Critter Corner: Spending Memorial Day with Senior Loved Ones

Hayek 1Dear Hayek,

My dad, an Army veteran, comes from a long line of US military veterans from all branches. He is in the early stages of dementia, but Memorial Day has always been important to him. Since we’re all vaccinated, we can do more this year. What are some good ways to spend Memorial Day with my dad this year?

Thanks! 

Mila Terry

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Dear Mila,

Thank you to your dad and your other family members for serving our country!

Memorial Day is a special day in the United States to honor and remember those who served in our country’s armed forces. It is a time to remember the sacrifice of those who came before us – so it’s no surprise that many choose to spend Memorial Day with senior loved ones and relatives.

Ideas for Memorial Day Elder Care Activities

If you have a senior loved one in your life, there are many ways you can share Memorial Day with them. If your loved one prefers low-key, peaceful remembrance, your observance of the holiday can include quiet activities at home. Alternatively, if your loved one enjoys getting out of their home, you can organize outdoor or social activities, just be sure to be safe out there!

Some ideas for Memorial Day activities that are compatible with seniors in the early stages of dementia include:

  • Pay your respects. If your loved one has lost someone close to them in the line of service, this day is a good opportunity to pay quiet respects or leave a token at their grave site.
  • Share memories. Memorial Day is about remembrance – something vital to many seniors. Encourage your loved one to explore their memories, relive times gone by, and remember those no longer with us. Look at pictures with your loved one to jog their memories and reminisce about the past by engaging in conversation about loved ones and memories in the photos.
  • Attend a Memorial Day parade. Each year, hundreds of Memorial Day parades are held across America. This is an excellent opportunity to show gratitude for servicemen and servicewomen. It’s also a good chance to get your loved one out moving about in fresh air. If you do attend a parade, be sure to follow any mask or social distancing protocols that could still be in place.
  • Visit friends. Often, the best people to share memories with are those who lived through them with you. For your loved one, the chance to remember alongside friends can have a positive effect on their emotional well-being (if their friend feels safe having visitors over).
  • Spend the day with family. Having a family dinner allows you and your loved one to spend quality time with those closest to you – the most important thing our veterans have sacrificed for.
  • Raise the flag together. This can be a powerful, but low key, way to remember those who sacrificed their lives for our county.
  • Head to your favorite park and enjoy a picnic. Look for a park that has a bench and table making it easier to sit and enjoy all the delicious food.

Stay Cool and Hydrated This Memorial Day

As the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is also the unofficial start to summer and the time of year where temperatures begin to heat up. Be sure to take weather into consideration when deciding on activities and remind your senior loved ones to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen if outside for extended periods of time.

The activities mentioned are just some of the Memorial Day activities that work well with senior loved ones. Remember, whichever way you spend the holiday, be sure to cherish this chance to remember, give thanks, and spend time safely with your loved ones.

Enjoy your weekend!

Hayek

 

 

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About Renee Eder

Renee Eder is the Director of Public Relations for the Farr Law Firm, and gives the voice to the Critters of Critter Corner. Renee’s poodle, Penny, is an official comfort dog who she and her children bring to visit with seniors who are in the early stages of dementia at a local senior home once a month.

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