There are most likely several seniors in your Community who are unable to leave their home for even the simplest daily activities. Many times, these men and women spend the day alone in their room wanting someone to talk to. Summer is also a time when their own memories of family vacations and holidays can create a sense of depression and loneliness. That’s when our youth can be the most help.
Our youth, since school has been out for a while now, are also spending much of their time in their rooms on the internet, watching TV or playing video games. Why not take a morning or two and visit our seniors with your children. Children bring the joy of youth and freshness of conversation to anyone but especially to our seniors. As a parent there are few things better than watching a senior smile and laugh with our children. “They” do say, laughter is the best medicine.
So this summer, when you are struggling to come up with ideas of how to spend the hot summer days when your kids aren’t in school, consider visiting a parishioner at their home, hospital or nursing home. And remember the words of Christ, “I was sick and you visited me.”
If you wish to plan a visit with your family, here are some tips…
- Call first - Many seniors have doctor appointments which you should plan around. If you are visiting a nursing home, many residents look forward to the group activities such as sing-a-longs and games. If you call ahead, seniors can not only make sure they will be available, they will look forward to your visit.
- Prepare your children - Many children need a bit a reminding on how to behave in these situations. Visiting a senior will not necessarily be a time to run around.
- Don’t stay too long - Many seniors often get tired quickly, especially if their routine changes too much. A short visit, combined with visiting often, can be of great benefit to them. They end up looking forward to your visit, rather than dreading becoming over-tired.
- If you are not quite sure about visiting, contact your Church. Many Churches have shut-in ministries which could help connect you with those seniors who need a visit Many visit seniors every week, and are a great resource to planning a visit. They may even welcome you and your children to visit with them the first time.