Grandparents Day is September 10th, a day set aside to celebrate and honor those who’ve provided us with years of wisdom, hugs, and some exciting – or at least interesting – gifts on special occasions! Our Senior Lifestyle communities are especially blessed with grandparents, or as some people say, grandfriends. We celebrate intergenerational bonds every day in our communities, learning and connecting with this incredible group of people. As Shanda from Barrington of Oakley states, “I work the front desk, help with activities, and have been known to be the IT person (helping residents with cell phones, iPads, televisions, etc.). I no longer have my grandparents but tell people I have a whole building full and treat them like my own!”
According to the Legacy Project’s website, Grandparents Day was initiated by Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade with three purposes in mind:
- To honor grandparents
- To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children
- To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer
Mrs. McQuade started her campaign to honor grandparents in 1970, envisioning Grandparents Day as a family event and a time to affirm the important role grandparents play in our families and communities. The day became an official holiday in her home state of West Virginia in 1973, and in 1979 President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday following Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The proclamation reads, in part:
Grandparents are our continuing tie to the near-past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether they are our own or surrogate grandparents who fill some of the gaps in our mobile society, our senior generation also provides our society a link to our national heritage and traditions.
Mrs. McQuade’s vision of a day of giving, sharing, and caring has become a reality for many families who honor prior generations on Grandparents Day, and has led to the formation of grandfamilies as well. Grandfamilies may not be family, but they share a bond nonetheless, just as Senior Lifestyle’s team members share a bond with our residents.
Generations United in Washington, D.C. shares this vision and encourages people of all ages to become involved in intergenerational activities. Generations United also sponsors contests and events such as #TakeAGrandie, which is a wonderful opportunity to capture an intergenerational moment!
We encourage you to join us in celebrating Grandparents Day this Sunday and every day! To learn more about events at a Senior Lifestyle community near you or to schedule a tour, please visit our website at www.seniorlifestyle.com.