Vail Daily column: Lessons for our children and grandchildren | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: Lessons for our children and grandchildren

Kathy Chandler-Henry
Valley Voices

If you live in Eagle County, then you’ve heard a lot of people talking about making our community whole through the Castle Peak Senior Care Community. To me, that phrase is about making sure we have a place for older adults to live in Eagle County when they are no longer in their own homes. It’s about how much younger generations can learn from the wisdom, humor and talent of older generations, and about how important it is to keep our older generations close.

The care community will also serve people of all ages through rehabilitation. Keeping recovering residents and older generations in the county helps all of us stay connected and generates more than $43 million a year in our local economy.

Older adults bring years of experience to our nonprofits and bring their wisdom to community decision making. They are generous with their time, volunteering to help others at schools, medical centers, at elections, the Rummage Sale and wherever else they are needed. They’re energetically engaged with the world around them and with their families. In fact, many busy families depend on grandparents to help care for children when both parents must be at work.

As a county commissioner, I often hear from people who tell me how important it is to listen to the stories of older generations and learn about the past. I tell them there are valuable lessons I learn every day from my mom and from those who have walked these paths before us. We are fortunate to have a wealth of talent from older generations in Eagle County, both those who are native to our area and those who bring their wisdom from elsewhere.

Older generations also teach us that we all need each other to make our community whole. This is an important lesson we need to impart to our children and grandchildren. Supporting Castle Peak Senior Care Community means we’re sending a message to friends and neighbors about what is most important to us. We are saying that a community without the wisdom of older generations is unacceptable. We are affirming that our community is enriched by the presence of older generations and that we’ve made sure it always will be.

Our goal to make the community whole is shared by Augustana Care, which values the talents and experience of older generations highly. Augustana Care’s commitment to helping older generations live inspired lives is one of the many reasons the organization was selected to develop the Castle Peak Care Community.

As we get closer to completing the Castle Peak capital campaign, I hope you will take the time to think about the older people in Eagle County who continue to be such an important part of our community. If they have to move away because we don’t have a place, then we are losing part of our heart as a county.

I love living in a county that is home to multiple generations — and I don’t want that to change. That’s why we’ve been working so hard to make Castle Peak Senior Care Community a reality.

I hope you will contribute financially or volunteer to help our community build Castle Peak. To donate or volunteer or to learn more about our project, please visit http://www.CastlePeak.org. You may also contact campaign coordinator Matt Scherr at mscherr@augustanacare.org or 970-445-8990. Your donations will help older generations stay in Eagle County — and make life better for our children and grandchildren.

Kathy Chandler-Henry is a fourth-generation Coloradan and a current Eagle County commissioner. She and her husband are small business owners, operating Black Diamond Research and Brush Creek Electric. They believe Eagle County should be a place where people of all ages can thrive.