Pioneers are defined as people who discover potential…. innovators willing to try new things.
Donna and Harry Barnes of Elgin are pioneers who saw great potential and are still enjoying their discovery eleven years later. The residents of GreenFields senior living were the first to move into what was the new community in 2012. Last week GreenFields celebrated its 11th anniversary.
Their son, David Barnes of North Aurora, recalled that his parents saw an ad for GreenFields before construction was completed and visited the marketing office in downtown Geneva. They loved what they saw and heard and decided they would move in when the building was complete. “They hadn’t talked to me about it at all. They’d signed the papers whether I liked it or not. The fact is that I did like it. I was happy they were doing it and that they were able to make their own decision for their future,” he said.
The best part of them deciding to move to GreenFields, he said, was the fact that it is a Life Plan Community, offering all levels of care if their health needs changed. “I hadn’t realized just how important it was until recently,” he said.
The couple lived in independent living, participating in many programs and making dear friends with fellow residents and staff. As their health started deteriorating over the last couple of years, they moved to Briarwood Healthcare Center at GreenFields to receive care. “They each live in their own room now but are only 100 feet apart,” said David. The transition, he said, was “Incredibly good. The people here are terrific and receiving the care they need is so helpful.”
The friendships they’d established while in independent living were valuable. “They maintained those relationships,” he said.
The nicest part of the situation, he said, is that his folks, who have been married for 73 years, can still be together. “Mom spends the day in dad’s room,” he said.
David said that one of the things that has become apparent over the years is that the staff at GreenFields are genuinely like family. “They don’t act like employees; they act like family. They know everyone’s’ names; they know the residents and their loved ones, they know their interests. I think one of the most wonderful things about GreenFields is how everyone looks out for each other,” he said. “It’s really a wonderful place to be, and my parents are happy.”