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Directing your future

The biggest gift you can give your children

Created date

May 5th, 2017
Greenspring priority list members and their families enjoy the opportunity to meet with community members and staff like Personal Moving Consultant Anna Greves (center) at special events throughout the year.

Greenspring priority list members and their families enjoy the opportunity to meet with community members and staff like Personal Moving Consultant Anna Greves (center) at special events throughout the year.

According to Stella Henry, R.N., author of The Eldercare Handbook, “Moving elderly parents is probably one of the hardest decisions a child will ever have to make.” However, parents who plan ahead and make their own decisions for the future give their children and other loved ones an immeasurable gift. 

This forward-thinking decision-making also has numerous benefits for the parents. It ensures that the future they will enjoy is the future they chose for themselves.

“When my wife passed away, I began to think seriously about moving to Greenspring [an Erickson Living community in Springfield, Va.],” says Larry Ayers. “I wanted to make the decision about where I would live and not leave that burden to my children.”

Larry took his time exploring the community, attending events, and asking important questions. 

“By being proactive, our future community members are able to make thoughtful decisions,” says Greenspring Sales Counselor Sheila Willing. “Too often, people wait until they need to move, and their children face having to make these decisions quickly, often settling on what’s available at the time, even if it’s not the best option. These situations are extremely stressful and emotional for everyone involved.”

Since moving to Greenspring in 2015, Larry has spent his time traveling the world, not worrying about an uncertain future. Last year, he and his youngest daughter toured the Italian coast.

“Everything is so easy since moving to Greenspring,” he says. “And my children are happy seeing me so happy.”

Exploring together

By planning ahead, parents also enjoy the time to include their children in the decision-making process, while ultimately making the decision for themselves.

“I believe it’s very important to establish this changing relationship with your closest loved ones before significant geriatric issues impact your lifestyle,” says Greenspring community member Vernon “Jiggs” Kaliher. “Your children will be forever thankful for relieving them of the agony of making these difficult decisions.”

Greenspring provides many ways for loved ones to join in the research and decision-making processes. 

“Family members are always welcome and encouraged to accompany their parents on their visits to the community,” says Willing. “We love to see children attend our informational lunches, appointments, and special events. Seeing life at Greenspring firsthand provides a true sense of what life is like on campus and provides wonderful peace of mind.”

“My first visit to Greenspring was with my daughter,” says Jiggs. “It only took under an hour to eliminate the other communities we had seen. There was no comparison in my opinion. I walked into the sales office and immediately joined the priority list.”

While on the priority list, Jiggs made several visits to Greenspring to attend exclusive priority list events. 

“I also visited spontaneously about five times,” he says. “I made a point to speak to current residents and never heard an adverse or negative comment about living here.” 

Importance of family time

In addition to weekday appointments, Greenspring offers Saturday appointments to accommodate adult children who work during the week. 

Each summer, the sales team also hosts a special event specifically geared to families. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, July 15.

This commitment to including family in daily life at Greenspring is an important component of the Erickson Living lifestyle. Family members are frequently spotted throughout the campus, enjoying dinner or Saturday night movies. Grandchildren often visit, many times spending the night, swimming in the pool, gardening alongside their grandparents, enjoying dinner, or viewing the Saturday night movies. 

“As I tell potential residents, a move to Greenspring is a move for the entire family,” says Willing. “This is your home, and as such, it is for you to enjoy with family and friends.”

And sometimes, sharing the Erickson Living lifestyle with family has unexpected benefits.

“My daughter and her husband, both of whom are 60, live in nearby Burke, Va.,” says Jiggs. “They frequently join me at dinner and for other campus activities. As a result, they intend to move to Greenspring soon after they are old enough to do so [age 62]. That makes me happy—living at Greenspring makes me happy.”