The gap between today’s grandparents and their grandchildren can often seem miles wide. Our way of life here in the U.S.A. has changed drastically over the last 60 years and that can make it difficult for elders and youngsters to find ways to relate to each other. Extended family may also live in another state or country, making it hard to see one another. This makes it even more important to spend the time we do have together in a significant way that promotes love and bonding. One valuable way to bridge the gap between grandparents and grandchildren is to create, or continue, family traditions. Family traditions are meaningful activities that family members participate in together on an ongoing, consistent basis. These activities can be as frequent as a daily meal together or far apart, like a yearly holiday get together. Here are some ideas for family traditions:

-- Planting a yearly spring garden or visiting one like the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden-- Road trip - check AARP’s site for driver safety refresher courses if a grandparent is nervous about driving safely
-- Volunteering for a good cause - like the upcoming walk to end Alzheimer’s at Laguna Lake Park in SLO or helping out at the Paso Toy Bank during the holidays
-- Friday night family night – play board games, watch a movie, or make dinner together
-- Make a family scrapbook - this is a great way for grandparents to share family history with grandkids

When creating new family traditions, it is important to consider all the family members involved. Family therapist, Laura Montané Bailey, MS/LMFT says these are good points to keep in mind:

-- Interests and abilities of each family member
-- What is available in your area
-- Seasons, holidays, and special occasions
-- Keeping it affordable and age-appropriate
-- Including other relatives, families, and friends

If you are thinking about starting or restarting some family traditions, it is never too late! Set a date for a family meeting and let everyone share their ideas of fun and meaningful activities to do together.

If you would like to learn more bridging the generation gap or about the many benefits of professional senior care at home, including dementia and Alzheimer’s care, call Senior Helpers of San Luis Obispo County to speak to a senior care specialist today 805-470-1594!   The compassionate senior care specialists at Senior Helpers can also guide you through the process of receiving the Veterans Administration Aid and Attendance Benefit if your elderly loved one is a veteran.   In home senior care and in home assisted living allows your loved one to stay in the comforts of their own home for as long as possible while receiving the level of care they need. Senior Helpers of San Luis Obispo County provides a wide range of services including Alzheimer’s and dementia care, personal assistance, companionship, and so much more to all areas of San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Cambria, and surrounding areas.

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