This United Nations proclamation designated October 1 as the International Day of the Elderly. The day was set aside to create a reminder to all of us to show respect for the elderly.
Some countries do a beautiful job when it comes to respecting their elders. The people of the United States could learn a few lessons in this area. Elder Abuse continues to increase at an alarming rate. The symptoms of elder abuse can be subtle. Hitting and physical abuse is all too common but so is coercion, emotional battering and financial abuse. The National Center on Aging maintains a list of elder abuse helplines on their website.
Fortunately, most elderly in the US are not victims of abuse. They just want us to come see them and to help out when we can. There are so many ways that International Day of the Elderly Day can be celebrated. Why not take a few hints from the list below and start a new tradition in your family? If we are very lucky and take care of ourselves right one day, we will each be elderly too.
Ideas to celebrate International Day of the Elderly Day #1
Go visit. You’ve been thinking about it so here’s your excuse. Better yet, take the kids with you. When you do you will be teaching them that the elderly are treasures to be valued. Remember, your kids may one day pick out your nursing home. It’s much better to teach them while they are young.
Ideas to celebrate International Day of the Elderly Day #2
Perform an act of kindness. Is there an elderly person in your neighborhood? Can they easily get to the mailbox? Is it a problem for them to take their trash to the curb or bring the bin back to the house? Helping with these small things can make a big difference to someone else.
Ideas to celebrate International Day of the Elderly Day #3
Do your children like to draw paint or color? Give them a stack of computer paper and let them draw or color to their hearts content! Let the kids take their artwork to the local nursing home (if allowed). The residents may love seeing the kids and getting hand created drawings.
Ideas to celebrate International Day of the Elderly Day #4
Call the nursing home to see if there are any residents that have been forgotten or outlived their family. See if you can “adopt” them for holidays, their birthday or other special occasions.
Ideas to celebrate International Day of the Elderly Day #5
Do you have time on your hands? Volunteer with meal delivery or start one. When we lived in a small community a volunteer decided to start a once weekly meal delivery program. It may not have been much but it was better than nothing and the people they visited seemed to love it.
Ideas to celebrate International Day of the Elderly Day #6
Find out if your older neighbor is going to be home alone for Thanksgiving or Christmas. If so, invite them over. If they are homebound and unable to get out you can fix them a plate. Specially divided containers can be purchased from the grocery store in advance. If the person can’t eat everything you send it’s ok. With these plastic containers the person can freeze and then microwave later. It also eliminates their worry of getting a plate back to you.
Ideas to celebrate International Day of the Elderly Day #7
Say thanks. Do you have an elderly friend or family member that you could say thank-you to? Maybe it’s the great aunt who taught you how to play the piano or the grandmother who used to help take care of you? Take a moment and write them an old-fashioned thank you letter. That will make anyone’s day!
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