Retirement living among friends and family

Retirement community move-in process – moving to senior living

Choosing to remain in your home sounds like a great idea until the responsibilities of homeownership start to become a hassle. Fortunately, you don’t have to keep your house to stay close with friends and family in your retirement years. That’s the dream that has come true for many of our residents at Simpson Meadows. In our uniquely intimate senior living community that offers independent living, independent living with support, assisted living, and memory care in Downingtown, PA., our approximately 145 residents live their lives surrounded by familiar faces.

“We are a hidden gem,” says Laura Kasal, Director of Sales & Marketing at the Methodist-based non-profit community. “The staff and the residents are all great—they’re all good company.”

Neighborhood ties that bind

Peggy Ruggiero was born in Philadelphia and Peggy Kilgallen was born in Ireland, but their lives have intertwined, and the connection continues at Simpson Meadows. While raising their children, they lived around the corner from each other. Their children were classmates and often played basketball together. Today, the two are married.

Peggy Ruggiero moved to Simpson Meadows in 2016. Two years later, her former neighbor moved in, too, and they were neighbors in the community’s Asbury Heights apartment building. They see each other at various group activities that the retirement community offers.

Although Ruggiero didn’t directly influence Kilgallen’s decision to move to Simpson Meadows, it’s not surprising that they both found their way to the same place.

“When families are happy with where their loved one is, they will move another loved one in,” Kasal says.

No generation gap here

Simpson Meadows opened its doors in Downingtown, PA in January 2000, and is now seeing a second generation as the children, nieces, and nephews of residents are moving in.

After serving in the Army Air Corps, Ken Weyerman went to Penn State, and then worked as an electrical engineer at Lukens Steel from 1950 until his retirement in 1986. In 2009 he and his wife, Audrey, moved to Simpson Meadows. He was widowed in 2016. In 2021, his son Tom—one of Ken and Audrey’s five children—moved to Simpson Meadows, too. At the age of 68, Tom was tired of cooking for himself and wanted to be able to help care for his dad. They each have their own independent living apartment, but they get together every day and always eat dinner together.

And this is not Simpson Meadows’ only case of multi-generational families.

Pat Hiddleson, a current resident, enjoys Simpson Meadows with both her husband Hank and her mother-in-law, Mary.

Some 20 years ago, Pat’s aunt moved to Simpson Meadows shortly after it opened.

“We were very familiar with the community,” says Pat, a native of Coatesville. “So when it was time to find a place for Mary, and then ourselves, it was the only place we wanted to be. The staff are wonderful and I have always been impressed with Simpson Meadows.”

Mary Hiddleson moved into the community’s Wesley Commons apartments in January 2021. A few months later, Pat and Hank Hiddleson moved in, too. They have an independent living apartment in Asbury Crossing, and Pat was recently elected to serve on the community’s Resident Council.

“We’re safe here and there’s so much to do,” says Pat.

Bring your parents—or grandparents—to work

“We are very family-oriented and have a great reputation,” says Laura Kasal, whose own grandfather, Softball Hall of Famer Robert Clyde “Cannonball” Farmer, moved to Simpson Meadows last April at age 94.

“My family knows what a great place we are,” Laura says. “The care is excellent, and it has a real community feeling.”

Many of the staff members live locally and are very connected to the community—as are many of the residents.

Before moving to Simpson Meadows in 2019, Tom Lee Jr. was a volunteer firefighter in Downingtown for 67 years. Two of his uncles were Chiefs in the Downingtown Fire Department, and Tom followed in their footsteps. He also helped form the Chester County Fire Chiefs Association. Today, he is still surrounded by family. His son Tom Lee III is Director of Facilities at Simpson Meadows; his grandson, Christopher Lee, is the community’s Maintenance Manager; and a Lee cousin, Joanne Wills, is the Community Concierge. One of Tom’s daughters, both sons, and two grandsons are carrying on his legacy of volunteerism with the fire department.

Another “local,” Gail Dooley, the Executive Director at Simpson Meadows, has a three-minute commute to her job, and she sees many friends who have retired and moved to the senior community.

“Many of us on staff have worked at other retirement communities, and will tell you that the number of family ties and community connections at Simpson Meadows is unique,” she says. “It’s a pleasure to be a part of a non-profit organization that can invest in being the kind of community that you would want for your friends and family.”

To experience Simpson Meadows for yourself, schedule a tour today.

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