by Freddi Hoffmann
Sunday, September 9th is National Grandparents Day. My grandmothers were instrumental in shaping my life. They encouraged me to be the best I could be and to dream big. Even though they have been deceased for nearly fifty years, I think of them often and the wisdom they shared on so many topics.
Those of us blessed to work with elders recognize their strong commitment to the generations that follow them. National Grandparents Day is an opportunity for all generations to come together. We can do a project together for our community or advocate for issues that impact multiple generations.
Generations United has many grand ideas for all people of all ages to celebrate this special day. They state “Imagine if millions of older adults used their voices to advocate on behalf of America’s future: our children and youth. That’s precisely what Generations United envisions come September. Using Grandparents Day as a call to action, we are planning a full week (September 8-15) of intergenerational activism.” Grandparents and Older Adults can commit to do something grand by sharing their wisdom, perspectives and key civic values with young people and advocate on their behalf. Children, Youth, and Younger Adults can commit to do something grand and connect and serve with your grandparents or older adults in your community. Generations United also suggests that together, adults and youth can reach out to decision makers and begin one of the most important dialogues in our history: discussing how, as a country, we can address the many challenges facing future generations—from literacy to health and wellness to financial stability. They are calling this campaign Do Something Grand.
You can be grand by visiting your grandparents especially if they live alone or in an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. Call them or Skype with them. Yes, I see many grandparents and even great-grandparents Skyping at McLean. Make a special album of family photos for them if they have memory problems. Be sure to label the photos so the caregivers can cue them and help to bring back special memories.