Monday May 30, 2016 is Memorial Day.
Take the time to stop and recognize the great sacrifices made by our veterans. It is especially important to celebrate and remember with the seniors in our community. Here’s some tips to include in your Memorial Day Planning with your Elderly Parents.
According to a Gallup poll, approximately one in five Americans who are 59-years-old and younger are veterans. It is remarkable to note that four out of five 85 to 89-year-olds served in our American military. In other words, 80% of Americans between the ages of 85 and 89 actively served in our military at one point in their lives!
For many of us, that means that our parents and grandparents sacrificed much in order to serve our country. Here are a few ideas for how we can celebrate Memorial Day with our loved ones this year.
1. Ask them to share their stories.
Invite your loved one to share stories and memories from the past. Whether they are veterans or not, they likely have fascinating memories of American wars which they would enjoy sharing. If they would rather not share about difficult memories, that’s ok. However, if they are eager to share, listen attentively and prepare to learn much from their experience.
2. Say thank you this weekend and throughout the year.
Call your loved one to say thank you for their service. Whether you have loved ones who have served our country in the past or active military members in your family, remember to thank them for their sacrifices throughout the year. Perhaps you can help your loved one remember their friends and family who are no longer with us by paying respects or leaving a token at a grave.
3. Celebrate by enjoying time together and making new memories
Celebrating holidays with your elderly parents is a fun way to change up your senior care plan, create memories, and give your aging loved ones an emotional and mental boost. Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer and the start of a season filled with patriotic holidays. Whether your elderly loved ones were in the military or not, taking time out to observe this holiday together lets you have fun together while also participating in meaningful traditions that honor those who fought for this country. Planning patriotic Memorial Day celebrations with your aging parents is a great way to get your friends and family together for some warm weather fun. Nothing says patriotic summer holidays quite like a picnic. Even if your aging parents are not able to get out of the home or travel far away to get to a picnic spot, you can enjoy the same favorite flavors and ambience right in the backyard or even the dining room. Spread out a traditional gingham cloth and pack the food in a picnic basket no matter how far you go to create the feeling of a picnic. Remember if you are going to be outside, avoid foods that are sensitive to heat such as mayonnaise and lunch meat.
4. Visit a war memorial.
Visiting a war memorial or monument brings your observance of the holiday back to its primary reason. Check with the historical association in your area to find out about memorials, monuments, plaques, and museum exhibits in your area that honor those who lost their lives in combat. If there are not any in your immediate area, or you have already visited all of them, research surrounding areas and plan a day trip to larger memorials. If you want to plan a celebration with your elderly parents but want to make sure they are safe, get in touch with the elder care agency to find out about hiring a senior health care services provider to provide care and assistance to your seniors during all of your summer activities.
Here are just some of the War Memorials in Southern California:
Medal of Honor Memorial Site
22495 Van Buren Blvd, Riverside, CA 92518
National POW/MIA Memorial
22495 Van Buren Boulevard, California 92518
Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial
6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive South La Jolla, CA 92037
Vietnam War Memorial
14180 All American Way, Westminster, CA 92683
Town Square Park Murrieta, CA 92562
Lincoln Memorial Shrine
125 W Vine St, Redlands, CA 92373
Cerritos Veterans Memorial
Cerritos Civic Center, 18125 Bloomfield Ave, Cerritos, CA 90703
Lower Arroyo Park
614 Stoney Dr, South Pasadena, CA 91030