Northeast Times

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey visits Wesley Enhanced Living for 125th anniversary

  • U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey visits Wesley Enhanced Living for its 125th anniversary. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTOS

  • A choir at Wesley Enhanced Living Pennypack Park uses bells to make songs during the retirement community’s anniversary.

  • Marie Hertrich looks through old albums.

Wes­ley En­hanced Liv­ing, a non­profit, faith-based or­gan­iz­a­tion that owns and man­ages mul­tiple con­tinu­ing care re­tire­ment com­munit­ies in south­east­ern Pennsylvania, last week cel­eb­rated 125 years of serving res­id­ents.

Among those who at­ten­ded the Dec. 5 cel­eb­ra­tion was U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.

The event took place at WEL’s Pennypack site at 8401 Roosevelt Blvd.

In 1888, the Ger­man Home for the Aged was formed by the Evan­gel­ic­al As­so­ci­ation of Churches. Today, the or­gan­iz­a­tion now known as Wes­ley En­hanced Liv­ing provides in­de­pend­ent liv­ing, per­son­al care, re­hab­il­it­a­tion, skilled nurs­ing and de­men­tia care at its many con­tinu­ing care re­tire­ment com­munit­ies.

The or­gan­iz­a­tion has also suc­ceeded in res­cuing in­de­pend­ent con­tinu­ing care re­tire­ment com­munit­ies and mak­ing them fin­an­cially vi­able.

To date, WEL has in­ves­ted more than $80 mil­lion in renov­a­tions and up­grades to its com­munit­ies. Once the multi-mil­lion-dol­lar renov­a­tion at Wes­ley En­hanced Liv­ing at Stape­ley in Ger­man­town is com­plete in early 2014, all WEL com­munit­ies will have un­der­gone both op­er­a­tion­al and com­munity trans­form­a­tions.

The com­pany has in­sti­tuted WEL SHIFT, a seni­or health­care and hous­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery mod­el, in­ten­ded to be more re­spons­ive to seni­ors’ needs, more ac­cess­ible to the grow­ing aging pop­u­la­tion and a more ef­fi­cient use of tax­pay­er re­sources. 

With the in­tro­duc­tion of U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick’s Medi­care Res­id­en­tial Care Co­ordin­a­tion Act of 2013, up to five states could ap­ply to par­ti­cip­ate in a demon­stra­tion pro­ject that would cre­ate new seni­or com­munit­ies fea­tur­ing life­time health and hous­ing be­ne­fits with­in the ex­ist­ing Medi­care and Medi­caid pro­grams.

WEL’s CEO and pres­id­ent, Jeff Petty, said, “The power of H.R. 2376 is the elim­in­a­tion of the sub­stan­tial du­plic­a­tion, over­lap and in­ef­fi­ciency in the ser­vice of­fer­ings of the com­bined pro­grams. For ex­ample, we es­tim­ate that WEL SHIFT pro­jects sav­ings of more than 25 per­cent in Medi­care and 20 per­cent in Medi­caid for the par­ti­cipants of the demon­stra­tion pro­ject, without as­sum­ing any of the im­prove­ments in out­comes or be­ha­vi­or modi­fic­a­tions, which would be nearly in­ev­it­able from the paradigm change in the ser­vice de­liv­ery mod­el en­com­passed in H.R. 2376.”

Wes­ley En­hanced Liv­ing serves about 1,200 res­id­ents with more than 900 em­ploy­ees throughout Pennsylvania. WEL com­munit­ies are loc­ated in Doylestown, Up­per Mo­re­land, Pennypack Park, Burholme, Ger­man­town and Brod­heads­ville, Mon­roe County.

The com­munit­ies provide vari­ous com­bin­a­tions of in­de­pend­ent liv­ing, per­son­al care ser­vices, de­men­tia care, re­hab­il­it­a­tion and skilled nurs­ing ser­vices. ••

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