We are busy with our families, raising our children, pursuing our hobbies, climbing the corporate ladder. How often do we stop in the middle of living life, and give honor and respect to the elderly.
1. Send Mail
A large percentage of our Shelter: Postmarked mail goes to the elderly -- often to retired pastors and pastor's wives who feel like they are not doing (or did) anything for God.
2. Take Time to Visit
Schedule a thirty-minute visit into your week. Wrap a ribbon around a cookie, or flowers from your garden. Watch their eyes light up when you present your gift. Ask questions about when they were young, and really listen.
3. Take them For a Ride
One elderly lady I knew loved Wendy's Frosties. Her pastor's wife would pick her up, and take her to get a Frosty. It wasn't a big trip, but gave her a breath of fresh air and new surroundings. Drive them past some gardens or, in the winter, tour the neighborhood to view the Christmas lights.
4. Fill a Bird Feeder
Winters can be hard when the elderly can't get out of the house. Place a bird feeder outside the window where they sit. (Check out the kind that suction cups to the window.) Stop by each week to make sure the feeder is full.
5. Share a Meal
Cook extra when you prepare a meal. Home cooked meals taste good to seniors, even if they are receiving Meals on Wheels or other subscription meals. Don't watch them eat; take a meal for yourself. If they are in a care facility, find out if you can join them for lunch or dinner. Someone recently paid for my daddy's meal at a restaurant. He didn't see anyone he knew, but it was a kindness that cheered him.
Senior Service Activities for Children
1. Plant flowers: Attending to their loved one's grave will give give joy. Let your child do as much as possible. If the senior can't go with you, take pictures so they can see what was accomplished.
2. Decorate for holidays: Decorate their door or a small stand at the care facility or home. This is good for teenagers to plan and execute.
3. Play a game: Take and play a Dominoes or Checkers game. Helping put a 32-large-piece puzzle together is another great activity.
4. Read a book: Seniors who were book lovers often cannot see to read. Have your child take a beautiful picture book to read to them. Suggestions: Small Gifts in God's Hands by Max Lucado, A Little Prairie House by Laura Ingles Wilder
5. Color together: Take a new box of crayons. With the vast variety of adult coloring books, it's easy to find one a senior will enjoy.
6. Share a pet: A senior can receive joy and peace by petting an animal. Listen to their stories about their own pets.