Thinking about moving to personal care?

Are you or a loved one considering a move to a Personal Care Home? One of the region’s newest options is Hopewell, which is the most recent edition to the Enhanced Living neighborhoods at Messiah Village. Check out the Top 10 Reasons to consider why a move to Hopewell might be the right choice for you.

  1. Hopewell embodies a new living option in personal care for individuals and couples. 26 new private apartments offer some of the largest personal care apartments in the region with four floor plans ranging in size from 532 to 767 square feet.
  2. Messiah Village offers a full range of daily living support options. Gain independence by obtaining your care needs without sacrificing your social needs.
  3. The Hopewell neighborhood is the newest addition to Messiah Village’s comprehensive care continuum – when skilled nursing or rehab needs arise, there’s no need to worry. A skilled team of outpatient physicians, clinicians, and therapists are available to meet your post-hospital needs.
  4. Your care will never be compromised, even if down the road financial worries loom. Our $16 million Endowment Fund for Benevolent Care means there is financial assistance if needed.
  5. Three well-balanced, chef-prepared, daily meals in the Asbury Room offer a delicious reason to leave your apron and skillets behind. If you crave a cappuccino or want to celebrate a special occasion with family, you can conveniently dine, at your own expense, in one of our four restaurants (3 of which you can access without ever going outside).
  6. Messiah Lifeways is a non-profit ministry governed by a local board of directors who live, work, and volunteer in Central Pennsylvania. You can rest assured that strategic decisions about your home are being made by people who believe in our mission.
  7. As a Messiah Village resident, trusted services from health professionals are available to you; no need to drive. You can schedule podiatrist, optician, audiologist, psychiatrist, and psychologist appointments on campus.
  8. Hopewell’s Asbury Room and Great Room are designed to resemble the inviting gathering spaces of private homes. Whether you’re entertaining family or playing games with neighbors, you will find a perfect spot to relax.
  9. Need a massage or manicure? Time for a new hair style? Leave the car keys aside and enjoy all-weather access to campus salons including the new Cerise Day Spa.
  10. So much more than your average retirement community…Amenities include a new Center for Vitality & Wellness with a warm salt water pool, lifelong learning courses, organized trips and more.

    Call 717.790.8201 for a private tour today!

       Adapted from the March 2018 Messiah Lifeways Preview Guide.


Messiah Lifeways® at Messiah Village Announces $80 Million Expansion Now Complete

MECHANICSBURG, PA (January 26, 2018) – Messiah Lifeways®, the faith-based non-profit that provides a network of services for adults aged 55 and better, is celebrating the completion of the first phase of Project Envision with an open house & tours on Saturday, January 27 from 11 am through 3 pm.

“To say this is a bright new chapter in retirement living & vibrant wellness and lifestyle venues for older adults would be an understatement,” says CEO Curt Stutzman. “Beyond offering a large number of beautiful residential and personal care apartments, this grand opening includes incredible wellness, lifelong learning, day spa, and dining amenities for anyone age 55 and better to enjoy.”

The public is invited for guided tours of Village Square, including model apartment homes, the John N. Hostetter Enrichment Center, the Center for Vitality & Wellness with its zero-entry saltwater pool, and Cerise Day Spa, which features a salt wall relaxation room, manicure/pedicure stations, and more. Visitors can purchase lunch at Café 100, proudly offering Starbucks coffee and tea beverages, or at Kathryn’s on the Square, two new dining venues in Village Square. Tours will also highlight spacious personal care apartments in Hopewell, a new Enhanced Living neighborhood with 26 apartments.

In 2017, Messiah Lifeways served 2,955 persons through 12 service lines; only about 750 of those persons live at the Messiah Village or Mount Joy Country Homes resident campuses. “This expansion gives physical space to continue our legacy of serving older adults in many ways – whether they choose to live in a resident community or age in place in their home,” states Kristen Heisey, Senior VP for Mission Advancement. “Hundreds of our neighbors already enjoy our Pathways Institute for Lifelong Learning® classes and our existing Wellness Center was bursting at the seams! It’s a great time to be 55 and better in Central PA.”

Follow us on Facebook (@MessiahLifeways), Twitter (@MessiahLifeways) and/or Instagram (@MessiahLifewaysPix).

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About Messiah Lifeways®
Messiah Lifeways offers a network of opportunities for adults 55 and better in South Central Pennsylvania. Recognizing that there are many ways to experience life, Messiah Lifeways offers life coaching, enrichment opportunities, community support services,and resident communities. Founded in 1896, Messiah Lifeways originally operated a home for widows and orphans in the city of Harrisburg, first on Bailey Street and later on Paxton Street. Messiah Lifeways, now based in Mechanicsburg, is a non-profit sponsored by the Brethren in Christ Church.

Village Square & Hopewell Grand Opening weekend

The public is warmly invited to tour Village Square and Hopewell on Saturday, January 27 between 11 am and 3 pm as we celebrate the completion of this phase of Project Envision at Messiah Lifeways at Messiah Village.  Check out these great articles and photos from three local publications:


The Sentinel

Central Penn Business Journal

Follow us on social media this weekend as we share all the latest news and photos from our grand opening celebration!


The Right to Make Bad Choices

As an aging parent or loved one begins to decline or falter, naturally we want to help. That help could be as simple as cutting their lawn or driving them to doctor appointments or errands. If needs increase, your help could consist of cooking or cleaning for them, or hiring a home care agency to provide assistance in their home. Further on down the line it could mean helping them move to a personal care home, assisted living, or a nursing home if necessary.

However, what if they refuse help or won’t move from their home? This is a quandary that many adult children, powers of attorney and caregivers face with an aging parent or loved one who is declining and becoming more and more dependent. It begs the question, “How do I persuade or even force them to get help?” Fortunately, many people recognize their limitations and welcome the help as it’s needed. We also know that just as many resist intervention and often state, “I’m fine, I don’t need help” or “I don’t want some stranger coming in my home to help me” or “you’ll have to take me from my home in a pine box.” Yikes!

It’s hard to admit we need more help as we age, that we can’t do what we used to, or that we now must rely on others to get through each day. Pride, stubbornness and denial are traits that we all have, but when it’s an aging loved one that we feel is at risk, it can be a precarious dilemma. It pits your better judgment and concern against their right to choose. It’s not a science, and it’s certainly not a black and white problem you can resolve. So how do you know when you have to force your hand and mandate change? Let’s explore the challenges a bit more.

Gray, Gray and Gray

First, your hair may become gray as you worry about the safety and well-being of a parent who is really becoming more of a reckless driver, is falling more frequently, or has left the stove on several times and almost burned the house down. Next, gray matter comes into question as we age. Although no matter your age, we all occasionally forget to use our brains. But as older adults make what you think are poor choices regarding their own health and safety they tend to come under a lot of scrutiny by those who love and worry about them. Where do you draw the line and where do hold back? This is a gray area as well. There are a lot of variables, challenges, what-ifs and sleepless nights involved.

In certain times it’s very clear when a parent or spouse has declined and needs immediate assistance and intervention. Injuries like a fractured hip, a stroke and hospitalizations often leave them little latitude to make poor decisions. And if they do balk at getting help, the hospital and or physician can press for a safe discharge or placement. Also a dementia or mental health diagnosis changes the dynamic and can often mandate formal intervention. As a last resort, you could file for guardianship (conservatorship), but that can turn into a long, drawn out and costly process that may require the person in question to be deemed incompetent by a judge.

But what about that person that is mentally intact and lucid? They may not be a danger to themselves or others; however, you see them teetering and declining before your eyes. You want them to be proactive, and you encourage them to seek help or to move to a care community because the writing is on the wall. But again they’re “kindly defiant” or downright bullheaded and claim they are fine and don’t need help. You’ve tried for a long time to make things better, but have always come up against a brick wall. What can you do?

Walking a thin line

For those who’ve have pushed and pushed to no avail, there is a surprising yet simple answer. It may sound crass, but sometimes must allow things to naturally occur and allow that person to fail. For some, they need to figure it out on their own or “the hard way.” This is not to suggest that you wash your hands of the situation. You must maintain your commitment and continue helping them any way you can; however, you cannot force them into a decision and we should honor their right to make bad choices. Their failure may result in a hospitalization, the worsening of their health, or other negative outcomes. But it might just be the necessary wake-up call they need. It’s a tight rope to traverse.

Again, this is not just about you as copping a laissez-faire attitude; it’s actually an approach that many human service agencies must follow. There’s a misconception that these agencies can just swoop in and force someone to get help or move from their home or that a power of attorney can do the same. A government agency or a judge can’t just strip someone’s right to choose, because of “what ifs.” If they can show that they are not a true danger to self or others, they have the right to refuse help or refuse to move. It’s hard, but often we have to live with it and just wait in the wings to then jump in and help.

Preemptive Preparation and Patience

Another thing you can do is to be prepared for worse case scenarios. Maybe if they are not willing to actually engage home care services or move to a care facility, they might at least be willing to listen to a plan of care in case of emergency. Research the options and services, costs and how you or they would pay for them. Set those wheels in motion. Tell your parent, “I understand you don’t want help, but if you need it, I’ve done some research and these are some of your options, etc.” Have a plan in place to help cushion the blow. You should also reach out to their healthcare providers and the local Area Agency on Aging to put them on notice, although many have likely already jumped through this hoop and connected.

Lastly, be patient with this person. Badgering or yelling won’t help. Understand where they are coming from, be supportive, stay committed and be humble when they come to grips once they realize they need help.

Additional articles to read…

CASES; The Right to Make a Bad Decision by Dr. Sandeep Jauhar from the New York Times SENIOR LIVING Blog: 8 Expert Tips for When Aging Parents Won’t Listen

If you need additional guidance on this topic or others related to caregiving, please contact the Messiah Lifeways Coaching office at 717.591.7225 or email

Major Traffic Pattern Changes at Messiah Village

As we get closer to welcoming the first residents to move into Village Square this fall, several major changes will happen with our Mt. Allen entrances and parking around campus. On September 29, the old main entrance will be reopened to traffic and will bring visitors into the newly expanded Purple parking lot. This lot will be primarily for guests as door #1 will be the preferred entry point for the Village Center. This newly designed road coming into campus will be known as the Village Way entrance. On October 2, the temporary two-way “main” entrance and exit near Messiah Circle/Donegal will return to a one-way exit only. Please use extreme caution. Measures are being taken, including road signage, to advise drivers of the change in traffic patterns. You will also note new directional and way-finding signs being installed around October 2 in preparation for the new buildings and patterns.

Team member parking is being adjusted. The back row of the new Purple lot will be for team members with parking tags. The Yellow Lot near the chapel will transition from guest parking to team member parking on October 2. Please note that Wellness and U-GRO spots will remain designated near the Chapel. The Wellness spots will become guest parking spots early next year when the Center for Vitality & Wellness is fully operational.

Messiah Circle Reopens

On October 2, the portion of Messiah Circle that has been closed off during construction (under the Kibler Bridge) will reopen so a continuous driving loop will be restored. Please note, however, that access to the actual Village Square building is currently limited to incoming Village Square residents when they move in and the staff supporting them until November 8 when common spaces open. In the meantime, you can enjoy driving or walking under the Kibler Bridge!

Resident & Guest Services

The Village Center Resident & Guest Services (formerly known as the receptionist desk) will return to its original location near the Gift Development Office & Wagner Transitional Care.On September 29, residents and team members will need a FOB/badge to swipe at the Chapel doors. Guests can also use the Chapel stenophone system, between 7 am & 7 pm, to call the desk and request entry. After 7 pm, anyone without a FOB/badge will need to enter door #1 as the Resident & Guest Services


Labor Day 2017 Musings

The Labor Day holiday has had special significance to me all my life—I was born on Labor Day!  It’s considered one of the major holidays in the U.S., and is considered by many to be the unofficial end to the summer season.  The holiday was established in great part to recognize the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country.  This year, I am especially appreciative of the work being done for the benefit of the older adults who are part of the Messiah Lifeways family.  Very recently, we opened two new nursing neighborhoods (Engle and Greenwood) in one of the buildings just constructed on our Messiah Village campus.  Here are some of my observations during the two days that residents moved into their new homes.  It is encouraging to see our team working together across departmental lines.

  • A gifted Certified Nursing Assistant bending down to speak words of comfort and encouragement to a resident anxiously waiting to get on the elevator to his new home.
  • Environmental Services team members moving furnishings and personal effects to new resident rooms to provide a sense of familiarity.
  • A Pastoral Ministries team member lovingly decorating with personal items so a new room will immediately feel like home.
  • A nurse emotionally sharing about the positive ways residents and family members were able to interact in the new dining rooms in the Engle neighborhood.
  • A laundry team member helping fill in for an open Security position overnight, because of his commitment to service and the team.
  • A Construction Services team member dusting shelves following a minor installation project.
  • An Information Technology team member working after hours to make certain systems were functioning in the new neighborhoods
  • An Enhanced Living leader pitching in to help move resident furnishings.
  • Campus Services members working to balance air temperatures in common areas and rooms to the comfort of our residents.
  • Members of the Organizational Council volunteering to do final walk-throughs of new apartments, assuring that everything was working well.

I’m greatly encouraged when people come together from various backgrounds to work toward a common purpose.  There is an intrinsic benefit we receive when giving of ourselves to help others, expecting nothing in return.  It is a sense of warmth and satisfaction and “rightness” in knowing that what we are doing helps another in need.  Certainly, we need more of this kind of behavior in the world today.  At Messiah Lifeways, our mission statement says that we “responsibly enhance the lives of older adults with Christ-like love.”  Regardless of your faith perspective, the concept of Christ-like love carries with it the expression of heartfelt and others-centered compassion.  I’ve been reading some of the writings of author and theologian Henri Nouwen recently.  In A Spirituality of Caregiving, he writes that the words of Jesus call us to “Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate” (Luke 6:36), and that this “is offered in the deep conviction that through compassion we grow to fullness as God’s beloved children” (p 29).  Let’s all commit to living lives of compassion in this mixed up world today.  It starts with doing simple acts of service for others like are expressed in the stories above.  In doing so, we can make each day our “Labor Day” of love.


Coach’s Corner Ep. 9: Aid & Attendance Benefit for Veterans w. guest Neal Delisanti

There are number of benefit programs available to Veterans, but half the battle of accessing them is knowing they exist. One such lesser known program is the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit for war vets and surviving spouses. Listen and learn as we talk with Neal Delisanti, Director of Cumberland County Veterans Affairs, as he shares detail on the benefit, eligibility requirements and the application process.

Episode 9 of the Coach’s Corner Podcast explores this pension program. Click below to listen.

To get in contact with the Neal in the Cumberland County office of Veteran Affairs:
Phone: 717.240.6178 or toll free 888.697.0371 ext.6178

Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veteran Affairs

United States Department of Veteran Affairs

Lifeways Coach named 1 of 50 new global Retirement Planning Coaches

Career Partners International’s Retirement Options Certifies 50 Retirement Planning Coaches

Retirement Options Certifies Global Coaches for Use of Non-Financial Retirement Planning Assessments

Columbus, Ohio (PRWEB) August 10, 2017 — Retirement Options, Career Partners International’s leading global provider of retirement coach certification and readiness assessments, has helped over 50 new global coaches to achieve the designation of Retirement Options Certified Coach. This certification allows the expert use of Retirement Options Retirement Success Profile™ and LifeOptions Profile™, two non-financial retirement planning assessments designed to help individuals plan for and enjoy a more fulfilling retirement.

Those recently certified include David Huckle, Shirley Low, Lori Cooper, Janice Geiges, Matthew Gallardo, Robin Kennedy, Nancy L. Saunders, Ph.D, Karl Jackson, Amy Harbison, Guy Ripley, Sandee Lammers, BJ Hance, Vicky Walker, Barbra Bell, Charles Baker, Wendy Pentland, Annie Walsh, Steve Wrigley, M.A., Lisa Engleson, Douglas Passanisi, and Kathleen Johnson.

Retirement Options Certified Coaches are equipped with the tools, training and support to effectively coach the largest demographic in the world. Become certified in the administration, feedback and application of two world-class assessments, the Retirement Success Profile™ and LifeOptions Profile™, to help clients prepare for and enjoy a more fulfilling retirement. Available exclusively to Retirement Options Certified Coaches, these assessments deliver the accurate, personalized, and comprehensive information you need to provide high impact retirement coaching.

Over 800 worldwide coaches certified through Retirement Options use the scientifically designed assessments to evaluate retirement readiness and establish the foundation of retirement life plans. Retirement Options Certified Coaches have successfully assisted thousands of individuals, couples and employees of corporate clients in assessing and exploring areas of their lives such as work, family, leisure, wellness, and personal development. They are experts on the subject of retirement planning and are regularly asked how to best prepare for this major life transition. The Retirement Options Webinar Certification Course is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) for Continuing Coach Education (CCE) hours.

Founded in 1989, Retirement Options is the industry leader in retirement coach certification and retirement readiness assessments. Through its two retirement readiness assessments, the Retirement Success Profile™ and the LifeOptions Profile™, Retirement Options provides a foundation for individuals to plan for and enjoy a more fulfilling retirement by exploring various aspects of life impacted by retirement such as work, family, leisure, wellness, and personal development. Retirement Options is a division of Career Partners International.About Career Partners International.
Founded in 1987, Career Partners International is a leading provider of Outplacement, Career Management, Executive Coaching and Leadership Development services from more than 300 offices in over 45 countries. Employers around the world trust Career Partners International’s local market experts to provide the best possible outcomes for employees across Canada, the United States, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific regions.


New Private Nursing Rooms Set to Open

The first phase of Project Envision is ready to be celebrated!
On Sunday, July 30, guests are invited to Messiah Village for self-guided tours of the brand-new Engle and Greenwood Nursing Neighborhoods. The open house will run from 2 pm – 5 pm. Each neighborhood will be home to 16 residents who will enjoy private suites with a personal bedroom and bathroom with shower. Each neighborhood boasts an open concept kitchen and a great room and living room with fireplaces and built-ins to provide plenty of bright, common space. The views from these new areas are spectacular!

The Engle Neighborhood is named in honor of former Messiah Village residents, the late Dr. Harold H. Engle and the late Miss Alma Engle. The siblings were both well-known medical professionals and their combined estate gifts were among the leading charitable gifts for this project. A special art commission by noted calligrapher Timothy Botts honoring the family and celebrating their naming gift will be unveiled at a private reception in late July.

Residents should begin moving into these private rooms in August. At this time, there are still a few private rooms available for qualified applicants. If you are interested in a loved one moving to one of these new nursing neighborhoods, please reach out to the Messiah Lifeways Welcome Center at 717.790.8201 or email

The Value of Foresight

I’ve always been impressed with the writings of management consultant, author and former professor at the Claremont Graduate School Peter F. Drucker. He once said that “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” In these times when the world is changing at such a rapid pace, it is difficult just to stay on top of what is happening. Giving attention to foresight, or thinking critically about what is coming down the road so that we can prepare for it, is not easy. One of the key functions of the Messiah Lifeways board of directors and leadership team is to spend time being educated about what is coming in our industry and society at large. That is important because often the preparations to make ourselves ready for the future may take many years to accomplish. Because of this, board members and leaders who set plans in motion often are not around when the plans become reality. In a sense, exercising foresight is a selfless action to assure that others are served in a better way in future decades.

Here’s a practical example of this kind of foresight. Several months ago our township replaced the sewer line across the Messiah Village campus. This resulted in a 30-foot wide strip of bare ground that took out a number of trees that were quite large. A group of residents with an affinity for gardening took it upon themselves to work with our grounds director to plant 79 small trees and seedlings, with more to come. How appropriate, especially since it is Arbor Day when I am writing this blog. I find it inspiring that these persons in their older years have the foresight to prepare shade and color for the next generations here. It will likely take several decades for these trees to grow sufficiently to benefit others. The value to the gardeners is primarily intrinsic, but that was not a deterrent for them. That is a good outcome for having a foresight focus. That is creating the future, as Drucker speaks of.18193250_10155087706756221_6273867156493351205_o

In the next few months we will be opening the first phase of the Project Envision plan that the Messiah Lifeways Board of Directors and others had the foresight to begin planning almost a decade ago. This year, the board and leadership will make a focused effort to look further into the future and layout plans for the next 3-7 years and beyond. I find the process of discerning the future, establishing plans to prepare us for it and laying out steps to get us there as a stimulating exercise. With the end in mind, it is easier to persevere and flex plans when challenges arise along the way. We are laying foundations that others will build upon and the fruits of which even others will enjoy. Like the dedicated volunteer arborists above, we are creating the future we hope to see!