For many Americans, the weekend of Memorial Day signals the start of summer. But for seniors, particularly military veterans and families who follow a tradition of service to country, the holiday is a time to remember the ultimate sacrifice made by many to preserve our freedoms. For our elderly population, Memorial Day is about remembrance. And this year as the nation struggles out from under a global pandemic, it seems appropriate that in addition to remembering our fallen soldiers we honor essential workers, first responders and loved ones who fought hard in this war against Covid-19. With older adults in the highest risk group of being hospitalized or dying due to the coronavirus, many seniors may be grieving the death of a spouse, loved ones, close friends and even a caregiver or other essential worker who provided in-home care or critical support.
At Amada Senior Care, we understand how important Memorial Day is to the senior veterans we serve, as well as their aging loved ones and families. We would like to offer some suggestions for what families can do with the beloved seniors in their life to observe Memorial Day in remembrance of veterans or someone lost to Covid. This year, military cemeteries have pared down events but lifted restrictions to allow vaccinated visitors to gather at graves without having to wear masks. Even without visiting a national cemetery, seniors and families can pay their respects and honor a fallen loved one in many other ways throughout this long holiday weekend – from quiet remembrance at home to an organized patriotic outing or activity.
Ideas for Remembering and Honoring the Fallen this Memorial Day Weekend
- Wear red, white and blue to show your respect and patriotic spirit.
- Raise the American flag together to observe the significance of the holiday and give thanks. Perhaps play a recording of the “Taps” bugle call during your quiet contemplation.
- Visit a veterans’ memorial in your neighborhood and place flowers or American flags.
- Enjoy a picnic packed with red, white and blue foods and treats, and encourage your senior loved one to share memories of their service and remember friends and family who have passed.
- At 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, take a moment to pause and reflect on the meaning of the day. In this way, you will be participating with others in a “National Moment of Remembrance.”
- Thank active-duty military members for their service by writing letters or donating items for care packages. Many nonprofit organizations deliver these to service personnel who are deployed.
From all of us here at Amada Senior Care, please enjoy a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.
“Memorial Day for Senior Veterans is About Remembrance,” written by Michelle Flores, Amada blog contributor.