Paula Panchuck Redefines Independent Living with Lasell Village at Lasell College

In this Leaders in Elder Care interview, I had the pleasure to interview Dr. Paula Panchuck, vice president of Lasell Village at Lasell College.  Lasell Village epitomizes the meaning of creativity in elder care.  Combining senior independent living and continuing education within the campus of a four-year university, Lasell Village at Lasell College serves as an inspiration for what can happen when people think “what if….”

I hope everyone enjoys my interview with Paula as much as I did.

How Paula Describes Lasell Village

Lasell Village is a unique Continuing Care Retirement Community located on the campus of Lasell College in Auburndale, Massachusetts, a village of Newton and a residential suburb bordering Boston.  Open since May 2000, the Village combines the elements of lifelong learning, retirement housing, support services, short-term rehabilitation and long-term care on its thirteen-acre site.

A focus on living and learning is the defining characteristic of Lasell Village and one that makes it distinctive among retirement communities.  Although it is one of a growing number of college-affiliated retirement communities in the country, it is the only one to feature a formal, individualized, required continuing education program for its residents. In addition to courses and other learning opportunities at Lasell College, Village residents enjoy hundreds of on-site courses, lectures, cultural events and physical fitness classes each year. A College-appointed Dean oversees this unique living and learning program at Lasell Village and encourages intergenerational activities for residents, faculty and college students.

The physical environment of the Village is designed to support its educational mission and to integrate the intellectual growth, creative development, and physical wellness of its residents.  Each of its sixteen apartment buildings includes a classroom, studio, library or fitness facility and indoor linkways interconnect all buildings, providing Villagers with easy access to educational offerings taking place throughout the community.  The architectural model at Lasell Village was selected for a Project in Progress Design award by Nursing Homes/Long Term Care Management and the Society for the Advancement of Gerontological Environments (SAGE).  The community’s innovative combination of lifelong learning and retirement housing was featured in the Urban Land Institute’s Housing for Niche Markets: Capitalizing on Changing Demographics.

About Paula Panchuck

Paula Panchuck is Vice President for Lasell Village at Lasell College and the founding Dean of its innovative living and learning program.   She holds a PhD in Educational Studies and Public Policy from Lesley University in the area of adult development and aging and recently completed the Certified Aging Services Professional program sponsored by the University of North Texas and the American Association for Housing and Services to the Aging (AAHSA).   Paula is the recipient of the American Society on Aging and the MetLife Foundation Mind Alert Award for Outstanding Older Adult Learning Programs.  Her primary research interests include the impact of intergenerational exchange on older adults and college students’ attitudes toward older adults.  She is a frequent conference, workshop and webinar speaker on the topics of lifelong learning, campus-affiliated retirement communities, and intergenerational programs and has hosted the cable television’s Through Our Eyes which explored on issues in aging.

Contact Information

Dr. Paula Panchuck
Vice President for Lasell Village at Lasell College


You can reach Lasell Village at