EDITOR’S NOTE: May is celebrated nationally as Older American’s Month. “The Administration on Aging, part of the Administration for Community Living, leads our nation's observance of Older American's Month. The 2018 theme, Engage at Every Age, emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental and emotional well-being. It also celebrates the many ways in which older adults make a difference in our communities.” (From https://oam.acl.gov)
At Aberdeen Village, we pride ourselves on encouraging interaction between the generations, and residents Bernie and Audrey Bancroft’s story is proof that it’s good to “engage at every age.”
Before moving to Aberdeen Village, the Bancrofts had a large play area in their basement for the eight grandchildren (ages 4-14) to play with the toys their parents once played with. It was their grandchildren’s favorite place to be, and they feared they would lose this once they sought an independent living community. But after seeing our largest apartment unit, they knew it would be a great fit.
“When the time came for us to move to a safer place because of Parkinson’s disease, we didn’t want to give up that special place for our grandkids. So, at Aberdeen Village we chose a two-bedroom apartment with a study, and we use the study mainly as the play room. It’s the first place they head to when they come through the door. We have Barbies, My Little Ponies and dolls and clothes made by great-grandma. There are Legos, old Fisher-Price toys, adventure sets, army toys, books and a table for art projects,” said Audrey.
Another reason the Bancrofts liked Aberdeen Village was because of the indoor pool. They weren’t sure they would use it, but they knew their grandchildren would like it.
“They use it often and have so much fun there. They all feel right at home here. In the common areas, they enjoy the candy at the front desk, the candy some residents put by their front door, the butterfly house, the punch, the restaurant, playing chess in the library, or working on a puzzle,” said Audrey. “Outside there is lots to explore, like the garden, the pond and the putting green. They like to play catch, roll down the various hills and ride their plasma cars. And sometimes they walk to Quik Trip for donuts and slushies.”
What an ideal setting for both older and younger generations to spend time together!
The grandchildren created their own rules for the playroom, which are posted prominently.
“The other Aberdeen residents enjoy seeing them out and about. They give them lots of attention and make them feel special. They ask about them if they haven’t seen them in a while. Sometimes, they stop by with fun things for them like stickers, coloring books, note paper, novelty jewelry and ice cream treats,” said Audrey.
The Bancrofts’ experience is just one example of the importance of intergenerational relationships, and we’re pleased that they’re able to make such wonderful memories with their grandchildren here at Aberdeen Village.
“So, the way it has turned out, our grandkids have a lot more to enjoy here at Aberdeen than they ever did in our previous home,” said Audrey. “They feel at home in the whole complex, not just in our apartment. We credit the special people who live here who have made them feel welcome!”