National Grandparents Day

(Image via grandparents-day.com)

The first Sunday after Labour Day is National Grandparents Day! This is from the site grandparents-day.com:

The impetus for a National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia. Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide. President Jimmy Carter, in 1978, proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day.

If you would like some gift ideas for grandparents or senior friends, check out About.com which has some crafty gifts the grandchildren can make. If your family is not crafty, Gift.com has a selection of gift ideas from various stores.

However, while the primary motivation for Grandparents Day was the lonely elderly in nursing homes, today more people are also living on their own. And a growing problem, whether the person is in a nursing home or on their own, is social isolation. This may be due to friends and family members who have moved or died, physical isolation or personality.  Isolation can lead to depression, grief, anxiety, health problems, alcohol and drug use and suicide.

Having someone visit may be a positive or negative experience. Some people, especially those who are in a nursing home, may welcome the opportunity for friendship and company. Those who live on their own may not think they need someone or may be afraid to have someone come into their home. The people at the nursing homes and service providers that help match seniors and volunteers, will help the seniors with whatever fears or concerns they may have.

Here’s some information if you are interested in volunteering to visit in a nursing home or visit in someone’s home. These sites will give you a general understanding of what it can mean to volunteer, what to look for from a volunteer program  and the different ways you can help.

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