November is Be Thankful Month.
What a great time to show aging family members that we are thankful for them. Many times, older people feel that they have outlived their usefulness. We need to let them know that they are vital members of the family and still have a purpose.
As people age, they face many losses.
They lose friends and family members to death, begin to have physical limitations and sometimes have severe financial problems. In the face of these problems, they need to know they are still the backbone of their families, and that family members are thankful to have them.
We can show our thanks by spending time with them and reminding them of the roles they play in family dynamics. They are the caretakers of family histories. We can appreciate their wisdom even if the stories are repeated over and over. They have lived many years and have a perspective that we do not have yet. Honor and reflect on their opinions. We need to listen with our hearts as well as our minds and find what is important to them.
Loneliness is an unpleasant fact for many seniors.
We can show them that we are thankful for them by involving them in the lives of our families. Most grandparents are interested in their grandchildren’s activities and are anxious to be involved. We can encourage our children to honor and appreciate their grandparents. Even if we do not live close, a weekly phone call or letter means the world to them. They want to know that we value them enough to share our experiences with them.
Keys to a happy life are a sense of purpose and an attitude of thankfulness.
Seniors can be helped to retain these qualities with our support, love and expressions of gratitude for everything they have given us. Even if they are not physically or mentally able to do what they once did, we can assure them that they are still very important to the structure of the family. The older generation has much to teach us if we take time from our busy lives to listen.