When John and Barbara Erickson got married 70 years ago, they knew it was forever. Together ever since their wedding day, a dementia diagnosis was not going to change it.
“I realized I could no longer take care of my husband,” Barbara recalled. “I am quite healthy, but he needed more care than I could give.”
“You know, after 70 years, we’ve gotten quite used to being together” so [having an option where John could get what he needed but we were together was so important].
We actually made a move to another community and it worked for a while but it became apparent they were not able to provide what we needed. Thankfully Concordia was available as a resource and we found they had exactly what we were looking for.
John had his apartment in Memory Care and I had mine in Independent Living. I visited John multiple times a day and we joined activities together and I would even bring him back to my apartment for a cold Dr. Pepper and a look through photo albums filled with memories of his youth and our early years together.
It was important to Barbara to keep John connected with the things he remembered.
At night, they maintained their lifelong bedtime routine, of devotionals and hymns, at John’s place, before Barbara headed back to her apartment.
Daily John and I each participated in activities appropriate for individual needs. I could go to water fitness class with my lifelong Y friends, while John engaged in a myriad of activities appropriate for his needs.
My Johnny is now gone but I cherish my time with him and I am thankful for the care and security we both gained by moving to Concordia.
I am now enjoying more of the things I once had to sacrifice. I have a garden again and play my piano more often and even entertain my family every week for dinner.