Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sheltering the Elderly (And include your children)

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

Memory Verse to Teach: Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:40).

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.


Terra said...

Thank you for reminding us about ministering to the elderly and for the great ideas. I do a few of these since this year I decided to visit someone in a nursing home. I did not know anyone but I just knew someone there could enjoy a visitor. The nursing home set me up with 2 ladies who I visit once a week. My volunteering began with a group who interviewed me, I had to be fingerprinted and then I met the two ladies.

Aritha said...


Kalin said...

These are wonderful ideas on how to be a part of their lives! Thank you for sharing.

Sharon said...

These are beautiful ideas, Pamela! Many of them I can incorporate into my time with my mother. Caring for the elderly isn't always easy, but God honors us as we honor them. The biggest thing to remember is to remember them. To not let them get neglected or ignored. God still works in and through these dear older saints, and we are wise to spend time with them.


Anonymous said...

These are such great practical ideas! Thank you so much. I have to consider a few with my own grandparents because I know I can do better.

Unknown said...

I love the ideas for getting the kids involved. It's hard to think of new ideas that they will enjoy.

Rena said...

I really enjoyed this. As a caregiver to my mom I can say that all of these are wonderful ideas! I shared this on my Facebook page and tweeted.

Unknown said...

A lot of great ideas are there that would work for both seniors and for children - and what a great way for children to learn!

Jacqui Odell said...

A lot of great ideas! I love the one about sharing a meal with seniors. Honestly they would love to just have someone to talk to.

Caroline @ In Due Time said...

I love these ideas so much! I am a HUGE fan of sending snail mail, but this is a good reminder to send something to my grandma this week! said...

If its one thing people want and is the most priceless is time. It means so much to some when you just give them a little of your time. Great tips!

Jasmine Watts said...

These are wonderful ideas for getting kids involved and this is great way for children to learn!

annies home said...

I work in a shelter home of sorts and many of those that live there never get visitors so our families become theirs as well. They have so many stories to share and love visits from anyone. You may want ot think about adopting a grandma or grandpa at a home

come see us at

Tiffani said...

I just love spending time with the elderly. They have so much wisdom and are so funny!

Katrina Kroeplin said...

great ideas. i need to do this more often with my grandma. thanks for the ideas.

Minivan Ministries said...

This seems to be a popular topic. These are great tips. I love the idea of building a bird feeder.