Community Blog

Companionship for Seniors Best Gift for Grandparents Day

By Debbie Humphrey

People, who need people, are the luckiest people in the world. ~ Barbara Streisand

Every year millions – if not billions – of dollars are spent for our Moms on Mother’s Day. Father’s Day is usually much less expensive, unless you take Pop for a round of golf! Yikes, greens fees, golf cart rentals and so forth, can make for a really nice Dad’s Day gift!

So what do we do when it comes to Grandparents Day? Wait, what? There’s a Grandparents Day? Indeed there is!

The first Sunday after Labor Day was designated as “National Grandparents Day” in 1978, according to the National Day Calendar.

“The United States Senate and President Jimmy Carter nationally recognized Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, West Virginia as the founder of National Grandparents Day.  McQuade made it her goal to educate the youth in the community about the significant contributions that seniors have made throughout history.   It was also her hope to have the youth ‘adopt’ a grandparent, not just for one day a year, but rather for a lifetime.”

This special day of awareness is coming soon: Sunday, September 8th.  Did you even realize there was a Grandparents Day? Many of us fail to recognize it…especially if our Grammies & Gramps are no longer with us. However, being a Gaga myself, there’s really only one thing I would ever want on Grandparents Day.

I don’t need greeting cards, material gifts, pricey meals out, or especially a game of golf! The only thing I would cherish more than anything else is time with my children and grandchildren. I would venture a guess, most grandparents feel the same way I do.

Fortunately, most of my kiddos and grands live in the Clearwater area now. However, many of the seniors I encounter do not have family who live in the area or visit with any regularity. A few dusty frames hold photographs from years past, but seniors who live alone, in assisted living or managed care facilities (nursing homes), are usually starved for attention.

Let’s face it, our lives get busy. I wish I had taken more time to spend with my grandparents when they were alive. The same goes for my senior great-aunts and uncles. I loved them all very much, yet my life was headed in a different direction than where they lived. As a rule, I don’t live with regrets, but I do, in fact, regret not having spent more time with my elderly grandparents and other seniors in our family.

The grandmas and grandpas of whom I’ve had the pleasure to meet, have usually been amazingly humble – often stubborn – but always humble. More often than not, they insist they don’t want or need anything.  The thing is, I usually spend lots of time talking and listening to their recollections. They just need someone to talk to. I’ve mentioned it time and again, isolation leads to depression, and depression leads to physical and mental health decline that compounds over time.

One of my referral partners, aPlaceforMom [APFM], published the following national statistics a few years ago based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau:  “11 million, or 28% of people aged 65 and older, lived alone at the time of the census (2010).”

You can expect these numbers to rise following the upcoming 2020 census, as more and more baby boomers are approaching and/or surpassing the 65-year mark. The likelihood these seniors will end up living alone increases substantially. In fact, AARP reports that many aging adults have never had children, meaning there are fewer family members to provide companionship and care as their journey enters into the Golden Years.

“Social contacts tend to decrease as we age for a variety of reasons, including retirement, the death of friends and family, or lack of mobility. Regardless of the causes of senior isolation, the consequences can be alarming and even harmful. Even perceived social isolation — the feeling that you are lonely — is a struggle for many older people. Fortunately, the past couple of decades have seen increasing research into the risks, causes, and prevention of loneliness in seniors,” the APFM article reported.

Companionship for seniors is important for their overall health and well-being; it totally improves their quality of life; and it’s the best gift you can give for Grandparents Day!

If your grandparents are still living, think about them on Grandparents Day and do something kind for them. Call or send an uplifting greeting card, if you live a distance away. Take the time to print some newer family photos from your Smartphone, and include in a card. Better still, if you live nearby, deliver them personally for a heartfelt visit of reminiscing. Dust-off a few frames and update the photos they will automatically cherish. Kindness and thoughtfulness goes a long way with older generations.

If a compassionate caregiver from Home Helpers® can help you or your senior loved one by providing companion care, or respite for a family caregiver, I am available for a FREE Consultation at your convenience to assess specific needs and find the perfect caregiver match! Call me today for more information: 727.942.2539.

We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for 2017, 2018 & 2019. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠


 National Day Calendar