Posted by Improving Lives Counseling | Articles
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are in the hearts and minds of us all; however, National Grandparent’s Day is often overlooked. In 1977, a joint resolution passed Congress designating the first Sunday of September after Labor Day as National Grandparent’s Day. President Jimmy Carter wrote: “To honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer”. Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, West Virginia, founder of National Grandparent’s Day wanted to, “educate the youth in the community about the important contributions seniors have made throughout history. She also urged the youth to ‘adopt’ a grandparent, not just for one day a year, but for a lifetime.”
Grandparent’s Day however can spur emotions and feelings concerning to some and frightening to others. Seeing grandparents once or twice a year who suffer from mental disorders, arteriosclerosis, or complications associated with aging can be traumatic, especially for young children, adolescents, teens, and adults who don’t regularly visit. Elder Care Guilt, sidelining, legacy, finances, and child parent relationships often led to avoidance and in some cases neglect of grandparents and their emotional, medical, and social needs. The counselors of Improving Lives Counseling Services can help. Focusing on past and present thoughts, feelings, and concerns, our Talk Therapy sessions work toward resolving issues and finding solutions.
Grandparents of the 21st century are accomplishing more, postponing retirement, and living longer than ever before. They play an important role as educator, historian, nurturer, and trusted adult, offering grandchildren a break from daily routines, a change of environment, and a range of knowledge and experiences parents have not yet achieved. Separating a child from a grandparent or avoiding a grandparent can stress inter-family relationships. If you or a family member is avoiding a grandparent because visits led to altercations, anxiety, and guilt; let us help you address these concerns.
Grandparent’s Day can be a great time to not only visit and celebrate, but to assess the health and wellness of a grandparent, to ensure care facilities are meeting requirements, and medical needs are being met. Children and grandchildren often notice the little things grandparents might miss or are hesitant to acknowledge: signs of an inability to perform daily activities, symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s, changes in behavior, weight-loss, falls, and accidents. Although this is a great time to look at old pictures, share stories, and bring remembrances to life, grandparents, regardless of how busy or involved they appear to be, have heightened emotional and social needs. Research shows grandparents who have access to extended family, are involved in the community, and have some form of socialization, live healthier, happier lives.
Every person to person interaction literally shapes the human brain. Grandparents provide an emotional closeness and a source of social support. Preparing a child to see a grandparent in the throes of a mental disorder can be as harrowing as the stress of preventing a child from seeing a grandparent at all. Improving Lives Counseling Services offers individual, family, and group therapy and counseling services in six locations in northeast Oklahoma. Living the life you, your immediate, and extended family were meant to live is important. Call us today.