Around the World and Back Again: Home Healthcare Users

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retirement living home care seniorsFrom cruising down Europe’s Danube River to retracing the steps of literary giants like James Joyce and William Wordsworth to attending lively discussions sponsored by the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs, Earl and Lita Henck have managed to carve out a worldly, if somewhat dizzying, existence. “We’re both fascinated by other cultures, religions and systems of government,” explains Lita. “Traveling has taught us a lot, but we’ve also learned quite a bit right here in Baltimore, through our friendships and involvements with various cultural organizations.”

The globetrotting couple met at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Considering their shared appreciation of worldly interests and pursuits, Earl and Lita seemed destined to cross paths. And they did-at a meeting of the Purdue Independent Association. The couple graduated on May 31, 1953 and wed that same evening. “I always tell people we went from one ceremony to another.Earl graduated at 10 AM; I graduated at 2 PM, and we were married at 7:30 PM,” Lita says.

After their honeymoon, the Hencks settled in Baltimore, Earl’s hometown. Earl enjoyed a lengthy career with Bendix and Westinghouse as an electrical engineer and project manager, while Lita held several positions in the education field, first as a kindergarten teacher and later as a high school librarian and adjunct professor at McDaniel College.

Since retiring, the couple has continued to embrace opportunities that expand their worldview. Both are members of the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs, a public service organization that educates citizens about international issues through lectures, seminars and discussions. They also belong to the Renaissance Institute, a division of the College of Notre Dame for active men and women ages 50 and above who are interested in lifelong learning and intellectual growth. Not surprisingly, one of their favorite courses was “Current Events,” which featured speakers from all walks of life sharing their expertise on various topics.

Aside from their cultural and educational pursuits, Lita and Earl are very much devoted to their children and their church. Their extended family includes two daughters, seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. “I was an only child and so was Earl, and we feel blessed to have a larger family,” explains Lita. “We’re reminded of this each Thanksgiving, when we try to squeeze everyone around the table.”

For the past 45 years, they have been active members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Lutherville, with Lita currently serving as church librarian and spiritual growth group leader. Earl is a past president and vice-president of the Church Council.

Recently, the Hencks decided to downsize from their Timonium home and reserve an apartment at The Terraces at Edenwald in Towson. Scheduled for completion in 2008, The Terraces will feature large floor plans and expansive views of Dulaney Valley and the city of Towson. The building will also house a two-floor fitness and relaxation area with an indoor pool; state-of-the-art fitness center; whirlpool spa; outdoor patio areas; nine-hole putting green; pub and lounge; and an enclosed, air-conditioned walking track with elevator access.

“We live in a large home now, and while we do intend to part with many things, we’ll still need a lot of space.not just for our possessions but also for entertaining family and friends,” Earl explains. “Our future apartment at The Terraces will give us plenty of room to do that.”

The Hencks also cite LifeCare as a major factor in their decision to move to Edenwald. “We’ve both been caretakers for relatives in the past, and while we were happy to do it, we don’t want to put our daughters in that position. With LifeCare, we’ll receive assisted living and nursing care for virtually no additional cost. This will safeguard our own financial assets-and our family’s too,” says Lita.

Any care the Hencks may need will be offered at Edenwald’s onsite Health Care Center, which is undergoing an expansion and renovation. Once construction concludes this May, the center will feature all-private accommodations, as well as specialized care for residents with memory loss.

Edenwald’s extensive cultural and educational offerings played an important role in the couple’s decision as well. “We’re very excited to join the Edenwald community, meet new friends and participate in the many events, lectures and trips for residents,” Lita says. “It will be another great way to expand our perspective.”

Traveling will continue to be a favorite hobby, no matter where the Hencks reside. Of their many journeys, highlights include a river cruise down Europe’s Danube River and a historic journey from Normandy to Paris to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of D-Day-a particularly emotional voyage for Earl, a World War II veteran. The Hencks have also traveled to Russia, China, and Tahiti. In the United Kingdom, the couple toured the birthplaces and locales of Lita’s favorite authors.

“We’ve traveled to some wonderful places, but there are still many destinations that await. Living at Edenwald will make future trips much easier, since we won’t have to worry about something happening to our house while we’re away. We’ll be able to just lock our apartment door and go,” says Earl.

Despite their sophisticated interests and international travels, the Hencks consider themselves typical seniors. “We’re just ordinary people with lots of interests,” Lita insists.

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