51 Seminary Avenue
Reading, PA 19605

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What services is a personal care home supposed to provide for the residents?


What services is a personal care home supposed to provide for the residents?

There are a few ways that you can find out what services a particular personal care home offers. Contact the personal care home and ask to see a description of services. This description of services will tell you exactly what services the home provides. Some of the services offered at a typical personal care home include assistance with eating/drinking, bathing/personal hygiene, arranging for and managing health care, doing laundry, using prosthetics and many other services. Finding out what services a home offers is very important in determining if the home can meet the individual's needs. Each home is required to have a description of services available. Ask to see a copy of the standard resident-home contract that will include the fee for each service offered by the home.

At Sacred Heart Villa in Laureldale, PA, their residents receive assistance with bathing, dressing, personal care needs, medication administration, and our delicious cuisine and dining assistance will satisfy their pallet and nutritional needs. Each resident receives a tailored care plan based on their needs that is monitored and updated and shared with family members.

SHV offers individual rooms, suites and apartments with options to suit all needs and budgets.

  • Pricing is all-inclusive with no extra fees
  • Free transportation to medical appointments
  • Linen and towel laundry service
  • Weekly housekeeping
  • Individual mailboxes
  • Ample parking

Residents love the food at Sacred Heart Villa! They eat three nutritious meals each day prepared by the dining staff.To see a sample menu please click here.

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

Senior Living Communities Keep Residents Safe with Emergency Preparedness


All personal care homes in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must adhere to the regulations set forth by the Department of Public Welfare (click to read the code). The regulations cover many facets of operating of senior community including stringent rules that keep seniors safe. For those living in a personal care home or for families visiting relatives or evaluating personal care homes, keep the below list in mind when checking out facilities:

 (a)  The administrator shall have a copy and be familiar with the emergency preparedness plan for the municipality in which the home is located.

 (b)  The home shall have written emergency procedures that include the following:

   (1)  Contact information for each resident’s designated person.

   (2)  The home’s plan to provide the emergency medical information for each resident that ensures confidentiality.

   (3)  Contact telephone numbers of local and State emergency management agencies and local resources for housing and emergency care of residents.

   (4)  Means of transportation in the event that relocation is required.

   (5)  Duties and responsibilities of staff persons during evacuation, transportation and at the emergency location. These duties and responsibilities shall be specific to each resident’s emergency needs.

   (6)  Alternate means of meeting resident needs in the event of a utility outage.

 (c)  The home shall maintain at least a 3-day supply of nonperishable food and drinking water for residents.

 (d)  The written emergency procedures shall be reviewed, updated and submitted annually to the local emergency management agency.

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

Tips on Downsizing into a Personal Care Home or Assisted Living Facility


You’ve lived for more than 50 years in your own, big home. You have lots of valuables, you have furniture, have stuff and admittedly you may have a little junk to discard. You may find yourself asking “How to downsize into a retirement community?” Often times, the move and the stuff is not yours but your parents. This can be even more difficult. We make it a little easier with this list of tips:

1. Get the dimensions of the new space.
This will help you decide which pieces of furniture will work best in the new space. Bringing a huge china cabinet or large couch isn’t the best idea to make the most of the new smaller space. It’s important to bring furniture and pictures to make the new apartment feel as comfortable and homey as possible; however you don’t want to pack so much into the space that its uncomfortable or hazardous.

2. Decide how items not being moved will be handled.
Many people finance their long term care by selling their home.  If your parents are selling their house, make sure you have a plan for the items that will not be moving into the new apartment so your parents are at ease and have a say about what will happen to their belongings. 

3. Get Help; a family members or even a Senior Move Manager.

This can be a lot for one person to take charge of and many items in the home may have sentimental value to you and your family. Siblings, aunts, cousins, etc. may be able to help with the move and see if there is anything special they’d like to keep. 

A Senior Move Manager can help to develop an overall move plan by customizing the new apartment, arranging for disposal of unwanted items, organizing the movers, etc.

4. Have an estate sale.

Estate sales are very popular and can draw a big crowd. There are many agencies who will organize and run the estate sale for you in exchange for a percentage of the sales.  Any items left behind at the end of the sale are often donated to charity. Estate sales are a great way to quickly downsize items that your parent will no longer need and make some extra money.

5. Decorating to ease the transition.
Decorating the apartment so the bedroom looks very similar to your parents’ bedroom will help minimize confusion and create a sense of comfort. 

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

Sacred Heart Villa of Reading Helps Meals on Wheels of Berks County


Each month several residents of Sacred Heart Villa in Laureldale, PA volunteer to bake cookies for the Meals on Wheels program of Berks County. In the lower level of the facility, ladies work together and have fun organizing ingredients, mixing, and placing the batter on the cookie tray. The cookies are then picked-up by Meals on Wheels of Berks, run by BerksEncore, and inserted into the meals as treats and desserts to many seniors in the greater Berks County region.

Meals on Wheels of Berks County has over 1,000 volunteers strong and growing. They promote Healthy Living with yummy recipes and the best local fitness programs. Additionally, they have a Grocery Shopping Program with Redner’s Warehouse Markets to offer grocery delivery service directly to your home. A Food Bank is offered through a partnership with the Greater Berks Food Bank. Additionally, two of Berks Encore’s centers host monthly food banks.

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

The Massacre that Gave Life to the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart

The Event that Created the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ

Many Catholics and non-Catholics alike are familiar with the beneficence of the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart. They are seen in schools, hospitals and in other settings around the world compassionately serving humankind. Who would think that this loving group would have been brutually attacked and killed? Who would think that God would have used this tragedy for good, putting the Missionary Sisters on the map and prompting many young women to join their ranks of servitude?

One hundred ago years in Papua New Guinea a fledgling Catholic missionary group was massacred by natives. As the story of the killing spread around the globe, numerous women wanted to devote their lives to serving God and volunteered to go to Papua New Guinea. So many volunteered to go to South Pacific nation that many women were re-assigned to other countries. The event spring boarded the nuns into service around the globe and their impact is still strongly felt today.




In Berks County, the Missionary Sisters operate Sacred Heart Villa, a personal care home in the park-like setting atop of hill in Laureldale outside Reading. Here the aging seniors like peacefully among the Sisters in the beautiful facility. Sacred Heart Villa is now accepting residents. If you are seeking care for yourself or loved one, contact Sacred Heart Villa today at 610-929-5751 for a tour. You can also visit


What is the Difference Between Personal Care And Assisted Living?


What is the Difference Between Personal Care And Assisted Living?

For a long time in Pennsylvania the terms Assisted Living and Personal Care were synonymous prior to 2011. At the time, Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare issued licenses entitled "Personal Care Home," while marketers at personal care homes adopted the phrase "assisted living" to appeal to consumers.

In 2011, the Pennsylvania Office of Long-Term Living began to license "Assisted Living Residences" (ALR) separately from Personal Care Homes (PCH). Since then, any facility using the terms assisted living in describing or marketing their services must meet the criteria associated with ALR compliance.

Why Assisted Living?
The creation of the Assisted Living service model was intended to bridge the care gap between traditional personal care homes and skilled nursing centers and to do so at a lower cost than skilled nursing care.

Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare's Assisted Living Definition

The PA DPW's web site reads:

ALRs are different from PCHs in 3 ways: concept, construction and level of care. ALRs embody the concept of allowing a resident to "age in place" without having to move to a licensed long-term care facility when their needs increase.

The construction of an ALR is different from a PCH. PCH residents live in bedrooms that may be shared by up to 4 people. ALR residents will have living units with kitchen capacity. No one will be forced to share a living unit. Living units will have a door with a lock and a private bathroom. This housing-service model will allow for privacy and maximum independence. It is similar to a studio apartment where the resident can make meals if desired and have a private bathroom.

The level of care provided in an ALR is distinguishable from a PCH, offering another choice of long-term living options in the commonwealth. A person who needs the level of care of a nursing facility must transfer when their needs become too great. That same person, however, will be able to live in an ALR where they'll be provided with the services they need to age in place.

More information is found at

If you have additional questions about Assisted Living and Personal Care Homes call Sacred Heart Villa, a personal care home in Berks County at 610-929-5751.

Tips for Berks Seniors to Stay Cool During the Summer


Tips for Berks Seniors to Stay Cool During the Summer

Sacred Heart Villa of Laureldale, outside of Reading, PA is a personal care home that serves seniors. The staff at Sacred Heart Villa encourages all older adults to enjoy summer and to stay safe. Below is background and tips to stay cool.

Nearly 400 Americans die from heat stroke caused by heat waves each year and most of the victims are elderly. Heat stroke is defined typically as hyperthermia exceeding 106 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop over a number of days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids.
 Elderly people, particularly those with high blood pressure, are the most likely to suffer, since they are least able to control the environment they are in. Factors such as not being able to afford adequate air conditioning or not being able to move from a hot environment to a cooler one are common causes for the elderly.
 The elderly are the most likely age group to suffer from non-exertional heat stroke because of other preexisting illnesses such as dementia, heart disease, obesity and diabetes compounded by the use of medication - especially diuretics or medications prescribed for hypertension and Parkinson's disease that may affect their volume status or sweating ability. Since poorer circulation makes many seniors feel too cold in air conditioned spaces they may want to reach for a sweater, even when it's hot outside.
There are a number of symptoms to watch for in the onset of heat exhaustion and the more serious heat stroke. These symptoms can often be confused with other conditions, leaving the condition ignored. Symptoms may include:

• heavy sweating
• tiredness
• weakness
• headache
• nausea
• fainting
• rapid pulse
• hot, dry skin
• confusion/ change in mental status

If you observe an elderly person with any of these symptoms, it is considered a medical emergency and 911 should be called immediately.
If a person appears to be suffering from symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, take actions to assist them to recover by moving them to a cooler environment, get them to drink cool, non-alcoholic drinks and cool them rapidly by fanning them and, if possible, cover them with cool, damp sheets.

To avoid the onset of heat-related conditions, elderly people can take some simple actions to minimize the risk:

• drink non-caffeinated liquids frequently and at regular intervals
• eat cool, water-rich foods such as salads, fruit, ice cream, Jello, yogurt
• keep blinds and curtains closed at home to keep the sun out
• shop in air-conditioned malls, spend time at the local senior center
• try to complete all errands in one place rather than getting in and out of a hot vehicle
• wear breathable clothing of natural fibers, such as cotton and linen.