by Dedra Jize, OT., CSA
Geriatric Care Manager, Litherland, Kennedy & Associates, APC, Attorneys at Law
Happy Grandparents Day! Although I think that grandparents should be celebrated every day, it was decided to be the first Sunday after Labor Day back in 1978. For those who are grandparents…congratulations. For those who are grandparents, but the grandchildren live far away, read on. Or maybe you are young and single, or middle age and no children or perhaps this topic brings sadness to you, I would challenge you to take a moment to ponder this question: What does this ‘holiday’ have to do with me?
Well, Grandparents Day is a great opportunity for you! It gives you an ‘excuse’ to reach out to an elderly neighbor with a note of kindness or perhaps a bouquet of flowers. If you have the time, sit down with them and hear their story, be present for them. It doesn’t matter what age you are to take a moment out of your day and extend kindness to an elderly person who may or may not be a grandparent. It is priceless for both the giver and the receiver. It can be as simple as starting with, “I don’t have any grandparents” or “my grandparents live far away” and this is something I would do for them if I could. You can even look for random acts of kindness as you go about your day.
Open a door for someone, even if they are a distance from the door, wait for them.
Say “hello” and smile (make a connection).
Strike up a conversation while in line.
Pay for their purchase (coffee, etc.).
Don’t rush past them, walk at their pace (but don’t be weird about it).
The bottom line is this, no matter who you are or what stage of life you are in, to honor and show respect to an elderly person (no matter if they are a grandparent or not) is a gift you can offer them. Everyone wants to be heard, to be seen, to be validated; but sometimes we get caught up in the rat race of our lives and we ignore or are irritated by those who get in our way (you know it’s happened to you in the grocery store aisle) or seem so different than us. But I challenge you to take a moment and ponder: How can I bring joy, if even for just a moment, to a grandparent today?