In 1969, Mike Hickly flew A26 Invaders along the Ho Chi Minh trail. His wife, Janice, prayed for him every day.
“The only thing was, I didn’t know him at the time,” she remembers with a fond smile. “I just felt in my heart that he was there. I prayed God would keep him safe because I needed to meet him, someday.”
That day came when Mike returned stateside and a friend suggested he ask Janice out. “I did reconnaissance by visiting the department store cosmetics counter where she worked. After a little while I just walked up, introduced myself, and the rest is history.”
After military service and a follow-on career, the couple retired when they completed their dream home, two hours outside Great Falls, Montana. After 12 years of enjoying life in Montana, as well as the beauty found in all four seasons, things began to change.
The winters saw several feet of snow and it was increasingly difficult to stock the wood stove and drive the route to local services. “Mike would sometimes lose his balance carrying things around and making sure the house was safe and warm,” Janice recalls. “I was so worried something would happen to him or me and that getting help would be a challenge.”
“As couples age, it’s not uncommon for one spouse to assume the role of caregiver, or to worry that he or she may need to do so,” says Gidgette Chesley, Executive Director of Patriots Landing, a Careage retirement community located just outside JBLM and the VA in DuPont, WA. “Because we offer a range of living options, including independent and assisted living, as well as memory care, we’ve developed a specific expertise in helping couples live their way and to remain close together for as long as possible. It’s helped many of our residents by reducing their anxiety and confusion about what their future may hold.”
Fortunately, the Hicklys remained healthy and largely active, despite the demands of seasonal upkeep on their home. With foresight and planning, they made the decision it was time for a more convenient lifestyle, closer to family and without the winter weather compounding their household upkeep. Their kids and grandkids joined the couple for a final winter season, chopping wood and ensuring things ran smoothly for their parents, as a gift before the move.
It was over that winter when the Hicklys decided on Patriot’s Landing, so they could continue to enjoy life, their way. “On any given day, I smile when I see them walking through the lobby to get out for the day—whether with their family over meals or with our community activities,” Chesley says.
So, if you and your spouse are considering how to remain healthy, together, for your entire lifetime, consider a community that not only has exceptional service and amenities to residents but also many housing options located on one campus, such as The Lakes at Banning, Patriots Glen, or, even ours at Patriots Landing. Our communities share the goal of ensuring residents enjoy peace of mind, knowing they will be cared for as their health needs change.