(Surrey and surrounding area) Many of us share a close relationship with our grandparents, and National Grandparents Day, this Sunday, September 13, is the perfect occasion to show how much they mean to us and to pay tribute to all they have done for us. Traditionally, we might mark the occasion with family get-togethers, special outings or gifts and cards. This year has changed all of that as we observe social distancing rules, limit gatherings and avoid crowded places due to COVID-19. Here are some tips from the Manager of Wellness at Pacifica Retirement Residence. “With a little ingenuity and preparation, there are many creative and safe ways to express your appreciation and love on this special day,” says Satwant Dail.
Create a family interview
Grandparents have incredible life experience to share, and most would be honoured to know their family wants to preserve their legacy. Why not have your kids conduct a virtual interview of their grandparents to learn more about their lives, family history and traditions. Encourage them to ask about their past, their greatest joys and challenges, and life lessons learned. Questions such as, what was the world like when you were young, who were you named after, what were your grandparents like, do you have a favourite family memory and who was your best friend growing up, are all great questions to ask to start a meaningful conversation.
Create a video keepsake
Tape a video with your family expressing appreciation for everything your grandparents have done and continue to do for you. Gather heartwarming photos of the grandparents with their grandkids, and other favourite photos of time spent together to include in the video. Record your family sharing their most vivid memories of special occasions, family trips or great advice learned from a grandparent. “Whether they live far away, are in a retirement residence, or live around the block, this digital keepsake will be a lifelong treasure that grandparents can review time and again,” says Satwant Dail at Pacifica.
Make a family tree
National Grandparents Day is the perfect time to start your family tree by joining on a call and talking about your unique family history, and it’s just as easy to do in person (observing social distancing rules) as it is to do virtually. Video calling services such as FaceTime, Skype or Zoom can connect you and your grandparents so you can see each other and talk in real time. There are plenty of online templates for a free, do-it-yourself approach, along with companies who will help pull the family ‘leaves’ together for a fee. Grandparents are the keepers of the stories, so capture and record your family tree.
Enjoy movie night
“Many of our residents who are grandparents at Pacifica are digitally savvy, which helps them to connect with their families in creative ways,” says Manager of Wellness, Satwant Dail. There are many inter-generational films that wonderfully capture the beauty, complexity and special bond of families. Why not gather together in person or on the phone while you watch the same movie from your respective homes. Some favourite recommendations include Little Miss Sunshine, Whale Rider, Cocoon and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Watching films together that have something to tell and teach, reinforces our family connections.
Grandparents celebrate our accomplishments, volunteer in our communities and in many families, act as primary caregivers. For all of the love and kindness they give to their families, we are privileged to honour them on National Grandparents Day. How will you celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of the grandparents in your life?
Learn more about Pacifica: www.siennaliving.ca.