History of Saunders House

The idea for what is now Saunders House arose in the spring of 1860 when three women visited the Widow’s House in Philadelphia and realized that a similar organization to care for older men did not exist. In July 1860, the Court of Common Pleas granted a charter for the establishment of an old man’s home. The Civil War intervened, and the project was put on hold until a new charter was applied for and granted in April of 1864. The Old Man’s Home of Philadelphia opened its doors in 1864 to afford relief and the comforts of home to older men of reduced financial means.

The Old Man’s Home later evolved to become Saunders House, as it began admitting women in 1960. Saunders House moved from its original location at 39th Street and Powelton Avenue in West Philadelphia to its current location on the campus of Lankenau Hospital in 1973. To better meet the needs of the local community, Saunders House added two floors in 1978. This expansion, which allowed the organization to provide the highest quality care and services to up to 180 residents, was made possible through the generosity of the Chapin Memorial Home for Aged Blind. 

When the Chapin Home closed its doors, the Chapin residents moved to Saunders House. As part of an ongoing commitment, Saunders House continues to offer priority admission to older adults with visual impairments. Over the years, Saunders House has continued to benefit from the Chapin Home’s generous financial support.

Located in Wynnewood, adjacent to Lankenau Hospital, Saunders House has become the residence of choice for older adults and their families in the area. Saunders House offers exceptional short-term rehabilitation therapies, traditional nursing care, memory care, respite care, restorative care, as well as care for those with visual impairments.

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