Tribune Print Share Text

Title

Give your children (and yourself) a worry-free gift

Created date

September 21st, 2010
YLi1010_FamilyGift
YLi1010_FamilyGift

With the holidays just around the corner, why not give your adult children the one gift only you can give them the security of knowing you are safe, happy, and living life to its fullest.

A horrific night

[caption id="attachment_14573" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Bernard and Ethel Byrnes move to Oak Crest was a gift to the whole family. Left to right: Ethel Byrnes, Kathy Foy, Debra Doyle, Patty Dickson, Sharon Wilson, and Bernard Byrnes. (Photo courtesy of Debra Doyle)"][/caption] Debra B. Doyle, executive vice president of health and operations forErickson Living, knows first-hand how reassuring such a gift is. Eight years ago, Doyle s father, Dr. Bernard J. Byrnes, a retired physician, had a heart attack in the middle of the night. Her mother, Ethel, who is legally blind, called 911 first and then she called her daughters. Waiting for help to arrive while her husband was in distress was terrifying, says Mrs. Byrnes. The situation was just as difficult for her daughters, who rushed across town trying to get to their parents. Doyle describes that night as horrific. Happily, Dr. Byrnes recovered, and today he and his wife are as active as ever. Now if they have an emergency, they only need to call downstairs and within seconds, help is there. That s because the couple now lives atOak Crest, anErickson Living communityjust outside of Baltimore, Md. Shortly after Dr. Byrnes heart attack, they decided that living in a big house was not a good option anymore. They knew they needed some support and they refused to burden their children. Moving toOak Crestwas the best thing we ever did, says Mrs. Byrnes. We see our children all the time, but then we go back to our own home and that s how we like it.

The whole family feels at ease

And the other side of the situation is that we know they are socially active and engaged far more than they ever were before, says Doyle. When I call, many times they re not there, and my mind doesn t immediately start worrying about their safety. It s more like I m wondering what fun activity they re up to. From my perspective and my sisters perspective, they have active lives and are happy.Oak Crestprovides so much support and, really, that makes the whole family feel at ease. The Byrneses recognize how much their decision to move helped their daughters peace of mind. They re glad we re here, says Dr. Byrnes. It gives them a sense of security. If they re going out of town, they don t have to ask, Who s going to be on duty? At the same time, they can rely on us. Our children know that we re there for them 24/7 if they need anything.

Living life without the worries

Perhaps best of all, the family can maintain the kind of relationships they have always known. You don t want your relationship with your parents to be focused on medical and care issues, says Doyle. You still want to have that same parent-child relationship you ve always had. Our relationship with our parents has always been about celebrating milestones, sharing news both good and bad, and enjoying each other s company. We still have that, she adds. It s a great peace of mind knowing your parents are connected to something bigger than just the place where they live. They re connected to a much bigger community, says Doyle reflecting on her role as both a daughter and an executive vice president ofErickson Living. I m proud to work here because I know we deliver an excellent product. This is an opportunity to live life to the fullest without all the worries.

Comments