The impact of snow or any inclement weather on maintenance-free living, as enjoyed by residents of the Masonic Villages, could be summed up in two words: not much.

For residents of Masonic Villages, snowstorms are not a cause for concern. They are able to relax in their homes, watch Mother Nature in action from their windows and continue on with their day. Staff take care of snow removal; clear roads, driveways and sidewalks; and dig out cars, sometimes at a faster pace than PennDOT.

If residents chose to eat at a campus restaurant, transportation is provided, no matter what was falling from the sky. If for some reason they can’t make it outside their home, a meal may be delivered upon their request.

Personal care and nursing care residents notice little disruption in the care they received. Meals are served as normal, and most activities continued as scheduled. Residents receiving home care services also see little to no change in their services.

Behind the scenes, Masonic Villages’ staff work very hard to keep services running seamlessly. All hands are truly on deck to stay on top of snow removal and maintain daily operations. For example, during a major storm in 2017:

At the Masonic Village at Dallas, a team of four staff and outsourced assistance worked diligently to keep the villas, apartments and Irem Clubhouse areas clear. Snow drifts covered several villa furnace vents, and the maintenance manager climbed on top of roofs to clear them. Residents enjoyed regularly scheduled activities.

At the Masonic Village at Elizabethtown, 50-60 staff from various departments spent the night, and a few stayed the next night, as well. They all received free meals from campus cafés. Many staff also worked double shifts, and security staff provided rides for essential employees. Only three nursing staff were unable to make it to work, and adequate coverage was arranged. About 45 staff tackled snow across the 1,400-acre campus with shovels, plows, backhoes, loaders and tractors.

Many residents expressed their gratitude in person and through thank you notes. As one resident couple shared: “Hats off to all for doing a great job! We appreciate their efforts. What a big job and they handle it well. Our thanks to all.”

Staff who worked in the Masonic Health Care Center through the day and night were pleasantly surprised to find their cars dug out by the snow removal team.

At the Masonic Village at Lafayette Hill, seven staff, along with the assistance of an outside contractor, kept sidewalks and parking lots clear. Twenty staff spent a night at work, with three also staying the next night. All were provided with free meals. One employee slept at a local firehouse where he volunteers so he could easily make it in on Tuesday. Several staff left in the afternoon and returned later in the evening to spend the night and be ready for the morning shift. Recreation staff embraced the occasion and held snow celebrations for residents.

At the Masonic Village at Warminster, our smallest community, six staff spent the night, including a CNA who stayed two nights to ensure proper coverage. Three staff oversaw snow removal efforts. Recreation staff ran “activities as usual!”

The Masonic Village at Sewickley saw about three inches of snow, and even though staff were prepared for anything, operations continued as normal.

Whether it involves raking leaves, shoveling snow or mowing grass, Masonic Villages’ staff ensures maintenance-free living is always in season.