With the amount of digital content today, it’s important to remember just how much handwritten letters still count. Changing your font and text color is not the same thing as putting pen to paper. Your handwriting has a personality all it’s own; it can be friendly, playful, or serious. For those living in a senior community, being pen pals with their own grandchildren is a beautiful way to keep in touch. This relationship between generations can benefit everyone and there are several ways in which you can create this unique connection for your loved ones.
A Grandparents Day to Remember
This is a beautiful time of year when we honor those who have raised families and maintained or created family traditions that will continue to be passed down for years to come. Becoming pen pals with grandchildren could very well become another one of those traditions. Sending letters is more intimate than sending an email, and it can inspire people to share more than they would have over the phone. Grandchildren can share parts of their lives, and grandparents can give advice and share stories of their own.
Bringing Generations Together
It’s normal to get older and forget certain parts of your past, and it’s normal for younger generations to feel that older people have lost touch with what’s going on in the world. Instead of widening the gap, however, being a pen pal is a good way for relatives to remember that all of us are trying to find our best path through life — no matter how long it takes and how many mistakes we make. Grandparents keep up to date on what’s happening in their grandchildren’s lives, and grandchildren learn more about what it was like to live in a different time.
Tips to Do It Right
For whatever purpose you choose to use a pen pal program, it’s important that letter writing not be seen as a chore. It is the sense of emotional closeness that yields the best benefits between grandchildren and grandparents, not a sense of obligation. Both parties should be excited to take out a fresh piece of stationary.
Seniors who write and tell their stories can stave off dementia as these are skills that require you to be present and focused, thereby stimulating and awakening the mind. Children also get to learn and practice an undervalued skill, as writing is not generally practiced outside the classroom. Both adults and children should have a means to derive the happiness that comes from these activities which should be described as timeless rather than old-fashioned.
Here are a few ideas to keep it fun and interesting for all involved:
Take the pressure off
If you or your loved ones are resentful of rules, try not to impose too many of them. Maybe you aim for one letter every three months at first, and see how that goes. Or perhaps you only write when there’s a big event that happens, or when you want to share an important moment.
Sometimes there’s nothing better than working towards a goal with the help and support of someone else. If your grandchild wants to try out for the swim team and you want to learn how to speak French, then this is a beautiful way to keep tabs on one another until you actually reach your target.
Stories and Drawings
If you would rather communicate through stories or drawings, then try sending your grandchild your favorite stories from your life and ask them to do the same. This is an excellent way to learn about the other one’s talents, hopes and passions and discover shared interests to genuinely grow the relationship.
Sunshine Retirement Living encourages you to either initiate a program with children in the local schools or just within your own family. Our retirement community is all about promoting wellness and independent living, and we want you or someone you love to be a part of it all. Give us a call to learn more about how we make each day rich and fulfilling.
Autumn means colder weather, and that could also mean flu season too! It is important to stay warm and safe this season, especially because family and friends are traveling for the holidays!
If you are visiting someone or plan to, make sure you are layering your clothes or dressing appropriately for the weather, staying on top of your health by eating nutritious food, staying active, and getting proper rest. Don't forget to wash your hands and utilize hand sanitizer in public spaces!
Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and that means food and family! People have different ways to prepare for Thanksgiving.
Some plan out a list, down to the activities and conversations that can take place at the dinner table. These people also take out the recipe books and follow the directions to a tee! Others may take the go-with-the-flow approach and wing it! That includes recipes too.
Which group are you in? No matter your approach, we hope that this holiday season is a fulfilling one!