This time of year is one of caring and giving for many families. While we endeavor to share our love with family members year-round, Thanksgiving is a special time to show our loved ones how much we care. Through family events, phone calls, and lengthy meals interspersed with football and nap-time, we share ourselves with our family.
If you have a loved one in an elder care facility, one of the most valuable things you can give is the gift of time. If you live close by, take the time to visit more frequently than usual. If you are separated by a long distance, a phone call (timed to avoid meal times and social events) can be a treasured time spent together.
What if you are unable to visit or invite a senior loved one for Thanksgiving? There are many ways, large and small, to show you are thankful to have them in your life.
- Send a Thanksgiving-themed gift made by grandchildren or great-grand children. Even something as simple as a “hand print turkey” can be a source of conversation for visitors to the senior’s room.
- Ask relatives to email you short statements to tell the senior why they are thankful to have him or her as a family member. For example, “I am thankful you taught me how to fly a kite” or “I am thankful for the example you set for me as a Mom”. Print those memories in easy-to-read large type on quality paper, and include the name of the person who shared the memory. You can mail the slips of paper, or attach them to flower stems, or in a photo frame – be creative!
- Send flowers or non-perishable treats, if the person enjoys them.
- Send a DVD of family members sharing memories, if the loved one has a DVD player that can be used easily.
- Call on Thanksgiving day (make sure you find out the best time to call from the caretakers) and allow a short time for family members to say hello and send their love.
- Be sure to thank the staff of the facility for the care they provide!
This short list is only a starting point. You know your loved one well, and can tailor a thoughtful gift that sends just the right message to your loved one in a care facility. We can all be thankful for health and happiness, and it is important to recognize that your senior loved one is still a vital and integral part of the family, even if not able to be present at your Thanksgiving meal. If you are looking for additional ways to support senior family members during the holidays, call Assisted Living Options today!