More than a decade ago I toured a beautiful, small community that integrated a seniors’ care facility along with a townhouse complex and a pre-school facility. I clearly remember the executive director of the facility explaining that this mix of age groups was designed to help everyone help everyone else. I remember thinking at the time that these residents represented a very large family, complete with young children, parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents.
Now more than a decade later, I am reminded of this community when my husband’s children drop by to consult with their father, with their own children in tow. The children scoot into the suite to visit their great grandmother, who often accompanies the young kids outside to also have a visit with her grandsons. Quickly, the occasion becomes an impromptu reunion, with each generation happy to catch up with all the other generations. Especially at those moments I feel very happy that my husband and I agreed to care for his mother at the family homestead, to the benefit of us all. My parents both are gone now, and both my own younger brother and his son also benefit from stopping by to visit me, and at the same time visiting my husband’s mother, especially given my 10-year-old nephew has no remaining grandparents of his own, and intergenerational connection is important to us all.
Yours in caregiving,