"It's very important to be independent. My children don't like it when I'm too independent but I'm still the mother," she said.
Like Ruth, most seniors desire that freedom. And experts point to independence as a critical component of overall health.
"They want to stay in their home where they are aware of an environment that they've lived in all their lives," said Nayda Pagan-Piazza, the Service Coordination Supervisor for the Philadelphia Corporation for Aging.
Health and financial challenges can sometimes make this difficult. But seniors who qualify can receive day care, transportation, even home modifications that allow them to maintain their life style.
"I've been here 67 years, it's important," said LaFronia Childs. I have an aide who comes twice a day."
For more information on these and other programs, call the PCA help line, 215-765-9040.