On Memorial Day we like to take time to stop and recognize the great sacrifices made by our veterans. It is especially important to celebrate and remember with the seniors in our community.

According to Gallup polls taken in 2012, approximately one in five Americans who are 59-years-old and younger are veterans. It is remarkable to note that four out of five 85 to 89-year-olds served in our American military.

In other words, 80% of Americans between the ages of 85 and 89 actively served in our military at one point in their lives!

For many of us, that means that our parents and grandparents sacrificed much in order to serve our country. Here are a few ideas for how we can celebrate Memorial Day with our loved ones this year.

1. Ask them to share their stories

Invite your loved one to share stories and memories from the past. Whether they are veterans or not, they likely have fascinating memories of American wars which they would enjoy sharing. If they would rather not share about difficult memories, that’s ok. However, if they are eager to share, listen attentively and prepare to learn much from their experience.

2. Say thank you this weekend and throughout the year

If you are a long-distance caregiver, consider calling your loved one to say thank you for their service. Whether you have loved ones who have served our country in the past or active military members in your family, remember to thank them for their sacrifices throughout the year.

Perhaps you can help your loved one remember their friends and family who are no longer with us by paying respects or leaving a token at a grave.

3. Celebrate by enjoying time together and making new memories

There are many Memorial Day events in Pennsylvania and across the country which we can enjoy together. The Annville Memorial Day Parade is scheduled for May 27, 2017 from 9am to 12:30pm (read more about this event here), the Lebanon Memorial Day Parade starts May 29th at 9:30am at the intersection of Eighth and Cumberland, the Jonestown Memorial Day Parade will be May 29th at 9am, and the Palmyra Memorial Day Parade is set for May 29th at 8:30am.

If your loved one is not able to get out-and-about, consider visiting them and spending some quality time together. Perhaps they would enjoy eating some festive food or playing games with you.

If your loved one is with us at Cedar Haven, they can enjoy some festive events at our facility: View Our Activity Calendar.

Whatever you choose to do on Memorial Day Weekend this year, remember those who have served our country, make some new memories, and take time to say thanks and enjoy your loved ones.

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