Posted by Guide to Retirement Living SourceBook on 12/13/2016

Coming Home

Coming Home

Martin and Margaret “Margy” Trueblood’s roots run deep with Foulkeways at Gwynedd, a Quaker Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) situated on 130 acres in Montgomery County. After Martin’s service with the Navy stationed in Hawaii, he and his wife, Margy, returned to Pennsylvania in 1954, needing a place to live.

Gwynedd Friends Meeting owned the property now known as Foulkeways, but at the time, it was 67 acres of farmland with two houses and a barn. Luckily for Martin and Margy, one of those houses had an available apartment. Currently, that house is a historic six-bedroom guest house on campus called Beaumont House.

Did they imagine spending their retirement years on the same property where they spent a couple of years raising their family? Margy is quick to exclaim, “No way!” Why? Foulkeways wasn’t even a dream yet.

After many years of thoughtful discussions, the dream of Gwynedd Friends Meeting members was to create an enriching community for older adults to meet future health needs without disrupting ties with family or friends. Guided by Quaker values, that dream became reality, as Foulkeways will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year.

Interestingly enough, Martin and Margy not only lived on the property before it was a retirement community, but later they were also Foulkeways employees. Martin served as Associate Director of Foulkeways from 1970 until 1974, which started his 25-year career in managing and consulting retirement communities. Sitting next to him, Margy recalls her personal experience marketing Foulkeways.

Being one of the first CCRCs in the country, Margy recalls that it was a whole new concept of retirement living— where a person would move to independent living with personal care and skilled nursing available on the same campus if needed. She recalls the cardboard model apartments with floor plans and costs, and vividly remembers hearing on a daily basis the objection, “’but I want to leave my money to my children.’”

Martin interjects, “We always knew that we didn’t want to be a burden to our children!” They both strongly believe this is the best gift they can give their four children.

Martin and Margy became Foulkeways residents in 2004. Why did they choose this community? “Foulkeways has done the best job of staying current more than any other community I know,” shares Martin, who credits the Board of Directors for the community’s vision and the residents and staff for the community’s reputation.

Margy adds, “This is the friendliest community.” Martin agrees, “That’s a big factor.”

What’s their advice to those searching for a community? “Meet as many residents as you can,” Martin advises. “And ask lots of questions because the residents will tell newcomers the truth,” Margy adds.

Martin served as President of the Foulkeways Residents Association during the renovations of the auditorium, Gift Box gift shop, and Meadow Café, citing that resident involvement has always been an important aspect of life at Foulkeways.

With more than 100 special interest groups, services, and activities, they both personally enjoy volunteering as tour guides, spending time in the fitness center, and birding.

When asked what their hope is for Foulkeways as the community gets ready for the next 50 years, Martin shares, “That it wouldn’t change much.” Margy is quick to add, “except that it would keep up with the times like it has [the first 50 years].”

Martin jokes that it’s amazing how many things Foulkeways got right starting from scratch, but says it’s even more amazing that he and Margy can still agree after nearly 70 years of marriage.

For more information, Enter Keyword: Foulkeways at Gwynedd

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