Acts Retirement-Life Communities to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Senior Living Leadership

June 13, 2022

FORT WASHINGTON, PA—Acts Retirement-Life Communities, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit senior living organizations, is recognizing the 50th anniversary of its mission of serving older adults with a series of celebratory activities and events taking place throughout the year.

“For 50 years, Acts has been driven by a singular mission of serving older adults with best in-class senior housing, services and care in environments graced with loving kindness,” said Acts CEO Gerald T. Grant. “Our communities are the product of thousands of people who believed in and continue to embrace our mission and culture of loving kindness, which has helped Acts to flourish as one of the nation’s premier senior living organizations.”

Acts was founded by a pastor and members of a nondenominational church in suburban Philadelphia in the early 1970s. Inspired by biblical directives to care for seniors, their idea was to create a new kind of housing not readily available at the time, where residents could enjoy an active and purposeful retirement lifestyle, with the security of having quality skilled healthcare available on site if it was ever needed. Using their own resources and talents, this group of visionaries built what today is known as Fort Washington Estates, which opened in 1972. The first Acts community was an immediate success and helped further the new model of housing for seniors called a CCRC, which has become a popular fixture in the senior housing landscape and is predominantly operated by faith-based, not-for-profit organizations.

Over the ensuing decades, Acts experienced steady growth and continued to evolve its services, while expanding into other states through building new communities, affiliations, alliances and sponsorship transitions. Today, Acts owns and operates a growing network of communities located throughout the eastern seaboard and is among the largest CCRC organizations in the country. Acts communities are in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida. As a not-for-profit organization, Acts reinvests back into its communities for ongoing renovations and upgrades at approximately $133 million annually, and plans to continue exploring opportunities to grow its mission through alliances, affiliations, acquisitions and new developments.

In the spectrum of aging services, Acts ranks as the third largest not-for-profit system, according to the 2021 LeadingAge Ziegler 200. Acts has established itself as a force for innovation through its service delivery philosophy and wellness programs that have become widely embraced in the senior living field. Acts’ commitment to improving the lives of seniors goes beyond its resident population, through its Acts Center for Applied Research, which partners with leading educational and research organizations to explore issues related to healthy aging and ways to improve services for our nation’s older adult population.

“Our faith-based principles have guided us well for 50 years, and we believe there is still much more to accomplish,” said Acts president Karen Christiansen. “We look forward to many more years of delivering innovative senior services to help our residents live their best lives, empowering our employees to grow in their senior living careers and working with our industry partners to help shape the future of aging services.”

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