Grandparents play a vital role in many families. A grandparent can be a confidant, a source of unconditional love, and a resource for learning and exploring. Research also shows that children who have a grandparent involved in their life in a positive way develop healthy attitudes about aging.
On Sunday, September 9, Sunrise communities and aging services organizations across the county will honor the important work of family elders by celebrating Grandparents Day. It’s a holiday that dates back to 1978 and then-President Jimmy Carter.
We have a few ideas on how your children can honor the grandparents in their life.
Celebrating National Grandparents Day
- Family talent show: Everyone has their own unique talent, even if it’s just a willingness to make fun of themselves on stage. Organize a family talent show where everyone in the family—individually or as part of a group—shares their special talent. Faraway family members can record their talent and you can play it for your senior loved ones. Award prizes to the most talented, the most original, and the best sport.
- Picnic in the park: Most cities and towns have a local park with picnic areas, including some that are accessible for adults with mobility issues. Reserve one for your family to enjoy an intergenerational picnic on Grandparents Day. If your loved one lives in a senior living community, talk with the staff about an on-campus location for your picnic.
- Genealogy or legacy project: As we grow older, most of us begin to reflect back on our lives, families, and contributions to the world. Seniors often become interested in researching their family tree in more detail or in documenting what they know about their family for future generations. Grandparents Day can be a great time for all of the family’s generations to tackle one of these projects together. This list of genealogy websites might provide you with helpful information to get started.
- Outdoor movie night: This is another great way to enjoy time with several generations of the family. It can be as simple as renting or borrowing a movie projector and showing a classic Disney movie against the side of the house or on a white sheet strung between two trees in the back yard. Place blankets on the lawn for the kids and camping or folding chairs for the adults. Don’t forget the bug spray!
- Home maintenance day: While this one is work for everyone in the family, tackling home repairs and maintenance projects at your senior loved one’s home will be more fun when done together. Help your parent create a list of things they need help with so you can line up the supplies ahead of time.
Celebrating Grandparents Day When the Senior Has Dementia
If your parent has Alzheimer’s disease or a similar form of dementia, you may be looking for creative ways to honor them on Grandparents Day. Rita Altman, vice president of Memory Care Services at Sunrise, has some ideas you will likely find helpful. Read our article, “Rita Shares 5 Ways to Make Memories on Grandparents Day,” to learn more.
Source: Sunrise Senior Living