Senior news round-up

Trump signs Rosie the Riveter act

President Donald Trump signed the Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act.

This legislation honors American women who joined the workforce in support of the war effort during World War II by awarding them a Congressional Gold Medal. These “Rosie the Riveters” answered the nation’s call to action and learned new skills, many building the vehicles, weaponry and ammunitions that were critical to the war effort.

The effort was led by Sens. Bob Casey and Susan Collins and Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick and Jackie Speier.

“Millions of women helped support our troops during WWII, whether they worked on assembly lines, addressed the troops’ medical needs or tended to ships and farms. These ‘Rosie the Riveters’ have set an example of the ‘We Can Do It’ spirit for decades, and this recognition of their tremendous service and patriotism is long overdue,” Casey said. “I am glad to announce that the Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act is now law and I am grateful to my colleagues in the Senate and the House of Representatives for their partnership in moving this legislation forward.”

The percentage of women in the workforce jumped from 27 percent to nearly 37 percent from 1940 to 1945. By the end of the war, nearly one out of every four married women worked outside the home. These “Rosie the Riveters” took positions across various industries, but the aviation industry saw the biggest increase of female workers – with more than 310,000 working in the aircraft industry in 1943, representing 65 percent of its workforce.

“I am thrilled to see the president sign our Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act into law. This recognition and honor is long overdue and I am proud of the bipartisan and bicameral work that got us here,” Fitzpatrick said. “The ‘Rosie the Riveters’ embodied the ‘We can do it’ spirit forever connected with the famous poster. Levittown’s Mae Krier was instrumental in the efforts to gain support for our bill. We would not have gotten to this point without Mae’s tireless advocacy for her fellow ‘Rosies’, and I am incredibly proud to represent her in Congress.”

InnovAge opens LIFE center

InnovAge recently opened its fifth center to serve seniors in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania LIFE–Pennypack center at 4401 Megargee St. shares property with a planned affordable housing complex operated by NewCourtland. Together, the Pennypack site offers a combination of personalized healthcare services and affordable housing, all aimed at frail seniors, at the same location.

Living Independently For Elders is an alternative to nursing facilities designed to keep older adults independent and living at home for as long as safely possible. LIFE provides coordinated care led by clinicians and includes primary care, dental and vision care, in-home care, specialty care coordination, transportation and social engagement. In response to COVID-19, InnovAge has adjusted its care delivery model to continue serving seniors with individualized medical care. The company is providing telehealth, wellness calls, meal and medication home deliveries as well as transportation to and coordination of specialty appointments.

“Right now, frail seniors and their families need us more than ever. The LIFE model provides flexibility in care delivery and it is an ideal care model for self-distancing,” said Maureen Hewitt, InnovAge president and CEO. “As the pandemic continues, our focus and mission at InnovAge remain the same: providing care and support to frail seniors across the country. The LIFE program is the best way to do that, and we look forward to serving more of them with our new Pennypack LIFE center.”

The new InnovAge center has the capacity to serve up to 740 seniors annually in the 26,148-square-foot facility. The new LIFE center offers multiple day rooms, a large physical therapy area, a primary care clinic with five exam rooms, a dental exam area with two dental chairs, a spacious exercise room and an indoor walking loop. The outdoor patio features multiple gardens.

NewCourtland plans to add housing at Pennypack as a multi-phase project over the next few years. As with all of its properties, NewCourtland will work to meet the needs of the community with modern one-bedroom and efficiency apartments and complementary community rooms and commercial space.

“Our vision is to ensure that the people who will live here can live in a safe and secure environment. The future Apartments at Pennypack represent our commitment to the community to go where the need is greatest and provide housing to those who need it most,” said Joe Duffey, president and CEO of NewCourtland. “While the LIFE center and future apartments comprise a large part of this site, they are only the first steps in a long-term plan to redevelop and re-energize the entire property.”

The Pennypack campus is the site of the former Liddonfield Homes public housing project.

WEL earns high grades

Great Place to Work and Fortune have named Wesley Enhanced Living as one of the top three 2020 Best Workplaces for Aging Services in the country. Wesley Enhanced Living is a nonprofit organization operating six continuing care retirement communities across the Greater Philadelphia region, including locations at 7040 Oxford Ave. and 8401 Roosevelt Blvd.

 Wesley Enhanced Living is the only Pennsylvania-based aging services provider to have made the Fortune list in the Senior Housing and Care – Large category.

Wesley Enhanced Living earned the third spot out of 20 providers ranked in the Senior Housing and Care – Large category. WEL moved up several spots from its recognition in the sixth spot on the list last year.

After analyzing and evaluating employee surveys, Great Place to Work and Fortune ranked each organization based on employee experience feedback related to levels of trust, respect and fairness within the organization.

“Ranking in the top three Best Workplaces for Aging Services confirms the outstanding efforts by our incredibly dedicated WEL team members to provide quality care to our senior residents,” said Jeff Petty, president and chief executive officer of Wesley Enhanced Living. “In a year like no other, we are so proud of our employees and the sense of community that we have cultivated at our WEL locations.”

Wesley Enhanced Living employee results showed 90% of respondents felt like they make a difference at work, felt their work had special meaning and felt a sense of pride when they look at what WEL accomplishes.

“We are so grateful to our team for their commitment to enhancing the lives of not only our residents, but one another,” Petty said.

Sale at thrift shop

The Classroom Thrift Shop, 4301 Tyson Ave., sponsored by the women of Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai, will hold a half-price sale from Sunday, Jan. 3, through Friday, Jan.  8.

Shop hours are weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The shop is closed Saturday.

Call 215-624-9130.

Reduce your fall risk

The Sisterhood of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim will hold a Zoom program on Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m.

The program will be presented by Matthew Johnston, a therapist at Excel Physical Therapy, 9337-39 Krewstown Road.

Johnston will share information on how to live a safer and healthier life by reducing your fall risk.

The program will be followed by a Sisterhood business meeting. Call 215-677-1600.

Virtual concert on Jan. 21

The Men’s Club of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim is hosting a virtual musical evening on Thursday, Jan. 21, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Andrea Carlson will entertain with songs by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers from her new CD, Out Of My Dreams. The cost is $18.

Call 215-677-1600. 

Author to discuss mom’s journey

The Sisterhood of Congregations of Shaare Shamayim will hold a Zoom talk and PowerPoint presentation by author Sherry V. Ostroff on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m.

Ostroff will discuss her mother’s escape from deadly pogroms in war-torn Russia to the United States at a time when immigration laws tried to keep her out. This memoir is the basis of her first book, The Lucky One.

The program will be followed by a Sisterhood business meeting. For further information, call 215-677-1600.

Thomas Junior High reunion set for October 2021

An all-class reunion for the former George C. Thomas Junior High School will take place on Oct. 2, 2021, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Galdo’s, 20th Street and Moyamensing Avenue.

Thomas opened in 1920 at 9th and Johnston streets. It became Mastery Charter School in 2009.

Tickets for the reunion cost $75. Checks or money orders can be made payable to Karen Kelly-Mandl and sent to P.O. Box 87, Hainesport, NJ 08036. 

For more information, email Karen Kelly-Mandl at or visit

Phila. High Class of ‘68 meeting Oct. 2021

Members of the South Philadelphia High School Class of 1968 will meet on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Waterfall Room, 2015 S. Water St.

Tickets cost $55 and include an open bar and buffet luncheon.

The luncheon is open to all classes of South Philadelphia High.

Checks can be made payable to SPHS Class of 1968 and mailed to Maria Leati, 26 Old Republic Lane, Marlton, NJ 08053.

For tickets and information, contact Stephen Michielli at 267-252-2740 or



  • Abraham Lincoln, class of 1960. Oct. 10, 2021. Brookside Manor at Somerton Springs. DJ, open bar, buffet, cake, pastry table. Betty Harrison,
  • St. Hubert, class of 1960. April 17, 2021. 1-5 p.m. Maltese Room, 2049 Bristol Pike, Bensalem. Lorraine Jent Hepp, 215-624-6764 or Charlene Ritchie, 215-624-6840 (Ext. 1531) or
  • St. Joseph’s Prep, classes 1975. ‘80, ‘85, ‘90, ‘95, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015. Saturday, March 27, 2021, at the school, 1733 W. Girard Ave. 215-978-1950.


Navy Reunions

  • Visit for a listing of reunions. The site is a free service enabling Navy shipmates to renew old friendships. There are currently more than 8,700 Navy ship, submarine and air squadron personnel rosters listed.