Grandparent’s Day

About Grandparents

Grandparents grew up in an easier age, when America was prosperous, and some were able to accumulate assets. If they managed their mortgage and investments wisely they are now able to be there for their children and grandchildren, providing needed help in these hard times. In that earlier, caring age giving help was fashionable.

We are forced nowadays to turn to our parents, or grandparents more often than we would like for some very needed financial help.

Giving them a photo-to-artwork is a delightful way to even the score and to say thank you.

collage

Some interesting senior citizen facts and statistics
  • Glamorous Grandparents: Today’s grandparents are not the sweet old bumblers we read about in Agatha Christie novels. The majority are working-age Boomers between the ages of 45 and 65 and they are a growing demographic: In 2010, there were an estimated 65 million grandmothers and grandfathers; by 2020, they predict this number will have grown to 80 million.
  • Affluent Grandparents: It is estimated that working grandparents command 46% of all household incomes. If you add in the grandparents who are no longer working, the share of the nation’s income rises to 60%. Where are they getting their money? Some have inherited from their parents and some still get generous pensions from the good old days when corporations treated workers as family.
  • Grandparents in the Downturn: They have been hit by the recession, especially if they did not invest wisely or give a priority to paying down their mortgage in the good times. Bad economic conditions are harder when you are old. But compare their rising share of the national income to the recorded income of their children’s generation which has declined from 43% to 36%.
  • Helping Grandparents: Households with ages 55 or older spent 7.6 billion on infant foods, child equipment, toys, games & tricycles, a 71% increase since 1999. It is not unusual for grandparents to invite a laid off son or daughter into the home with their children. Grandparents still belong to a generation where it was all about sharing and caring.
  • Achieving Grandparents: In March 2009 a 100 year old Canadian swimmer set a new world record in back-stroke. He was able to swim 100 meters in just 3 minutes and 52 seconds. In August in Huntsville a 91 year old grandmother and her granddaughter in the family canoe, won first place in the Fox Lake Regatta.

Often children visit the grandparents during the summer months.  This gives parents time together and time for work, or time for special work projects. A Photo-to-Artwork gift is a great way to say thank you.  If it is ordered early you will have it well in time for Grandparent’s Day on 7th September

kid collage

When a grandparent passes often it is good to create a portrait to keep them in living memory in the family. This keeps the heritage alive.

When you come into my home, the Heritage Wall is like a magnet and everybody goes there to admire it. It brings the family together, providing us with our history – a pictorial story of the family including all our loved ones that have passed.

“The family loves Photo-to-Artwork. Really excellent work! Thank you.” – Carol B. W.

(Pictures for a collage can be e-mailed straight from the phone)

Quote for the Week:

Grandparents bestow upon their grandchildren The strength and wisdom that time And experience has given them.

Grandchildren bless their Grandparents With a youthful vitality and innocence That help them stay young at heart forever.

Together they create a chain of love Linking the past with the future The chain may lengthen, but it will never part …

~Author Unknown~

Helping your Parent’s Move into a Retirement Home

This is a big event, like getting married or having a baby.

Moving on

I talked with a man in our store last week who had traveled all the way across from Vegas to help his aging father move into a home.

“You are a good son,” I said.

“Today,” he said, “I would agree with you!”

It wasn’t the time of the traveling that had stressed him out, it was sitting with his Dad while he helped him sort through his things which went on for nearly a week. The father had to decide what to take with him and each item was a momentous decision!  Then the next day the old man would change his mind or forget they had handled that item.

“So were you patient? “ I asked.

“Yes I was patient,” he twinkled, “I was really, really, really patient.”

When an elderly parent moves from a home they have lived in for many years it can be a stressful and a highly emotional time. It is a big transition and there is loss and always some grieving.

“Then you are a good son,” I said and I could see that he was.

In early September we often visit Retirement Homes.  I have been amazed at the level of luxury provided by these facilities.  Typically we deal with the Activity Director, officially the Director of Lifestyles. Let me ask you whether at any time in your life you have ever had a Director of Lifestyles at your beck and call, all yours and just to entertain you?

What astounded me was that these homes are not all that expensive; they are in the same degree of rent that my kids are paying in the city. Admittedly I was looking at a five star facility in Bakersfield.  So if your parent’s are able to afford a good retirement home and are outgoing, know they will have a grand old time: they will play Bridge, Bingo, participate in Water Aerobics and this in a pool heated to 85-95 degrees – there is always something going on. Understand that it is only the change that is hard on them.

An excellent idea to help them through these times is to pull out the old photos. Go through the album with them. Notice which ones they like.  Take a child with you so that they can absorb the old family history and stories. Encourage Dad or Mom to talk about the pictures. Each one will have a story. Select the favorite photos and have them made into a collage or two or three. With a collage you can even select a favorite saying like “The Handsome Patriot”  There is not much that they will be able to take with them if they are going into a small suite of rooms. Photos are the one thing that will give them a sense of continuity and connect them to their old life.

Change is hard on older people, but with their family helping them through the transition and their precious memories still with them, it will make it easier to settle down happily into the golden years of their life.

Quote for the Week

Wherever you go, go with all your heart. ~Confucius