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5 Ways to Honor Grandfathers on Father’s Day

seniors, senior men, home caregiver

Grandfathers are an incredibly important part of a family. Every grandfather is a father by default — it's easy to forget, but your grandpa was once a young dad raising your own mother or father. And even once their own children are grown and have families of their own, grandfathers never seem to lose that fatherly instinct. They often become secondary father figures to their grandchildren and provide valuable parenting advice to their adult children.

Whether you see your grandfather every week or just a few times a year, it's important to reach out this Father's Day and let him know how much you appreciate him. Here are five ways to honor your grandfather on Father’s Day:

1. Send a card. While you’re out choosing a card for your father, choose one for your grandfather as well. Receiving letters can invoke feelings of nostalgia for seniors, since letter writing would most likely have been a popular activity during their younger years. A handwritten note is also a way to reduce the risks of loneliness in seniors, so a card on Father’s Day is a small way to have a big impact.

2. Get the family together. Oftentimes grandparents get left out of Father’s Day and Mother’s Day celebrations because their children are busy focusing on their own kids. A small suggestion for the family to include or visit your grandfather could result in some much needed family time.

3. Get out the photo albums. Flipping through an old photo album can help spur an afternoon of conversation about the past. Talking about past memories can also be very comforting, especially for seniors who have dementia.

4. Pick up the phone. If your grandfather lives far away, a phone call can be an easy way to connect. Many seniors have difficulties using newer technology, which is why a good old fashioned telephone call might be a better option than a video call, texting, or emailing.

5. Plan a visit. If you are not able to visit your grandfather on Father’s Day, a nice alternative is to take time on this day to plan a future visit together. This will at least give your grandfather something to look forward to and will help reduce loneliness if he is spending Father’s Day alone.

Preventing Loneliness in Senior Men

One of the reasons it is important to honor grandfathers on Father’s Day is because senior men are more prone to loneliness than any other demographic. Widowers are especially prone to loneliness. It's common for men to rely on their spouses to maintain their joint social life throughout their marriage. Men who outlive their spouses often don't know how to keep participating socially once they are alone. And if single or widowed senior men don't get out of the house much, it's a recipe for boredom, depression, and deteriorating health.Using Father’s Day as a touch point will provide a moment of connection in your grandfather’s life.

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