Married 78 years, Dearborn couple ages successfully at home

Photo courtesy of Senior Care Solutions. Walter Greenwood gives his wife, Eva, a hug at their Dearborn home.

Photo courtesy of Senior Care Solutions. Walter Greenwood gives his wife, Eva, a hug at their Dearborn home.

If you ask Walter and Eva Greenwood about the secret to their 78 years of marriage, they say, “It’s not luck. We are blessed.”

The couple also continues to live in the Dearborn home they built more than 60 years ago.

“Nearly six years ago, when our parents were both in their early 90s, my sister and I recognized they were starting to need assistance to stay healthy,” said son Dale Greenwood, who lives in Connecticut. “We also wanted assurance that they were living safely in their home.”

The family met with Marcia Filek, geriatric care manager for Senior Care Solutions, who conducted a geriatric care assessment. It included an evaluation of their individual daily living and social activities, health and psychological status, environment and safety concerns, home management needs, and more.

“Our assessment showed that Eva and Walter only needed about three hours of daily assistance to help them get started in the morning,” Filek said. “Now that Walter is 97 years old and Eva will be 97 in January, their care has increased to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Greenwood credits SCS’s dedicated and professional staff with giving his parents the kind of care that has made it possible for them to age comfortably at home.

“If they have to go to the hospital, Marcia is with them and knows their medical history so that they don’t go through any unnecessary tests and treatment,” Greenwood said. “It has made for much shorter stays in the hospital.”

Filek and her team make it possible for the couple to do things they enjoy which includes dining out at their favorite restaurants, taking scenic drives through Wayne County’s Hines Park, along with trips to Ann Arbor and back.

Both have good vision. Walter, who worked as an engineer at Ford Motor Co. holds several patents, and enjoys reading popular science magazines. He also likes watching University of Michigan football games on TV and reads the daily newspaper, making sure to pull out Eva’s favorite section, the horoscopes.

Born in Canada, Eva has always been recognized for her excellent English skills and helping others with their papers. Now a U.S. citizen, Walter affectionately calls her his “import.” Both have already cast their absentee ballots to vote.

Greenwood and his sister, Donna Kennel of Marshall, welcome the regular updates and reports they receive from Filek.

“There are some things our parents forget to tell us or feel it’s not important,” Greenwood said. “Marcia and her team let us know everything, from crisis situations to how they are doing with their daily routines. They also keep our parents up to date on what’s going on in the family — including sharing pictures of great grandchildren. We can rest comfortably knowing they’re safe.”

Watching their parents age safely in their Dearborn home has also given Greenwood and Kennel, both in their 70s, important lessons about the costs and planning needed to prepare for their future as well.

“I’m still trying to convince Marcia and her team to expand to Connecticut,” Greenwood said.

Senior Care Solutions, affiliated with Beaumont Health, offers geriatric care assessments and case management services along with in home, non-medical and personal care services for seniors and post trauma patients.

Based in Allen Park, SCS provides services throughout Wayne, Oakland, Washtenaw, Macomb and Monroe, counties. Personal care services are also available within a 30-mile radius of Detroit. For more information, call 866-776-1869 or go to www.OakwoodSeniorSolutions.org.