Guest blogger Denise Long of Grandmothering gives tips for elders to stay safe while having fun with their grandchildren. Stay tuned for more great posts on the art of grandparenting from Denise — coming soon!Read More
I've always had a close relationship with my grandparents. When I was a student at Hesston College over 800 miles away from home, it was my grandparents that showed up for my basketball games, invited my friends and I for Sunday dinners on the farm, and provided a safe haven for a young college kid when a home setting was just what the doctor ordered.
My grandmother suffered from Parkinson's and Dementia - for years - and I watched my family ache over her memory loss, her care, and her finances - wanting so badly to spend more time with her on the farm yet doubting our ability to care for her adequately in the end.
Around Thanksgiving time last year we celebrated my grandfather's 93rd birthday, where he still lived on the farm they once shared together. My aunt and uncle have decided to do it differently this time - building an intergenerational home with him. So he could stay on the farm. So they could care for him until the very end.
I've been fortunate to see this level of dedication on both sides of my family. Traditional nursing homes just aren't an option. The life and love that is shared between the various generations of our family have been enhanced and possible because we have chosen to keep our loved ones in our neighborhoods with us for the duration of their lives. For my children to understand intergenerational living as their normal, I will be forever grateful to the generations before me that have modeled this so well.
I am excited about 2017. We will continue to sell lots and build homes for people that want to join our intergenerational community in Goshen, Indiana. We are moving forward as we partner with The Green House® Project to build four new homes in 2017 for people just like my grandparents, but for whom living with a family member may not be possible - that they too may enjoy the many blessings and joys that come from staying in a neighborhood surrounded by people of all ages who love them. May we continue to find new ways to sing together with music, relationships, nature, and connections that bring meaningful life and purpose to all.