When the author of the ever-popular book, “Love You Forever” first wrote those famous words: “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be” he didn’t write them, he actually sang them. There is a much darker side to this popular children’s book, the actual story behind the famous four lines. The author, Robert Munsch, sang those words inside his head, speaking them not even out loud for his wife to hear. He did this after his wife gave birth to their stillborn baby, the second stillborn they would have to mourn. After the loss of their second child the doctors informed them they would never be able to conceive a child on their own. The couple went on to adopt three children, but the loss of his first two babies as well as the little song he made up to sing inside his head silently, “my way of crying” stayed with him over the years, eventually becoming the blockbuster book published in 1986 . By 2001 it was listed as No. 4 on Publishers Weekly’s list of best-selling children’s books.
The parents, who would have read that book to their babies, back in 1986, would be around 60 years old. Certainly not an age most would think need care, but the idea that we as children should take care of our elderly parents seems simpatico with that book’s theme. It’s a common theme throughout our lives, that we will always take care of what is ours. A nice thought, a solid ideal, but one that can fall short when the actual task comes to hand.
As our parents age and become elderly, where they need our assistance, we often find ourselves in a position we did not plan for or give much thought to. Often like making out a will, if we don’t do it, then won’t that mean we won’t die? Why take on worry when it’s not at our door? But the reality of this situation is our parents are aging and living longer lives and we are marrying later in life and starting our families later, meaning we have our own children still in the home, still to be raised by us as we were by our own parents. Do you see where we are coming in this crossroads of life we didn’t want to ‘look’ at for fear it would happen?
We as adult children of parents, who are aging, believe our parents would want to be cared for by us, possibly live with us when that time came when they needed assistance. But the truth is, they all don’t want to, in fact – a majority of them do not want to. Less than a third (31%) of those surveyed for a Gallup & Robinson research project on aging and quality of life said they would live with a younger family member when they could no longer live on their own. We are raised by our parents to be independent, to build our own lives, hopefully close by, but on our own all the same. Our parents drilled that into us because they also love their independence. The assumption that they want to be living with us when they are elderly or cared for – primarily by us – is not true. Remember when you came home after college, flopped into their basement and thought your Mom was going to continue to cook your favorite meals and do your laundry? Do you remember how well that went over? You were shocked to find your Mom not home and your Dad had turned the basement into his ‘big game room’ filled with deer heads and stuffed turkey. You were ushered to the door and it was soundly locked. The keyless entry on the garage was changed and it no longer bore your birthdate. They are independent. They are active, viable, and busy on their own. They love you, they love your children, but they raised you with the understanding the world had opportunities galore for you to thrive and survive. They did not, nor do not, want to live in your home to see what a bad job they did raising you.
Thankfully Eberhardt Village and Arthur Home have paid attention and have kept up on what the elderly of this new generation are looking for. Eberhardt Village offers many amenities for their active seniors including; card club, live music, transportation to scheduled outings, a Main Street Eatery and so much more. Located on sight is a Beauty & Barber Shop, a full laundry facility with complimentary washers and dryers and even a weekly housekeeping service. If the needs are greater they have Arthur Home, a full scale nursing home for both long and short term skilled care. Plus, they offer rehabilitation services for those who just need time to mend and get back on their feet. At Arthur Home they know that not everyone has the same wants or likes for their living arrangements so they offer two different room styles, many just remodeled, which fit the many needs of their seniors. Wireless internet, built-in dressers, call lights and so much more.
By offering continuum care with options that include completely independent living, assisted living, and even nursing home-level care, Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village meet the needs of today’s senior. Enabling them to make their new home – their last home, which has been a reoccurring ‘MUST’ among elderly who are moved around from one place to the next. They want their own home. And with this new era, long gone are the days of ‘Old Folks Homes’, replaced by the up to date living communities that are centered on meeting the needs of viable seniors who like yoga, who play euchre on their computer and enjoy going on trips to shop. They like to spend their money, not save it for you. They made you independent for a reason. And the resources for you to earn a good life and make a good savings of your own are more abundant than ever before.
If you remember the book “Love You Forever” you must then also remember the very end of the story. The son, grown now, went to his mother’s home to hold her and rock her. He didn’t go down the stairs to the den that was converted into a bedroom. Perhaps the author was telling us something?