Grandparents Day in Senior Living: How to Get the Whole Family Involved

Every day is a perfect day to celebrate the contributions that grandparents make in our lives, but Sunday, September 10 is designated officially as Grandparents Day. Why not take advantage of this special day to enjoy some intergenerational family time together, making memories and passing down a few traditions? Here are a few ways that you can get your entire family involved in celebrating all things grandparents, no matter where Grandma lives.

Join in Community Fun

If Grandma lives in a senior living community, this is a wonderful time to take advantage of the activities provided right down the hall from her apartment. If the senior living community is offering special Grandparents Day programming, be sure to join in the fun and activities. Many times, these group activities are focused on all ages, and younger kids are sure to find plenty to do and maybe even make a few new friends. Try to make time for more focused family interaction either before or after the community-hosted event, perhaps bringing in dessert or appetizers to enjoy in Grandma’s apartment after the community festivities.

Tell Family History

Kids and adults of all ages can benefit from learning and retelling family stories and history. Use Grandparents Day as an opportunity to brush up on your family history. Look through old photo albums together, letting Grandma lead the conversation on what she remembers about the pictures. If you have time to plan ahead, you can make a new photo book full of family photos, new and old, to present to Grandma. If you are more technically savvy, consider making a slideshow set to music that everyone can watch on the television or computer while visiting Grandma as well.


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Play Together

Everyone connects with one another better when participating in a shared activity. Take Grandparents Day as an invitation to have the whole family play together. Try outdoor games such as cornhole, bocce ball, or horseshoes; many senior living communities already have these games available for visitors to play, which means you won’t have to lug supplies in your car. Bring bubbles for the smaller kids to enjoy on the sidelines.

If Grandma’s senior living community has a swimming pool, consider bringing the children’s swimsuits and letting them take a dip. Remember—even if Grandma isn’t quite able to swim or toss a beanbag for cornhole, she is more than willing to watch, visit, and laugh along with her family.

Get in the Kitchen

Speaking of family history, so many traditions begin in the kitchen. Consider cooking together, making family favorites. Everyone can play a part in the recipe process; little kids can mix or stir, while adults can manage cutting or manning the stove.

Relish Quieter Activities

Sometimes, a rousing game of cornhole or a loud group program in the activity room can be overstimulating for Grandma or the smaller kiddos. You can always choose to play it quieter, picking activities that allow connection in less stimulating environments. Try playing checkers or tic-tac-toe. For emerging readers, reading to Grandma is the perfect practice and a great way for Grandma to enjoy a glimpse into that part of her grandchild’s life. You can even choose to bring along homework, quietly working on homework together over an easy snack. Small connections over everyday activities can be more meaningful to everyone than flashy activities in many cases.

How will you choose to celebrate Grandparents Day this year? We hope it is full of meaningful connections with all ages in your family! There is so much we can all learn from one another, and intergenerational activities give us all the chance to learn and have fun together. Happy Grandparents Day!

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