Life Lessons from PPH Centenarians - Philadelphia Protestant Home
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Life Lessons from PPH Centenarians

Posted on: Jan 05, 2022

Life Lessons from Two Centenarian Residents at PPH

Two PPH residents, Marcella Fellin and Cecelia Amato, have three things in common. They are close friends, they have celebrated their 100th birthdays, and they love their lives at PPH.

Marcella, age 102, moved to PPH 16 years ago. Marcella grew up upstate in coal-mining country. “I’m what you call a coal cracker,” she said. She lived in a small town there before moving to Philadelphia with her husband, who got a job there.

Cecelia, age 104, moved to PPH four years ago when she turned 100. Cecelia, one of seven children, was raised in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, and married a man from South Philadelphia. “I had two daughters and two sons (one son passed away),” she said. He worked down the shipyard.”

Now Marcella and Cecelia have become good friends and residents of PPH and were kind enough to share some of the wisdom they’ve gained in their lives.

Marcella and Cececlia taking a walk Marcella

7 Lessons for a Happy, Healthy Life

  1. Be grateful for what you have. “We never had much,” said Cecilia. “But we were happy. If a job came up, you took it.” (Hers was at a laundry.) “When you got your salary at the end of the week, you took it home to Mom.”
  2. Eat healthy. “My mother was a good cook and we always had salad and vegetables and fruit,” said Marcella. “We had blueberries all winter because my brothers would go out and pick them.” Cecelia has always watched her diet, too. “What you eat is very important,” he said. The two friends both still eat healthy through the delicious selections at the PPH dining program.“There’s always good food and good friends, good companionship,” said Cecelia.
  3. Don’t smoke. “I don’t smoke,” said Cecelia. We all know what’s right and wrong and of course we choose what is most enjoyable, but I say we all know that smoking isn’t good for you.”
  4. Nurture your friendships. Social wellness is a key part of the PPH Wellness program, and for both women, friendships are a big part of their lives. “I like getting together with my friends for dinner,” she said. “We would go down to St. Martin’s social hall. Everyone is friendly here.”
  5. Keep moving. Marcella has been active all her life. “When I was younger, I liked to go swimming,” she said. “I lived in a small town, and I had to walk four miles to go to the swimming pool. I also liked to roller skate. We lived on a hill, and I used to go down the hill.” She kept up that activity at PPH “They have everything, if you want to do it,” she continued. “Swim and exercise, exercise outside, look at all the entertainment. It’s like a little city you’re living in. You have your bank, you have your post office, you have your gift shop. You have all the things that you need.”
  6. Move somewhere where you can enjoy life. Both Marcella and Cecelia are thankful they have the support they need at PPH. Cecelia’s favorite part of life here? “I think it’s the companionship,” she said. ” Having friends to do things with. Not being alone.” As for Marcella, her favorite thing about life at PPH is that “I can be independent. I can do what I want to do. I know what I want, I know what I need and that’s important.” Those needs include services like maintenance. “I have a lot of buddies here that are willing to help me,” she said. “our maintenance department here is really good.”
  7. Don’t wait too long. “I have a couple of friends that are talking about coming here,” said Marcella. “I tell them, ‘Don’t wait. Every day you could be doing something if you want to. You want to move while you’re capable of moving.’

“Before I came here, I looked at five places. I used to come over [to PPH] for open houses. I got to know it.” And, both she and Cecelia have gotten to love it. For these two friends, life is good at PPH.

To learn more about the life our residents love at PPH and schedule a tour, give us a call at 215-697-8086.





What Residents Say

"In my nine years at PPH, I’ve grown to like it very much. At first, I felt like a stranger and then as I began to talk to people, we increasingly became good friends. A way to meet people is to join clubs. I’m now part of the PPH Auxiliary. I love helping with their flea markets because you never know what you can find. Recently, I’ve joined an evening quilting class. I love that I can continue to enjoy my life outside of PPH while experiencing the offers here.…especially the pool! Everything is just so convenient.

– Lucille Hite, Independent Living resident

What Families Say

"My mom is sooo happy at PPH, I can’t even describe it in strong enough words. She’s met so many new friends and these ladies do EVERYTHING together! She sees Dad every day in Pathways, but can have her life too. She’s gone to so many activities and I think I’ve already been to Scoops with her at least 15 times. She loves the dining room and Bistro too. My sister, Ilene, and I are so delighted that Mom is happy.......Wow, it feels like Mom’s been there about 2 years—but it’s only 2 months!! That’s how comfortable and natural it feels for her – and for all of us.

– Rhonda Frenkel, daughter of resident Bernice Segal

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