Honoring Memorial Day with SeniorsMay 29, 2023
For many individuals, Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. Across the country, people count on exceptional weather for a day of fun in the sun and delicious barbeque. While this is certainly a fun way to celebrate the holiday, many individuals see Memorial Day as a more somber affair—especially seniors.
According to a Statistica study, 42% of older adults over the age of 75 are veterans. On Memorial Day, it’s likely your elderly loved one may want to spend some time honoring a fallen friend or family member. If you’re honoring Memorial Day with seniors this year, consider partaking in some of these activities.
Join a Flag Raising ceremony
Each year, communities across the country band together to host a flag-raising ceremony in honor of those we have lost. Sometimes these events happen in the morning, but sometimes they happen during the 3:00 pm moment of silence, so be sure to look up the timing. These types of community events are great for seniors, as they are more relaxed than a parade and more significant.
Honor the fallen with poppy flowers
Red poppy flowers are the universal symbol of remembrance. Since World War I, Americans have used these flowers to honor those lost in the line of duty. This Memorial Day, you and your senior loved one can show your appreciation for veterans through this flower. Gather bunches of red poppies to deliver to military cemeteries, or spend some extra time making your own paper ones.
Discuss military history
One of the best ways to honor the fallen is to take time to remember the military history for which we honor them. If your loved one served in the military, ask them for stories about their service. If they didn’t, but a sibling, parent, or spouse did, you can similarly ask more about this individual. Record this information so it can be remembered for years to come.
Create a care package for current service members
Though Memorial Day is a time to remember those we’ve lost, it is also a great opportunity to recognize those currently serving in the armed forces. To show your gratitude for their bravery, you and your loved one can gather together to create care packages to send overseas. A few great things to include in these packages are:
- Travel-sized deodorant
- Baby wipes
- A thank you card
How to host a safe outdoor celebration
Once you’ve paid your respects, help your elderly loved one have fun with friends and family. Hosting or attending a barbeque is a great way for your loved one to get fresh air and socialize. However, it’s important that you take the proper steps to keep your loved one safe from sun exposure.
- Reapply sunscreen. If you plan on being outside for any extended period of time, remember that you should reapply sunscreen roughly every two hours.
- Stay hydrated. While enjoying the sunshine, remember to stay hydrated. Periodically remind your loved one to drink water and refill their cup/water bottle as necessary.
- Provide seating. Most seniors will not be able to stay standing for hours on end. Make sure there is plenty of seating for your loved one to rest in, and if necessary, provide them a lawn chair that can be moved from place to place.
- Have a way to escape the heat. Senior citizens are more susceptible to warm temperatures. If it’s a rather hot day, make sure there are places your loved one can go to cool down—such as under an umbrella, a pergola, or indoors if it is available.
Receiving caregiver support
If your loved one struggles with activities of daily living, such as personal care, meal preparation, or running errands, consider hiring the help of an at-home caregiver. These professionals offer the passionate, dignified respect your elderly family member requires.
For more information on caregiving services, or to learn how you can receive compensation for the care you already provide, call us at 773-274-9262.
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