September 9th is “National Grandparents’ Day”, and members of the Los Angeles Jewish Home, the largest group of 90-year-olds in the US, have come up with their top five tips on how people of all ages, with or without grandparents, can mark the day.
1. Visit: If you don’t have one, visit residents of a nearby home and perhaps share a meal or conversation. Sixty percent of nursing home residents never have a visitor. The enriching benefit for young and old of such interaction is incalculable.
2. Write a note: If you can’t visit, send an old-fashioned note or card. Though computer use is on the upswing with seniors, remember that “good writing is clear thinking made visible;” and everyone likes to receive something personal – like a poem or artwork – in the mail.
3. Call: And if you forget to send a note in time, give a call. In a world of text messaging, taking the time to call goes a long way.
4. Ask questions: Grandparents are usually the ultimate repository of family history. Knowing it is being passed down to future generations is often a comfort to everyone in the family.
5. Adopt: People of all ages are willing to make new friends. Many seniors are not fortunate to have a family nearby. There are thousands of seniors who would love to be a foster grandparent.