remaining socially engaged, regardless of age, can be easy and budget friendly.


Stay active in clubs, groups and circles revolving around shared interests. From book clubs and church groups to sports fan clubs, these outlets provide on-going opportunities to meet, share and make friends.


Industry associations, even post retirement, offer members a way to stay connected to their professions, stay current on trends and developments, and many groups offer retirees discounts on meeting fees



Look into available classes at local colleges and universities. Several state university systems offer tuition-free college level classes to senior adults. And virtually all offer on- and off-site continuing education on a wide variety of topics.

When Oprah and other stars lose weight and firm up, their on-screen banter about their “fab” new look usually includes a common helper – a personal trainer. As such, this fitness role has grown to be perceived as a luxury reserved for the young and wealthy. But nothing could be further from the truth, particularly over the past couple of years. Personal trainers work one-on-one or with two or three clients, either in a gym or in the clients’ homes. As such, they are able to spend more time assessing and responding to needs on an individual basis. By keeping detailed records of clients’ progress, many times including nutritional and lifestyle adjustments, they act as both a mentor and monitor. “Shannondell residents love telling their children they’re working out with a personal trainer,” says Michelle, exercise physiologist at the community’s Aquatics & Fitness Center. “The neat part is they really do get stronger and more fit before they even realize it. When I show them their chart, where we started and how far they come, you see the pride,” she adds. While pride is great result of working out, with or without a personal trainer, the real benefits are more energy and better health – important goals, regardless of age and income.

E-readers: Perfect for Travel


t’s likely you’ve seen people pulling out flat, tablet-looking electronic devices from briefcases, backpacks, book bags and purses in parks, on trains, planes, cabs, even walking down street. When Amazon’s Kindle opened the market for E-book readers (devices for downloading books), the company had younger consumers squarely in its sights. But recent buyer statistics reveal that the gadgets are a hit with senior adults. Almost a third are over the age of 60. Why? Several reasons: First, it’s a book reading device and

guess who read the most books – yep, older generations. Second, it’s easy on eyes. Unlike a backlit computer screen, it renders in “E ink” making it easier to read in brighter light environments like outside. Enlarging screen type size is easy and unlike a laptop, it doesn’t get warm sitting on your lap. Older adults also like the fact that these readers don’t require a computer or software installations, cables and docking devices. Most books are around $10 to download and available titles now number over a million. Starting around $250, three of the most popular E-readers are: Kindle ( Nook ( Sony Touch (

Traveling With E-readers According to the TSA, personal e-readers are not required to be removed from carry-ons when entering security checkpoints. But, it’s a good idea to re-check the rule just prior to summer travel as travel regulations remain fluid.

This Time Together: A review of Carol Burnett’s new autobiography Edited from

This Time Together is 100 percent Carol Burnett – funny, irreverent, and irresistible. One of the country’s most beloved performers, Carol’s weekly variety show The Carol Burnett Show was cherished by millions of adoring fans and won twenty-

stairs in her curtain-rod dress and legendary “Went With the Wild” skit. And then there are the things that would happen only to Carol – the prank with Julie Andrews that went wrong in front of the First Lady, the famous Tarzan Yell five Emmys in its remarkable 11-year run. that saved her during a mugging, and the time she faked a wooden leg to get Now, in This Time Together, Carol served in an ice cream emporium. discusses her remarkable friendships with Jimmy Stewart, Lucille Ball, This poignant look back allows us to Cary Grant, and Julie Andrews. cry with the actress during her sorrows, She also writes about famous scenes, like the moment she swept down the

rejoice in her successes, and finally, always, to laugh.

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“The time that residents devote to the garden is always amazing to me,” says William Ross, C.O.O. of Shannondell. “Like many home gardeners, they tend to grow more than they can use themselves. So, when summer harvest is at its peak, the gardeners set up a vegetable stand to share crops with residents and staff. Of course, none of us tell them to plant less next year,” he adds, smiling. After all, sharing the bounties is just the neighborly thing to do.

Summertime And The Living Is Active The Club at Shannondell, a sister facility of Shannondell at Valley Forge, is open to the public and offers the perfect summer playground for families, including grandparents. Located just down Egypt Road in Audubon, The Club boasts an 18-hole golf course rated one of the “Best Places to Play” by Golf Digest magazine. The Club also offers a stocked Pro Shop, locker rooms, Chadwick’s Restaurant & Bar, Banquet Room and a fantastic outdoor pool featuring a towering water slide and other water features perfect for grandkids, including a safer wade entry shallow end. A limited number of swim memberships are still available. Visit for more. For available golf tee times, call 610.382.9320.


True Living Spring 2010  

Newsletter for Shannondell, a retirement community near Valley Forge.

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