Nobody is more deserving of appreciation than the people who raised you. Every fourth Sunday of July, this year falling on July 24th, we as a nation take the day to recognize, appreciate, and celebrate our parents. It can be easy to forget just how much your parents have done for you as the roles of caregiver begin to shift as they age. With as much as your parents have done for you as you grew up, provided you with feelings of stability, love, happiness, and safety, it can be difficult to find ways to properly celebrate the people who have always celebrated you.
Realistically, any way that you choose to celebrate your parents will likely make them feel appreciated. When your parents begin to grow older, finding fun and meaningful things that you can do with them may become more limited because of limited mobility, cognitive function, or health risks. Below are some ideas of things to do with your senior parents.
Plan a Family Breakfast
Everyone loves a great meal, and senior parents definitely aren’t an exception. With a family breakfast, you have the option to take them out to a restaurant, welcome them to your home, or bring it right to them. There’s nothing quite like sharing quality time with people that you love by sitting down together for a family meal. Depending on what your parents would like best, you can even offer to cook the meal together. Regardless of the outcome of the homecooked meal, cooking and sharing a meal with your senior parents is a wonderful memory that you all would cherish forever.
Tidy Their Surroundings
Tidying things that are quick and simple to you may not be so simple for your senior parents. As people age, things like cleaning may begin to take more energy than they once did. Whether they live with you, in their own home, or in an assisted living facility, taking the time to make sure that their surroundings look nice is the perfect way to show that love and appreciate your senior parents. Celebrating your parents doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge ordeal. Sometimes, simply showing that you love and appreciate them is the best way to celebrate.
Have a Deep Conversation
When we begin to have our own lives with partners, children of our own, jobs, and taking care of adult responsibilities, it’s not uncommon to accidentally allow more time to pass than you may like between phone calls with your senior parents. A great way to celebrate your parents, is to set aside a few hours in your day this July 24th to have a deep and meaningful conversation with them. Not only will this allow you and your seniors parents to catch up on life, but it also allows for the opportunity to tell them just how grateful you are for them.
Write a Thank You Letter
It’s often forgotten how far and meaningful a simple ‘thank you’ can go in making people feel appreciated. Taking the time to write your senior parents a thank you letter is the perfect way to make them feel celebrated. Since it’s a tangible object, they can also store the letter in a safe place to re-read whenever they want to feel celebrated – bringing a smile to their face every time.
If you’re stuck and don’t know what to say in your letter, here are a few lines to give you inspiration:
- This is an expression of gratitude
- I couldn’t have done it without you
- I’m beyond grateful
- I want to acknowledge all that you’ve done
- You’ve always been around when I’ve needed you most
A thank you letter can be brief or in depth. Regardless of the number of words that you use, your senior parents will hold the letter close to their hearts for the sentiment.
Taking pictures with your senior parents is a quick and easy way to show them that you want to celebrate them. Family photos are taken less often as people age, so it’s likely that your parents don’t have recent pictures of you all together. You can either hire a professional photographer or set your phone on timer to snap a candid photo of the special moment together. You can also have these photos printed and framed as an additional way to make them feel celebrated.
As your parents age, it’s possible that they may begin to need extra assistance in different areas of their lives. Doing research to find them the best help that you can get will make them feel appreciated and celebrated in numerous ways. At Reflections Management and Care, we offer a number of different services to make life easier for your senior parents. Visit our website for more information or contact us directly. We’d love to help.