Memorial Day is a time to remember the sacrifice of those who came before us – so it’s no surprise that many choose to spend Memorial Day with elderly loved ones and relatives. There are now nearly 10 million American veterans of senior age. Even more seniors have lost friends or family members who have served. At Visiting Angels, our elder care providers know better than anyone how much Memorial Day means to so many of our clients.
“When you’re involved with elder care, it’s impossible not to be touched by the reverence and respect so many seniors have for our veterans,” says Visiting Angels President, Larry Meigs. “Getting to see that and be a part of it is one of the many small joys of elder care.”
Ideas for Memorial Day Elder Care Activities
If you have an elderly loved one in your life, there are many ways you can share Memorial Day with them. If your loved one prefers low-key, peaceful remembrance, these can include quiet activities at home. Alternatively, if your loved one enjoys getting out of their home, you can organize outdoor or social activities.
Some ideas for Memorial Day activities that are compatible with elder care are:
Pay your respects. If your loved one has lost someone close to them in the line of service, this day is a good opportunity to pay quiet respects or leave a token at their grave site.
Share memories. Memorial Day is about remembrance – something vital to many seniors. Encourage your loved one to explore their memories, relive times gone by, and remember those no longer with us.
Attend a Memorial Day parade. Each year, hundreds of Memorial Day parades are held across America. This is an excellent opportunity to show gratitude for servicemen and servicewomen. It’s also a good chance to get your loved one out moving about in fresh air.
Visit friends. Often, the best people to share memories with are those who lived through them with you. For your loved one, the chance to remember alongside friends can have a positive effect on their emotional well-being.
Spend the day with family. Having a large, extended family dinner allows you and your loved one to spend quality time with those closest to you – the most important thing our veterans have sacrificed for.
Raise the flag together. This can be a powerful, but low key, way to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our county. It is also an easy way to commemorate the holiday with a loved one whose elder care needs limit mobility.
These are just some of the Memorial Day activities that work well with elder care, and we invite you to think up others. And remember: whichever way you spend the holiday, be sure to cherish this chance to remember, give thanks, and spend time with those you care for.