Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Greet Seniors - 52 Weeks of Giving - Week 44

Usually on October 31st each year, we gather as a family at my parents' home and have dinner. The cousins would go out and enjoy spending time with one another, while my parents had the opportunity to see their grandchildren dressed up and having fun each year.

Mom, Dad, Sophia, and Olivia
Olivia, Nana, Sophia, and Papa.
(Taken on October 31, 2010 -
the last Halloween at Papa and Nana's home.)

It brought them a lot of joy and happiness to see a tradition that they enjoyed when their own children were growing up passed along to the next generation.

This year, my mother was just released from the hospital after being there from October 27th-30th; and my father remains in the hospital as his new medications are adjusted to deal with yet another aspect of Alzheimer's Disease.

So, this year we spent Halloween in the neighborhood. Although it is bittersweet in some ways, in other ways it challenged us to go beyond just the "trick or treating" aspect and think of some way that we could do something memorable.

Olivia on Halloween with
Spotty (her stuffed penguin).

The idea: visit the seniors who lived in the senior cottages (one-level, accessible townhomes) in town. Sure enough, the majority of the outdoor lights were on indicating that seniors wanted to have visitors.

Sophia with Shadow on Halloween.

We went through each section of the cottages and visited each senior who had turned on her/his light. The girls made sure to thank each one for the candy they received.

Greeting a senior at one of the senior cottages.

More important was to give a compliment about some aspect of their home - how they decorated their front window for the holiday, flowers that they had out front, or even a little seating area; and to wish each one a nice evening or happy halloween. 

The seniors seemed genuinely happy with the extra time the girls spent with them, and for the additional greeting, wish, or compliment they received from the girls.

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