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What Do You Mean, “Act your age”? What’s Age Got to Do with It?

Man playing accordianWhen we’re kids, we’re told to “Grow up!” When we’re “old,” we’re told, “Act your age!” Come on, people, make up your mind! Retired men and women in Berks County, even those who’ve retired at Sacred Heart Villa, don’t let age dictate people’s perceptions of them. Grouping people together by age for marketing or other purposes minimizes the diversity and complexity of individual lifestyles.

“If we gathered a group of 65-year-olds, their situations, experiences, and interests would be all over the map. One could be a newlywed, another recently widowed. One might be going back to college, another could be starting an encore career in teaching. One is very happy to be empty nesting, another is happy to have their children and grandchildren move in. One is scraping to get by, another is a millionaire and starting a foundation. And, of course, with many variations and gradations in between” (Ken Dychtwald and Bob Morison,

The stereotype of the crotchety old prune living on bingo markers and mac and cheese, waiting for the grim reaper, is as far from the truth as can be. Seniors can be as active, relevant, and productive as younger folks — with more experience and wisdom stored up in those gray hairs!

There need to be varied products, housing options, opportunities, jobs, services, programs, and everything else to match the varied lifestyles and personalities of “old people.” Which of these types of personalities are you?

There are the optimists, the confident retirees who try new things, enjoying their freedom by starting businesses, teaching, volunteering, and otherwise giving back to the community. Old dogs finding new tricks!

Some retirees see this as a time to just relax without being comatose. They enjoy life with family, friends, and the occasional adventure. Life is a reward for their hard work.

The free-spirited senior likes to experiment and be spontaneous. Live for today, for tomorrow we — well, you know. WARNING: This personality has trouble saving money and planning for the future.

Then, there are the anxious adults, the worrywarts. They live an unpleasant existence filled with fears and financial problems. They lean on people and stick close to home.

Whatever your personality and lifestyle, don’t be content with being judged by your age. Gray hair doesn’t mean a gray life among the great gray indistinct masses.

Don’t let anyone put you in a box — unless it’s the undertaker!

The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ created Sacred Heart Villa (formerly St. Michael Convent) in 2003 with the vision of providing a personal care home for the Sisters and other seniors of southeastern Pennsylvania. The Sisters renovated St. Michael in order to create 35 personal care residential rooms. Sacred Heart Villa officially opened her doors to her first new residents in May 2004, with space for 57 Sisters and 40 other senior residents.

The facility has two residential buildings, a remodeled dining room, a new fireside lounge, library, café, and beauty shop. The chapel remains in the middle of the facility for it truly is the Heart of the community. Each new residential room provides an individual with privacy, safety, and security in an environment of beauty and grace. Mass is celebrated each day and is open to the public.

Sacred Heart Villa is now accepting residents. If you are seeking care for yourself or a loved one, contact Sacred Heart Villa today at 610-929-5751 for a tour. You can also visit us at