Tips from Tina: Do’s & Don’ts of Packing

Welcome to the newest blog post from our blog series called ‘Tips from Tina.’  If you have questions, she has the answers! From recommended questions when interviewing a realtor to decluttering your closets, you can anonymously ask Tina any move-related question you’d like.  No question is too small or too silly.

Each quarter, Tina provides her best advice through our Moving Resources Program.  Got a question? Call or email Tina directly at or (610) 273-9333, ext. 2160 with your questions. And don’t worry, we won’t use your name!

  • DO pack your most valuable possessions with you, in your vehicle.  This could include precious jewelry, family pictures and photo albums or priceless antiques.
  • DON’T wait until the last minute to pack. Waiting until the last minute results in poor decisions in packing and shortcuts that can lead to broken valuables. If you are unsure how to properly pack your breakables simply go to Google or YouTube for helpful videos.
  • DO be completely packed the day your mover arrives. You don’t want your mover to have to sit idle while you are still getting things into boxes as this will only add to your final bill when their time goes over the quoted number of hours.
  • DON’T try to pack your own grandfather clock. These clocks are fragile and deserve special attention so that they can be moved successful and enjoyed for years to come.  The professionals will secure that swinging arm so that it doesn’t break your glass door.
  • DON’T move mirrors that are not properly packed. Some mirrors have been in a family for years, it’s worth taking the time to make sure they are securely packed.
  • DO take precautions, bubble wrap a mirror and pack between mattresses if you can. No one wants to deal with cleaning up a broken mirror while trying to get moved.
  • DON’T try to move large pieces of furniture. These pieces need proper support, especially items that may be top heavy.
  • DO pack boxes and other large items under and around top heavy items. Packing tightly in this manner will protect those top heavy items from falling over in the truck during the move.
  • DON’T pack lights with light bulbs in them. It may sound like one small thing but you are going to need those lamps when you reach your destination and you want to make sure they will work.
  • DO remove lamp shades and pack them carefully. Place all of your light bulbs in one clearly marked container and perhaps transport in your vehicle.

Adult Day Services: An Affordable & Personalized Approach to Care

This month, we’re celebrating National Adult Day Services during the week of September 17-21, 2018. Since 1988, Tel Hai’s Adult Day Services Program (ADS) has been privileged in assisting hundred of families care for their loved ones.

Let’s take time to learn what ADS is and how it’s an affordable and personalized approach to care:

What is Adult Day Services?

ADS at Tel Hai offers personalized, quality care for adults challenged by physical disabilities or requiring memory support/dementia care, who require daily supervision.  By partnering with family members in the full-time care of their loved one, we provide an affordable care option and much-needed respite for families.

Who can be served in Adult Day Services?

In addition to Tel Hai residents within the continuum of care, ADS is available to individuals from the greater community. Transportation to ADS is provided by Rover Community Transportation for participants living in Chester County.

What does the typical day look like at Adult Day Services?

Within ADS, our aim is for clients to maintain their level of independence, but in a safe and secure environment. From structured and stimulating programming to enjoyable activities like community outings, our highly trained team members—that includes licensed practical nurses—provide individualized attention in a homelike setting. We fill our days with fun events like cooking, pet visitation, intergenerational activities, games, trivia, wellness classes, supervised walks and of course… three delicious meals a day!

How affordable is Adult Day Services compared to other care options?

According to the National Adult Day Services Association, ADS is one of the most cost-effective options in long-term care today. The per-day median cost of ADS in the United States is far lower than other care alternatives, such as home care, personal care/assisted living or long-term nursing care. At Tel Hai, our daily rates are flexible as we offer both full and half-day rates.

Adult Day Services is open 7 days a week from 6:30 am – 7:00 pm. The program is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and funded in part by the Chester County Department of Aging Services.

If you’d like a personal visit, please stop by or contact us. We’d love to meet you!

Tammy Jacobs
Director of Adult Day Services
Tel Hai Retirement Community

Summer Youth Volunteer Spotlight: Nevaeh Ritsick

Neveah accepting her award at the National Conference.

Meet Tel Hai Summer Youth Volunteer Nevaeh Ritsick! Nevaeh is a member of HOSA, for future health professionals. HOSA is an international student organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Health Science Education (HSE) to promote career opportunities in the health care industry and to enhance the delivery of quality health care to all people.

During the past school year, Nevaeh entered the Pennsylvania state competition in secondary speaking skills where she wrote a speech about why she’s choosing to pursue a career in health services. During her speech, she spoke about her experience as a Tel Hai Summer Youth Volunteer. She won the Pennsylvania competition and was sent to the HOSA National Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas.  There, she competed against 13 other competitors and won the National Title!

Below are a few excerpts from her speech…

Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” I like to think of my future as a book. When I graduate, I will be ready to create chapters full of service to others and provide hope to those in need. The skills I gain through HOSA-Future Health Professionals and Health Career Pathways will help me create a future in healthcare that I will enjoy as well as where I can serve others.

I have worked with children and the elderly, and I learned to be extra kind and nice to everyone.

For the past two summers I have had the privilege of working at Tel Hai Retirement Community. I worked in Adult Day Care, which is similar to an Alzheimer’s unit. Working with those individuals made me a stronger person, both physically and mentally strong.

Nevaeh volunteering during a coloring session with residents in Adult Day Services.

I learned to be mentally strong. I witnessed the staff working very hard. I realized, for my future, the world needs more people working in the healthcare field. I experienced good days and bad days. A major loss in my work family gave me a different set of medical experiences. I witnessed two of my favorite residents die. They had both been with me for almost two years. We grew very close but in the end, the Alzheimer’s just took over. But they both received top notch, round the clock, compassionate care. Even though it was sad and tough, I came out of it committed to health care.

As a result of my Tel Hai experience, I chose to be in the Health Career Pathways program. This is a great first step to creating a path to my future. My career path looks bright because I am creating a future I love.

Tips from Tina: 5 Stages of Accomplishment

Welcome to the second posting of our new blog series called ‘Tips from Tina.’  If you have questions, she has the answers! From recommended questions when interviewing a realtor to decluttering your closets, you can anonymously ask Tina any move-related question you’d like.  No question is too small or too silly.

Each quarter throughout 2018, Tina will provide her best advice through our Moving Resources Program.  Got a question? Call or email Tina directly at or (610) 273-9333, ext. 2160 with your questions. And don’t worry, we won’t use your name!

A resident who moved to Tel Hai a few years ago had shared a card with me that was given to her when she moved in. The card told a story that I hear so often from residents.  Over the years, I’ve shared it with many.  It focuses on the 5 stages of accomplishment as listed below.  For those looking to rightsize and take the next step in their journey to Tel Hai, you’re not alone.

STAGE 1- DENIAL: “I can’t do it.

This may have been you or perhaps you are feeling this way now. The thought of rightsizing, going through your years of memories and cherished collections just overwhelms you to the point that you talk yourself into not making a move.  Perhaps you’re thinking “I just can’t do it” and “I’m fine right where I am.” Are you in denial? Do you know deep down that you need to be making this move now?

STAGE 2- UNCERTAINTY: “Maybe I can do it.”

This is the point of feeling like a ping-pong ball… being bounced back and forth. One day you are on board, the next you doubt your decision. We hear folks sharing this uncertainty with us all the time.  These are all very normal feelings as with any big life changing decision.

STAGE 3- RESISTANCE: “There’s no way I can do it!”

Accepting change is hard and we all handle change differently.  Sometimes we try to resist it. The thought “where there’s a will… there’s a way” comes to mind. My best advice is to put a plan in place.  I once worked with a resident who asked her extended family to fly in and share in the fun of packing.  They sorted her things and helped prepare her home to be ‘market ready.’

STAGE 4- PANIC: “Ahhhhhh, what if I can’t do this!?!”

I hear residents tell me their stories and some of them experience sheer panic. For some, it seems it gets worse before it gets better. Perhaps it’s a failed septic inspection at your existing home or when a loan wasn’t approved in time. There are so many things that can put you in a panic. While some things are out of your control and my control, there are several areas that we can tackle together through our trusted partners and supportive resources. I’m just a phone call away to discuss any situation where you feel you are panicking. Don’t let the situation go unaddressed to a point where your panic becomes overwhelming.

STAGE 5- ACCEPTANCE: “Alright! I did it! Lets party!”

In the end, when the boxes are unpacked and you are meeting new friends, you’ll reflect on the gift you gave yourself and your children.  You’ll have the peace of mind that your future is secure, your home ownership worries have evaporated and you only have one job… to party!  That’s right… you did it!  It’s now time to start your next chapter and work through your bucket list!

Hello from Nepal!

Tel Hai’s President, Dave Shenk, is on a 3-week trek through Nepal.  This is the first blog posting of his adventures.  Check back to the Tel Hai blog often for an update on Dave’s journey!

We arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal on Qatar Airlines on April 24 and enjoyed the culture, chaos, and hustle bustle of Nepal’s capital city for a day. The next day, we took a very rough seven hour “Jeep” ride to the trailhead to begin our 11-day trek in the Annapurna mountain range.

Several immediate things come to mind. We take so much for granted in the developed world – things such as running water that is safe to drink, electricity, heated rooms, internet access. None of these were consistently available, it at all, in many of the villages we stayed in. I was so impressed with the resourcefulness of Nepali people in spite of the lack of means. It reminded me of how much we have and the choices that we have because of our wealth.

I was also very aware of how important the role of religion is in the daily lives of the people here. Nepali’s are primarily Buddhists and Hindus. Throughout large cities and tiny villages, we saw people praying at temples, shrines, stupas, and other holy places.

Trekking 8 to 12 miles a day was an amazing adventure and the hardest physical exertion that I experienced in my life. Several days we climbed over 3,000 of elevation with the highest day yesterday at Thorong La Pass at 17,769 feet before descending 6,000 feet. Temperatures dipped into the 20’s and we hiked most of one day in snow.

The views of the Annapurna range were incredible and will never be forgotten. The snow-capped mountains are beautiful from every angle as we trekked around and through different valleys and mountain slopes.

Seven sherpas and porters supported the eight trekkers in our group. They acted as guides, cooks, interpreters, and carried about 90-pounds of gear and we only carried day packs with 12 to 15 pounds of water, snacks, extra jacket layers, etc.

The local folks in the small villages along the way were very hospitable and the food was outstanding. There were staples of rice, curry, dal, etc. on a daily basis. I look forward to a return to the United States on May 12th and seeing everyone again. And a hot shower and a hamburger might be nice as well!

Dave Shenk

President & CEO

Tel Hai Retirement Community

Photos include the Annapurna mountain range and Dendi Sherpa, our Nepal trekking guide!

Tips from Tina: Listing, Selling & Negotiating!

Welcome to the first posting of our new blog series called ‘Tips from Tina.’  If you have questions, she has the answers! From recommended questions when interviewing a realtor to decluttering your closets, you can anonymously ask Tina any move-related question you’d like.  No question is too small or too silly.

Each quarter throughout 2018, Tina will answer several of the questions, and provide her best advice through our Moving Resources Program.  Got a question? Call or email Tina directly at or (610) 273-9333, ext. 2160 with your questions. And don’t worry, we won’t use your name!

Question: “I’m ready to list my house.  What happens if it sells faster than I planned?” 

First, congratulations if your home sells fast.  That’s great news! When you join the Future Resident List, you’ll have access to our Moving Resources Program.  Together, we will explore available options of short-term and long-term housing. Short-term housing is considered housing for a period of less than two months.  It’s often more costly than long-term housing, but comes with the convenience of a fully furnished accommodation.  On the contrary, long-term housing is generally considered housing longer than 2 months and up to a year.  It’s less expensive than short-term housing, and lease agreements can range from month-to-month, to quarterly to yearly.  I can provide you critical resources of who provides housing, where it’s located, and help you sort through your options.  Once, I had a resident who needed long-term housing, and she stayed at an off-season beach rental… what fun! Ultimately, do not let a quick sale of your house deter you from closing on a sale.

Question: “I’m not a fan of yard sales or auctions but I have some high-end items.  Where can I consign items like housewares or jewelry?”

There are several options locally in the Western Chester County area and many along the Main Line.  Also, places like the Brandywine Consignment Shop and The Palm Tree  offer consignment opportunities for a cause!  Together, I’ll help you do your homework on what fits you best.  In general, there is a cost to consign and a time-period associated with the selling of your items.  Also, be aware that many vendors limit the amount of items you can consign, so pick wisely!

Question: “Should I negotiate for a reduced commission rate with my listing agent?”

This is a tough and sensitive question within the world of real estate.  Your listing agent is a trained professional who you are hiring to sell- perhaps- your most valuable possession.  You want them to broker the best deal for you, so you can start the next journey of your life at Tel Hai.  Consider why would they be willing to work for a reduced rate.  Would they reduce your homes advertising budget or exposure?  I recommend you proceed with caution. 


Fight Hunger: One Can at a Time!

Even in the world’s greatest food-producing nation, children and adults face poverty and hunger in every county across America.

According to Feeding America in their 2017 report, 41 million people struggle with hunger in the United States, including 13 million children and 5.6 million seniors and older adults. Food insecurity is a reality for our neighbors in the community in which we live and work. A household that is food insecure has limited access to enough food to support a healthy life.

You can make a difference for some of those that are in need. Tel Hai’s Annual Food Drive benefits the Twin Valley Food Bank and the Honey Brook Food Pantry and is currently under way through the end of March.

Please consider making a donation to the food pantries in our immediate area. Requested items include canned tuna, peanut butter, cereals, pasta, rice, canned fruits, canned vegetables, spaghetti sauce, soups, laundry detergent, dish soap, bar soap, paper towels, and toilet paper. Baskets for donation collections are located in the Garret Community Center lobby, Chapel lobby, StoneCroft lobby and Child Day Care Center.

Together we can make a difference in ending hunger. Thank you in advance for your support and generosity.

Sybil Oswalt, MS, RD, CSG, LDN

Registered Dietician

Tel Hai Retirement Community

Israel: Walking Where Jesus Walked

We recently returned from a ten day trip to Israel with thirty-six of our neighbors and friends. It was my sixth pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I am often asked why I continue to go back to the same place again and again. There are many reasons my wife and I become tour hosts for this fascinating adventure. Probably the best reason to return is the opportunity to introduce folks to the joy of discovering the place where Jesus lived.

The expressions we often hear include: “I’ve been waiting my whole life to get here;” or “It’s hard to believe I am walking where Jesus walked.” The looks of excitement, astonishment and pure joy are priceless.

You can make this trip in many ways. Some go just to visit a ‘new’ place, others go as biblical students, trying to understand the Bible better, while many make this a pilgrimage. That is, they want to have a closer experience with God, using the sites as opportunities to better know and understand the God of Creation and the Word. It is always our hope and prayer that members of our group will become pilgrims.

The Bible comes alive while visiting places that were previously just names. As one of our group shared, “I read the scripture Sunday in church, and could say, ‘Now I know what that really means.’” Placed in real contexts, Bible stories and teachings come alive and drastically alter our understanding of long familiar passages.

One such passage that captivated all of us was the teaching of Jesus concerning his teaching about moving mountains by faith. Try to contact a member of our group and ask how that story came alive for us.

One of my favorite places is the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus prayed before going to the Cross. We learned that olive trees, when cut down to their roots, can grow again out of those same roots. That means the trees there today may be the same ones that Jesus prayed beside two thousand years ago. So we were truly where Jesus prayed for each of us, and you.

Dan MacDonald, D. Min.

Tel Hai Resident

Tips from Tina: You have questions? She has answers.

Starting in March, we will begin a new blog series called ‘Tips from Tina.’

If you have questions, she has the answers! From recommended questions when interviewing a realtor to decluttering your closets, you can anonymously ask Tina any move-related question you’d like.

No question is too small or too silly. Does she have a recommended packing tape? She sure does! 3M Scotch clear tape… and buy the rolling dispenser to make taping boxes easier.

Each quarter throughout 2018, Tina will answer several of the questions, and provide her best advice through our Moving Resources Program.

Got a question? Call or email Tina directly at or (610) 273-9333, ext. 2160 with your questions. And don’t worry, we won’t use your name!

For the Love of the Game

My love for baseball began many years ago when my Dad took me to Shibe Park in North Philadelphia to watch the Philadelphia Phillies and the Philadelphia Athletics. My favorite player was Richie Ashburn.

While in grade school and junior high school, I played baseball in a school-yard in West Philly where I lived. When my children were old enough, they played little league baseball (they also loved the game too), and I coached two of our children from T-ball through junior high school.

In 1987, I met Richie Ashburn in person at the ‘Phillies Dream Week’ in Florida. Richie and I had many conversations about his career, family and our mutual love of the game. In my cottage here at Tel Hai, I have a picture of Richie and me at ‘Dream Week.’ I also have a picture of the 1950 ‘Whiz Kids.’ After ‘Dream Week,’ I played organized baseball in Delaware County with the Delco Phillies.

With the help of Judy Schweitzer, Community Life Coordinator, I organized and started a Resident Softball Team here at Tel Hai. We call ourselves the “Rockets” and we practice every Friday morning from April to September at Suplee Field in Honey Brook. And take our practice very seriously…. (sometimes!)

As of 2017 season, we had 11 active players, ranging in age from 72 to over 80. They call me “Coach.” I am always looking for players for the coming season. Every summer we challenge Tel Hai team members to a softball game. The ‘Rockets’ look forward to this game. Tel Hai is gracious enough to supply hot dogs, drinks, and peanuts for the game. Our 40 or more fans from Tel Hai come to cheer both sides!

I speak for my team to extend a ‘thanks’ for such a marvelous time.

Rich Toscano

Tel Hai Resident