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~

A Story to Read to Your Grand Children . . .

The first episode of Yum Yum Purr

Yum Yum Purr

Yum Yum is popular in the petting zoo where all the animals stay together and support each other as one big happy family.

When his mother was taken to the BIG ZOO and never seen again it was Kanga the kangaroo who found the abandoned itsy bitty thing and put the shivering little monkey into her pouch to keep him safe and warm.

xx

Kanga would normally have gone to Hehaw, her donkey friend, to ask him what to do, or to Elevated, the giraffe, who held a loftier viewpoint. Instead she went to consult with Babuum. Babuum is a performing baboon. Mostly he is gone from the petting zoo, with his concertina and barrel organ. This was one time, one time luckily, when he was back at the petting zoo. Although a tiny monkey with white tufts of fur on his face and a bright blue butt was a far cry from the big and ponderous baboon, Kanga felt they were sort of, kind of from the same species. So she went to Babuum for help.

Babuum, although not a lion nor an elephant had respect and clout in the petting zoo. He asked Domino the squaw to summon all the animals into the clearing at the bottom of the garden. The two elves Hit and Miss came also, but they were not invited. They and Koala clung to the branches of the old oak tree, the elves keeping tabs on the proceedings so they could report back to the fairy kingdom.

It was gratifying that even the domestic animals from the big house came down. Mackie, the mongrel was best friends with Elevated. He was often found fluttering around Elevated’s long legs. So his presence was not surprising.

That the pedigreed Maman, the Siamese cat and her litter of three kittens were in attendance was indeed surprising. They werre rarely seen at the bottom of the garden.

Billy the goat was missing, He was taking advantage of their absence to eat their food. Petunia the pony was being groomed, fancy ribbons put in her hair for the next weekend’s visiting kids. Sneak the snake was there, not that you would know. He made sure he was not seen.

All the other animals were present at the meeting.

The rooster and the hens, the pig and the piglets, and the ducks had all waddled on down. The three sheep were there. They liked Babuum and cheered everything he said.

Hehaw was there, Kanga was there and Elevated, the Giraffe was there on lookout. Yum Yum (although he had not yet been named) was still in Kanga’s pouch.

Babuum started the meeting with a drumroll. He didn’t have the barrel organ to crank, but he did have his concertina. He was wearing his top hat to give importance to the meeting.

“The good news is we have a new animal who joined us at the petting zoo. That is good. That is always good! But he is very little and has been taken from his mother, taken far, far too soon and there he is, Kanga has been looking after him.” Yum yum’s tiny face peeked out from the pouch and then dived down under.again.

“We have to decide what we are going to do,” Babuum said simply..

Each of the animals had something to say. Many lamented the loss of the mother and deplored life in THE BIG ZOO where freedom was restricted and animals put away in a cage. They had heard about such things although it was far removed from their little life, where for the most part they were free to roam around the garden. They were only herded up to the paddock when special tours of children came to the hotel above.

Kanga piped up to say that the little monkey had stopped shivering. Everybody cheered. The sheep cheered. The rooster crowed and the chickens clucked.

Hehaw proposed that Kanga continue to care for him. He said it was a good thing Kanga had done. The little monkey liked her and felt safe with her. She should keep him.

Babuum went round again letting each animal have his say. All said good things about Kanga. Most welcomed the new little monkey and while they said he couldn’t yet understand them, they loved him and accepted him in the petting zoo..

“I welcome the new little monkey,” Domino said, “We need to give him a name.”

“That can come later,” said Babuum.

“I am not so sure,” said Elevated slowly, I think Kanga did a wonderful thing to find and care for the monkey, but I do not think Kanga should keep him.”

In great surprise all the animals reacted. The hens clucked the ducks quacked, and Dobbin neighed.

Babuum said, “You surprise me Elevated. You are good friends with Kanga and you must know she is the kindest animal in the zoo.”

“That she is,” said Elevated from his lofty giraffe height. “I have one thing to ask you Babuum. How is Kanga going to feed this little monkey?”

“Heeouw,”  said Heehaw. “None of us thought of that!”

There were long faces all around and nobody said anything for quite awhile.

“How does one feed an itsy bitty monkey?” asked Mackie

“Meow, excuse me,” said Maman the Siamese cat hesitantly. While to all the other animals she had always seemed haughty, the truth was this elegant, French cat was actually shy. She was also kind. “I will take him to the big house and raise him with my kittens,” she said.

“But he is safe and happy with Kanga.”

“Kanga can visit with us. She can visit often. At the house the dear little thing will get milk. We will need some human help if he is to survive.”

“That does seem to be necessary,” said Babuum slowly.

“I am sure there will be help from the humans and the children,”  continued Maman, Comment? What is it you all theenk?”

“You are very kind,” said Kanga. “I do not think he will survive without your help. He is very little.”

“Mais oui!” said Maman.

“Merci Beaucoup, Maman,” said Babuum inclining his head so the top hat nearly fell off.

In this way it was decided.

So this is the story of how Yum Yum got his name, spoiled rotten at the big house where all the visiting children fought to feed him.

It was how he was also happy. He had two families, where he would cuddle with Maman and kittens during the night and in the day he could visit with Kanga.

It was also where he got his one obsession.

More than anything in the little petting zoo, more than the big house itself, more than THE BIG ZOO, more than the whole big wide world, there was one thing Yum Yum wanted and didn’t have.

What Yum Yum wanted more than anything was the ability to purr. He wanted to be able to purr just like his itty-bitty kitten sisters.

But that is the subject of the January story.

Stay tuned…

 

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

Grandparent’s Day ( Sunday, September 9th)

We owe them so much
Let’s make a big fuss of them this year!

Did you know?

Grandparent’s Day is in September to symbolize they are in the autumn of their life

Grandparents residing in theUSA? About 70 million a full one third of the nation’s population and 1.7 million are added to their ranks every year.

Grandparents control 75% of the nation’s money, and spend 52 million on the grandkids alone

Grandparents spend 100 billion on entertainment and 77 billion on travel.

Grandparents provide extra support for their children & grandchildren with a full 62% contributing in the last year.

Grandparents often invite their kids and grand kids to live with them in their homes.  6.2 milliion up from 5.0 million in 2000

Grandparents read a lot and 71% say reading is their favorite activity. 86% read a newspaper either in print or online.

Grandparents are surprisingly tech savvy, with 75% online and even 30%  use text messaging with their kids or grandkids.

Grandparents get thier own special blog. Click on the icon below to read more.

Old woman with umbrella walking on water

Grandparents are getting younger by the day – their average age is 48.

Grandparents say their families don’t often celebrate the day. 66% have never gotten a gift or been taken out for dinner on their own, very special day.

Grandparents Day flower is the Forget-me-Not (see image above) so let’s not forget them this year. 

 Quote for the Week

To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent — that is to triumph over old age.” – Dave Barry